…Ogbuide Express…

By: Arc

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THE FUTURE; 2035: A World Without Transportation.”

Aerial shots of the earth reveal the ozone layer is perfectly healed, the vegetation is evergreen, and the ice glaciers are perfectly shaped. The roads are empty; all that’s left at sea are ruins of sea vessels. Dolphins and whales are everywhere. There are no trains, no airplanes, the railway tracks are rusty and the skyline is clear. The earth is in perfect condition.

Little Richard stares out the window of his room at the sky filled with birds then he lets his eyes focus on the front entrance of his family home. His unblinking eye watches a man materialize from thin air, drop off a box with a Jumia label, and vanish.

“Mom! Delivery’s here.” He says as he walks calmly away from the window.

 

THE PAST; 1904: Weruche

A young maiden is in the arms of her lover, giggling and stroking his beard. She tilts her head, allowing him to feed her palm wine from his gourd. They enjoy their time together, running around trees and sharing kisses. At the end of their tryst, the maiden bids her lover bye and sets out on the narrow path home.

She sings as she walks, wearing the smile of satisfaction and bliss. A tree stump catches her feet and as she looks up she sees a gang of white men ahead of her. One of them holds a manacle; others carry machetes and the one that looks the leader holds a hunting rifle. She is soon surrounded, it is an ambush. She assumes a battle stance as lightning moves through her eyes, then she sees her lover creep out from the corner

“No fear, she is powerless, she has consumed water from Urashi. Ogbuide, the goddess of the lake is all yours.” He says

The maiden thrusts her hand forward to wave the men away but nothing happens. She is indeed powerless; she shoots her lover a look that should kill as she seethes from his betrayal. She recalls the palm wine and understands that’s how he got her to ingest the poison; Uhammiri and Urashi do not mix.

“Well done Nw—O—su.” The leader says in a nasal voice and one of the men hands Nwosu a box of gin, his payment.

“Nwosu, O bulu godu Judas.” (Nwosu, even if you were Judas) She says then bolts into the bushes, knocking her lover’s box of gin to the ground.

Coming out on the other side, she runs into the first hut she sees. The woman inside jumps from her mat and is about to scream but the maiden holds her hand, willing her not to. The woman sees the lightning in her eye and quickly gets on her knees, bowing in reverence

“Ogbuide i shi ka i bia unu m, nnoo. Ubochi na ama na mma.” (Ogbuide you have graced my home with your presence, today has been made beautiful)

The goddess impatiently wills her to get up, her eyes darting across the hut looking for a hiding place. She notices the water pot at the corner

“Mmiri Uhammiri?” (Is this water from the lake?) She asks

The woman nods, they exchange looks of understanding, and Ogbuide jumps into the water pot.

The woman exits her hut to meet frantic white men emerging from the bushes and searching other huts in the compound.

“Has a maiden run past here?” One of them asks her

She nods in affirmation and points them in the direction of another bush. He shares the information with his comrades in a yell and they all scurry north.

At nightfall, the woman heads out with her water pot on her head. She walks in stealth mode, looking over her shoulders. As soon as she gets to the lake, she empties her pot and Ogbuide materializes

“Mbona Weruche, ife i meni m taa taa, m ma echefudi a.” (Thank you Weruche, I would not forget what you have done)

“Ife nine i tiyere aka ga-aga nke oma, afia asha yi ye me ofoma.” (Everything you venture into would succeed; your crayfish trade would bloom).

“Umu umu yi ya e rita uru aka eyin m taa taa. Uwa nine ya amara afa yi. Mbona Weruche.” (Your children’s children would reap the reward of the help you rendered today and the world would know and remember your name, Thank you Weruche).

Ogbuide disappears into her lake, leaving the grateful Weruche at her bank singing her praises.

“Till today, worshippers of Ogbuide keep a water pot of lake water in their rooms ready for their goddess if she requires it.”

 

THE PRESENT:

This story takes place over 8 Igbo market days

DAY 1 (Afo)

Alagomeji, Yaba:

Chukwuma watches on with a smile as his daughter says her morning prayers with the devotion of a nun. She is kneeling by her bed, hands together and folded, eyes closed

“Jesus, help my Daddy, he works hard every day, reward him with plenty money so that he can stop looking sad…..”

He lets her continue her discussion with God and ambles along the corridor to his bedroom. He stops in front of his TV set, the presenter dishes out facts and numbers he already knows. Adaopus, the company he started from scratch, has its stock in free fall.

“Transport giant- Adaopus in a precarious position.” The voice reads

Chukwuma moves along with apparent disillusion towards his bathroom, walking past his wife as she calls Nkem for breakfast. He gets to the sink, lets out a big sigh, and turns on the gold plated tap. He raises his head but what he sees isn’t his reflection. A dark-skinned priestess is on the other side, her hazy eyes staring into his. Chukwuma overcomes the initial jolt but doesn’t panic, this is familiar, this priestess, Efuru has been haunting his dreams and this wasn’t her first mirror appearance. Efuru grabs Chukwuma’s hand, shock fills his eyes and he struggles not to scream, he doesn’t want to startle his household, this is the first time she has touched him in the physical. Seconds pass and he can see his reflection, the priestess is gone. He opens up his palm to see the word “Ameshi” written in clay.

His face becomes a canvas of realization, he knows what he must do, he must go home to Oguta.

 

DAY 2 (Nkwo)

“Good morning,” Ossai says into his mobile phone as he sits on his black onyx power bike watching the entrance of Muritala Mohammed Airport.

“This had better be important.” Replies the lazy voice on the other side.

“Sir, the subject is on the move, plane leaves for Imo State in 30 minutes.”

Ossai anticipates the next few seconds of stunned silence that follows; he keeps his phone pressed to his ear as he licks his lips.

“I see I have successfully sent that boy back to the village, Follow him Ossai.”

“Sir?”

“I know, I know, pay is tripled.”

“I’m on the next flight.”

“Good…Adaopus must be buried.”

***

Chukwuma arrives the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Imo State. A little girl with conspicuously big eyeballs walks up to him and intones

Onowu, Nnoo.” Meaning welcome in his native dialect.

The girl’s father quickly pulls her along warning her about talking to strangers. Chukwuma is perplexed, the stranger child called him by his family name.

Within the next hour, he watches palm trees speed past as his airport taxi makes its way to the lake city- Oguta, fondly called Ameshi by locals. He is lost in thought, reminiscing about his childhood, and can barely hear the taxi driver’s streetwise lectures. A man in an oversized coat hits the window he is staring out from and jolts him back to the present

“God wants you to do something gleat, I see gleatness!” He shouts

Chukwuma can’t hide his disgust

“Oga no vex, na hustle e dey hustle.” The driver explains

“Concorde hotel is still here?”

