Goodnight Justice Oputa (A Tribute)

If death could be appeased,
I would have pleaded for Justice Oputa.
If old age can be reversed and healed,
Then I know I’ll see a healthy Oputa.

He said, ‘To hear with one ear and deliver judgement…
Is a flagrant violation of the natural law of justice.’
The iconic jurist delivered a great judgement.
Now he parts from all earthly justice.

Let the gowns and wig mourn,
Let the giant Ikoro be sounded.
An enigma in the jurist world is gone,
But the Oputa spirit cannot be grounded.

I bid thee farewell with a salute
I sing my heart out from a distance
For the love you showed to all I salute
And I know your legacies will be told as a story.

I bid thee goodnight great Oputa
The legal world salutes your altar.
I salute your doggedness and humility
I salute your ingenuity and great ability.
Let the flag fly at half mast
For we have lost a rare gem at last.

(For Late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa)

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
06-05-2014

Reviewer –  Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia- Enwemuche

Book Title- The Oracle of Isieke

Author-   Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia- Enwemuche

Publisher- Readon Publishers Limited

Year- 2013

Page- 100

In his debut novel, “The Oracle of Isieke”, Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia- Enwemuche tells a suspense-filled story revolving arounda young man, his village, his heart of forgiveness and the oracle that brought peace to the land of Isiaku.Reading through the book, you get this feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement mixed with apprehension, tension, and anxiety developed from an unpredictable, mysterious, and rousing source of entertainment. This  actually made me to read the whole book without a halt and discovered the rich cultural content of the novel. Intriging, revealing, thrilling and interwoven in various captivating plots, the book delivers great value and morals and points a direction at how we can let go of offences and rather pursue peace and seek the overall or common good of all rather than the seeming satisfaction that comes with getting even.In this short story, the author blends culture, tradition, humour, hatred and love to tell a compelling tale that would move any mortal into empathy for the protagonist. Indeed, this looks real than fiction making one wants to be in Isiaku. I would personally love to see the grave side of Mazi Uchenna Okechukwua to salute his courage and tenacity during those trying moments and the wonderful Okilo,’the great’ in order to tap from his wealth of knowledge and fountain of his vocabulary.The writer’s use of simple language leaves the reader entwined in the story and creates a desire in the reader to be in the setting as the story unveils in quick succession. Indeed the book tells of the story of Isiaku in line with the moving quote in the opening page, ‘The people that forget their culture shall utterly be enslaved because every man has a history [root] and every village a story to tell.’  There is a lovely sequence in which poetry was used as a song to drive home the message of hatred for Mazi Uchenna by the village of Isiaku. The novel is timely in an era where our African culture which ordinarily lies supine in our present day society is brought to life by highlighting on strong cultural values and tradition. Typical African scenery was painted by using simple language and good chronological account with grains of humour dotted therein for proper understanding even by an average reader. Though I found the character of Mazi Obiorah interesting as the antagonist that brought doom on the village of Isiaku, I enjoyed the character of Okilo, ‘The great’ who in the midst of death ravaging the land, he had his cap of humor and tons of grammar to keep him happy.

The oracle itself was seriously stressed on as a powerful tool for restoring peace in any troubled land within the clans.

Though our culture maybe on trial on scale and balances, I was held spell bound by this wonderful piece that I wished I was at Isiaku when these events happened.

The writer achieved the essence of the subject matter as peace was achieved in the land of Isiaku by the forgiving heart of Mazi Uchenna Okechukwu.

I recommend it to the reading public, old and young, but most especially the youths in order to teach them some basic principles of life that anchors on honesty.

Grab your copy and get other copies for your family, friends and foes.

The author, Maxwell Onyemaechi Opia-Enwemuche can be reached on mail: maxwellenwemuche@gmail.com—-

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
08036992575,08170276371

My Heartbeat (A Poem)

My Heartbeat (A Poem)

There’re so many places to be
So many spots to visit
But I chose in between to be
I chose those two mountains to visit.

