Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ada the village girl(African Story)

Bridget, where are you?” Mrs.Nwokedi inquired as she paced about their house in search of her daughter. When she opened the door that led to her daughter’s room and called her, there was no response from there either. Surprisingly, as she was about closing the back coloured door, she noticed the unkempt nature of her daughters room. Clothes were littered in all corners of the room on top of the bed, beside the door, on top of the refrigerator, even on her bookrack. The mess made her angry.
“What is wrong with these girls? I cannot believe this I instructed them to tidy up their room and put it in order just yesterday evening. It seems my instructions were not heeded. This room is an eye sore,” Mrs Nwokedi fumed. Bridget’s two sisters who were playing hide and seek game in the compound abandoned the game and ran towards their room when they heard their mothers voice. They entered their room quietly and could not utter a word to her. They knew their mum was not happy about their attitude and tried not to do anything again to aggravate her anger. Mrs Nwokedi ignored them, closed the door and went into the compound in search of her first daughter.
When she saw Bridget, sitting alone and seemed to be lost in thought, she was shocked. For a moment, Mrs Nwokedi took a deep look at her daughter and wondered why she was moody. Suppressing her anger, she gently approached her.
Bridget was brilliant and hard-working. She was born after five years of her marriage. Mrs Nwokedi and her husband tried several options to get children but only succeeded in the fifth year. Bridget seemed to have opened her mothers womb because it was after her that other siblings began to emerge in quick succession. She had the attention of her parents who showered her with so much love before Kingsley, the couples youngest child was born. Their special attention initially given to Bridget was diverted to Kingsley.
Mrs Nwokedi approached her daughter and inquired what the matter was. Bridget was mute. Bridget’s mother implored her to talk to her and assured her that she would keep in confidence whatever she would tell her. It was then that the girl relaxed and told her mother what the matter was and how it all started. Bridget knew that her grades were dropping. She was not worried until her Mathematics teacher, Miss Vivian summoned her to her office and stated in strong terms, her disappointment in Bridget’s recent dwindling academic performance. The teacher tried to find out from her the cause of the drop in her grades. She had known her to be a very intelligent girl that was always unbeaten in her class. Though her Mathematics grades still registered ‘Excellent,’ she lost the first position. Her Mathematics grade was not what it used to be. It was just little above average which was quite unlike her. She confided in Miss Vivian that there was nothing wrong with her except that Mathematics was becoming a little difficult for her with the inclusion of Further Mathematics in the list of subjects they were studying. Her teacher, understanding the girl’s honesty, promised to be of help and encouraged her to work harder in her studies.
Bridget arrived home from school that day and was sober throughout that day. Her mother was too busy to notice her moody state. The thought of disappointing herself and her parents by dropping from first position in her class had occupied her mind. She could not sleep when she went to bed. She lay down to sleep but could not until around 1:45am. When she woke up that morning, she tried to put their room in order but the thoughts of her encounter with her Mathematics teacher the previous day struck her. Feeling of fear, sadness and depression overwhelmed her, making her lose interest in the house chores her mum had assigned to them. She left the room and sat some distance, away from every member of the family until her mum found her..
“My daughter, what is wrong? Why are you in this moody state? Open up and speak up, tell me what is wrong,” she asked her in a lovely manner. Bridget opened up. She explained to her mother the cause of her moody state. It was the decline in her academic performance.
“Everybody has his own challenge and I tell you, challenges are not notting but our steps to greatness. They ought not to distract us if we handle them well. Moreover, you are still a young girl, just fifteen. You have a promising future. Always have God in mind. Obey your seniors and behave well. Next year you would be writing your Senior School Certificate Examinations. The difficulty you encounter in Mathematics will be taken care of for I know what to do. Cheer up my daughter, God is in control”. Mrs Nwokedi expressed her concern in words while her daughter listen with rapt attention.
After ther heart to heart talk, mother and dahghter went into the house. Bridget felt better and was in a lighter mood because the heavy load on her mind had been taken away. She smiled to her siblings and beckoned on them to get ready for discharging their domestic chores.
“Njideka!” she called, “Please, go inside the kitchen and wash the dishes,” Bridget directed.
“Ok sister,” Njideka replied and hurried into the kitchen obediently.
“Where is Chi? Are you inside the room?” Bridget inquired,
“Yes, I am here.” Chioma answered from thir room. Chioma was her immediate younger sister. They did everything together as though they were twins. Chioma went to meet Bridget and together they arranged all the rooms, swept the entire house and went into the kitchen to assist their mum to prepare the breakfast.
Every Saturday morning was for general clean up exercise in the hoise. Everybody participated. While the girls did their part of the work, Emeka and Chinedu were with their father, in the garage. As young as they were, they were taught how to wash their father’s car. Although Mr Nwokedi sometimes gave them help, they had learnt to carry out some basic procedures. Emeka, who was older and was twelve years would always show his broyher, Chinedu who was just ten years old how to carry out such tasks.
Everyone in the family had one domestic chore or the other to do. The children were brought up with the strict rules their parents had laid doen for them. Out of ignorance, they detested some disciplinary actions. They would always look at their neighbours’s children who lived directly opposite them whose parents were not mindful of what they did. They hardly did any domestic chores. They were lazy and lacked respect for their elders. Whenever Mrs Nwokedi tried to talk to their mother about the children’s behaviour and the need for her to caution them early in life, Mrs Okonkwo would simply smile and tell her, “My kids are not yet grown-ups.
Mrs Okonkwo’s husband was a successful businessman who spent little time with his family, though he ensured that they did not lack anything. He gave them whatever they demanded from him. He was always occupied with one bisuness deal or the other. Mrs Okonkwo, though educated, was not allowed to waste. Her husband did not want her to seek employment. He wanted her to look after their kids since he was always occupied. She did all domestic works alone and did not want to get her children involved. She believed they were still very tender. Mr and Mrs Okonkwo had four children; two dayghters and two sons.
Her first daughter, Ifeoma, was thirteen years old. She hardly did anything in the house and behaved arrogantly. She often replied to her mother rudely and disobeyed her instructions. The woman would only verbally threaten to flog her and never carried out any of her threats on her or her sibling

No comments:

Post a Comment