Friday, March 18, 2016

A Tale of Two Best friends: Aandem Aaki and Aremteteb

Two women: Felicia Takor-Nog and Paulina Ako-Nje went to give birth in a hospital. Both the child and mpother’s mortality rates where so high that going into the delivery room was 50/50. The families were ready for death or life, but they all hoped for life. When there was safe delivery, there was great joy and feasting. Making friends usually boosted the morale of the expectant mothers, so the two became great friends. Little did they know that their friendship will transcend their hospital time and will go beyond their children?  After their delivery, they became friends. One named her child: Aandem Aaki (he who keeps his word), and the other named hers, Aremteteb (the speaker of truth). They kept their friendship even after leaving the hospitals. They constantly visited each other, and their children too became best friends. As time went on and the children waned, it was clear that they have formed an inseparable bond of friendship that will go a long way to propel them to greatness.
They both attended Presbyterian Primary School Ntenako Ndekwai. Upon graduation, they moved to Ntenako Enlightened Secondary School where they each graduated with Ten GCE O levels. They went to the Ntenako Superior High School where they each also graduated with three GCE A levels.  However Aandem Aaki became a teacher while Aremteteb became a business man.
Aandem Aaki did well in forming minds while Aremteteb was the business guru of the area. Years have passed and they were establishing themselves. It was then that they decided to move to Eshobi area. Aremteteb asked Aandem Aaki to lend him some money. Andem Aaki said to him, “My brother, you know that as a teacher, I do not make much money. If I had, I would not have waited for you to ask. Your problem is my problem, and your happiness is my happiness. In you I believe that the spirit binds and bonds better than blood.” Aremteteb lowered his head down and then suggested that his last resort would be consulting the Chief Akumaya. Aandem Aaki reminded him of the chief’s conditions. The wicked chief will lend money to his people, but he will seize their lands or daughter or wife if they did not pay him back on time. Despite that, insisted he was going in for the loan, and he promised to pay chief Akumaya back. As a result, they went to see the chief.
The chief reiterated his conditions, and the two friends signed out the loan. Aandem Aaki was the cosigner, so he was to report to the palace a week before the deadline. On May 22, 1972, three months before the deadline, Aremteteb went to the chief to make another request. He told the chief that he did not think he would be able to pay the loan on time, looking at the circumstances in the village. As a result, he wanted the permission of the chief to go out of the village and seek the money. The chief told him that he could go on one condition; he should bring his surety. If he didn’t come, the person would bear his brunt.
Aremtebe went to Aandem Aaki told him the king’s request. Aandem Aaki asked him if he was going to come back, and he promised him he was coming back to either repay the load or bear the consequences of default. He promised him, “Aandem (as he usually called him), have I ever failed you? You know that you and I always spoke the truth to each other, and we trust each other with our lives. I would not failed you, so you stay in peace.” They went to the chief, and he signed the contract again.
Two months had passed, but there was no money. A week to the deadline, the chief asked Aandem Aaki to report to the palace until the D Day. On that day, they brought his beautiful daughter who was a year shy of her 18th birthday. They placed her in the palace. Aandem would take her hand and give her to Chief Akumaya. The entire village was invited and neighboring villagers due to their long-eye or langa (hyperopia) had also showed up. It was a hectic occasion. Then Aandem Aaki began to sing and rejoice:

Aremtetbe  Aremtetbe Aremtetbe  
Manoh wah 2x
Aremtetbe eh Aremtetbe oh Aremtetbe eh
Mwuet rewah 2x

It means:
Aremtetbe  Aremtetbe Aremtetbe  
My brother
Aremtetbe  Aremtetbe Aremtetbe  
My friend

People thought that he had mental issues because they couldn’t understand how a man who has been betrayed by his supposedly best friend would be that happy to keep trusting him. Others blamed Aremteteb for being too wicked and for betraying his best friend. Other swore and wished him evil. In all of this, Aandem Aaki did not say a bad word against Aremteteb. Instead, he kept singing and dancing his trust in Aremteteb.
As the drummers began to play the drums and the damsel began to dance and gyrate her buttocks, the sentinel shouted, “Chief we are under attack. I see someone running into the village.” The chief sent his warriors to intercept the intruder. Upon coming closer, they found out that it was actually Arem (as he was popularly known). He ran to the chief, fell on his knees and said, “Chief, I did not want to miss this precious days and time. I am sorry that I couldn’t find your money. However, I want you to allow Aandem to go because he is not the one who took the loan. I did! I have no daughter, but I have a wife and some land. Please, take whichever you wish, your highness.” Chief Akumaya asked Aremteteb why he came back, knowing the sort that was going to befall him, and he told him that he promised Him and Aandem Aaki that he was going to come back. Chief Akumaya turned to Aandem Aaki and asked him, “Son, why did you believe him? Were you sure he was going to come back?” It was there that Aandem told him, “Chief, may you live forever! I have known this man since when I was in my mother’s womb. We were born on the same day, and we became friends. Since then, we have trusted and told the truth to each other. I knew he would keep his promise. He has never, ever failed me.”
The chief turned to the crowd, “People of Eshobi, I have never ever seen men as trustworthy as these two. They do what they say and keep the promises they make. For that reason, I appoint them the caretakers of the village business. As from that day, Aandem Aaki and Aremtebe became the stewards of Eshobi village. The village prospered under their care, and the chief awarded medals upon medals for their trustworthiness and faithfulness.
Can your friend trust you? Do you keep your promises? Trust is built and it comes with time. You must make yourself trustworthy to earn trust. There is no circumstance that should make anyone to break their promise.

Until then, it is a noble thing to trust and be trusted.


St Arrey of Ntenako. 

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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