“Yes sir, it still is. How long have you been away sir?”

“10 years, 10 long years.”  Chukwuma says as he shrinks back into his headspace, thinking of home, his family, and Efuru.

The taxi makes its stop at the front entrance of Crystal Lake Resort, the sun is setting and Chukwuma notices that there is a party outside to receive him, he looks on in confusion as he spots Ogbuagu Ernest Nwapa himself, he opens the door, and steps out

“Ogbuagu! I wasn’t expecting to be welcomed by you.” Chukwuma says in a bow of reverence over the sound of the Otu Uwa Oma age-grade music.

“Nnoo nyarinta, nwa Onowu.” (Welcome little one, child of Onowu) He booms as he pats Chukwuma’s back, “I saw your name on the reservation list; I am honoured to receive the CEO of Adaopus.” He explains to ease the puzzled look on Chukwuma’s face.

“We go above and beyond for our guests, especially illustrious sons of the soil. I don’t know if you are here for business or pleasure but I took the liberty of bumping you up to a Chalet; at no extra cost of course.”

“That’s super kind of you Ogbuagu. Ameshi’s hospitality hasn’t changed I see.”

“It hasn’t changed. You must be tired, after you are well-rested, I will take you on a tour of our facilities.”

The party heads to his chalet, Chukwuma smiles at the portrait of Flora Nwapa hanging at the entrance. He doesn’t recognize the other portraits but he figures they are all important. He settles in, enjoys the treat of pounded yam and nsala soup, takes a shower, and relaxes on the king-size bed as he prepares his mind for tomorrow.

At 11 pm, a car pulls up at the resort. Ossai alights.

 

DAY 3 (Eke)

The next morning, he wakes up with an unexplainable calm, his body seemingly moving by itself. He begins a shirtless run on the treadmill, feeling alive.

“My oh my, my oh my, baby let me take it to the top…” Paul Play’s song plays out from his phone, an incoming call. He reaches out, sees his wife’s screen-grabbed face staring right at him, and puts the phone on speaker

“Good morning boo boo”

“Good morning love, well-rested now I hope?”

“Yeah, I feel great. Oh, you should have come with me, Nkem would love the view.”

“Well some of us have to get approval letters before travelling and Nkem has school.”

Chukwuma smiles, Irefo never passed on the opportunity to remind him that she worked in the “real world.”

“So…what’s the plan today? Visit the family?”

“What family? I doubt there is anyone around that remembers my Dad, he wasn’t big on coming home or keeping in touch. Your family too, I mean we had our traditional wedding in Lagos.”

“Right…So if this is not some trip to connect to your roots, what exactly are you doing in Ameshi at a time like this?

“I would explain in time love.”

“You haven’t been you lately, I mean we share everything.”

“In time love.” ‘I have to protect your sanity’’ he says to himself

“Got to go love, you would explain all these by evening right?”

“I will love; have a nice day.” ‘I hope I will’

Just as he puts down the phone, it startles him with a loud shriek. He stares at the phone in shock, the sound is not on his ringtone list or available on any tone store or app. Before he reaches for the phone to accept the strange incoming call, it connects itself

“Biama…” (Oguta for come)

Biama ime obodo.” (Come to the village)

“Biama ibe unu.” (Come to your family house)

***

Ossai looks up from his phone and frowns, he was hoping to use the pre-planned resort tour as an opportunity to relax and catch up on job updates, the North is buzzing with job opportunities that match his skill set. His target is moving and he must follow.

***

Chukwuma’s rental car makes its way down Ogbuide road past the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the church of his baptism. He fingers the crucifix worn around his neck and smiles at the irony that he is in search of a goddess. The car makes an awkward left bend untoIme obodo road, his face is an expression of familiar strangeness as he passes through the villages and inhabitants. He stops in front of Regis bar and begins the walk to the Anozia Onowu compound.

“Onye ka i cho n’uzona?” (Who are you looking for here?) The man sitting at the entryway says to Chukwuma in a voice devoid of hostility.

“Afa m bu Chukwuma Anozia, a biara m….” (My name is Chukwuma Anozia, I came to….)

As he mentions his name, the man’s eyeballs roll into the back of his head, a spark of lightning moves through them

“A notonam n’eche yi (I have been waiting for you), afa m bu Ogana (my name is Ogana), soro m (follow me).” A surround sound voice emanating from the man says.

They make their way to the lake through the Umudanike market without uttering another word. As they board the boat, the man smiles and asks

“I ma n’egwu mmiri.” (Do you know how to swim?)

***

Back at the bank, Ossai hands a fisherman a bundle of naira notes

“Follow them.” He says.

***

“Nnoo Chukwuma!” (Welcome Chukwuma) Efuru says in a voice that could rival Tim Storms’.

Chukwuma is befuddled, she has her back to the entrance of the shrine, he hasn’t made any sound yet she has sensed him.

“Chukwuma, nya Anozia Onowu, aku ekwe odu, ibiana. (Chukwuma son of Anozia Onowu, salutation, you have come). Ogbuide keeps her promises, Chukwu Abiama be praised, it is time.”

After series of vivid nightmares and mirror appearances, Chukwuma has made it to Efuru, finally, she will tell him how she intends to save his business and what she wants from him. The guide excuses himself and they are now left alone.

“How was your flight?”

“It was fine, a little scary on landing.” Chukwuma’s face is a mask of incredulity; he struggles to come to terms with the scenario. He is making small talk in a shrine with a lady one can only describe as an ebony goddess. Her eyes seem to contain streams, her skin glows and her body is a perfect hour glass inside a grey flowing gown that is all but transparent.

“That was your last flight.”

His chest constricts, the feeling of impending doom washes over him. He will never see home again, his wife, his kids.

“Not doom,” she smiles, “You will leave Oguta, you shall see Nkem and Irefo again.”

He realizes she can read minds, he is not surprised, she has given ample demonstration of her powers.

“You shall never take to the skies again. You would become Master of space and time. You shall move through space as you wish and all who are brought into your light shall do same.”

“I do not understand.”

“It is very simple.” She meets his gaze and holds it for seconds that feel like minutes

“Take my hand, think of a place.”

In trust, he places his hand in hers, and in an instant they are standing side by side at a beach

“Lido Beach, Mogadishu!” He announces

“You can go anywhere you want, Ogbuide will take you places.”