Smiles are innocuously contagious
Kisses can revive a dying soul
Your love towards me has made us
But your name have I etched in my soul.

New wines taste so good,
But the old ones can send you to sleep.
I will like to feel good,
But it will be better to fall asleep

I hope you feel my heartbeat
And feel yours too my dear.
Hear the syllabic sound of my heart beat
It beats with care MY-DEAR.

Maxwell O. Opia-Enwemuche
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
(C) 29-01-2014
The mind is a wonderful treasure to waste. Develop yours!

Give Me More of It (A Poem)

Give Me More of It

(For my amiable wife)

Life is nothing without love

Full of resentment and sorrow.

Without sentiment, what prevails is love

It keeps us alive with a secured tomorrow.
 
I was created through the Love of God

In His love was I conceived and born.

Now I enjoy the love of the true God

His blessings shine upon me like the sun. 

The love of God flows through various channels

And now I can see it so glaring in your heart.

You’ve shown me your love without reserve

Now I sing gloriously with joy in my heart. 

Now, I come alive everyday with great

heatAnd I ask you, my sweetest heart, give me more of it.

There are many blessings that come with love.

Now I can see them because of your wonderful love…

©20-10-2013
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

A Mind Beat (Reflections)

The world should not define who you are.
Who you are comes alive when you care…
Care to dig inside out to see the truth.

Live everyday of your life in happiness
And without grudge, go to bed happy everyday.
No matter the situation of life, show a little kindness
And you’ll be a blessing to somebody someday.

Speak life into everything around you.
Think good always that you may embrace good today.
Don’t force yourself on people who don’t like you
And you’ll see the greatness in you everyday.

Remain steadfast in God our creator
Stay connected always to please Him
Strive to be like the creator
And above all live your life to please HIM.
(Cf Ecclesiastes12:13)

(C)19-10-2013
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
23598DE2
@maxxzydapoet
The mind is a great treasure to waste. Develop it!

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

The Beauty of Solitude (A Poem)

Who says that good things come easy?
Hard as they may seem, it’s always there.
Who says that you can’t become your dream?
Walk and think your dream
And you’ll sing your success story like fresh air.

The canaries sing their songs
Though loud and noisy, it tells their stories.
Termites build their termitarium with strength
Though messy as it may seem, it defines their existence.

There’s beauty everywhere even in solitude.
The world came into being from solitude
And man’s existence was a thought in solitude.
Now, I write quietly in solitude.

Who says that good things come easy?
Ask the gold and the crude oil about the word, ‘easy’
The world awaits my story
And it must speak loud into history.

In solitude i write without reserve
And I pray the beauty of Solitude be preserved.

(C)15-10-2013
Maxwell O. Opia-Enwemuche
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com

Hear My Cry, Oh Flower! (A Poem)

I can hear people screaming my name
Like the weaver bird singing songs of mockery.
When shall we get rid of this shame?
These lunatics must be curtailed with alacrity.

Sodom and Gomorrhea were minors,
But what I see everyday is horrible.
Fathers and grand fathers fight with minors
And the news from the Tabloids are incredible.

This time we must stand against evil
And speak with one voice.
The time has come to say no to this evil
And speak with facts without noise.

Must we act like apes?
We must stop this incessant rapes.
Say no to this monster
Join this fight for the girl child restoration.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell O.
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
(C)06-09-2013
The mind is a great treasure to waste. Develop it!

Hear My Cry, Oh Flower!

I can hear people screaming my name
Like the weaver bird singing songs of mockery.
When shall we get rid of this shame?
These lunatics must be curtailed with alacrity.

Sodom and Gomorrhea were minors,
But what I see everyday is horrible.
Fathers and grand fathers fight with minors
And the news from the Tabloids are incredible.

This time we must stand against evil
And speak with one voice.
The time has come to say no to this evil
And speak with facts without noise.

Must we act like apes?
We must stop this incessant rapes.
Say no to this monster
Join this fight for the girl child restoration.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell O.
maxxzymusdapoet@gmail.com
(C)06-09-2013
The mind is a great treasure to waste. Develop it!

