By Odimegwu Onwumere
Brother Theodore returned from Cameroon that evening. My contemporaries and I were playing ball on the dusty entrance leading to the compound of our forebears otherwise called Ama. We were joyous to welcome our brother. We took his luggage and jumped on his tall body, ecstatic. He was tremendously happy.
Brother Theodore is my cousin. Well built. His frame is the size of an apprentice weightlifter. Fair in complexion, slightly stammers. He is all a man should be, bodily wise. As children, our eyes were on what he returned from Cameroon with. Different sweetening gifts, nicely perfumed soup and other items were in gift items he came back with. He gave us what he felt were due for us and we were thankful.
Often, Brother Theodore danced Mucosa (or was it called Makossa?) a brand of Cameroonian music that only one who was high with alcohol could dance. The dance step was alien to us in the village. We enjoyed it though, but saw such dance step as weird. But that always brought joy to his spirit. He would tell us how he was risking his life on the high sea through Oron to Cameroon. His expression of the turbulent waves on the sea, won’t appeal to any one who wanted to take on such adventure. Brother Theodore was all about stories such as the mien nature of Cameroonian Gendarme.
We were on the dusty entrance playing ball, the day he was leaving for Cameroon. There was a feeling we all had, a feeling like one who lost a beloved one. We would be missing his company, gifts and sundry. The few days he stayed were fun, in the boring village, where every minute was occupied with assorted errands programmed for us by our parents and guardians. We were awestruck, as if he should stay back, as if he should take us to Cameroon. We would be missing him, his rather weird dance steps, the music we only heard the lyrics, but were lost in the meaning.
During telling him bye, I entreated he buy me a ball, in his next visit. He obliged. This raised burning hope in me. At least, I would own a better ball, unlike the orange we played as ball, unlike the stone-like plastic ball we played, or the ball we moulded from gums we extracted from rubber trees. I was full of hope.
About a year, Brother Theodore was in the village. I rallied around him, inspected his bags with my eyes to see if there was any shape of ball in any. He didn’t know this. To my chagrin, there was no ball. There was none and I wanted to dive to the Ama and play the ball, lure my contemporaries to be envious of my new ball. But there was none. When he had rested, I reminded him of his promise of getting me a ball. He diplomatically shied away from telling me his position. I was aghast and downcast. Not happy with him. Although, I hadn’t the temerity to express my grievances for fear such behaviour could earn me his cane.
Not long, he left for Cameroon. When he came back, owning a ball was no longer a priority to me. As years passed, anytime I see Brother Theodore, it’s as if I should ask him, ‘where is my ball?’
😱😱😱 A True Life Story.
- SOURCE: OoReporters
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