I like second helpings to sweet desserts and second chances when it’s possible to redo things that I didn’t get right the first time and possibly avoid making the same mistake a second time, but I would never accept the concept of being treated as a SECOND-CLASS citizen and no one else should.
Irrespective of colour, creed, sex or wealth no one should subject and treat others as second class citizens or even less than humans when their lives are not more important than that person’s own.
Seconds after watching some stomach churning video’s on racism I totally wished that I hadn’t, because it left me saddened, angered and in those seconds, I realised how one can easily get caught in this emotional and virulent turbulence, that no matter how much people claim not to be racists, their Devilry starts crawling out of the woodwork and they exhibit the true colours of their minds under certain circumstances.
The fabric of society is so tightly woven on oppression, violence, racism… that even centuries later, we are still battling the secondaryafter-effects of the seeds of blood, slavery, racism, pillage and plunder that have been perpetrated and yet we see people struggling to hold on to second amendment rights that beg to be realigned.
Gosh!! People, please!
When are we going to learn that some parts of history are not worth the second chance of repeating itself? When are we going to wake up and review the extent of anguish and affliction and the toll that certain unsavoury decisions made by our predecessors has taken on society?
It seems we are sitting on kegs of gunpowder that ticks and would go KABOOM in seconds and since we don’t get a secondchance to live another life, doesn’t it make sense to just try and live one great life and leave better legacies behind, especially when we consider the fact that the seconds on the hands of time ticks pretty fast and we really don’t have that much time on our hands?
Phew! I am exhausted just thinking through all this. Let me get myself a second glass of orange juice to calm my brain down a notch.
Have a splendid weekend and keep safe. Thank you, Linda for your intuitive prompt ‘second.’ 🙂
”Hia!” ”Is this not where I hung the shirt?” Ikem queries the silent night. His brand new blue second-hand T shirt with the Chelsea logo was gone! Could it have been carried by the breeze? ”Ah! Ah!” ”I just washed and put it out here not too long ago to dry in the light harmattan breeze!”
His other frayed shirt is hanging and flapping in the wind as if in mockery of his thoughts. He knows in his heart that one of those crooked eyed boys in the neighbourhood has pilfered the new one! ”Maybe it is Jude that took it o.” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” he bangs on the Jude’s door, to no response.
This reaffirms his decision to go home to the village for Christmas in a couple of weeks and proceed to Onitsha with his cousin Chuks. “From the look of things Chuks seems to be doing well at Onitsha.” ”I will join him and start afresh from there.” ”I am tired of this place!”
”So what am I going to wear for tomorrow’s event now?”
He had just walked out of the dingy common bathroom of their quarters bare-bottomed feet; the sling of his worn-out slippers had finally died a natural death on his trek back home after a hectic days hustle.
It was dark in the neighbourhood. ”O boy, these NEPA boys have dismantled and collected the wires o”, says his neighbour Jude, seated on a heap of cement blocks outside, enjoying the nights fresh air. Their light connections are haphazardly and illegally done, coupled with their inability to settle the NEPA officials with something for the weekend.
Ikem chooses not to let such things bother him right now. He is moving to higher grounds in a few weeks time, besides he had purchased quite an assortment of apparels including two new sandals and sneakers that he will launch over Christmas in the village.
As a matter of fact, if fate continues smiling the way it has been these last couple of weeks, ”I might even consider buying a G.S.M torch light phone and a few items to take to Mama and Nwanneka.’‘ ”It is almost my turn to collect the accumulated funds from ‘Isusu’.”
He felt happier than he had in a long while as he quickly washes and hangs his shirt to drain before he retires for the night. Tomorrow will be a good day, he whistles as he goes along. Papa Emma’s is having the child dedication of his twins, and surely the celebration will be followed by several plates of rice and meat coupled with free drinks to go around.
He plans to join them to go to church. He has not been to church for so many months. It was tiring attending church services that were fast turning into fashion parades, whilst he had nothing fashionable to wear. It always made him feel ashamed.
Now! The new Tshirt he planned to showcase tomorrow has disappeared. “Thank God I didn’t wash the Chinos jeans as well.” ”I will just have to wear something else!” He muses to himself.
Links to the earlier series are at the top of the page. Thank you
Quick Glossary for words that you might not know:
Child dedication: Child dedication is a symbolic ceremony undertaken by Christian parents soon after the birth of a child. This rite is intended to be a public statement by the parents that they will train their children in the Christian faith.
Chuks: A shortened form of an Igbo name given to boys which could be derived from Chukwuka, God is greater, Chukwuemeka, God has done so well, Chukwudi, God lives, Chukwuebuka, God is very big etc
Isusu: An informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings for the enablement of kith and kin ventures.
Harmattan: Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind, that blows over the West African subcontinent, from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter).
Hia! Just an exclamation like Oh dear!
Moi-Moi: Nigerian steamed bean cakes made from a mixture of washed, peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground peppers (usually a combination of bell peppers and chili or scotch bonnet). A very protein-rich food that is a staple in Nigeria
NEPA: National Electric Power Authority was an organization formerly governing the use of electricity in Nigeria now replaced by PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria).
Nwanneka: An indigenous Igbo name given to a girl and it means: ”my siblings are supreme or very important.”
Onitsha: A city with one of the largest commercial markets in West Africa. It is situated on the river port on the eastern bank of the Niger river in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria.