‪ Show Me Thy Heart (A Poem)

What’s wrong with imagination

That my heart wonders without limit?

When is this coming to be, oh vision!

I can see you even in your naked meat.

Caress my mine with this passion.

 

I stand like a statue, yet your feelings consume me.

Where goeth thou to please my soul?

Think of me that I may live forever.

Your heart is what I need to cure my fever

Come to me that we may hum our love song together.

Oh virgin of my heart! Come to me

The lusts of my youth come and consume me.
 
Like the snail, I walk into her heart.

Encapsulated, my love I dare to show…

Where would I keep my fragile heart

That the world may see our love snow?

Like the horn of a unicorn, show me thy heart.

 
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell O.
14-09-2013

Ogunegbeonwan:The Wise King

Ogunegbeonwan: The Wise King
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There’s a popular saying in the land of Inib that keeps everyone on its toes. It says the palace may be located in a place, but the extra alphabet contained in it makes it a sacred place. It is often spelled for emphasis at the entrance as the King’s P-A-LACE is not an ordinary PLACE but a place to pay A-ttention.

Long time ago in the land of Inib, a young child, Ogunegbeonwan was chosen by the oracle of the land to succeed his father who just joined his ancestors in a peaceful. The mouth piece of the king, Esamgba would announce to the public who would succeed the late king, Uzzakpo, the Ikpakperan I.

The ceremony that would lead to the internment of the Uzzakpo, the monarch of Inib would require the pubic hairs of a virgin girl and the menstrual blood stained cloth from a widow who becomes bound to the spirit of Uzzakpo, a link between the living and the dead. They are usually chosen from a set of seven widows who volunteer themselves for a particular ritual and cleansing ceremony. This ceremony culminates in the choosing of the widow whose menstrual flow will be used. It is usually considered an honour laden with human respect across the land of Inib.

After the successful burial of Uzzakpo, the king makers, the Otamere’s will commence the rituals to install Ogunegbeonwan as the new Uzzakpo. He would take the name Ikpakperan ni Ekpe. After all the rituals, he was declared king under a colorful ceremony that would leave one with colorful memories to reminisce on. It was like a prophecy fulfilled. The land of Inib now has a king who believes in justice and fairness of all. The people love the new Uzzakpo and supported his judgment.

The new king immediately revoked the powers of the community chiefs known as Ekpogie’s who are in charge of lands in various communities within the land of Inib. However, this would not go well with one of the chiefs, Dr. Ojogoro who lives in Ugo. He felt he was more educated than the king and called the King’s decree bluff. He continued in his act of tyranny on land issues even when the new Uzzakpo, Ogunegbeonwan, Ikpakperan ni Ekpen sent words to him to stop presiding over land issues. He renegade the Uzzakpo’s orders until he was summoned to the palace. Although, they were others who were acting in like manner but respected the crown when they got the message by sending the Ewere leave as a sign of peace back to the palace. The Ekpogie of Ikpoba hills, Etete, Osemwende and Oka complied to the directives of Uzzakpo, but Dr. Ojogoro remained adamant. They were all summoned to the palace.

While others appeared before the Uzzakpo with their respective ‘Ewere’ Leaves kneeling down before the Uzzakpo for forgiveness, Dr. Ojogoro will not kneel down neither did he come with any ‘Ewere’ leaves. As he tried to lift his hands before the Uzzakpo, Ogunegbeonwan, Ikpakperan ni Ekpen, he was immobilized by the palace warriors who are trained in special arts of Wizardry. He was searched as his native attire, a turquoise colored top was removed from his body.

Immediately this was done, some powerful charms, ekhuae, and akpalode fell from his pocket. With this in sight, irreversible curses, numbering twenty were placed on him on him and a declaration as “oghion Uzzakpo” was chanted as he was escorted out of the palace. He failed the ultimate lesson which is A-TTENTION in the P-A-LACE.

