his intriguing web of toxic deceit is far too captivating.
When I saw the prompt, a ‘lost friend’ came to my mind. She lives in an abusive marriage ‘physical, verbal and mental.’ Every attempt made to help her has never worked out because, for some reason, she simply loves that toxic relationship and keeps finding her way back to more beatings and abuse. I silently wonder what it is that keeps anyone in such a harmful relationship.
I hope that one day she’ll wake up to the truth and walk away before she and the children are damaged beyond repair. In my opinion, her young children have already been far too exposed to the ugliness and it shows in their constant acting out – the 6-year-old son is constantly hitting his younger sisters and getting into fights in school.
Two nights ago she called me and we chatted in whispers ‘she was hiding in the bathroom,’ to escape his berating, hoping that it will subside. I told her to call the police if it gets bad, but I’m done with getting involved and trying to talk some sense into her or to whisk her away to safety only for her to go crawling back to him within hours. It has become a vicious cycle and I’m weary of such nonsense. Short of cutting off our friendship, I can only lend a listening ear, but I have run out of advice for someone who refuses to hear them. For every possible solution that I proffer, she has more problems to counter them.
Little things can trigger great memories of the past. I stumbled on this mask in a shop at the souk that collected all manner of knicks and knacks from all over the World. On enquiry, the seller told me he believes it’s from somewhere in West Africa.
Looking at it transported me back home to my native Igbo land of Enugu State in Nigeria. It brought back a flooding of memories of cultural festivities that showcased fierce masquerades and the drumbeats of the African drums and special gong, especially at Christmas or New Year season.
It reminded me of my days as a young girl and how we used to run as swiftly as we could to get away from the young agile masquerades who loved to send our adrenaline pumping by chasing us around the square or through the bush path – especially the young girls.
Traditionally where I’m from, women don’t come near masquerades and stood to watch from the peripheries. It’s only the domain of men who have attained a certain level in their age-grade. To be initiated in the masquerade group required a ceremony of its own which is only attended by men and held at a secret place.
To my understanding, some of these traditions have been eroded by Western culture, but there are still some villages that hold on to their cultural heritage.
P.S. Some clips I found on YouTube about some Igbo festivals.