the adventures of chike and the wukari river
Our story started with a river, in a village of few people, the name of our village is Oke. It is surrounded by small villages too. They all lived and did things differently but only shared one thing in common, the wukari river.
Everyone goes to the wukari to fetch water, swim and wash their cloths. The wukari river brought the four villages together and is protected by nnenne the goddess. Every four market days the people of oke and the other neighboring villages will gather at the river and celebrate a big festival called the festival of peace.
This festival is meant to thank the goddess of the four lands for blessings and keeping the water safe and running. The women danced to the talking drums, the men wrestled and Oza (the demi god) would speak with his flute. They said that only the spirits understood what oza was saying.
His flute sent thrills to the bones and marrow of everyone, a great silence will horde everywhere making oza’s flute more loud. Story has it that apart from the high priest, that the gods have chosen to speak to oza too. We watched as he went into the river, he walked until the water covered his tummy, he blowed his flute consistently and then stopped, followed by a round of applause from everyone, he looked like a god with his white beards that moved as he spoke, some white hairs scattered on his chest too.
“My good people,” he spoke, his voice commanded another round of silence, that even the kings couldn’t say a word,
“Where there is justice there is peace, where there is energy there’s a harbor, there was none among all of you who looked forward to being born, we disliked the rigor of existence”.
He demonstrated his poetry with his hands
“The unfulfilled longings, the enshrined injustices of the world, the labyrinths of love, the echoes of joy, the sound of music”.
A long applause followed with echoes everywhere
Oza the great
Oza the great
Oza the great
“The ignorance of parents” he continued and the echoing died out again
The fact of dying, and the amazing of the living in the midst of the simple beauties of the universe”. Elders at the front, seated on wooden stools looked at each other and nodded their heads in agreement, some whispered to each other, the maidens looked and admired their lovers from neighboring villages.
“I have a message from the gods” oza’s voice sounded again, everyone fixed their gaze on him as he walked around the river as though it’s a plain ground.
“As long as you all keep to my commandments and sanctify this grounds, with purity, I will keep on blessing you all, and flourish this land” the villages stood up and echoed his name once more
Oza the great
Oza the great
Oza the great.
The music began and the maidens began dancing again, their chocolate skins radiated to the evening sunlight sending shrill of pleasure to the young men watching them. Oza stepped out of the river and sat on his special spot, drinks were presented to him by the maidens and when the show was over, everybody stood in line to see him and know what the future tells about their families.
Some were good news from the way they were happy and smiling while some were bad news too. When it got to my turn, my mother Ezinne stood beside me and prostrated when she saw oza. The old man smiled and patted on her back, he looked at me, his eyes deep and brown, his breath was sentenced with wine, his tooth brown, he looked at me for a long time saying nothing in particular, my mother was worried.
I was worried and everyone on the line looked worried too, some shrugged, some snapped their fingers together and muttered curses ” tufiakwa”, the man looked at me again and finally said something.
“Woman your son has a calling although I don’t know what it means because what I saw is beyond me, I must make inquiry from the gods”
“What is it oza the great?
My mother’s worried voice sounded, her face was decorated with curiosity mixed with sadness and worry,
Oza the great, talk to me? She sounded again
“Your son is going to save the four lands from a great violence and impending doom coming,”
“Ah, great violence kwa oza’
I don’t know how woman, but the spirits never lie, your son’s quest will be a difficult one, but if he doesn’t embark on it, we will all perish, this is his destiny woman”.
“After today the gods will always show their selves to your son in different forms, the gods will visit you, do not drink from the crimson cup. when the last sign comes, your training will begin’ he added closing his eyes.
My mother sighed and took my hand and left. At home, she couldn’t stop thinking about what Oza said, me either. The soup on fire got burnt as she was thinking about it. I remembered what the man said lastly before we left.
“The gods will visit you, my son, Do not drink from the crimson cup”
I thought about it over and over but couldn’t understand it. I went in and slept, that night I had a very terrifying dream, I was running towards the edge of the wukari river, I didn’t know what was drawing me there, it was in the dead of the night, the owls sang their songs.
I could hear my heart beat as I ran faster and faster, untill I got to the river bank, the water was flowing in its normal way, there was nobody at the river. I went closer and looked deeper at the other end of the bank that led to the other villages and i saw a figure, the body of a woman.
She stood, her eyes shining like the sun, the breeze blowed her hair around her body. It was adorable, her chocolate skin, long nails, she walked into the river and started approaching me, I was scared and tried to move backwards but couldn’t, instead something pushed me forward, and I stepped into the river too.
Her eyes were diming out as she approached me, soon she stopped and I could see her face clearly, she was the most beautiful maiden I’ve ever seen, there is nobody like her in oke, maybe from the neighboring villages I thought, but why was her eyes shining.
She looked into my eyes and stretched out her hand, I was terrified and placed my hand on her palms, she held it tight and her eyes began shining again, the brightness blinded me and when the light went out we were no longer at wukari river, it was another realm, another dimension.
We walked in the midst of tress, I couldn’t recognize the trees, we approached a closed metal gate locked with a key and with the symbol of a heart..
Written by EMERIE EBUBE