Peace returned to the land of Ugo and the wisdom of the Uzzakpo spread abroad even to ICCOBA ’97 Set WhatsApp platform. Dr. Ojogoro never returned to Ugo and his whereabout remains uncertain. Only time will tell his concluding tale.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi 
©22-08-2017

*Ekpogie’s (writer’s coinage) is a word used to describe community chiefs appointed by the Uzzakpo

**Ekhuae is used to harm one’s opponents or better still, those against one in a gathering. It is often used to useless one’s opposition like the itagba used in some parts of the old Bendel State in Nigeria.

***Akpalode is used to make a man impotent in thoughts and words that he can’t judge against or oppose one who’s guilty in a particular matter.

PS: All rights reserved. All characters and scenes in this piece are fiction and no person dead or alive is referred to.

Photo credit: Google

Ogunegbonwan

For the Sake of the Land

​For the Sake of the Land
There’s a cry in the land

A fine woman has gone with the wind

Bucket of tears fill the land 

There’s national grieve and emptiness in the wind. 
A man was the cause of all this

But a woman fought to restore peace

Many died never to tell the story

But this woman is a blessing to history
Courage is not defined by our strength

But our sacrifice and love to all

War does not bring out our true strength

But our determination to stand tall… 
A woman can mean anything

A woman can stand against everything, 

Everything bad that needs redemption

We may be basking under this celebration 

But never forget Dr Ameyo Adadevoh tonight

She gave her life fighting a good fight. 
You’re gone but never forgotten

We’ll sing your greatness. You’re not forgotten 

Patrick Sawyer came with Ebola

But you stood your ground to end Ebola. 
#Maxxzymusdapoet writes

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi 

©19-08-2017

The Nigerian Youths and the Politics of Intimidation 

​The Nigerian Youths and the Politics of Intimidation 

As a child growing up in the barracks,  I knew how the game of Intimidation played out on those who are not part of the ring of influence. That is where it all begins as others are considered inferior to the the few who by share stroke of fate found themselves on the side of power.  Of course it could be anybody here or there.  Without mincing words,  I could say that freedom is absolutely expensive.

More so,  permit me to sound pragmatic here as I paint a simple scenario here. When a man decides to leave home to a distant land without informing the as to when he will return.  I believe there is a natural law which permits the children to demand from their mother where their went to and the nature of his activities.  I know too that it will not take long and the children will demonstrate some character that were latent in them. 

It is only a nincompoop or a simpleton that will pretend that all is well from the holistic point of view. There’s freedom of expression yet this freedom is absolutely expensive.  Peace protests are legal,  but irrational approach to protesters who are not dispruting the normal flow of event but making their point peacefully is highly unacceptable and morally wrong in all totality. 

We keep moving in circle like the popular ‘okoso‘ (a kind of object constructed with the rubber head of a battery and a BIC head cover).  A lovely and interesting game I could say. Little progress but no motion.  The youths are termed the leaders of tomorrow,  yet nobody is speaking against injustices in their respective political propinquity.  Unpaid salaries,  pensions,  poor health care due to obsolete equipment,  poor road networks,  high rise of insecurity in the land even with incessant security votes. 

We read recently of how someone as young as a youngster was pouring invectives on the literary icon,  Woke Soyinka,  simply because he has not spoken against the government of his own land and the country in general. This was actually coming from a youth. Recently,  Charles ‘Charly boy’ Oputa was molested by protesting against the absence of the president with demands made in good fate.  The same youths are against him by calling him all manner of unprintable names.  Also,  if we can go down memory lane and ask Innocent ‘Tuface’ Idibia  why his protest failed, you will be shocked at the series of answers by way of responses that you will get. 

Remember,  history don’t just happen like a movie script.  It’s created by the way we live our lives for the advancement of the people.  What are we doing as youths to help write against any form of injustice and take our destinies in our hands through active participation. This cannot be achieved by sagging our jeans daily, watching series movies all day long, running after the opposite sex as a form  of achievement and  other social vices which does not paint a leader in the youth. 

