HA'KAMARA - Episode 11

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Back in Bada the ten warriors from Azara were forced to lay down their arms when they saw the number of those who surged out to fight the...

Back in Bada the ten warriors from Azara were forced to lay down their arms when they saw the number of those who surged out to fight them. With no waste of time they were bound and taken to the cage house used by British slave merchants to store slaves. To Samba and his men, if the story Wute and his colleagues told were lies, then they had made an important move in thwarting the schemes of the white man by capturing them. As soon as the men were securely put away in the cage house, Samba called a meeting to decide what to do with the men they captured. He was well aware that if they kill them and it turns out that their story was true, then they would have double wars to fight. One against the white man and the other against Azara; and none of them looked easy.

In the open plains near British quarters many men and women gathered and made their opinions known about what to do with the ten warriors from Azara. “We have just captured ten warriors from Azara, who brought us heads of white men as peace offering to allow them join us in battle against the white men who are in Selay. What do we do with them? Should we believe their story and risk being stabbed in the back by the cunning, devious men of Azara or should we kill them and risk war with Azara?” “Slave raiders from Azara took almost my entire family and sold them into slavery. I say we slaughter them now and go down to Azara and burn it down!” a voice shouted from the crowd. “There is no need for this meeting! Kill the men from Azara immediately! Who does not know in these lands that the white man and Azara are the same?” another voice echoed. “That is true! Azara serves no interest except its own. It is an evil land which betrays its brothers to the white man. Kill them! Kill them all!”

“Hold your peace!!!” A baritone voice shouted above the voice of the crowd who offered varied opinions about the warriors of from Azara. The crowd hushed at the sound of the voice. “Can’t you see…?” the voice which was that of Inya, one of the seasoned warriors in Bada inquired. He continued, “…we have become divided amongst ourselves. This is exactly what the white man wants! I have one question to ask all who are here, ‘if Azara is not to be trusted, how then did their men get fresh heads of white man’s soldiers?’ We all know the white man values his own life but treats with contempt those of other people. He could not have killed his men just to deceive us. Let us be cautious. I know many people here are angry with Azara for one crime or the other, but we cannot deny that Azara brought us freshly severed heads of white men, I think they mean business.” “Inya has made a valid point! The white man will never allow black men to take the heads of his people just to fool another set of black men. They hate us and despise us. They treat us like animals and believe we must be one. I think Azara warriors may mean well by bringing those heads to us. I started the fight with them to prove the veracity of their claims. When they mentioned Zaya’s name I had to do something to prove they were not lying. We all know what Zaya means to us, we cannot let strangers take her from us, only to stop on the way and behead her,” Samba said.

“So are we going to let them live?” a voice asked from the crowd. “Yes, that is what we are going to do. We are going to set them free and tell them where Zaya is, if they want her, then they will have to go down to Selay and fight to find her,” Samba replied. Many began to grumble, while others shouted that the decision was the best they could take in the light of the situation at hand.  Inya and some other men were sent to go bring out the ten warriors from Azara. When the ten warriors were brought before the crowd, they feared the worst thinking they were about to be executed, “You are making a mistake! We came with good intentions! Yes, Azara has a bad name, but we came with no intentions to cause you harm!” “Hold your peace, Wute! We mean you no harm either. We have deliberated your matter and have decided that you are well-meaning in your intentions. Let it be known to you and your men that Bada will have you fight by his side against the white man. Unbind them!” Samba shouted. Wute and his men were surprised by the turn of events. “Will you let us live?” Wuted asked in his surprise. “We will not only let you live, we will let Azara give the white man a taste of his ruthlessness by letting him fight by our side.” “Samba, if I have found favour in your eyes, then tell me, ‘where is the woman Zaya? Is she dead or alive?’” “Wute, Zaya lives. You see this town Bada, she runs it. However she is not here now.” “You lie, Samba! My wife Zaya cannot run this dangerous place. She is too tender to lead these men and women. Where is she anyway?”

“I can understand it has been long since you saw her last. Zaya is at Selay; she went down there to spy it out for our attack.” “What did you say Samba? You allowed a woman to go down to Selay to spy it for men. What sort of warrior are you? I swear by the gods that if anything happens to her, I will burn you and this whole town!” “Watch your tongue warrior! Zaya is no longer a woman! She is now death, the death that kills white men. Maybe you need to hurry to Selay and see for yourself.” Wute did exactly that, he and his men took their pack of weapons and ran out of Bada, heading straight to Selay. On the way, Wute sent three of the warriors with him to Azara to tell them that Bada had accepted to have them fight side by side against the white man. Samba also took a few warriors and followed on the heels of Wute and left Inya in charge of Bada.

