CHUKWUNETA OBY FROM PUNCH
When I saw her in the market over the weekend, I asked why her shop had been under lock for a while. She told me that she finally sought medical intervention on “that thing she told me about”.
I remember that conversation clearly!
She’s a lady that I buy onions from in the market.
On one of the days that I stopped by her shop, she told me that something had been bothering her.
According to what she described to me, I suspected the issue to be an undescended testicle in her little boy and advised she took the child to a teaching hospital.
What touched me was when she said that she would not rest until she found a solution for it, lest it be said of her son that ‘he is not a man’ in the future.
I will never forget how I felt after having that conversation with her.
Do you know how much sleepless nights that would have given her? And the desperation (for a solution) that pushed her to open up to a stranger?
She probably needed every dime she realised from her daily sales, yet she had the courage to close her shop for weeks in search of a solution to her boy’s issue!
It reminds me of the story of one of my elder brothers.
It was said that they were running from masquerades when he fell and hit his forehead on a concrete floor. The spot immediately became hollow.
It would take my mother travelling all over the country, with her baby, as they were being referred to hospitals that had “ndiocha” (white people), then for comprehensive treatment.
The interesting thing about this incident is that till she died, mama never breathed a word about the incident to me.
I heard it first from my grandma. And then, from papa.
Sometimes, the hardest thing for a mother to do is to talk about the silent battles she’s fought over her child.
A lot of that, they let time wash away!
I have had to sell the only generator I had to take care of my son’s school expenses.
This young friend told me that he had learned a lot from me but it’s actually the other way round.
I can’t remember the last time I met a young person, who was that focused.
He is a dress maker.
He told me that he’s been making clothes since age 14. And he is barely 21 years old.