HA’KAMARA - Episode 4

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  Poster Source: moofyme.com When Sunu left Bada she went to Zarafi hoping to ask Unuk to qua...

 Poster Source: moofyme.com

When Sunu left Bada she went to Zarafi hoping to ask Unuk to quarter them for some time. On arrival at Zarafi she was told that Unuk was dead. Unuk’s wife informed her that her husband’s body was found in a bush by a search party sent by their chief near the twin mountains of Akula and Ngere. Ndai, Unuk’s wife, did not know the details surrounding her husband’s death. Sunu was disappointed to find out that the person whom she had hoped would quarter them was dead. She however explained her plight to Ndai and she agreed to harbour them only for two weeks. When Samba entered Zarafi he asked around to know if anyone had seen a woman enter the village in the company of a girl who was between the ages of nine and ten. He was sent to Unuk’s house. Unknown to Sunu and those around her, from the night Se’mua entered Zarafi, her secret nature began to unwind. In the night Se’mua would be visited by a snake-like woman who called her by the name Ha’kamara. She would attempt to reveal to her who she was and about her people, but Se’mua would snap out of her dream in fear and would try her best to keep awake till morning. Her experience continued with the snake woman until the fourth day when she mustered courage and spoke back to the snake woman, “My name is not Ha’kamara! Call me Se’mua, that is my name!” “No little child, your name is Ha’kamara. You are from the Bodgi tribe and I am your guardian spirit”. “How is that possible? My mother is from the river tribe. I am not of the Bodgi tribe. You lie!” “I lie not. Speak to the one whom you call your mother and she will tell you the truth”. “I will speak with her by morning!” “Please do. On the other hand I must warn you, big trouble is coming, you must be ready to fight!!” “Fight? I am only a child, I can’t fight”. “You are wrong again Ha’kamara. You can fight. You can do things other people think impossible. Now sleep, it will soon be dawn. I will be with you again by tomorrow night Ha’kamara”. The snake woman disappeared.

When Samba found them in one piece in Unuk’s house he was very happy. He wanted to quickly take them back to Bada, but Sunu, persuaded him to let them stay a few more days in Zarafi. Samba also saw that as an opportunity to make a few new friends in Zarafi, a commodity he lacked very much.  Se’mua having grown accustomed to the nightly visit of the snake woman could not wait for nightfall so she could find out more about herself from her.  Before her next meeting with the snake woman, Se’mua shocked Sunu down to her marrows by bringing up her conversations with the snake woman while she was alone with Sunu. “Who told you that I am not your mother?” “A snake woman. She has been coming to me in my dreams since we came to Zarafi. She said I am from Bodgi tribe and that my mother is alive and lives there. She calls me Ha’kamara”. “The gods are wrong!” “What?” “That is the meaning of the name Ha’kamara”. “Can we go to Bodgi, I want to see my mother?” “You mean there?” Sunu pointed angrily in the direction of Bodgi. “Is Bodgi nearby? Mama lets go there right away. We will be safe there”. Sunu realized her error and said, “No! No! I do not mean that it is nearby. Bodgi is seven rivers and seven deserts away from here. We can’t go there. The road is fraught with many dangers”, she lied to Se’mua. Se’mua could tell Sunu was lying to her and so stood up and began to walk away dejectedly. On her way out she stopped and said, “You don’t have to lie to me so you can keep me as your child. You will always be my mother, even when I see my true mother. The snake woman told me that a big problem is coming and that I should get ready to fight!” She balled her fists and posed for a fight.

Sunu was stunned by how quickly and aptly Se’mua read her; but that was not all. She was also concerned by what Se’mua said about a big problem coming, and about the snake woman whom she said visited her dreams. Hastily Sunu considered her options and wondered if it would not be best to take Se’mua and run back to Bada. She was afraid she might lose her to the snake woman who had begun to reveal her true identity to her. The next day Sunu called Samba and told him that she was ready to return to Bada. Samba was curious to know why his sister was suddenly in a haste to return to Bada; a town where she felt her life and that of Se’mua were in grave danger. “I really don’t understand your sudden desire to return to Bada. Is there something you might want to tell me?” “There is nothing of importance to tell you, except that I want us to leave today for Bada.” “Well, when you told me that you wanted to stay around for a while, I began to use my time creatively. You have to be patient for a few days. I have begun to make friends here and I don’t want leave them hastily.” “Please Samba, let us leave this moment. I don’t like it here anymore.” “I can tell you are hiding something and I can also tell you won’t tell me what it is no matter how much I press you for answers.” After the conversations, Samba left to go see some of his old friends.

Sunu was in her hut packing her light package into a raffia bag and a basket when Samba stormed into her hut and demanded, “Sunu, it is time to leave Zarafi! Let’s leave now! Where is Se’mua?” While he asked about her, Se’mua entered the hut looking like she was aware that they were making plans to rush back to Bada. “Se’mua, we are going back to Bada. Our time here is up,” said Sunu as she watched Se’mua for any negative reaction. Se’mua said to Sunu, “Then let’s leave,” and whispered to herself, “This is not good. I can feel it.” Samba had stormed back to his sister’s hut to take her and Se’mua out of Zarafi because he had run into a few people from the river tribe. In the past he raided the towns amongst river people for slaves and took so much slaves that the river people gathered and agreed to kill him anytime he was seen in their land or the lands near them. He was certain that it would not take long before the warriors of the river tribe would bear their arms and descend on Zarafi in search of him.

Hastily they made their way out of Zarafi and set their faces to Bada. Their intention was to enter the safety of Bada town before nightfall. Samba counted on his fighting skill and that of his men with whom he raided many towns to ward off any aggression they might encounter on the way. Before sun-down, Samba and his travel party ran into the band of soldiers which Ann Cox had dispatched to go find Sunu and her daughter. They looked haggard and worn by many days of meandering several town and villages in search of Sunu and Se’mua. Samba was happy to see them. They made their number lager and hard to take down easily. Some of the soldiers amongst them had guns – the weapon which Africans dreaded very much. About three hours after Samba ran into the band of soldiers which Ann Cox sent out,    the white soldiers amongst them began to drop to the ground in heaps. They had contracted cholera. Some of the villages they entered must have mistaken them for slave merchants and paid the African soldiers who journeyed with their white counterparts to poison them. or perhaps the black soldiers may have chosen to attack their white counterparts because they hated seeing them worshiped like gods and dreaded by blacks in their own lands.

When Samba found out that the European soldiers had contracted cholera, he knew there was nothing he could do for them. He asked his men to move the soldiers out of the way and they continued their journey. They would quickly die of cholera or by the arrows of hunters who hunted by night because they feared slave raiders who crawled their lands for men and women to sell to white men.
LINK TO EPISODE 5: http://www.moofyme.com/2015/12/hakamara-episode-5.html

Story continues…

This story was written by:

Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HA’KAMARA - Episode 4
HA’KAMARA - Episode 4
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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