We’ve been intimidated into our shells and we act like the tortoise who moves around with his house as he avoids any slight opportunity to act as a mediator in any misunderstanding between two persons.  This poem below entitled,  ‘ Cowed into Cowardice?’ speaks volume. 
Who did this to us?  

Our minds have been acculturated

Following sheepishly like a horse

Without a mind of its own,  demented 
Who did this to us? 

Where do we run to for help? 

Our birth rights have been sold out before us

A state of quagmire beckons at us. 
We cannot be cowed into cowardice

Nor cajolled or coerced into docility

We must remain strong not like ice

And speak now with our voice,  our ability. 
The time to act is not tomorrow but now the blame game is not a youthful DNA

The tool to fight this noble cause lives with us now

The insects that puncture the leave stamp their ‘DNA’*
It’s now or never in the face of Intimidation 

If we must make history,  we must speak

We must grab the bull by the horn and match unto celebration

Victory belongs to the strong  and not the weak

We cannot be cowed into cowardice 

And present our strength like ice. 
The youths must rise up to the unwavering occasion and shun every form of Intimidation because the future belongs to us.  We must stamp or rather paste our face on this future which begins today.  So I ask,  will you write against injustice in your area  and hold the elective officers for transparency and accountability? The choice is yours to either speak or fold your arms and do nothing.  However,  you’re not exonerated from the crime as you’re termed more worse than the criminal and crime put together. 
#SpeakOutDearYouths
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi 

18-08-2017
*DNA– 1. It stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  It contains the genetic make up (what defines an organism). 

          2.  When used conotatively it means presence.

unwanted spirit

unwanted spirit

are we losing it, 

affected by the heat

or smiling with gnashed teeth? 
where did we learn this? 

who has distorted our peace? 

this is not palatable like a gentle kiss. 
why impose this unwanted spirit 

causing adults to walk with awkward spirit

Is there a covenant binding their spirit? 
i say no to the spirit of sagging

for so many a spirit is ragging

looking for someone to join 

#TeamAntiSagging



 Maxwell Opia-Enwemuche Onyemaechi 

©15-08-2017

#ThinkingOfYouthsWhoSag

PS
: Is there an exception to this?  Let me hear it

Photo Credit:  Caldwell.com

The Core Ingredient in the Law of Service 

The Core Ingredient in The Law of Service

It was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi also known as Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule who employed non-violent civil disobedience and led India to independence as well as inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world who said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. This was evident in his life and times. It will be worthy of note here to affirm without mincing words that any leader who truly serves does not need to clamour for the peoples’ endorsement in whatever manner and purpose. It comes naturally as history is flooded with cases relating to true service. From the Monarch system of governance to Military and even democratic system of governance, the law of service has been very effective. The leadership of Nelson Rohilala Mandala, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Sankara and the list becomes endless.

A renowned speaker once said and I paraphrase, any leader who leads and lacks followers is only taking a walk. The reverse is the case when a leader is called to serve and he loses himself in the service of others. The result becomes evident for the eyes, even the eyes of a blind man, to see and the world to judge. Even the opposition will have nothing else to say, but to endorse the legacies of this leader which are hinged on service. His legacies become a yard stick for any leader that may eventually come on board. Leaders are meant to be accountable and transparent in their dealings with the people as is evident in developed countries.

According to my definition, the law of service simply states that any man who is entrusted with a public office by the people owe them an obligation for quality representation and visionary leadership. This law if properly executed, brings out the best in every leader who further writes his own history. Suffice to say here that a leader that’s not accountable to the people who elected him into a public office has no reason to be at the elective office making decisions affecting the people. True leaders who really serve become winners and corroborates Napoleon Bonaparte’s saying, history is written by the winners.

A service devoid of its major ingredient of delighting or rather exceeding the stakeholders’ expectations becomes a vice in the long run. A state of mind that keeps the people at arm’s length in order not to access the elected official who is supposed to be the eyes of the people as per representation leads to absolute disservice. It is based on this premise that the development of the land and people are drastically affected. A good case of disservice will lead to poor representation which translates to under development, infrastructural decay, communal clashes for resource control, poor health care and so on.

