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I had been impregnated by Koko, my mummy had dragged me by bony arms to his mother’s house, fuming and panting she had narrated to those who cared to listen that Koko played with me just because I am still a kid, a girl of thirteen for that matter, I stood with my protruding belly and scratched the back of my neck, people passed and spat on the ground, shaking their head and telling my mother I am as useless as my father, all he did was sit all day under the Araba tree smoking, drinking and sleeping with little girls that hawk, eventually dying at the age of 45… My mother stopped the woman with her eyes, which are now measuring the woman up and down, slowly.
Koko returned from wherever he went to and saw us, my mother flew at him, her wrapper which was already torn and patched in different places came off, nosy neighbours rushed to mockingly pull it up and tie it firmly around her again, while Koko struggled to set himself free, he is a short sturdy man of 50, and no, Koko didn’t play me, Koko was my helper, Koko came to my rescue when hunger threatened to turn my insides out, Koko took care of me when Mother goes out on her numerous unclean wanderings, Koko didn’t force himself to do what my big uncle, the one that comes from the city during Ezuku festival does to me forcefully, Koko didn’t make me cry while he was doing it, Koko asked me if I wanted to and I agreed. I would rather be married off to Koko than spend another day in my mother’s rotten hell-hole, I would rather be a slave to Koko’s old but agile mother than be a daughter in my Mother’s stinking house.
Koko married me and I spent the first six months working, day and night, cleaning and cooking and washing, his mother would not allow Tege do any house chores, after all I am her brother’s wife now, I do not really mind, I get to eat chunks of meat and fish while cooking, I nibble at the plantain before frying and eat a bowl of food before serving everyone else, all was well with me until i slipped in the kitchen one day and fell on my back, life slips slowly out of the life in me, consciousness painfully leaves my grasp and I lay on the cold kitchen floor gasping and desperately holding on to Life.


About Kanzah

I am not cute or built to suit a fashion model size, but when i start to tell them, they think am telling lies, i say, it is in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips. I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman,that's me - Maya Angelou.

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