They go to Mount Kilimanjaro, Victoria Falls, to Olumo Rock and back to her shrine

“So foretold, the time has come for the gods to share “the gift” with mankind. No more shall our daughters be blamed for road accidents, airplane crashes, or storms at sea. The gods would take over transportation!” Efuru says.

She then explains to Chukwuma how the world would come to master teleportation and his role in sharing the gift. Adaopus will become the new face of transportation, the leader of the gods’ revolution.

***

Ossai keeps his eyes focused on the shrine as the boat rocks, his fisherman refusing to go any closer to the shrine; not for all the money in the world. He checks his phone; amazingly he has reception here. He speed-dials The Boss.

“He visited a shrine?”

“Yes sir.”

“No voodoo in the world is saving that company, get the priestess, per-suaaade her to tell you all she knows.”

Silence

“Ossai, don’t tell me you are afraid of some village priestess and her hullabaloo, get it done!”

The line clicks off; Ossai takes in a lung full of fresh-water air. The Boss wanted Adaopus dead and buried. Seeing the fisherman’s reverence for this shrine, he decides he will not pitch his wits against a goddess, he would be better off getting information from Chukwuma than from a priestess in her backyard.

***

“I know my story is really strange, you have to trust me as I trust my instincts, Ogbuide means well.” He says into his phone.

“What exactly did your Nana do? Seal a covenant on the lives of her unborn children? Irefo says from the other end.

“No, she saved Ogbuide from capture by hiding her in a water pot in her room. Ogbuide blessed her with wealth and promised to immortalize her name.”

“Chu Chu, be real careful with voodoo and Willi Willi stuff and I want to look into your eyes as you explain.”

“I will be home soon love…Goodnight boo boo, give a kiss to Nkem.”

Chukwuma stretches out in the darkness of his room, the light from the resort’s watchtower streaming in, in cycles. He tries to process all that has happened today and all Efuru has told him. His great-grandmother’s good deed decades ago is about to save his ailing business and the world. Chukwuma creeps up as he hears his door creak. He quietly moves from the bedroom to the living room space, horror fills his face as he spots the nozzle of a gun fitted with a silencer making its way into his room. Survival instinct kicks in; he leaps for the door and slams it against the arm of the intruder. His eye follows the gun as it drops to the ground, he barely hears the intruder’s yelp or sees the kick of the door that follows. He grabs the gun, spins around to aim and he feels the force of a 6 ft brute land on him.

***

Ossai slams him to the floor and sends a punch into his ribs hoping he loses wind and loosens his grip on the gun but Chukwuma holds on tight, grappling at him with his free hand. This was supposed to be a non-violent interrogation; the gun was only a listening aid. Now he is risking being shot in this scramble. He slaps Chukwuma across the face with his weaker left hand and sees a flash of white teeth as the man bites down hard on his palm. Ossai curses, one hand securing Chukwuma’s gun hand and the other painfully clamped between his opponent’s teeth, he sends his forehead crashing down on the head in front of him. The collision rocks them both and they release each other. Hurried footsteps are approaching, he sees that his opponent recovers first, and knowing that a gunshot follows next, he dives for the chalet’s glass window

“Kpooor…”

His body shatters the window, the only pain he feels is from hitting the ground, and he thanks his stars that Chukwuma has poor aim.

***

Chukwuma hears the resort’s security storm into the room but his eyes remain focused on the busted window. He wonders if he has just killed a man

“Sir! Are you okay?”

He doesn’t respond, he follows the lead of the security officer and steps through shards of glass. There is no body, his assailant is gone.

 

DAY 4 (Orie)

Efuru breaks through the surface of the water, she doesn’t take in full breaths, breathing underwater or out of it is a case of the same difference. She plants her staff and scans the bank, she frowns when she sees maidens take to their heels; they were probably strangers or indigenes who still thought her evil. A smile replaces the frown as she notices others to her right still carrying out their washing as normal.

“Nyayefuru…I bona chi.” (Efuru…Good morning). One of the girls says

“A bona m nya m, Chukwu gozie anyi nine.” (I have arisen my daughter, may God bless us all).

She always felt warm when her people acknowledged her human side, she wasn’t to be feared. She was one of them, priestess or not.

The ones who ran were lost, children who did not know their heritage. She plants her staff in the sand and detangles her hair. She looks at the children, envisioning a life she thought she would have, washing her clothes by the lake, and chasing off boys. Her mind pulls her into her head; she sees the day that changed her life- the accident. Ogbuide herself played lifeguard, rescuing her from the water after her father’s boat capsized on their return from Ubi (farmland beyond the lake). The lake took her parents that day but gave her a new mother. Ogbuide claimed her for herself and she made the shrine her home.

A lady races to her feet and unwraps four fingers of plantain

“Ezenwanyi! I came as soon as my daughter brought news of your presence here. Please accept my gift; it is not everyday Ogbuide’s mouthpiece visits.”

“Thank you Akunjeri, Ogbuide hears your prayers.” She picks the fingers of plantain and enumerates them

“Eke, Orie, Afo, Nkwo. Your trade shall yield profits all the days of the week.”

She leaves Akunjeri as she gushes her thanks and moves to prepare for the day’s task. She draws a perfect circle in the white sand and digs a hole in it. The children and indeed the adults who are still by the lake begin their retreat, for even as they are not afraid, they do not want to be part of whatever she has to do.

“Where is Chukwuma?  She mutters.

***

“Wait here.” Chukwuma tells the guards escorting him after yesterday’s scare. He then makes his way down the steep slope that leads to Ose Ngegwu with his hand against his throbbing forehead; the ibuprofen he took hasn’t kicked in yet. He sees people streaming out of the bank, conversing in hushed whispers. He quickens his step as he spots the priestess in a Buddha pose

“A gentleman doesn’t keep a lady waiting.” She shouts across the space between them.

“I am sorry, I had a rough night. I was attacked at the resort. I think it was a kidnap-for-ransom attempt, but why send one man?”

“Your earthly troubles shall be handled afterwards, for now, we get to work.”

As she gets up, Chukwuma takes in her body in full view. Her gown is the same grey one from yesterday, only now it hugs her body in its wetness

“I am not part of the gift Ogbuide promised.” Efuru says with a sly smile as she moves toward the water

He shifts his thoughts from her body to his childhood days, playing on this spot,

“You know…I played here as a child.”

“I know, you and your airplane, you conceived your company Adaopus on this very spot.”

“How do you know that?” Chukwuma asks.

I know what she tells me.” She pours the water cupped in her palms into the hole she dug.