Without any form of chauvinistic display laden with political hocus- pocus, I can vehemently assert here that Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo representing the Ikwuano, Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal constituency, and Senator T. A. Orji representing Abia Central Senatorial District has mastered this law of service and have also used it to improve the lives of the people of their constituency. Of course, their good works are quite evident in their constituency and senatorial district respectively and much has been written on their achievement so far on various print media and their respective online off shoot. The status of these achievements is on the ground for absolute verification and validation by doubting Thomases within and outside the state.

One can truly summarize here without mincing words by vehemently asserting that with the events unfolding and structures on the ground for opposition to see that the duo of Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo representing the Ikwuano, Umuahia North/Umuahia South constituency and Senator T.A. Orji representing Abia Central Senatorial District have truly mastered the law of service hence quality representation and visionary leadership roles which have translated into infra structural and man power development and so much more to mention but a view. In deed, history cannot lie as the people are enjoying dividends from these offices based on quality representation.

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi writes from Umuahia

Addendum

The Law of Service is a catalyst that causes leaders entrusted with a political office by the people to represent them well. The duo of Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency and Senator T.A Orji representing the Abia Central Senatorial District has mastered this law. This is evident in their respective domain as a result of quality representation and visionary leadership qualities. They are not taking a walk but are serving the people while exceeding expectations.

borrowed culture

​borrowed culture 

my heritage is not for sale

but the reality before me speak different

i’ll speak my language as wholesale

and be glad I appear different
my culture is enough for me

and I know you’ll agree to that

there’s no point trying to change me

who’ll eat eba* with fork?  who does that? 
there’s a wave of change blowing across

borrowed language strangulating mine

is this for a while or a cross? 

i need  to scurry into safety to avoid this mine
my heritage is my treasure

i need no borrowed culture. 
Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi 

©15-08-2017
*eba- a local Nigerian meal also called garri sometime. It is normally eaten with washed hands but the introduction of fork 🍴 and knife 🔪 has bastardized the culinary experience associated with this.  I love my culture and l don’t appreciate a borrowed one in this case. 

My First Culinary Experience 

​My First Culinary Experience

My name is Onyemaechi.  I was raised as a regimented young man.  Within the barracks I came in contact with different ethnic groups that spoke different language.  There was nothing like ethnic differences here.  We first saw ourselves as Nigerians before bringing our ethnic roots to bare.

My first encounter with a Northerner was when we moved to Akwanga in the old Plateau state now in Nasarawa.  His name was Umoru. He is so handsome that one could be tempted to call him beautiful and even pretty as one of his attributes.

I made Umoru  my friend since I wanted to speak and understand the language of communication.  I had finished eating cooked maize and wild pear also known as oka ke ube in my dialect. Umoru promised to teach me Hausa.  Although I later realized that he was Fulani by tribe.  He has a step brother elder called Agbii (name not properly spelt but sounds thus) from another mother. Both of them are not in good terms because their mothers are at loggerheads.

With promises in place,  Umoru led me to the field on my second day with him. He told me that I should call out to Agbii and shout ‘Uba nka’ I inquired what the word stood for.  Umoru responded that it was a word of appreciation to anybody working.

I decided to try it out on Agbii who was tilling their garden.. I kept caling out to him in order to appreciate him with my new word in Hausa dialect. I kept calling  out until I got his attention.

Agbii, uba nka‘ I said with all smiles thinking I have communicated in the right direction.

Uba naa? ‘  Agbii asked with such grin.

Yes,  I responded thinking he approves of my new found word in Hausa.  I observed him carefully as he left his tilling materials and approached me with a belligerent spirit going ahead of him. 

Ze marieka faa!  were the words coming out from his mouth as he approached with the sole intention to fight me. Of course I gave him the beating of his life as I am not intimidated by any one no matter your size or colour.  Agbii and Umoru  later became my friends.  I reconciled them and they later reconciled their parents. 

