HA'KAMARA - Episode 8

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                          Poster source: moofyme.com   Samba was one of the slaves broken lose...



                          Poster source: moofyme.com 
Samba was one of the slaves broken lose from a British slave cage where he and some other slaves were kept to be shipped out of Bada far into the lands beyond the sea. The feat achieved by Ha’Kamara was a stunner to both Samba and Sunu and all who witnessed what happened. It didn’t take long before rumour began to circle that the girl, Ha’Kamara, was sent by the gods to rescue Bada and the regions around it. The slaves who left Bada took the tale of her feat far into many lands and tribes. After some days, warriors who heard her tale began to throng Bada to fight by her side. In a matter of days, Ha’Kamara became the face and symbol of the revolt against slavery. Her name was heard and sung in Zarafi, the river tribe, the Bodgi tribe and far beyond the regions around Bada.  Ha’Kamara did not like the idea of men coming to Bada to fight British soldiers because she inspired them. She feared that in the event of war, only a few of them will survive.


After the first round of battle and what was seen of Ha’Kamara, Samba and Sunu met in secret to discuss who Ha’Kamara really was. “Who exactly is Ha’Kamara Sunu? I know she is not your biological daughter, but what I don’t know is how you came about a child who can summon the guardians of the lands near and far from the sea.” “She was given to me by Unuk, the famous wine taper in Zarafi. He claimed to have found Ha’Kamara as a baby abandoned to die in Erede forest.” “Erede belongs to the Bodgi tribe; a people who excel in mystical practices and the paranormal. She is no ordinary child.” “Unuk mentioned to me that he found her being protected by the black snake. Obviously she was thrown away according to the tradition of the Bodgi tribe because she was born on the day of the gods; a festivity going on about the time Unuk found her in Erede. But clearly the gods whose day was defiled with her birth had other plans for her.” “If she was born on the day of the gods and was thrown away in line with the tradition of her people and yet the gods thought it worthy to protect her, then she must be an incarnate of one of the guardians who protect the tribes that dwell on these vast lands.”

“I have thought the same thing Samba. She is a guardian in the flesh. When we were in Zarafi, she mentioned to me that a woman appeared to her nightly and told her she is from the Bodgi tribe and that her name is Ha’Kamara. The woman she saw also spoke of this war which has begun.” “Sunu! Do you mean to tell me that all these happened and you kept it from me?” “Brother, I was afraid that I might lose Ha’Kamara to her real parents. She seemed determined to have me take her to Bodgi. It was the reason I wanted us to leave Zarafi hastily.” “Hear me sister, Ha’Kamara is not your daughter! She is a child on a mission. You must grant her the liberty to excel in her calling, lest the gods view you as standing in their way. I have seen the gods curse a man before and can tell exactly how his life came to end. Believe me; you don’t want that to happen to you.” “I will try not to stand in her way. But I fear that she might be hurt. Look at her, isn’t she too tender to lead a war against the white man?”

“It is not for you to decide Sunu. How many times have you seen people bearing the name “The gods are wrong” without swift judgment against them? But this child does not only bear such name, the gods whom her name mocks, are in fellowship with her and fight alongside each other. If you do not heed my warnings, you might be burnt in the full glare of all by the gods.” “May the gods forbid that! How could you wish me such evil Samba?” “Don’t let your love for the child be a hindrance to her calling. Can you tell me why she entered the battle very late? Or why the basement in your room is broken. Haven’t you realized that if Ha’Kamara had begun to fight early most men and women who died in the battle may still be alive by now? I hope the gods will not require their blood in your hands.” “They will not! I was acting in ignorance then. I did not know who she was.” Sunu could not bring herself to tell Samba that she subdued Ha’Kamara with nchege (a sleeping powder) and locked her in her basement. Samba’s warning about the judgment of the gods was already beginning to scare her.

After Ha’Kamara and the guardians she summoned had swept Bada clean of white men, Zaya was told that a few friends of Reverend Dudley and Ann Cox had protected them by hiding them during the battle. Zaya hated everything white and European. She was expected to cut them down right where they stood but she didn’t. Over several conversations she heard while she served her master, she came to know the worth of the nurse who cared for the sick in Bada. She learnt also that a priest was valued by the white man. And so instead of killing them she decided to keep them as her slave. She intended to bargain with them during the coming battle. The friends of the reverend and Ann Cox took with distaste the sight of their friends being locked in cages. They felt bad because they were one of the few white people who helped when their masters maltreated them. So to help them before the rabid Zaya might change her mind and slaughter them, they took their case to Ha’Kamara.

Ha’Kamara was of the view that Reverend Jeremy Dudley and Ann Cox were dead. When she heard that they were still alive, she was relieved and ran to reason with Zaya for their release. When Zaya heard Ha’Kamara’s plea for the release of Reverend Dudley and Ann Cox, she granted her wish, but took her aside and lectured her on the value of those two and how useful they would be when the entire British Calvary in Selay come with their guns blazing. The reverend and Ann Cox were allowed to move into the European quarters and were constantly watch over by Samba and his men because there were many people in Bada who wanted them dead because of the colour of their skin.

As Ha’Kamara’s fame spread, the news of her feat reached Bodgi. When Usana, Ha’Kamara’s mother heard that the name of the girl who slaughtered white men in Bada and sent a few on the run, was Ha’Kamara. She set out of by night to Bada with two young men to confirm if the child was hers. While they journeyed through the night, they ran into slave merchants who were hurrying back to Selay because of the revolt which took place in Bada. Usana and the two men with her were captured and taken as slaves to Selay. Usana was overwhelmed to see a town like Selay; it was nothing like what she had seen. She was brought to tears to see the number of black men and women bound as slaves to be shipped off to white man’s land. When she saw the number of British soldiers preparing to attack Bada, she stopped worrying about her safety. Under her breath, she began to pray that the child called Ha’Kamara in Bada may receive a signal from the gods and run away.

Adam Cox was raving mad over what happened in Bada, and more so because his sister Ann Cox was in Bada at the time the revolt took place. Days after the revolt, there was still no word from anyone one if she was dead or alive. Those who had escaped from Bada told the grim tale that perhaps all British citizens in Bada were killed. When Adam Cox studied the revolt based on what he was told by those who escaped from Bada, he was certain that a revolt led by a female slave called Zaya and a child possessed by lame evil spirits, would not stand the firepower of the army he led. He vowed not only to destroy those who led the revolt and retake Bada, but to match as far as Zarafi and destroy it along with the villages around it as revenge for the loss of his sister.

Back in Bada there was no plan or strategy to defend the lives in Bada and to engage the coming British army until Ann Cox asked Ha’Kamara how she intended to wage war against her brother and the army he would bring along with him. All Ha’Kamara had thought before then was that she would be ready for them when they come. Zaya on her part was too angry to think. Ha’Kamara pondered Ann Cox’s question and replied, “I fight not by my strength, an unseen army fights with me who no weapon can harm.” “So have I been told, but there are many who will be harmed when my brother gets here.” “So what do you want me to do?” “Meet my brother half way and negotiate with him. Tell him you have me and Reverend Jeremy Dudley and that if he so much as comes a hundred miles close to Bada, that you will slaughter the two of us.” “Why are you helping us against your brother?” “I don’t want to see these people in Bada die. When Adam gets here, this ground shall be soaked with the blood of your people. He fights with weapons you have not seen before. Look at your warriors; they only have machetes, spears and arrows. These are not weapons against the British army.”
LINK TO EPISODE 9: http://www.moofyme.com/2016/01/hakamara-episode-9.html

STORY CONTINUES...

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor


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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HA'KAMARA - Episode 8
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