In Selay trading in one hand and preparations to attack Bada on the other, remained in full swing; in the midst of the bee hive of activities, Ha’Kamara impatiently waited to be unshackled by the man who acted as her captor. The man was shaking and his hands fidgeted terribly. He was clearly afraid and Ha’Kamara could tell. Looking into his eyes, Ha’Kamara said, “Fear not! You will not die to day!” The man looked at young Ha’Kamara in disbelief and unshackled her hands and immediately did the same to Zaya. As soon as their hands were free, Ha’Kamara and Zaya reached for their weapons which were neatly hidden in a bag containing ivory and some local spices. From a distance, a group of slave merchants spotted Ha’Kamara and Zaya, thinking they were slaves for sale, they rushed to price them and hopefully buy and get them on a ship which was about to leave for Brazil.

Before the slave merchants could reach them, Ha’Kamara and Zaya were already bearing their arms. The group of slave merchants was confused as to how slaves could be unbound and possessing weapons in Selay. Before they could hazard a guess as to what was about to begin, Ha’Kamara and Zaya were upon them, hacking, slashing and lumping their heads off. The sight of Ha’Kamara and Zaya slaughtering white men in Selay sent shocking ripples amongst the slaves around them and left white people who saw them in palpable fear. Giving them no chance to escape, Ha’Kamara raised her hands and slammed the ground and a blast of thick dust filled the air. From where Ha’Kamara stood, the dust began to spread to all parts of Selay with unbelievable speed. There was confusion and fear in Selay. The white men and women there had heard of the demon possessed girl in Bada who rode with the dust and slaughtered their soldiers. At the sight of the dust which shifted shape like ravenous beasts, they knew she was around. There were shouts and blood-curdling cry everywhere as the guardians whom Ha’Kamara  summoned took over Selay, killing every man and woman in white skin. At first Zaya could not move. The dust was too thick for her too see well; while she wondered what to do, she felt a hand touch her from behind, she swirled around to plunge her knife into whoever touched her and suddenly her sight improved.

She could see people, both whites and blacks running around in a confused maze in the dust, looking for a way out. British soldiers were afraid and could not see who to shoot. There was the splash of blood and the moan of Europeans as something devoured them. The soldiers had to start shooting their guns in every direction in the dust. As the soldiers shot indiscriminately, heads, arms and chests of both white and black people exploded. Zaya ran after the soldiers and began to cut them down; while she fought she began to shout in their local tongue for all black people to lie down on the ground. British soldiers followed the sound of her voice and began to shoot at her, but somehow no bullet hit her. She knew Ha’Kamara was behind that act. She wanted death and did not care if she was hit by a bullet. Like a beast of the field she fought on, until from head to toe, she stood like a pillar of blood. Finding an able bodied young man on the ground, Zaya jacked him up and barked, “Do you know the way to Bada?” The young man who could not see her clearly nodded in fear; “I want you to run to that town and tell Samba or whoever you meet there that Selay has fallen. We need our warriors here! If you run away and fail to deliver my message, I will find you and kill all your family members while you watch. I am Zaya, and Azara is my home town. If you know us, then you know we keep our promises!” “I cannot see! How do you expect me to leave here?” the young man asked. “Don’t worry my friends will open your eyes.” Just as Zaya said that, the young man’s vision improved and he took to his heels running out of Selay.

Zaya turned back to the task of slaughtering white soldiers; when she got to a place, she saw white men and women on the ground with their eyes gone and their mouths wide open and filled with black substance. She had seen that before at Bada when Ha’Kamara attacked white people during the revolt. Turning away from the scene, Zaya heard her name and turned to see Ha’Kamara standing next to her with a frown on her face. Zaya smiled and gleefully said, “We have taken Selay!” “No! We have not! You need to see this!” Ha’Kamara said and  took off and Zaya followed her.
LINK TO EPISODE 12:  http://www.moofyme.com/2016/01/hakamara-episode-12.html

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HA'KAMARA - Episode 11
HA'KAMARA - Episode 11
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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