These duo,  Agbii and Umoru will later teach me the art of hunting of crickets, bush rats, scorpions and birds,  kunu drinking,  and so many other things. 

After the fight with Agbii who was regarded as the greatest within the walks of the barracks for children within his age,  an invisible staff of authority was given to me and I reigned in his place.  We later became best of friends and played football together. 

One fateful day as we were busy enjoying ourselves on the field of play with spectators cheering on us,  I heard a scream from the side line.  Adamu,  whose father was considered one of the richest in that neighborhood,  had been bitten by a snake.  The snake, brownish in colour,  was killed and Adamu was taken to REDEMPTION CLINIC as we were later told.  It was not too far from the field of play.  We stayed back as we await their arrival.  Adamu could have died from the snake bite if he was not taken to the hospital on time.  At that instance,  I developed herpetophobia (fear for crawling objects). 

Apart from playing football, I enjoyed  running errands for my parents.  I derive joy in doing this because I feel blessed contributing in my own little way as I help my mother in her restaurant business which was christened Hotspot Restaurant. It was so named because our food is always hot through out the day and our water was as well chilled from a locally made pot known as udu which was buried underground to harness the temperature. 

Myself in company of my brothers will transport the pots and coolers of food from our house to our place of sales.  This will continue for the next one month until my mother was able to get a wheelbarrow to transport these things to her shop. We will not worry about any wheelbarrow in as much as our heads were still intact.  Even if it will take one year to buy the wheelbarrow,  we will still be happy carrying the pots and other items on our heads. 

One fateful day within the week,  as we transported the coolers and pots of stew and soups respectively,  the unimaginable happened.  My younger brother was behind me with the cooler of rice on his head while my elder brother was at the rare with a pot of soup on his head and a gallon of water being dragged with his hand. I had the pot of stew on my head as I walked majestically enjoying the stroll with the fresh air that assisted the aroma of the stew stream into my nostrils.  What  a wonderful stew I imagined within myself. 

Lost in my thoughts, I suddenly saw,  with the speed as lightening,  a brownish crawling object that looks like the snake that released some venom into the body of Adamu during that fateful training session with the barrack boys. I threw away the pot of stew on my head with an accompanying screaming. The pot that will take care of many empty stomachs this morning which happens to be a Monday. It is usually a day of rush. 

I was lost of words at the same time shocked as the effort of my mother since four o’clock in the morning has been ruined as I looked at the pieces of meat on the ground covered with sand. My elder brother dropped what he was carrying and moved over to the front to examine the situation.  He could only but laughed as he observed the creature that freaked me out.  He simply announced to me that it was not a snake but something else which was also poisonous when ingested. Mother was informed of the mishap caused by a crawling object. 

Immediately my mother arrived,  I was thinking I will get the spanking of my life,  but my thoughts were wrong.  She pulled me closely and examined me to ensure I was not hurt by the stew that I poured away. Mothers have unwavering love and my mother was not an exception. She quickly asked me to gather the meat so we could sell it to Ubong who trains dogs and Okoko who sells pig. We proceeded to the shop while she rushed to the market to get ingredients for another stew. 

That day became history as we sold like never before as my mum had to visit the market again to get soup and stew ingredients.  I also had the chance for my first culinary experience with stew as the first point of call. In addition to the culinary lessons,  I was able to distinguish between a snake and the crawling object that played a fast one on me thereby activating my fears. Although,  everything is in the past now as every crawling objects including snakes and their likes are under my feet by the power of my God who has empowered me to trample on them according to his word in Genesis 1: 26 which said And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Family history and the world will remember this today and always that a crawling object which I thought was a brownish snake which wrecked me an havoc was simply not a snake but a millipede. We all have our fears at one stage in our lives. 

Opia-Enwemuche Maxwell Onyemaechi 

©12-08-2017

PS:  I like stew not because of its color but the aroma that emanate from the pot that house it.  I like inhaling its aroma before tasting the physical. 

PSS:  My younger brother could not help but laughed a little while my elder brother examined the crawling object carefully,  a fearless fellow.