***

Ossai looks at his target through the scopes of his binoculars from his vantage point amid the trees. His phone vibrates in his pockets, he takes it out and places it on his ear with his eyes still fixed on his binocular view

“Boss…”

“Report from Oguta Ameshi local blog: Adaopus’ CEO escapes kidnap attempt…Ossai! I did not pay for attempted kidnaps, what is going on?”

“I can explain.”

“I will hear no explanations, I have been patient; since he is eager to commune with his ancestors, send him to them. Ossai, this time, don’t at-tempt it.”

“Yes, boss.”

He picks up his hunter rifle and trains the scope on Chukwuma. He wonders who he should shoot first. What is an African Safari without game?

He sees Efuru make a sharp 360-degree turn, her eyes lock with his through his scope. She winks and Ossai falls into a deep sleep.

***

“What did you see?”

“Oh, it’s nothing, are you ready?”

“Yes, I am.”

Efuru brings out a black wrist band with an inscription and hands it over to Chukwuma.

“Read what it says.”

“We-r-u-che; My Nana’s name.”

“That’s right; Ogbuide had this made after she escaped capture. Weruche’s name will be on the wrists of all travellers and Ogbuide’s on their lips; the entire world will know the goddess that healed the earth. Give me your palm.”

She takes Chukwuma’s outstretched hand and makes a small cut to draw blood from his palm. She holds his palm over the hole containing lake water and lets the blood drop. Blood and water mix with a rumble and she drops the wrist band into it

Welcome to the New World Order.”

They look on as black bands spurt out of the hole till they form an anthill.

“This is the new face of transportation; whoever wears this band can travel through space and time by saying these words- Ogbuide Mehe Uzo. Then, mouth your desired location. Go on, try it.”

Chukwuma picks one of the bands from the bunch and slips it on

“Ogbuide Mehe Uzo Assumpta Cathedral.”

Without breaking any sweat, he was walking along the Bishop’s walkway of the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, evoking memories of his childhood.

“Ogbuide Mehe Uzo Ose Ngegwu.”

“Pretty simple right?” Efuru asks on his return to Ngegwu

“Yes, it is! This is huge! This changes everything. Ogbuide is giving me this for free? No hidden conditions?”

Efuru smiles. “Unlike some, we don’t have to ask for Isaac and we are not asking for the one you love the most. There are however two rules: water from another source cannot touch it, and while Ogbuide entrusts you with merchandizing this; you cannot set the price above minimum wage.”

“How do I produce more?”

“The multiplication trick is quite easy; all who are considered worthy can repeat it, you are of Weruche’s lineage therefore you can. There are others too around the world, favoured by our goddess. All that is needed is the right blood and lake water, on the right market day-Orie, and you shall have your 12 baskets full.”

 

DAY 5 (Afo)

He sits at his Oakwood table reviewing the morning headlines

“Adaopus sells terminals and other assets to ABZ Transport.”

“Impossible!” He shouts as the 3 men standing in a file in front of him look on

“Last month, Chukwuma said selling was over his dead body, why this sudden move? Is he now dead? And why in heaven’s name would he sell to ABZ. There is still no word from Ossai, the fool!”

The men keep mute, the Boss was talking but he did not require a response from them.

“I need answers! I need them fast!” He stares long and hard at the men then says with a casual wave of his hand

“Go fetch the wife and kid.”

The men move swiftly and are out of the room before his hand drops to the table.

***

Chukwuma is eyeing the briefcase full of Ogbuide bands, he is back to his home, in his home office. The note pad in front of him contains scribbling:

Ogbuide Express

Packaging

Instruction Manual, Ogbuide Mehe Uzo

Price set at N15,000

Publicity

Production Plant in Oguta

He reaches for his cell phone and types out

Home now…

Got so much to tell you

I will meet you for lunch

Only one tick shows, typical of Irefo to turn off her mobile data. He knows a call would not help as well, at this time she should be stuck in rush hour traffic and her phone will be buried in her bag. He types some more as he walks to his bedroom. He disappears into his walk-in closet, and comes out moments later with a towel around his waist. He takes off his travel wrist band, sets it on his dresser and heads into the bathroom for a shower.

***

Mommy please go easy I am trying to complete my assignment.”

“Nkem, you should have done that assignment last night, you know we are late and the road is not exactly smooth.”

“Daddy’s car does not shake.” Irefo shoots her daughter a smile through the rear-view mirror

“You will write better if you place the book on the seat.”

A white SUV jumps in front of her Mercedes, she slams her foot on the brake as two men jump out.

“Mommy!” Nkem screams as the men try to pull the doors open. Irefo is grateful that the door lock is in place, then the crunch sound follows as one of the men punches through the front door glass and unlocks the door. She dives for her bag on the passenger side hoping to reach for her phone, turn on data & the location, and then activate an emergency call. One of them reaches in and pulls her by the hair.

“Give me that!” He snatches her phone from her hand, stares at it, and holds the screen to the face of his colleague

“See that? He is back.” He says as the other reads Chukwuma’s delivered text “Let’s wrap this up quickly.”

Irefo cries for help as the men bundle her and her daughter into their vehicle. Onlookers including the policeman controlling traffic do nothing but watch, a couple had their camera phones trained on the abduction.

“Chu Chu what have you done?” Irefo mutters as a hood is placed over her head. She feels the car zoom off.

***

The sound of screeching tires and banging car doors alerts Chukwuma as he shaves his beard, his grip tightens on his clipper and he moves to look out the window. He sees at least 7 men marching towards his front door and makes a run down the stairs in his towel, heading for his office; if he can just get to the wrist bands. Just as he is about to lift a band off the table, his feet become floor allergic as he is given a sweeping tackle. He lands hard on his Peruvian rug, his towel doing little to cover the lower half of his body.

“You are coming with us.”

He reacts, jabbing the speaker’s leg with the shaving clipper. The man howls as blood spurts out through his khaki coloured pants, then he stomps on Chukwuma’s head. The other men join them,

“Maybe you didn’t hear me the first time, I said you are coming with us.”

He gets on his feet and raises his hands in surrender,

“What is this about?” His eyes can’t help glancing at the most valuable item in the room and the man catches it

“Get the briefcase.” The man commands. “And get this denuded man some clothes.”

They lead Chukwuma out, one of them holding a T-shirt and a pair of jean pants retrieved from their sufferer’s closet.

***

The hood is lifted off Chukwuma’s face, his eyes start to adjust to the brightly illuminated room.

Ogidiga!” Chukwuma shouts in fury as he recognizes the man looking over him, Ogidiga of GIO Transport. He wills his hands to break his bounds but they hold firm

“Calm down son.” The boss says

“What do you want?”

