HA'KAMARA - Episode 9

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                                                         Poster Source: moofyme.com “Adam, the slave merchants here in Selay thi...

                                                         Poster Source: moofyme.com

“Adam, the slave merchants here in Selay think it will be in the interest of British businesses for you to hold off your planned assault on Bada until we have loaded the ships with our slaves and goods and gone far from these lands. If anything goes wrong we stand to lose so much,” Felix Claxton admonished Adam Cox. Felix Claxton was one of the foremost slave merchants in West Africa and knew some powerful people back in England. “What possibly could go wrong with attacking a bunch of peasants who already have cost England a great deal of loss?” “Adam it may sound stupid, but word is spreading fast about the voodoo of those men and women in Bada. Our men from Zarafi have spoken of a girl who rides with the dust of the red African soil and gouges out the eyes of her enemies. Haven’t you seen the faces of most of our soldiers who died in Bada. There is some evil out there whether you accept it or not.” “I must confess Mr. Claxton that I am ashamed to hear you confess your conviction in the despicable contrivance of black illiterates who are just a little above monkeys in reasoning. Our dead soldiers did not lose their eyes and tongues because some evil attacked them in battle. Their tongues were cut and their eyes gouged out after the battle. You shouldn’t believe such rubbish Mr. Claxton. My sister has been missing since the attack; I don’t know if she is dead or alive! Go tell your fellow merchants to bring me some cheering news about her condition and I will hold off the attack!”

“You have no basis to treat with levity the threat of these Africans. This is their land and they certainly know a lot you don’t know. Tell me, if there was no evil in Bada, how then did we lose the number of soldiers and citizens we lost there? The few men who survived the horror have told of a girl who soared with dust and devoured men. I have personally interviewed those men; they are not by any stretch insane. Just wait a few days until our ships have left and you can bomb the entire West Africa if you care to!” “This is what I believe Mr. Claxton, there is a little girl possessed by some spineless African gods who cannot do more than raise dust in battle. I know these African gods; they are as lame as the people they rule. Have they not been here since the Europeans arrived and have watched us all these years make these Africans slaves in their own lands? So don’t you dare speak of these gods as threats. There is also a slave in Bada, we have been able to find out who she is. She was a slave to Baker Colman. I have been told she started the revolt. I want her taken alive; we will use her to set a nasty example to all the West Africans that no one ever messes with the British.” “Your pride sickens me Mr. Cox! Or should I say that you are blinded by the loss of your sister. You are going to bring death to Selay by attacking an enemy whom you have poorly assessed. If that happens and you come out of Africa alive, I will make sure you suffer for it in England!”

Seeing he could not convince Adam Cox to delay the attack on Bada, Mr. Claxton stormed out of his office in anger. To create fear in the hearts of British soldiers and citizens and demoralize them before the battle, Ha’Kamara and Zaya came up with the idea of shipping closer to Saley the bodies of some British soldiers who were slaughtered by the guardians who Ha’Kamara summoned to battle. Their eyes were horrifyingly gouged out and their tongues missing. Some of them had a sinister black line running from their throats down to their abdomen; which suggested they must have swallowed something which killed them in battle or may have been possessed by a paranormal force which overtook them in battle and snuffed the life out of them. The sight of the mangled, decaying bodies of British soldiers sent just the right kind of fear Ha’Kamara wanted into Selay. Most British citizens were in a hurry to leave Saley back to England, thereby making it difficult for the slave merchants to get as many slaves a they wanted on the ships.

