I get home after an eight hour bus ride and my spine is cracking and all the neighbours has been prepared of my homecoming.Seeing that I didn’t have any money or goodies on me, I’m worried that I might disappoint.
Phenny, one of my neighbours, was my best friend growing up is the first one to arrive. She’s here to update me on the village politics and grass root elections (I wish).
“By the way Sakwa got a baby” she starts off unannounced. I squeal since I’m so glad there is something worth looking forward to (in the village). I ask her whether we can have a late baby shower for Sakwa and his young wife. Sakwa was one of my elder bro’s classmates in high school. He’s now a very respected and accomplished primary school teacher in the village. There’s a but in the story…but the baby passed.
Noooo Phenny, it’s not fair to start off the good news and the bad news at once. Like all village stories, someone bewitched Sakwa’s baby. I’m sad but intrigued.
On Monday, Sakwa welcomed his bouncing baby boy. On Tuesday, he hired a bicycle to carry the tired wife from hospital while he and his sister used the panya route with the new born.
No sooner than Sakwa and his sister arrived home than the neighbour, Maggie, rushed into the house to see the baby . Maggie insisted (emphasis on insisted to establish intent) on seeing the new born. She held Sakwa’s baby in her arms for a few minutes and started giggling. After a short while, she returned the baby to Sakwa’s sister and she left the house.
All hell broke loose. When Sakwa’s wife arrived she was very mad that they had given the baby to Maggie as she has a ‘reputation’. That was the longest night for Sakwa’s family. The mother could not breast the baby as the milk had refused to ‘come’. Then the baby’s tummy swelled and the baby started crying. By midnight the baby had passed on.
On Wednesday, Sakwa and family went upcountry, held mass and buried the baby
In short Maggie bewitched the baby.
In the same breath Phenny tells me there are a couple of burials I had missed. She’s willing to escort me to all the graves. There’s my ‘aunt’ on the other side of the mountain, my ‘grandmother’ from across the river and Gillian’s mother-in-law.
Do I avoid Maggie? Do I go to all the graves? Do I have the money for saying pole to all these relatives….
That’s village politics for you