“10 years ago, you refused GIO’s offer of partnership…”

“Is it a crime to refuse to work with snakes?”

“Danny boy, teach our guest some manners.” The henchman drives a clenched fist into Chukwuma’s chin

“You spat in my face then hijacked my deal with the Minister of Transportation.”

“I bid for that contract and won it fair and square.”

Ogidiga glances at Danny and another blow meets Chukwuma’s face.

‘The mighty Adaopus, conquering all in its path. Do you see where you are now? Knee deep in debt and selling off terminals, pray tell did your priestess handpick ABZ over us?

Realization flashes through Chukwuma’s face

“Go on, you can reply now, Danny will hold his fist.”

“So…that was you in Oguta.”

“Wrong boy! That wasn’t me; that was Ossai. Yes the fool works for me.” He flashes a menacing smile

“And it was you who leaked word that my company was in debt?”

“Wrong again boy! That would be your COO, handsomely paid by me of course. Now, tell me what this trip to your hometown is all about and what these are?” He shifts the open briefcase containing the bands to Chukwuma’s line of sight.

“I do not have to tell you anything.”

“Obviously…” He looks at Danny again and the henchman exits the room. Ogidiga shuts the briefcase, reclines on his seat, and lifts his electronic cigarette. Danny returns with Irefo and Nkem, bound at their legs.

“Daddy!”

“Nkem! You leave my wife and kid out of this, you psycho!” Chukwuma shouts as his family is thrown at his feet, he gives his wife an apologetic look then hardens his face as he attempts to kill Ogidiga with his eyes.

“What would we be without family eh? I believe you now have plenty to tell me.”

“Let them go and I will tell you all.”

I am not some herdsman or bandit; you are in no position to negotiate.”

“Boss, your phone, it’s the Minister.”

“Now my boy, you will have to excuse me, I have a business dinner with the ruling class, we would continue our chat in the morning. Hunger and a nagging wife should help loosen your tongue. Enjoy the family time.”

Ogidiga leaves the room with the case, and his boys follow. The last man to exit turns off the lights leaving Chukwuma to the wrath of his child’s mother

“Chu Chu, what have you gotten us into?”

“Nkem, are you alright?” Chukwuma asks, ignoring his wife’s question

“I am fine Daddy.”

“My brave little girl, be strong okay, Daddy will get us through this.”

“My daughter doesn’t need this in her life right now, how are you even in Lagos?” Irefo’s voice fills the darkness

“You know how…You didn’t get my messages.”

“If you got back through space, what are we doing here? Do your stuff let’s skedaddle.”

“I can’t jump space at will, I don’t have the bands.”

 

DAY 6 (Nkwo)

Sunlight filters into the room where the family is being held captive. Irefo rouses Chukwuma awake and they listen to their daughter say her morning prayers

“Good morning Jesus, please come and save us…”

Irefo pulls her daughter close

“Mommy I am hungry.”

“Breakfast is coming love, breakfast is coming.”

Distraught, he offers a prayer of his own “Ogbuide, biko zoputa anyi (please save us), we need you.”

“The last thing we need is a prayer to your goddess.” An irritated Irefo replies

Footsteps are approaching, and then there is a landing thud at the corner of the room. The door swings open and light from the corridor reveals Efuru’s presence. The man who opens the door stares at the priestess in apparent confusion, recovers, shouts to his comrades for help and reaches for his gun. Efuru stomps her staff on the ground and a wave throws the man and some of his onrushing comrades to the floor.

“We have to go now!” Efuru says

“Cut me loose!” Chukwuma says. Efuru waves her hand and their binds fall apart

“Now to me!” They scurry toward the priestess

“Wait…I need to get the case….” Gunshots follow through in succession as priestess and the triad disappear into thin air.

***

They appear at the shrine, their faces showing different emotions. Chukwuma has on relief; Irefo wears fear while Nkem’s bears astonishment.

“Did Jesus send you?” Nkem asks

“No, but I work for a close relative.” Efuru replies with a smile then drops to her knees. They can now see the gunshot wound on her left shoulder, Chukwuma dashes forward to apply pressure to the wound

“We must get you to the hospital.”

“It’s fine, it’s a flesh wound, the lake will heal me in time.”

Ogana comes in and takes over from Chukwuma. He pours gin over the injury and wraps it in white cloth.

“The bands! I have lost the bands, Ogidiga has them. I have failed Ogbuide.”

“Relax, man of little faith, come Orie you shall have them again.

Chukwuma looks over to his family

“You have to leave here at once.”

“And you?” Irefo replies with an incredulous look

“I have to stay here with Efuru, I have to finish this.”

“She doesn’t look like she needs your help.”

“Babe, please don’t be like that, Ogbuide called me, this is something I have to do.” He looks at his wife’s face in a plea then looks to his daughter

“You have to get to Crystal Resorts, Ogana will take you. They have my PA’s number, Ifeanyi would arrange for your flight and everything. When you get to Lagos, pack a bag, Ogidiga wouldn’t think to go back to the house, file a police report, and head to London. I’d come get you when this is over.” Irefo nods in understanding

“How do I know you would be safe? You said you were attacked at Crystal the other night, who’s to say you don’t get attacked again?”

“He is under the protection of a goddess.” Efuru answers with a smile as she stretches against the shrine wall.

“Thank you Ogana, you should take them now.”

The family hold each other in a loving embrace for seconds then Nkem and Irefo follow Ogana out into the open with the head of the family following behind. He watches them get on Ogana’s boat and waves them off

“Have Ogana return with a small phone for me from Crystal’s gift shop, I will need it to communicate.” He calls over the widening distance as the boat drifts

“I love you!”

“We love you too!”

He recedes into the shrine to meet Efuru,

“I don’t have an entertainment system, you would have to make do with my stories. Have you heard of Ojaadili?”

***

“What do you mean they vanished?”

“They disappeared sir.”’

“Quiet! If I require a dictionary I will buy one. Bunch of incompetent fools!”

Ogidiga looks over the open briefcase,

“This is real interesting, intriguing even, what are these supposed to be. They could be anywhere, how do we find them?”

“I know exactly where they have gone.” Ossai says as he walks into the room

“Aha! The fool returns, what happened to you?”

“A long story boss, allow me to make amends.”

“Allow you? Do you think I’d let my money slide? I paid for a job, take some men with you and finish it!”

“Have I ever failed you, boss?”

“That’s the reason you still draw oxygen. Call in as soon as it is done.”