For days Usana remained in the open slave market in Selay, still waiting to be sold to a merchant who would carry off to the lands of no return. With disgust she watched white men and women pricing and assessing fellow black men and women like the way she priced chicken in Bodgi. She was beginning to think that no one would take interest in her, let alone buy her. All the people she arrived with had been sold, including the two young men who were accompanying her to Bada. While she lay on the floor and waited to bed fed with the disgusting meal they called food, she heard heavy footsteps pounding the ground and heading closer to her. When she raised her head, she saw a man standing tall at 6.8ft and a skinny white lady pointing at her and speaking alien tongue. She did not know what was said between them, but she knew one of them was pricing her. In her few days in the market, she had become familiar with two English words, Pounds and money. When she heard the two words, she knew her time had come to be sold into slavery. With tears in her eyes, she whispered to herself, “Usana, shall you be sold or bought by a fellow woman without a fight?” Though she had not eaten in two days, she dragged her frail body up from the ground and made to draw closer to the petit white woman; but she felt weak and light headed. The chain on her hand was heavy and rough, and had dug into her skin. She steadied herself and dug her feet into the ground and poised to lung forward and snap the woman’s neck. When she raised her two hands to leap on the woman, she hit the ground in a heap and everything went dark.

Back in Bada, Ha’Kamara had begun to grow into her responsibility with ease. After Anne Cox suggested to her to meet Adam, her brother, half way, she instead consulted with Zaya and asked her how pleasant it would be to show to Adam Cox what would happen to him if he dared to attack Bada by displaying for his view the look of the soldiers the guardians killed when she attacked them. Zaya was thrilled by the idea. She wasn’t just pleased; she began to revere Ha’Kamara, and wondered if there was an adult hiding in her skin. Through the nights, the warriors in Bada used the trucks belonging to the British merchants they killed and moved the bodies to a place where they knew the white people in Selay would see them. After the warriors they mounted to watch the impact of that strategy returned, some of them reported that it made Adam Cox much more determined to attack Bada, while some others reported that it might have made the white people in Selay afraid. Being not satisfied with the report she got, Ha’Kamara began to ponder the idea of going down to Selay to see things for herself. She promised herself that if the white people in Selay were afraid of what happened to their brothers and sisters, then she would take the fight to them, instead of waiting for them to attack Bada.

Though Zaya was tough and ruthless, when she heard what Ha’Kamara was planning, she concluded that she was in sane. “You can’t attack Selay! It is a strong hold! Our people will die for nothing. I suggest we ambush them on the way before they get here.” “But I have to do something. If we stay here, the white man will come and kill our people. But if we go there and start a fight, more of his people will die. If the gods favour us, we may even free the many slaves in Selay and they would fight on our side. We must not let the white man leave Selay.” “Ha’Kamara, maybe you have not heard, no black man goes down to Selay except one bound as a slave. We should not go there! The white man built it and knows it. Let us wait for them along the way please.” “No, Zaya. Did not the white man build Bada and knew it? But now we occupy it and hold two of them as slaves in it? The guardian who appears to me said I can do many things, now is the time to put her words to test. Will you come with me or not Zaya?” “I will go with you, but only because I seek to die.” “You will not die while you are with me! Death may kill you elsewhere but not in Selay!” “You speak not as a child Ha’Kamara. Tell me the truth, who are you? What is in you?” “I do not know what is in me; but this one thing I know. Since I came to accept the name Ha’Kamara, I have been burning with the desire to remove the white man from these lands and free them of slavery.” Together the two of them left to go see Samba, to put him in charge of Bada until they return.

“I know the gods favour you child, but going to Selay is foolish! I wondering haven’t the gods told you it is stupid to do that?” Samba asked.  “They haven’t uncle Samba; but while they are pondering to tell me or not, by nightfall I and Zaya shall leave to spy out Selay. If by dawn you hear or see white men and women running in this direction or another, take that for a sign that I have seen their weakness and have begun to fight. Lead out our men and slay all the white people you met on your way. Take them prisoners and do to them as they have done to our people.” “Zaya, who put Ha’Kamara to this?” Samba asked.  “I didn’t, I have tried all I can to talk her out of it, but she would not listen.” “Do you intend to follow Ha’Kamara to Selay?” “Yes Samba, I seek death. Perhaps in Selay I will find the warm embrace of death. The life I now live, I have no desire for anymore.” “The two of you are mad! I will let you go child only because I don’t want to stand in the way of the gods!” Samba yelled.     STORY CONTINUES...
LINK TO EPISODE 10: http://www.moofyme.com/2016/01/hakamara-episode-10.html

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: HA'KAMARA - Episode 9
HA'KAMARA - Episode 9
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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