The Way to Say Happy Birthday

The Way to Say Happy Birthday

Mazi Nze raised his children the only way he knew how. Everyone knew children were born with the demons from their previous lives. Without the stick to drive them out, how would those spirits bow to authority?


On his sixtieth birthday, Mazi Nze woke up content that he had done his job as a father. Ufoma was a doctor at Abuja, and her husband, also a doctor, was from a good influential home. Ekeoma was a little distracted with that bank job of hers, but she would soon travel to the United Kingdom for her Masters in law, and get back on course. Shell Petroleum had been taking Akachi around the world, plus his fiancée was not from a bad family either.


And so Mazi Nze would wake up smiling. He knew his phone would ring any moment now. It was only 6.30am, but no matter. Ekeoma would call him first. They never sleep in that their Lagos, after all. Or maybe Akachi would beat her to it. He was sure to miscalculate the time difference between Nigeria and Darfur. Ufoma. Humph, that one. She wouldn’t sneeze unless Somachi permitted it. Why he allowed those children maintain communication with that hopeless woman, Mazi Nze didn’t know. Oh well, he shrugged and rose from his bed. A bad marriage ruins a man, but he had survived it.


But by 9pm, Mazi Nze had ceased smiling for over ten hours. His phone never rang.


Finally, Somachi had shown him who owned the children.


27 thoughts on “The Way to Say Happy Birthday” by Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

  1. Short and bitter. Nice.

    There’s something not quite right with it…but I really don’t know what. Again…maybe it’s just me.

    It is a good story.

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

      Wow. I wrote this piece a long time ago. Didn’t even expect to see it publish on Naija Stories. Great surprise this morning.

  2. Before nko, the women always own the children naw. They only bear the father’s name.

    Nice flash.

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

      No be small thing, my sister

  3. hehehe….
    I like this one.
    Well Done.

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)


  4. Love this. Great Job Ugo! Short, sweet, and packs a great punch. I love the end. Poor man…

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)


  5. Hehehe… Kpele for him…

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

      Yeah. itz kinda sad. but u never know wetin d man do the pikin dem b4 dem bad reach like dis stage

  6. This is good. But flash fiction usually packs a punch. The punch in this one wasn’t too…strong.
    Still, respect!

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

      Yes, i know. this is my first attempt, so am allowing myself a bit of failure. Don’t know if i’d be doing more of this, though

  7. What a pity. A sad story… I pray not to marry this type of woman. Devils!

    1. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

      Yes, i know. this is my first attempt, so am allowing myself a bit of failure. Don’t know if i’d be doing more of this, though

    2. Ugo Chime (@Flourishing-Florida)

      Oh, sorry. d first reply wasn’t meant for you my sister/brother.

      U say d woman evil? How manage?

  8. The man cannot be totally innocent if his children turned against him too.nice flash @ugochime

  9. Shey the children have grown old?..Somachi didn’ stop them from calling jare..they got lotsa things to do..Shit happens, he should go and drink palmwine with his friends….Nice story..Well done..

  10. I liked the idea behind the story, @Flourishing-Florida.

    But if the children really disliked their father strongly enough not to call him on his sixtieth birthday, I would have thought that they would have signalled this dislike long ago so that he should not be expecting them to call him.

    Maybe it would have been more realistic if he had not been so sure if they would call.

    1. @TolaO, exactly. It cant be a sudden development.

  11. Was too short….It reminded me of a movie ‘Everyone’s fine’, Robert DeNiro acted it so fine….never badmouth your spouse in front of your children

  12. Eh-ya… Sorry to his case. Its not by being strict o.. Many Nigerian parents specially fathers don’t understand that….. That’s just why they stuck to their maa.

    Nice writing.

  13. What else is new? Mamas rule.

  14. Me, I think this packs quite a punch. Just imagine yourself in Mazi Eze’s shoes @60… you’d totally feel slugged.
    Mr Eze seems to be disciplinarian, significantly materialistic but the story doesn’t show how he deserved what he got.

  15. Mardey (@mardey)

    Nice story but i hated the ending.
    I actually didnt get d main reasons they didnt call him, only got the reason why he thought they didnt call.

  16. my thoughts
    the good parts: You explored an unusual theme,you seemed to capture a 60year old`s thoughts quite well.
    the bad parts: It appears you didnt give the story its required setting,it seems more of a novel excerpt than a piece of flash fiction.
    the ugly: The ending was awkward. how had Somachi shown him who owned the kids?
    the lovely: You are writing and growing . keep that up!

  17. Nothing else to say…you try.

  18. Nice 1,pls relay my ‘aeyah’ to mazi him der’l b anoda b’day…lol.

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