Ekeh’s life was a misfortune. His mother first told him that the day she left his father, leaving him behind because he was cursed. It was one of the worse days of his life. But worst days were ahead!
For many years he stayed with his lazy father and wicked stepmother in his small eastern Nigeria village, suffering greatly as he tried hard to break the spell of misfortune but to no avail. And as the years passed by the young boy grew up and went to live with his mother’s younger brother in Lagos. It was the 1970s, and he truly thought his bad lucks might have given him a break. But he was wrong; the village witches could hardly leave their victims be. They could easily locate him in the bustling city whenever they wanted. As a matter of fact, they monitored him while his years of respite lasted. They were aware when he attended secondary and excelled at his uncle’s textile business. He even thought he had finally moved on with his life. And just then he met Nne, a beautiful young woman with whom a puppy love quickly flourished. She was pregnant in no time, prompting his angry uncle to kick his butt to the curb. And just like that he was back to square one, left to fend for a pregnant girlfriend as well as plan for a frustrated future. Life was hard once again for the 24 year old even as he struggled once again to make meaning of it.
Meanwhile pregnant Nne made effort to get assistance from her relatives. They were disappointed in her because of the mistake she made, yet she was beloved as she was the only girl of her family. So the family rallied round and raised enough money to assist the young couple. And she was gracious/loyal enough to live Ekeh in charge of the money. But that was probably the biggest mistake she ever made because the frustrated young man saw that money as an opportunity to escape the country and all the misfortune that had trailed him all his life. So he outsmarted her by using the money to organize for his relocation to Australia. She was not in the plan as the money would not take care of her own arrangements. Unfortunately, said arrangement was mostly illegal, and the young man had failed to consider the implications.
The arrangements worked out and before long, he left the pregnant girl behind. She was completely heartbroken when she discovered what he had done, heartbroken enough as to place a curse on his already accursed life. For a few years he lived happily down under. Yet the witches were watching and waiting for the right time to strike. And when it did happen, he wasn’t expecting it at all. It was like a sad drama as he was picked up from the hotel where he worked and put in the next available flight back to Nigeria. He had no access to his saved up money, no time to say goodbye to the old Nigeria woman he was romancing, and definitely no time to come to terms with what was happening to him. The only thing he realized was himself in that aeroplane, sleeping during most of the journey as he had been injected with something he knew not its content as he struggled with the Australian immigration officials trying to arrest him in Melbourne. Meanwhile, after several hours of what was a long flight he found himself at Murtala Mohammed international Airport, and then the reality hit him hard- the witches were back!
The Nigerian rage…it hit Ekeh the hardest way possible as he was suddenly thrust back into the same society he tried all his life to get away from. To make it even more complicated, life was hardest than it was before he left. He had no employment, no money and no love. And to make matters worst, he was forced back together with the girl he exploited after he was beaten to pulp by some of Nne’s brothers. The child had died after birth, so his responsibility remained taking care of himself and his new wife.
After two months of his sudden move back to Lagos, Ekeh’s old Nigerian sugar mummy managed to establish contact with him. She was kind enough to send him some of his money and other valuables. With that he started a business without realizing that the witches were still out there monitoring him. He dedicated much of his time to his clothing business. And just when his enterprise was starting to boom, his wife began to ail. While this was happening, the wife’s family insisted that their daughter must get the best of medical care until she got okay. Unfortunately she died despite all the money that was spent on her. Nne’s health crisis/death was unfortunate, but it definitely left Ekeh permanently broke and debt-laden. And by the time his wife’s burial was over, Ekeh was so impoverished so much so he could hardly afford to return back to Lagos.
The witches of his fatherland really got him! The truth however was that Ekeh’s witches were not [more] as metaphysical entities as they were mere circumstantial incidents that coincidentally frustrated his efforts in life…
Life happened to him!
~Written by Emmanuel Benson