To settle: The act of adjusting or determining disputes between persons without pursuing the matter through the formal process. In this case, it is giving something under the table to the officials.
I found a lot of treasures in the neighbours backyards this past week. Will share just a few. Do take a peek.
Ego Ọne? Ikem asks. Picking up and dropping several T shirts from the pile of bend-down select clothes heaped on a tarpaulin on the market floor.
Hah! I don tell you say na N200 only! Replied the man with the bell.
Bros, abeg!I wan buy 2 or even 3 sef, if you fit commot something. Ikem haggles and they eventually settle for N120 each and he happily pays for the three that he chose, clutching his black nylon of new apparels with a bounce in his steps, he leaves for Mama Nwamaka’s canteen.
A plate ofhot ‘Garri and Onugbu soup’ with some ‘Show Boy’ and a bottle of ‘small stout’ is just the thing to set his World right today; he has more jingle in his pockets from a few days of work than all the previous weeks put together.
Preceding market days have been grueling but more rewarding. It seems the approach of Christmas has triggered off a flurry of more business and lots of off-loading of bags of garri and gallons of palm-oil has enriched him more than carrying baskets for housewives and their wares.
Some of these women came for their weekly shopping armed with scorpion stingers on their lips and taking out the grouch from their homes on unsuspecting recipients.
The last one had nagged and haggled that he was charging too much, that he was almost tempted to ask her to carry the things herself.
“Is it not just from here to the bus-stop, or are we going to ‘Ibagwa’?” She harassed.
”Carry that thing well o.” ”Hah all this shaking, my oil will pour o!” She went on and on.
”You are going too fast!” “I cannot keep up with you, she argued!” Whilst stopping to greet every single market woman that crossed her path and Ikem stood with her weighted load on his head.
Such women were very trying, but he needed all the money he could make.
He wants to buy several new items and to replace his worn out rubber slippers. Occupying his mind with happier thoughts of the jeans and canvas that he will purchase soon, he tunes out the shrewish woman’s voice.
A belly full of good food and a glass of palmy later- Mama Amaka had fresh supply and he couldn’t resist the intoxicating aroma of fresh palm-wine. It is not every day that you could get an authentic bottle that is not watered down. He hurries back to hustle for more customers.
A few more bags of rice and basket carrying for market late-comers, it is time to go home.
It appears like a throng or water-fall of humans. Everyone rushing to get done and go home.
Ikem is happy with the days events and as he jostles along with the crowd, an unexpected shove from the back has him turning around to lambaste the pusher, only for the ensuing shouting chant of ‘Ole! Thief o!Onye Oshi!’ rings out in the crowd.
The pusher happens to be a wily young pick-pocket who was trying to make away with a woman’s purse. Out of reflex Ikem hot-foots after the escaping thief along with a several young men.
The crowd impedes the pick-pockets movements and he is nabbed a few yards away and beaten to an inch of his life.
It takes the pleading voices of some concerned women to save him from being pulped to death.
Jungle Justice! Quick to be meted out when the culprit is caught; especially among the poor culprits.
Ikem ponders on this issue as he makes his way home. Wondering why a young man would choose to bargain with his life over a paltry sum of Naira. The culprits face is one of those idling chaps that he sees around the market.
To be continued.. You can read the first part by clicking the link in red ink above!
Quick Glossary for words that you may not know:
Ego Ọne – How much is this?
Hah! I don tell you say na N200 only! – Ah! but I told you it is only 200 Naira (note that it is expected to haggle over price in the market)
Bros, abeg!I wan buy 2 or even 3 sef, if you fit commot something – My brother please! I want to buy 2 or even 3, only if you can reduce the price.
Bend-down-select: A heap of mixed used clothing where customers literally bend down to scrounge through the pile and select an item they want to buy.
Mama Nwamaka – Nwamaka’s mother. Nwamaka is a native Igbo name that means, ”the child is beautiful, the child is good” There are derivatives such as Amaka.
Garri- A popular West African meal made from Cassava tubers.
Onugbu soup – A type of soup which is peculiar to the Ibo’s. It is made from bitter-leaf vegetable and a thickener of coco-yams.
Show Boy also known as Kpomo or Kanda – These are processed cow hide eaten as meat. It is regarded as a delicacy.
Small stout also known as Odeku – This is a dark beer made from roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.
Ibagwa – Ibagwa is a community located North of the great University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
‘Ole! Thief o!Onye Oshi!’ – The three words mean the same thing: Ole is Yoruba for thief, and Onye Oshi is Igbo for thief. It is not uncommon to mix English with broken/pidgin language and another tribes language.
Palm-Oil – a reddish – yellow butter-like oil which is derived from the fruit of the oil palm. It is used as edible cooking fat and also for making soaps, candles and cream.
Palmy – a shortened name for Palm-Wine, which is an alcoholic drink made from fermented palm sap. It is used in major traditional occasions in Igbo land such as Traditional titling occasions, Traditional weddings, burials, child naming ceremony and general entertainment.
The posts that I would like to share because they spoke to me:
When great trees fall: This poem from Maya Angelou featured by JoHanna Massey’s blog spoke loudly to me. Almost felt as is Maya was talking about her demise ”in my mind” because she is indeed a great tree. This is my first time of reading it.
Evening Chuckle: Nutsrok does know how to bring the mirth out of me. She offers rib-cracking laughter each time 🙂