Ossai’s face tightens and he clenches his fist, his expression shows this has gone above business, it has become personal. He nods and exits, two of the men follow him, selecting themselves as assistants without speaking a word.

“The rest of you, prepare for a trip to Omambala, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities.”

“Boss, no be say na you talk am, na so e dey for Bible.”

Ogidiga threatens to smile but it comes out cold

“Go ready the fleet, the priest would have answers.”

 

DAY 7 (Eke)

A convoy of SUVs speeds past the Onitsha head bridge with blaring headlights, they pass ABC Transport Motor Park Onitsha, turn left at the Roundabout and veer unto Oguta road. In a matter of minutes, they are going past the “Welcome to Aguleri” signpost. They arrive at their destination, a vintage duplex with flower fencing. Two bare chest buff men stand guard at the entrance. Ogidiga steps out of one of the vehicles and walks inside holding the briefcase with two of his men following. He is met by the owner of the house dressed in regal traditional attire

“Great to see you, old friend. It has been a while.”

“An unintentional-while wise one, great to see you too Agulu. I see you have done some redecoration.” Ogidiga moves toward the paintings on the wall

“Igbo landing, and the famous Trinity tree of Eze Agwuve.”

“St. Patrick would have you believe it is the tree of the Holy Trinity.”

“Same difference brother, same difference. A toad does not run in the daylight for nothing, what brings you to Aguleri?”

“Some boy I want to destroy has teamed up with a Priestess.”

“So, you seek a priest.”

“No, I seek THE priest.” Agulu smiles at this obvious flattery. “Take a look at these strange bands, my boy reported he visited Ogbuide’s shrine.”

Agulu’s eyes pop at the mention of the goddess’ name

“Okirikiri ka a na-agba ukwu ose, anaghi ari ya elu. Let me see that.”

He inspects one of the bands

“We-ru-che, an ancient name, there is power in this band, real magic.”

He closes his hand over the band and falls into a trance, he sees through the eyes of Efuru, her voice echoes

“Welcome to the New World Order….Crackle….This is the new face of transportation; whoever wears this band can travel through space and time….Crackle…

He opens his eyes to Ogidiga

“What you have in that case is Ogbuide’s transportation system. With these bands, you can go anywhere; there will be no use for cars, trains, boats, or ships, you simply go. Your competitor has stumbled upon the new oil.”

“That’s impossible! Voodoo travel? Come on, even you can’t believe this comic book fantasy.”

“It is no fantasy, this is as real as it gets. Ogbuide is very powerful and is known among the pantheon for her radical ideas. My advice to you is stay away from this, even I can’t help you.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“Same difference brother, same difference.”

“I should not have come here.” Cheesed off Ogidiga says as he beckons his men toward the exit

“Wait! If you are going to go anyways, you should take this for the priestess.” He hands him a handmade catapult from his waist bag and two stones

“What am I supposed to do with this? I didn’t say I was going after Goliath.”

“Okara mmadu, okara mmuo ka o bu (She is half-human, half spirit). Your bullets would only injure her; this will knock her out….For old times’ sake.” He hands him the slingshot, Ogidiga reluctantly collects it.

“Can you activate this?” He asks, holding up one of the bands

“If I could, that briefcase wouldn’t leave Aguleri the way it came.”

Ogidiga lets out a humph and turns toward the exit

“Good luck!”

“I wouldn’t need it if Ossai has things handled. The boys would drop off the usual gifts, thank you for nothing.”

“You have always been a bull.” Agulu mutters with a shake of the head as Ogidiga storms off.

***

“That’s the best rendition of the Tortoise and the magic drum I have heard.”

“Oh! You have heard the story before and you let me tell it like it was new.”

“I enjoy listening to you, you are great at storytelling, you should write a book.”

“Retirement plans eh, thank you for not running off to Crystal.”

“Your shrine is super comfy and safe.”

“So it is fear not care eh.”

“I picked an ailing priestess and a fisherman over a dozen armed guards. I say it’s both.”

Efuru smiles and they share a look quite close to intimate

“Well, I am no longer ailing.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am.” Efuru says as she swings her left arm showing that her shoulder is fine.

“I have some errands to run.”

“Great, I am coming with you.”

“No, you are not.”

“It would be great to see the village.”

“It wouldn’t be great for Ogbuide followers as they make their prayers and offer their gifts, you can be distracting.” She says as she scans his wide torso.

“Preparing for Orie is a very important and solemn affair, you should stay here, Ogana is really good company.”

Before he forms a reply, the phone Ogana returned rings

“Hey boo boo….”

“Hey love, we are all set, where did you keep our passports?”

“Left side drawer, my dresser.”

“Babe, there is a band on your dresser.”

“Right! The one I took off before my shower. Efuru! We have a band!” Efuru acknowledges with a thumbs up. “Honey you have to get it to me asap. Slip it on and follow my instructions…”

“No way in hell am I trying this on. Even if I do use it, how do I get back to catch my London flight, Doofus?”

“We can make more.”

“Not until tomorrow, Orie.” Efuru says shaking her head

“Alright, have Ifeanyi take the next available flight and bring it to me.”

“Will do, how are things on your end? How is Efuru?” Chukwuma can hear the emphasis on Efuru and what Irefo is asking

“Quiet. Any word from the office?”

“None, Ifeanyi told them you took a trip, he says it’s business as usual, they are preparing for ABZ’s take over. No one seems to be missing you.”

“Did you file the police report?”

“Yes I did, they say Ogidiga has been on their radar, something about an assassination and money laundering. They are tracking him now.”

“I am not surprised, the man is a crook. What time is your flight out?”

“6 pm. When are you joining us?”

“3 days tops, where is Nkem?”

“She is putting away her doll set.”

“Tell her daddy loves her, keep me updated.”

“Men would embarrass you, after 5 years of dating and 8 married, it is only your daughter you remember to tell I love you.”

“Boo boo na, I love you more!”

“Bye…”

“All good yes?” Efuru asks as she straps on her sling bag

“All good yes, Ifeanyi would bring the band to us.”

“Alright, I am off now, see you at dusk.”

Efuru disappears into the lake as Chukwuma gives Ogana a greeting handshake, ready to settle into a conversation.

***

Ossai and his support crew arrive at the lake; he employs the service of a local and points in the direction of the shrine

“Ossai, this one na Gulder Ultimate Search abi wetin.”

“No be only GUS, na Igodo be this.” The second man adds

“Make una quiet abeg, I want you to take us around the shrine make we bust out from the back.”

