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Hi, readers. Welcome to our Story series. Today, we bring to you the continuation of Odili nke mbu m. ODILI NKE MBỤ M (ODILI MY FIRST SERIES #6). Please, like and share our post. If you want to get notified when we publish new posts, SUBSCRIBE to our notification.


“…The image of Nwude’s anatomy was imprinted in my memory just like every other pupil. The ‘kro kro’ (rashes) that designed his buttocks indeed left an indelible memory in Aku Primary School. The pupils kept on murmuring ‘Nwude akpụkpa ike’ (rashed Buttocks).

It would not be long before he would be baptized ‘akpụkpa’. It was a norm in Aku Primary School. The pupils were so good at transforming names – names that would make one cry.

Classroom lessons had started immediately after the assembly and I busied myself with the new words Aunty Olaedo, my class teacher gave us to make sentences with. I was meticulous with the classwork.

Aunty Olaedo would not fail to pounce on anyone that scribbled nonsense for her. She would fling your book on seeing the rubbish.

‘Ọ dịka ala na apụ gị (abusive)’. She would bark, ‘ngwanụ, bịa ka m balụ gi mmanwụ’. She would always say this in her Udi dialect, meaning; to carry out masquerades initiation on someone which mainly involves heavy floggings.

Aunty Olaedo was from Agbaja and so, would threaten pupils with cane initiation into masquerades cult. ‘Ịba mmọnwụ’ was a tradition observed in Udi and other neighboring towns like Ezeagu and Oji.

Aunty Olaedo’s cane was the type with ears. A long branch with other tiny branches. During roll calls in the morning, any pupil that fails to answer promptly has the cane landing on his or her back unawares. Once I was absent-minded in class during the morning roll call, and I jumped out of my skin when the cane landed on my delicate back.

Being buxomy – massive in size, Aunty Ọlaedo saved herself the stress of getting up each time she wants to punish the pupils. She just needed to stretch her hands from her sitting position and the cane will do its work.

The aroma of my ‘ịgba ọka’ filled my nostrils as I wrote. My stomach made some noise; an indication that I had missed breakfast. I was bidding time so I can dash out during the break period and devour my meal.

When the bell finally sounded for break time, I gleefully stormed out of the class. I heard George screaming my name as I was already hitting the field. Not now, I thought. I had other important things to do. Seeing Odili precisely.


I turned. He was catching his breath when he approached me.

“George, e mesienu bikonu”, I pleaded with my eyes.

George was one of the few boys in my class I got along with. They were few girls who had the rare opportunity of going to school. The number of the few ones that attended starts thinning once suitors come knocking at the doors of the child’s parents. Since my friends, Kasie and Nwando had been busied with the etiquettes of being a good wife and mother by their mothers and would-be mother-in-law, my circle of friends thinned.

Leaving me with George who I get along with. I knew George was fond of me for he would bring ‘aki nkọrọ’, the sweet white palm kernel for me. He was also different from other boys in our school. He has the privilege of traveling out of Aku every long vacation to his Aunt’s house in Enugu, therefore could pass for a ‘township boy’.

I did not want to experience any delay so I would have enough time to finish my long talk with Odili before the break is over. Conveniently, the two wraps ‘igba ọka’ we would share after we have made up.

“I have ‘une’ and groundnut to share with you, Uju’. George still lingered, barricading my movement. He tried to force a smile.

” I have errands to run. Just keep mine for me”, I lied. His face beamed as he jubilated back to our class.

Sarah’s house was behind the Standard two class. The big field separated the standard two, three and ‘ọta akara class’ from the Standard four and five classes. Pupils had not yet flooded the compound to pick fruits. I walked around the ‘ukwu fruit’ countless times, pretending to look for fruits. Unfortunately, none fell to be picked.

Pupils started trooping to pick fruits while others came to drink water. Adjacent Saah’s house, an earthen pot was situated for drinking water. Each class takes turns filling the pot with water after fetching water for Saah’s personal use.

I looked at the door, no sound escaped and the lock never turned. I became restless and ruffled. It seemed Odili now takes pride in keeping me waiting. It was an attack on my pride and my eyes moistened. I went to the mango tree directly opposite the house instead and sat down. It gave me the advantage to know when the door opened.

My stomach rumbled. It must be the hunger but the pain lingered down my abdomen. I looked at the meal clutched in my hand. It was tempting but I held on a little longer. Then a lively chatter and gossip from Standard three pupils whose turn it was to fetch water had my attention. My ears stood out like tentacles.


“Are you sure?”, one of the girls asked. They were three of them with pails of water balanced on their heads.

“Have you forgotten she lives with the catechist?”. Another girl said, backing the claims made by the third girl who happened to be the narrator of the story. They emptied the content of their buckets and stood at a close distance from me to finish their gossip.

The narrator lowered her voice and continued, “Saah came to our house to borrow money from the catechist. The man he had borrowed money to enroll Odili in College had come, threatening to make Odili his ‘boyi’ (Igbo apprenticeship system) if Saah is not able to pay up before the week runs out”.

“Heeiii!”, the other two girls shouted in unison, attracting the attention of other pupils under the ‘ukwu fruit’.

At the mention of Odili, I fumbled with my meal and strained my ears to listen more. The one with the story, Nkemjika who happened to be the tallest of the girls, beckoned on them and talked in an undertone, but I did hear.

“Over the weekend, Saah sent Odili off to an unknown destination to avoid him being ‘boyi‘ to the man merciless man he was owing”.

My ears tingled as the shock of the news registered over my face.

To be Continued…..

ODILI MY FIRST Series #6 - Where is Odili?