The snaky road twisted, here and there
Passing pockets of forests tucked away,
And when it ended at the foot of Ugwu Uwaoma
I saw the palm trees lead a welcome song
At the foot of the hill a banner hung
Bearing Mama’s poster and details…
Now I stand before thee, oh great hill
The land of my grandfathers and my fathers’
For it gives great joy to see you always, beloved land
I taste of your warm waters in the streams that flow
I sing with the birds when they make their fine nests
Oh, the plum and mango fall in the evening
I hear the little happy children hustle for them
I stay awake to watch the stars that grace your nights
The children tell me of the day and moon light tales
When the days end, we gather to enjoy the cool evening breeze
To recall the events, old and fresh, good and sad
And to riddle on jokes and remember the joy of homecoming
Now I sit with the elders who tell how things changed
“Nna, you see in those days we eat raw grasses and fruits,
Now you amaze us with all these food that grow in can bellies”
“The pants we wore had much space for adjustments on the waist
I wonder why the new generation keep theirs below the loins!”
They smile, they love, and appreciate all that happen around them
Oh great land! Now granny will be laid to rest in you forever
I am confused, I am not sure I will find a better tale teller!
But I will try to put all she has said and taught to paper
My face is gloomy and delighted; I have come to you my land,
But I have come because I must my granny bury in you, my land!
For my granny, Late Uluocha Chinyere Duruoha. I must say that this beautiful soul has impacts in me much than I can imagine. Her confidence, her peace, her strive for excellence and intelligence. Most important of all she has taught me the act of tale telling. I will miss her much. I have been motivated by the tales she told, even the ones she told of her husband who fought in World War 2 in Tripoli and the Middle East and about the Biafran war. She has a warm place for culture and tradition and enjoys others company. Adieu mama.
Rest in peace mama! Good night, my tale teller.
Ina murna: Hausa language for I am happy, excited or delighted. Normally used to express happiness or joy.
Ugwu Uwaoma: A hilly land located in Ovim, my hometown.