“Wetin una wan go do for there?” The local asks

Ossai pulls out a bundle of cash bigger than the one he offered before and the local is satisfied with the response. They get on the boat and paddle out.

Soon they are behind the shrine, going a long way around to avoid being spotted by the two men seated in front

“Listen guys, we do not make a move till we have the priestess, okay?”

They nod in understanding and all three go quietly into the water and remain under. Ossai and one of the men surface on the patch of land behind the shrine then the 3rd man screams. The two men on land look back to see blood spurting from the spot where the screamer should be. Something in the lake has got him.

***

Chukwuma and Ogana bolt to the back of the shrine as they hear the scream. Chukwuma spots Ossai still in shock and dives for him before he can pull his weapon, his gun drops to the sand. Ogana obliges the invitation and attacks the second man. Fists are flying, it’s a melee, two on two action. Ogana has the upper hand against his man but Chukwuma struggles as Ossai regains control and has him in a head-lock. He throws several punches into his captor’s torso, trying to get him to free him but his head is firmly locked. Again, he decides to use his teeth, first struggling to get his neck to the right angle then he bites down hard on his cubital fossa.

“Which kin Suarez you be!” Ossai shouts as he lets him go and lands a heavy blow to the back of his head forcing the biter face down into the sand. He retrieves the gun and aims for Chukwuma’s prone back.

“Thwack!” An oar swung by Ogana connects with his face as he pulls the trigger, knocking him off his feet and he falls into the lake. Water rushes into his lungs at supernatural speed, the water coming at him like it had limbs. The lake takes Ossai.

“Are you okay?” Ogana asks Chukwuma as he stares at the bullet hole in the sand just a fraction wide from his body.

“I am fine.” They both look towards the 3rd man, whose body lay unconscious in the sand. Ogana then sits by him.

“Get their guns.”

None of them move though, they just watch the sunset, thankful for their lives and for the lake.

 

DAY 8 (Orie)

Mr. Chibuike, do you understand what I have just told you? That boy will make your Ministry and others round the world redundant.”

“You can’t be serious Ogidikpos.”

“I am as serious as tampering with the Vice President’s chopper.”

“This is madness. How would my deal with the Chinese go through if the railway system is eliminated from our future? You must fix this, you must!”

“I am working on it, I need assurances from you.”

“What kind of assurances do you need? You have my word on our deal and my protection from the law, get it done. Any word from Ossai?”

“None, your golden boy hasn’t delivered.”

“This has gone beyond sending errand boys. We are counting on you; if what you say is real and true, you shall have the thanks of the Petroleum Minister as well as the Commonwealth. Kill this child, end his fantasy world”

Ogidiga drops his mobile phone and urges the driver to step on the gas. The convoy takes the right turn at Mgbidi junction, heading towards Oguta through Egwe. The man in the front seat turns to relay updates

“Our boys spotted Chukwuma’s PA at the airport and have followed him to the Lake; he is definitely going to his boss.”

“Good, tell them to shoot at sight when they spot him, I will check his pulse when we get there. Ossai obviously failed.”

***

“Hello, Sir. Hello, can you hear me? I am at the Waterfront Pavilion.”

“Speak up Ifeanyi, I can barely hear you.”

“Sir! I am at the Pavilion, where the ferry loads.”

“Great, I will be there in a moment.”

Ifeanyi takes in the scenery before him, the blue lake, the ferries, active and abandoned and the light house in the corner, oblivious to the men who have been following him from the airport. He joins the crowd to his left celebrating the catch of a giant sized fish.

“Make we cut am share am sharp sharp.”

“O boy, wait oh! I never see this kin fish for my life before, e fit worth some millions oh.”

“Abegi! Make pesin hear word, Ogbuide e yana anyi azu ka anyi tara ma.” (Ogbuide has given us fish for us to feast on)

His phone rings, drawing him away from the fishing debate

“I see you sir.” He walks towards his boss and the accompanying man

“Good morning Sir.” He hands Chukwuma the leather watch box Irefo put the band in and nods to acknowledge the stranger behind his boss. A red dot blossoms on his forehead; the bullet meant for his paymaster was lodged in his skull.

***

Chukwuma and Ogana drop to the floor as more shots ring out. They roll on cue in opposite directions to hide behind heaps of white sand. The fishing crowd breaks up and people are running helter-skelter. Ogana brings out the guns from yesterday and tosses one to Chukwuma. Still ducked behind the sand, they fire towards the old abandoned ferry, where they believe the shooter is crouched.

Tire screeches announce the arrival of Ogidiga’s convoy. Men with automatic rifles spill out. They spread out, take positions and start firing at the sand heaps.

Ogana looks to Chukwuma, his face conveying we-are-screwed. Chukwuma slips on the band, nods to Ogana, and vanishes. He re-appears behind the shooter on the abandoned ferry, he can’t bring himself to shoot at a man’s head in such close proximity, so he knocks him out with the butt of his gun. He zips across the battlefield, taking out opponents from behind their backs.

“What took you so long?” He asks Efuru as she appears in front of him

“Worship day.”

“Mass doesn’t take that long.” He retorts

Efuru rolls her eyes, he spots one of the men training his rifle on the priestess, this time he doesn’t hesitate, he releases three shots in succession and the man drops

“Mbona…” (Thank you)

She raises her staff above her head and spins it, a great wave throws the men off their feet, knocks them out.

Ogidiga steps out from the vehicle with an Omu (a strip of grass) in his mouth, this protects him from Efuru’s wave. In his hand, he has Agulu’s catapult, he steadies himself and takes aim

“Thwack!” The stone strikes the priestess’ temple

The wave stops, Efuru hits the beach, Chukwuma huddles to her, her skin is going pale. Enraged, he fires shots at Ogidiga, the bullets don’t seem to have any effect and he sees the man give a mischievous smile. He drops the ineffective gun and cradles Efuru, willing her to come alive. Ogana runs across to them

“Kpo je m Uhammiri.” (Get me to the lake) Efuru says with her dying breath

They nod, Chukwuma obliges, moving her in a shoulder pull, Ogana charges at Ogidiga. Blows are exchanged and they soon become locked in battle’s embrace.

Chukwuma pushes Efuru’s body into the lake and the clouds go dark, an automatic eclipse. Something shoots out of the lake, lightning accompanies it. Ogana and Ogidiga end their embrace, all three look towards the figure suspended in the sky. The figure is a maiden, the maiden is Ogbuide. She lets out a Sindel-like scream, causing an earthquake. She liquefies, then flows into Ogidiga.

Water sprouts from the villain’s ears, his nose leaks, H2O jets out of his eyes. He gags as fluid fills his lungs. Ogidiga endogenously drowns and falls to the beach, dead.

