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Sunu went out to send a maid to Ann Cox immediately and returned later to keep an eye on Se’mua. While Sunu was sending word to An...

Sunu went out to send a maid to Ann Cox immediately and returned later to keep an eye on Se’mua. While Sunu was sending word to Ann Cox, Reverend Jeremy Dudley felt Se’mua’s pulse and found it very weak. He was concerned and so decided to say a word of prayer for the little girl. While he shut his eyes and prayed, Reverend Dudley could have sworn he heard Se’mua shouting very loudly, “My name is not Se’mua; I am Ha’Kamara!” The reverend opened his eyes and stared down at Se’mua but the girl was still unconscious. He went back to praying for Se’mua and when he used the name Se’mua in his prayer, he heard Se’mua shout yet again, “I am not Se’mua! My name is Ha’Kamara!” Reverend Dudley had to keep his eyes open to pray for the third time to see how the unconscious girl was able to shout while she remained unconscious. Just as he asked the Lord to heal Se’mua, he heard an angry shout which almost threw him to the ground while Se’mua remained still and unconscious, “I will never be Se’mua! I am Ha’Kamara!” Reverend Dudley did not bother to pray for the little girl again. He waited until Sunu returned to the room and he asked, “Please tell me Sunu, does she…” he pointed at Se’mua, being careful to avoid the name Se’mua, “…have another name?” “Why do you ask Reverend? Does her name have anything to do with her condition?” “I am afraid it might Sunu.” “I don’t know your people to be superstitious Reverend, but right now you sound very superstitious. Why would her name make her unconscious suddenly? Has she not been bearing the name Se’mua since she was a baby?”

When Sunu mentioned the name ‘Se’mua’ Reverend Dudley turned to see what reaction the mention of that name might draw from Se’mua and he saw her legs twitch violently like someone was trying to choke her to death. Sunu also saw the reaction. “Did you see that Sunu?! You can’t call her that name again!” “I don’t understand; but that has been her name all her life!” “I don’t mean to sound superstitious yet again Sunu. If she has begun to slip into unconsciousness on account of that name, it means she has always had a name. Does the name Ha’Kamara mean anything to you?” Sunu was stunned to hear the name from the lips of a white man. Her eyes widened very open and she swallowed very hard. “Where did you hear the name from Reverend?” Sunu asked as she trembled on her feet. “I heard her voice rebuke me three times, while I prayed for her that her name is not the one we call her but Ha’Kamara. What does the name mean?” “It means the gods are wrong.” “Wow! That is deep. It is a revolutionary name. It is quite too big for a little African girl.” “Someday she will grow up, she won’t always be a little girl,” Sunu said thoughtfully. “You are right Sunu. Now we need someone at that door to make sure that no one who comes into this room calls her Se’mua. Yet again at the mention of that name, Se’mua began to convulse and foam in the mouth. Sunu cried and ran to the bed where she lay and began to whisper into her ears, “You are Ha’Kamara; a child of the Bodgi people. Your name is Ha’Kamara. From now everyone shall call you Ha’Kamara. Calm down Ha’Kamara. Calm down little child. Calm down Ha’Kamara.”

Like a little child lulled to sleep with a lullaby, Se’mua began to sleep peacefully. Reverend Dudley looked at his watch and it was a little late. He should have been at the school by then, but he had to stay around a little while longer to make sure Se’mua was fine. When Ann Cox eventually arrived, Reverend Dudley had to lead her aside and explain to her why she must call Se’mua, Ha’Kamara. “If you don’t, we risk losing her. Don’t try to understand what is happening, just call her Ha’Kamara,” Reverend Dudley admonished.  Ann Cox repeated the name ‘Ha’Kamara’ a few times before going in to attend to Se’mua. She checked her pulse and found it normal, checked her eyes and her heart beat and they were fine. She stood up and announced to Sunu and Reverend Jeremy Dudley, “I think she is fine now. Whatever happened to her, I believe she has been through the worst phase of it. I suggest she stays home a few days and stay off school for now.”  Reverend Dudley didn’t like the part of Se’mua having to stay away from school for a few days. He did not show his displeasure because he knew Ann Cox meant well for her. Against all expectations, by evening Se’mua had still not woken up. Samba, Sunu, Reverend Jeremy Dudley, Ann Cox and many of the African maids in Bada did their best to spread the information that Se’mua had been rechristened Ha’Kamara. When John Grey and Robert Staple heard that Se’mua, now known as Ha’Kamara, had taken ill, their enthusiasm to acquire her as their slave dampened. John Grey however became suspicious that perhaps Samba had used African voodoo on Ha’Kamara to discourage their interest in acquiring her as a slave. His suspicion made him much more determined to hurt Samba. Though Edward Langley and Francis Ferrer spared time in their busy schedule to go visit with Sunu over Ha’Kamara’s health, John Grey and Robert Staple chose not to visit them.

While almost everyone in Bada waited for Ha’Kamara to wake up, unknown to them, she was being immersed in the meaning, purpose of her name and her destiny. The next morning before the town could wake up; Ha’Kamara sprang from her bed and went in search of her uncle Samba. Picking her steps, she entered Samba’s room, woke him up and made sign for him to follow her. Samba wanted to shout in excitement that she was finally awake, but she covered his mouth and motioned for him to keep silent. As he observed Ha’Kamara, he was surprised at the maturity with which she conducted herself. Having Led him far away from the residential buildings in Bada, the two of them talked in hushed tones, “Little child you look to me like one who has been touched by the gods. What happened to you while you lay unconscious?” “I saw the guardians of our lands. They have a message for you.” “What did they tell you?” “Run! Uncle Samba run!” “Why should I run?” “Your white-skinned enemies shall bind you like an animal and carry you off to a far land where you shall be castrated and made to work like a beast. Though your sins are many, the guardians still have need for you. You should never have sold your brothers and sisters as slaves uncle.” Without doubt Samba knew indeed that something had happened to Ha’Kamara. She did not speak like a child. Standing before her, he felt ashamed for his many atrocities. “Ha’Kamara I want to stay back here and look after you and Sunu. John Grey and the others want to buy you as a slave.” “That I know already...let them come. I am Ha’Kamara, the poison that will kill them all.” “You are a child, you cannot fight. Okay let me leave this morning with you and Sunu. We will run to KURU.” “You are the one who should run and not me uncle. And you are wrong, I cannot only fight, I can also summon an army which will rid our land of slavery and the slave lords.”

“I am sorry Ha’Kamara; I won’t run. I will stay here and rally men to fight off these white tyrants from our lands. I shall free all slaves held here, in Selay and in many other slave ports in all our lands. I am Samba, a true son of the river people; I do not run from fights.”  “What you intend to do might kill you; but if it is a fight you want against the slave merchants, start it now!” “Good! I will go rally my men and others who can fight. By full dawn of the day, we will set Bada ablaze.” “I will be with Sunu. Do not worry about us; go do what you have to do.”
LINK TO EPISODE 7: http://www.moofyme.com/2015/12/hakamara-episode-7.html

Story continues…

This story was written by:

Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HA'KAMARA - EPISODE 6
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