I was thinking of running a series on “literary blog” www.chynanu.blogspot.com and I’d already started the first story when I had to change the plan. I’ve decided to share that first story here… why? I don’t really know. Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy this short story
My cousin’s name was Ogadinma for the first twenty or so years of his life, he would have carried the name to his grave if Uncle Peter hadn’t intervened.
It was two days after Christmas and we were all in the mgbe, Mama Nna’s mgbe. Our grandfather had died long before then and our grandmother owned the house now, the big parlour was her domain where she held court like Queen Eliza. We always sat at her feet, we came for the stories and laughter, for the attention and for the love.
Uncle Peter’s voice could cut through any conversation, many henpecked husbands and drill sergeants have wished upon stars for a voice like his. We’d been talking about football with each of us trying hard to convince Mama Nna to support our favourite team and in her grandmotherly wisdom, she refused to pick any team.
“Ogadinma bia nga”
Our argument stopped and our eyes searched for Ogadinma’s location in the crowded room. The boy’s legs suddenly felt like concrete pillars and his pupils danced in the direction of all the corners of the room.
Uncle Peter was still scratching his luxuriant beard when Ogadinma stood beside him and softly told him he’d come.
“Your name is now Odiwomma, for twenty years we’ve been waiting for things to change and they have refused to. How can they change when each time we call your name we’re saying things WILL get better in the future, when will this future come kwa? Let us now say it is already better”
Things did not really change for Odiwomma, he did not pass JAMB exams on his fourth, fifth and sixth tries. Today he’s a mechanic in Aba and he has four children, he doesn’t have a wife- a wife implies a wedding, doesn’t it? The mother of his children lives with him and they continue to hope for a better future.