Ogbuide solidifies and stands before Chukwuma, he bows in reverence, Ogana follows suit in the distance. The goddess wills him to stand and pats his cheek

“We must drown our Pharoahs. WER—e—UCHE Chukwu yi.” (Use your brain)

She looks in sadness at Efuru’s body laying in the shallow bed of the lake, just beyond the bank

“Biama nya m, ka m kpo je yi uno m kwadoro yi.” (Come my child, to the house I have prepared for you)

Goddess and servant disappear into the lake, the skies clear up and police sirens approach the Waterfront.

***

The police roundup the recovering stunned henchmen, Ogidiga’s body leaves in a body bag; the paramedics tend to Ogana and Chukwuma.

“O gini ka i ya eme duu du?” (What would you do now?) Ogana asks

“First get this waterproofed.” Chukwuma replies as he rubs the band on his wrist. The briefcase is at his feet.

 

Aftermath

“Jay Jay Okocha is the best player to ever play for Nigeria.”

“Taarh…Papilo don win African player of the year twice, how many Okocha don win?”

“If na by award and trophy, Mikel Obi never get trophy pass two of them? Why you no call im name?”

The newspapers stand argument and banter rages on. In front of the stall, various National dailies are neatly arranged to show their headlines:

ADAOPUS Stock Soars

FG to Revise TRANSPORTATION Budget, Education Ministry Set To Benefit

World Powers Line Up As President Peter Obi Leads Talks To Export Ogbuide Bands

AMFSON Bemoans the drop in Petrol & Diesel Sales

Teenagers “Accidentally” Discover Bands Can Move Cargo, Instruction Manual to be updated

Oguta Lake Climbs the Top Tourist Destination List

***

The Oguta Lake Waterfront Pavilion is packed full of people. There is a representation of each race; black, white, brown, and yellow all smile heartily as they enjoy the funfair (green would show up too if they could cross dimensions). There are tents strewn across the bank, barbecue stands, and souvenir stalls.

“The Rod is good, the Rod is gleat, he has hea-li-ed the world!” The prophet in the oversized coat shouts.

There are several groups of people bleeding their palms into holes in the ground trying in vain to multiply their bands.

There is another party underneath the lake. Mermaids are dancing to the beat of kettle drums. Efuru is kneeling, surrounded by elders in a circle. One of the elders steps forward and hands her a golden comb and a golden fish. She rises and walks reverently to the empty seat at the right hand of the throne that sits Ogbuide. She bows and takes her seat, priestess and goddess smile as the watch the mermaids dance.

T.H.E E.N.D

 

“Are you worthy? Come to the Lake and Multiply Your Band, Break Adaopus’ Monopoly on World Transport.”

OGBUIDE MEHE UZO

 

End Credit Scene (Prologue for Sequel- Sango)

Two teenagers are kissing in front of a big red gate. The girl pulls away, holds her lovers’ eyes for seconds and disappears into the compound. 18 year old Ayobami is ecstatic,

“Look into my eyes oh baby (jowo) Will you be my wife oh baby? (jowo).”

He sings as he runs along the street. He rubs the Ogbuide band on his wrist and decides to visit some of his favourite places. He dances in front of the National theatre then runs through the bridge of Lekki Conservation centre

After dancing in the waves at Elegushi beach, he decides to go home

“Ogbuide mehe uzo….”

He is interrupted by the beep of his phone, he takes it out from his pocket and reads a message from his ex

Baby I miss you.

I want you back, I am ready to change now.

Leave Simi and come back to where love lives.

“Oyo is your case.” He says

The band obeys his command and transports him to the ancient Oyo Kingdom, Koso village.

“Where am I?” He asks the wind as he looks around in bewilderment. He snaps a branch off a tree.

“Ogbuide mehe uzo, my room.”

He drops on his bed, still grinning from Simi’s kiss.

***

Back at Koso, the bark of the tree starts flaking, a gustnado forms. The cloud darkens and lightning strikes. An axe materializes in the sky, it speeds towards the tree. Eyes pop out on the tree’s bark and an arm stretches out to catch the axe.

SANGO AWAKENS

 

Cultural Significance of aspects of Story

  • Ogbuide powerless because Nwosu puts water from Urashi into her drink: The natural phenomenon of Uhammiri and Urashi waters not mixing (Lovers’ quarrel) due to different densities
  • Ogbuide jumping into the water pot and followers keeping a water pot: Idoya mmiri is an old practice of Ogbuide worshippers (mostly women), they keep a water pot of lake water under their beds or in their home made shrines.
  • Igbo Market days and the Igbo Calendar system
  • Out Uwa Oma Age-grade music: Showcase the age grade culture and their music
  • Flora Nwapa’s Portrait
  • Pounded yam and nsala soup: Oguta’s favourite dish
  • Plantain gift: Plantain is known among Ogbuide’s worshippers as her favourite food
  • Ojaadili: The legendary warrior, who went to the land of the spirits, wrestled them and returned.
  • Omambala: The old name of Anambra state, named after the great Omambala River. The river the Igbos of Igbo landing fame referenced

“Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina.” (The great river Omambala brought us. The great river will take us back)

  • Aguleri: A town on the shores of Omambala river, regarded as the cradle of Igbo civilization
  • Igbo Landing: Mass suicide of 1803 by captive Igbo people who had taken control of their slave ship and refused to submit to slavery in the United States
  • Trinity tree of Eze Agwuve: The famous tree that grew on the spot of Eze (King) Agwuve, Second King of Eri (c. 1033 – 958BC). The first tree grew twenty-one days after his death, twenty-one days later, another grew so did the third. It has become known as the shrine of Eze Agwuve.
  • Gulder Ultimate Search: The very first 100% local content reality television programme in Nigeria
  • Igodo: 1999 hit Nigerian adventure film that was produced by Don Pedro Obaseki
  • Orie: Orie is Ogbuide’s worship day and the bands cannot be multiplied save on this great market day.
  • God and Ogbuide in tandem: Biblical references are strewn across the body of this work to show that African religion is not opposed to Christianity but runs parallel with the same intention- the good of mankind. Ogbuide’s plan aligns with that of the Almighty.
  • Golden comb and Golden fish: These items are historically associated with Ogbuide
  • Ayobami snapping a tree branch: Sango is believed to have died by suicide, hanging himself on a tree.

“Words in Bold and Italics (in the story) are non-negotiable, words and phrases I wouldn’t want removed from this story when it is edited and chopped. They consist of character’s names and significant lines.”

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