NB: THIS IS A SEQUEL. YOU CAN ACCESS THE PREVIOUS EPISODE ON THIS LINK https://www.tell.com.ng/ukor-jonathan/march-23
MARCH 24 – Staying Indoors
Nonso is well experienced when it comes to the sudden dynamism of life. He knew that sooner than later he would adjust to the lockdown policy. Nothing in life could catch him by surprise anymore. He has savoured untold mystery in his lifetime. From his childhood, the bed he laid on wasn’t rosy, neither was it red — infact, it didn’t have an enticing colour. So when people say, “Life is not a bed of roses,” Nonso, in his usual hysteria, nods in agreement.
On March 24, as he obediently stayed indoors, his mind flashed back to his early juvenile days. He thought of his father. His father was one of the village chiefs, and so had the communal right to marry as many wives as his compound can accommodate. Chief Amadi didn’t disappoint his ancestors. Nonso’s mother was the fifth of five wives in the Amadi compound.
He also remembered the small thatched hut where he, his mother, and siblings sheltered under. It was in this hut, on a bed of hay, that his mother breathed her last. His mother was a very hardworking woman — maybe too hardworking. She always said, “Ọ bụ umengwụ nke na-eweta nkụda mmụọ na ihe isi ike.” It was this attribute that allured Chief Amadi in the first place. On the day of her death, Nonso cried the most. His siblings were not very much matured, so in their ignorance they went about with their playful business.
Left alone in his hut, he cried ferociously. The other mothers could not console him; they left him to the healing arms of time. For days, Nonso didn’t leave the hut. It was after much appeal from Chief Amadi that he wiped his nostrils and came out to socialise. He had been staying indoors for three days, mourning his beloved mother. Barely a fortnight after her demise, Nonso was sent to live with his uncle in Lagos.
That was a long time ago, the death of his mother changed his life. On March 24, as he watched the evening news in the livingroom, he is reminded of how little the hut was, and how fortune has changed hands. The assiduous spirit in his mother is also inherent in him. Now, he is a grown man living in a spacious apartment in one of the exquisite areas of Lagos.
- “Ọ bụ umengwụ nke na-eweta nkụda mmụọ na ihe isi ike.” (“It is laziness that causes frustration and difficulty.”)