-To Ezeigwe Chioma Juliet, CEO Da Jules World.
If zeal and passion were communicable diseases, hers would infect the whole world!
-To every woman who has been abused physically, emotionally and psychologically, you’re not alone. Stay strong!
I’m standing on the balcony of our apartment watching my younger brother Dozie play with his friends from school. Our house, a 1970 green and yellow colonial was a two bedroom flat on the second floor of a three storey building owned by a Yoruba man known to everyone as PA Egede for he was a driving force for peace in our community. Mama said that was why she chose the house. The rusted brown of the roof and the worn out exteriors reminded me of UBE schools in Port Harcourt and sadly of Papa. Dozie was the only excited fellow when we moved. He always wanted to live in ‘upstairs ‘ and his exuberance on the day we moved in was quite exhilarating that it made Mama laugh so hard I thought she would cry.
Mama seldom laughed now, she didn’t seem to have the time, perhaps she doesn’t want to. Being an early riser, Balogun market welcomed her with open arms where she sold foodstuff, women’s clothing and accessories . Iyabeji, our neighbor downstairs sometimes joked and called Mama a jack of all trades,to this Mama always smiled and replied “you only live once “. Maybe Mama would come in any moment now and Iyabeji , in between measuring garri and calling the twins to order would joke with Mama again and ask her a thing or two about the day’s sale just so that I would see her smile in that manner she was with outsiders, her crease perfectly disguised.
I was drawn back by an incessant tugging at the hem of my dress. China, our youngest and my son was awake, barely a year and clueless about our reality. He was a product of Papa’s untamed libido. The toddler opened his arms to me and I couldn’t fight the tear that slipped. Mama wouldn’t come home till dark not for the love of her trade,but because she couldn’t bear to look upon her grandson fathered by her husband, ex husband.
” I’m sorry Nne” she said that night. It was the last time she cried. Bays of ice born,maybe time will heal.