FOR THE COUNTRY THAT NEVER WAS…
Once open a time, in a land named by a woman, there lived four men- Akaeze, Akangwo, Akaewe and Akaukpaka. They were very happy and lived together. Their friendship had lasted since the day they collectively challenged Nturi the White rabbit in a wrestling fight and threw him. That day, the whole land could not believe as the events unfolded before their very eyes: Akaeze held Nturi’s hands with all his strength, Akangwo bound his legs and pined them to the ground so that Nturi could not kick and fight back, Akaewe used his big buttocks to sit on top of Nturi and this made him completely powerless; for no matter what he did, he could not move any of his muscles. The strength of those buttocks was later known in all the land, the story spread to the horizon starting from the great sea to the White lake and beyond. But that day, it was Akaukpaka that delivered the last blow, for it was he alone who had the strength and the wit. So he struck Nturi exactly where he needed to and he fell. After that fight Nturi the White rabbit was banished from that land named by a woman, never to return.
But that was a long time ago. They still lived together, Akaeze planted the rice, Akaewe planted the beans, Akaukpaka planted the yam, and Akaewe did only the little chore for he was naturally blessed by his chi: under his left leg was a hole that could print American dollars just like that. They would come home at night with all that they got from the day’s toil and put it in the same pot. Together they cooked and together they ate and made merry. The days of Nturi was no more; now a man can work and enjoy from his own labor without sending some to an unknown land where, story goes, was ruled by women.
‘Tufiawka,’ Akaukpaka said.
‘How could men sit around and watch women decide the affairs of the land?’
‘Hmmm…I almost killed my wife the day she tried to put me under her legs during our love making’ Akaeze added, ‘ I made sure she understood perfectly that a man should always be on top and not the other way around. After all both prophet Mohamed and even the Jesus Christ of these Christians were men’
Everyone laughed at the joke. Everyone except Akaewe. He just concentrated on his food; he believed that one who talked and ate at the same time had no respect for his mother’s breast.
Bird: ‘Nne….nne….mama yangu…’
Mother bird: ‘..what is it my child?’…tell me, tell me…’
Bird: ‘Mama…you will not believe what I saw with my eyes, mama yangu…’
Mother bird: Tell me, tell me…what have your eyes seen?… What have your ears heard?
Come, come, come and sit with mama
and tell me everything….
Bird: ok mama.. listen, listen…let me tell you my story.
Once upon a time, in a country named by a woman…
…I was there when it all began, this morning as I set out to hunt for early morning food. I flew over the house of those four men that live close to the river when I heard a loud snore…like a song with a complex rhythm. I flew down hoping to find some grains to eat. I landed on the roof then found a good position to see all men in the house:
All four men were sleeping heavily. The sound of their snore could almost blow my ear drum. Akaeze, Akaewe , Akangwo and Akaukpaka each had his mouth wide open. It looked like they had over fed for I could see empty pots lying around. Then suddenly, the snoring increased until it blew of the roof of the house…
It was Akaeze that first woke up. Followed almost immediately by Akaewe. Both men were shocked by the snoring of the other two sleepers, and Akaewe was even more furious that the roof was now damaged.
Akaukpaka was first to be violently woken from slumber
‘Wake up!..wake up…this fool’ screamed Akaeze.
‘Look what you have done with the sound of your snore…’
‘I have always said it that you are the only problem we have in this house’
Akaukpaka slowly got up and was still trying to make sense of what was happening.
‘How could you suggest that I alone tore the roof of the house with the sound of my snore?’… I’m I the only one sleeping here?
‘Yes..Yes…you are the only one sleeping here and besides I’m 100 percent sure that I don’t snore in my sleep’
‘or do you, Akaewe?’
‘…hmmm…Never! I’m an intelligent man; Intelligent men don’t snore in their sleep’ replied Akaewe.
Akaeze continued ‘ this is how you went from ridge to ridge shouting and claiming that it was you alone that defeated nturi. Stupid fool, you think you are better than all of us in this house with that your money hungry greedy mentality. Truly, truly, you cannot be like me; a humble man. This is why nturi gave me power over all of you, simply for my humility and loyalty’
By now, Akaewe was now awake. He too got his fair share of the blame. Mama, a long argument ensued, then fight!
Bird: ‘Now Akaewe and Akaukpaka said they are
Mother bird: ‘leaving? …to where?
Bird: they mentioned something about a promised land and half of a yellow sun
Mother bird: sun? What sun? What land? What …
Bird: ‘ …hmmm… Mama yang… Wait let me tell you,
let me answer all your questions,
once upon a time in a country named by a
by Agbaeze Onyecherelam