Mazi Eke was thinking how time had flown over the years, how education could transform a man and his dignity. The Hon Chief Ike Okoro was his junior in school back in the days. In the hut, a keg of palm wine was on the bamboo table, he held a cup-like gourd in his hand, oblivious of the immediate surrounding.
What bothered him most was a chieftaincy had been confered on the Hon on his arrival home; reflecting on those days when it was very hot in this side of the country, when the secessionists had seceded, it startled him that this same ‘great son’ of the land was overseas studying, while real men like him, Mazi Eke were here fighting and defending their home land. Recognition was never given to them who toiled in that conflict.
“Mazi, you’re still awake. Is anything the matter?” asked Ezinne.
“Nothing is wrong.” He paused and uttered under his breath, “we toiled, tramped and manoeuved…”
“What did you say, Mazi?”
“Mazi, wouldn’t it do you good to have a night rest?”
“Nne, you worry too much. I am fine.”
He had found solace in her humble manner ever since he married her; reminding him of his mother, Mmanwayi, the goddess.
For him, life was a process whose songs were danced according to the sounded notes; cards played as a game of life in the circle which divided into two parts of vicious and virtuous circles. Moving along in rhythmical step to the songs of life, required courage and a keen ear to decipher the course the songs had taken, he thought.
* * * * *
The moon was glittering with splendid brightness. Teenagers were fetching water from the stream as it was a full moon luminosity. They did that by calling friends to join them on their way down the stream from house to house. Some teenagers would break their pot of water on their way back home. It was always time for all sorts of hide and seek games which they utilized for their own immoralities of a sort. Ndu with his friends would indulge in playing the ekwe and drum in such a moment.
The ekwe was beaten to announce the commencement of the moonlight dance at a sandy spot few yards away from the village square. Most families would engage in folklores as the moon smiled down on the dwellers. Nearby, the moonlight song could be heard from the sandy spot a distance away:
Our ancestors we greet
Your children are here
Anything good for your children?
The song had an effect on them, it success depended on how well the chorus was sung.
Mazi Eke took a sip of palm wine from the cup-like gourd, and stepped out onto his frontage to soothe the dry, thirsty earth. The full moon shone brightly so that a mere pin on the ground could be picked. The teenagers could be heard dispersing from the rendezvous to their respective homes. Now, he was at the entrance to his compound with the cup-like gourd of palm wine.
“It’s now a full moon, my ancestors, I ask of your guidance, and protection in whatever I do,” he muttered to his chi and poured out libation on the parched thirsty earth, with his hands outstretched. “May we see another beautiful moon as this,” he poured more palm wine onto the earth. “My family well being, their education and lives, I ask of, that all shall be well with them,” he poured out the final libation.
His family had gone to bed when he finished appeasing the appetites of his ancestors.