There were days when we used to obey our parents like men do to God today.
Those days, our mothers and fathers were our visible gods.
Once upon a time, my mother called and told me that I should go to the toilet that she was watching me. I used to go because I knew she had nothing bad against me. My love for her was an ultimate one because she cared for me much.
It was not easy however but I enjoyed her company. One day, mother called, “Opefi” as I was traditionally called. I responded only to hear from her, “there is a woman in the moon”. She added, “the woman was hardworking which made God to capture her to the moon”. She mandated me to look at the moon which I did wholeheartedly.
Looking there, I saw a woman piercing firewood with an axe in her hands. She said, “God likes hardworking people. If you want to be close to God, try and work hard”. I nodded my head in affirmation.
Two days later, Mother told me that she is mother and everything to me as a child. I asked her, “why?” She told me that it was because her mother loved and cared for her. And that she must make sure she taught me the right values.
I went with her to where she kept her portrait . . . Haba, mum was actually beautiful. She asked me if I saw the portrait which I affirmed to. She told me that I was her image and was going to get old like her.
As a child, I asked, “mum, what should I do to remain young?” She laughed and told me, “the only solution is for you to marry a good wife like me”. I was too inquisitive to ask, “why?” She told me, “good wife is good life”.
Children were funny those days. I proposed to my mum which she accepted with the condition that I must promise to forgive all the girls that offended me and those to offend me in future . . . to God, that was very difficult to me because there was a girl, Amarachi who pushed me down one day when I went with mum to a prayerground in the name of a prayer warrior. I slept over since I was already dozing before she put her hand on my head and waged me with her leg. An attempt to avoid her forced me down by her waging leg. I swore never to forgive her. My love for my mum made me to accept her condition.
When she discovered that I was mean, mum told me that she was the only wife married by my father and cannot continue like that with me. She said that I must marry another wife to be assisting her. I told her that I was afraid of getting old. She promised to keep me young as the first wife in my house.
My next question was, “who should I marry?” She told me, “since you want to remain young, you should get married to your neighbour who you know very well”. She added, “you should not allow your eyes to deceive you; good wife does not ask money from her man but asks why he is not happy”. She looked askance and said, “short girls are wicked because they struggle for recognition. If you offend them, they will feel marginalized thereby being proactive in response. My second husband, marry a tall slim girl for she not only forgives, but has low libido for sex”.
I replied, “mum, thank you but you are funny. Though one may have high libido for sex, he can not change it. I am a boy and must remain one despite my ego for girl”. She wailed until her heart wanted to crack.
Five years later, my mum told me to respect my father despite what he must have done against me, that he was my first father-in-law. That sounded funny but I ignored her. “My problem is how I should go near my father when he has great disdain for me . . . Perhaps, he may butcher me the way he threatened the other day”, I told her. She said, “blood is blood, your father said so because he is a fanatic who wants his male children to stay away from their mother”.
When I got to my father the next day, he was extremely happy. He called me, “Nna nwunye m” which means ‘my father-in-law’ because I was named after my maternal grandfather, “boys are not good to stay with women. It is lazy boys that spend their time gossiping with women in the hot and kitchen”.
I was not abashed because mum had already told me about my autocratic father who was fanatic in his words.
At eleventh, I was admitted into primary one.
As I was going to school one early morning as usual, mum told me, “father,” for I am her father’s sake. “study Inglash very well”. I was not surprised that she pronounced English that way because she did not receive formal education. She had one day told me, “I heard that chalk fell from one teacher’s hand and broke his leg which later led to his death”. This was fallacious to me. She went on, “always stay far from your teacher so that it won’t fall and kill you”. I responded, “oh mama”.
How could I have blamed her when she had not seen chalk for the first time.
With all those piece of advice, I love mum, Beaty and my to-be mum-in-law, Comfor.
Mums, you’re great!
Nneka — mother is precious!!
I love both of you and my to-be third wife, Angel Godspromise.
Do you think my mum was a bad mother?