“In a world full of men and i still can not find my own” thought Akinsa.
She comes by this same river everyday at noon hoping a suitor would find her there, waiting for him to find her. Her maternal auntie, Lovinsi had advised that it is good omen if a man finds you at the well and secondly, if he does, he would immediately woo you. She sat and sang to herself. She could swear the weaver-birds were chirping along in tune.
“When will you come find me
I have waited for you long enough
But still at the place you are supposed to find me, you disappointingly never come
I am becoming too ripe for your liking but still you refuse to come
When will you come find me?”
Seventeen was soon catching up with her. Most of her friends had been married at sixteen and now their stomachs stuck out like jack-fruits. Some spent their days spitting like Jajja Asnansi. She had been the village sputter, printing mother earth with her blood-stained spittle. She had passed away ten days after the dak-tar at the new medico clinic had put something that look like a snake under her frail neck, given her small powdery stones to take when the sun was highest and when the moon had pronounced itself in the sky. After her death, people stopped flocking the dak-tar’s place to see what he was upto lest he take their lives too without their notice. The young flamboyant fellow who had come to the village with a bounce in his walk now looked like a rag. No one went to the medico clinic and so no shillings for him.
“Akinsa?…. Akinsa?”…… her name carried on along the little wind that had braved the hot afternoon sun.
“Akinsa my wife, Where are you?”
Aaah, it was the unmistakable pighead Kizito. Who else would it be anyway? She thought as she lazily adjusted to sit up from her lying position. Her man would come looking for her saddled up onto a horse like that man in that show, Latormenta. He would be muscled and would possess an aggressive look for her love. And Kizito!.. Hmm Msteew, she jeered at the thought. It would never be Kizito.
Kizito was suffering from the adult aftermath of having had kwashiakor in childhood. His belly stuck out and his arms were branch small. Once at 12, the wind had blown him to the ground and Akinsa wondered whether he was safe from that absurd joke because since 12, he had only added 2 kilograms. Kizito was in-proportional that even his voice was bigger than his frame.
Kizito liked to act like the Kabaka’s guards. Hovering around her like some starving housefly. Her mother and his had grown up playing kakebe together. The term to best describe them was “best friends”, gossiping about everything and anything together and planning what food their families would be eating. When Akinsa’s mother, Tayeeri had found out her uncrying child was a girl, she immediately swore her daughter ( Akinsa) would marry her bestfriend, Kudde’s son, Kizito. Then is when she started stipulating over Kizito, “Akinsa’s Mwami”. Unlike Kizito, Akinsa had outgrown the analogy.
Kizito approached her sprinting, panting like a dog. His hardly muscled chest heaving like he had outran a wolf.
“Akinsa My wife, mama is looking everywhere for you. She says if she lays hands on you, your cries will wake your father’s resting body”.
Akinsa rolled her eyes. This threat she had heard since she had failed to understand the alphabetic chart but still even when she was ripe for marriage, her mother sent Kizito to look for her with the same indictment. She rose to her feet not because she feared the threat would be effected but because she needed her father’s soul to rest peacefully. That un-celebrated hero had done much too much for the village like the land on which Lake Victoria lay. She started to walk back to Namugooye, her village, their village, their unbudding village. She walked faster for Kizito to catch up and when he did, she slowed her pace. She liked this. She liked to see him go through an unfruitful toil.
Akinsa was careful as she walked lest her feet be affected by the thorns of this shrubby pathway back home. Kizito was used to it perhaps that was why he paid no attention at all where he stepped. His feet were cracked like a ground in need of the relieving touch of rainfall.
As they made their way back in silence,Akinsa wondered how Kizito hoped to marry her!! How? The boy didn’t even have a hoe to his name. There was nothing mutual about their characters. They were so different like night and day!
Aunty Lovinsi had once said, “You know how much your mother loves you by the man she wishes for you in marriage”. How was it that her mother had and still match-made her with Kizito?! How?
This story came to mind as I patiently endured my taxi ride back home.. I don’t know yet how it shall end. I need to take that same taxi and sit by the same window 😀