Onyekachi fondly called Kachi was all smiles as he made his way out of the American Embassy in Abuja. It was a memorable day for him because he had spent the past 7 years of his life working towards obtaining a visa to the USA. Each time he was turned down and each time he would try again, not willing to give up on his dreams of going to search for greener pastures in the States. Although he had graduated with a Second Class Lower degree in Mechanical Engineering from one of the prestigious federal universities in Nigeria, he had not been able to secure a good job several years after graduation. He had reached out to his uncle who lived in Atlanta and his uncle had invited him over to the USA to live with him and get a job.
He made his way via public transportation to Wuse where Martins, his friend whom he was staying with since he came for his visa interview lived. He was all smiles as he knocked and Martins opened.
Kachi: “My guy, I don hammer o, as you are seeing me so, you are seeing dollars”, he said excitedly.
Martins: “wow! I take that to mean that you finally have been granted visa into the United States right?”
Kachi: “Yes now, what are you not saying? Nna eh, see the thing for my hand na, confirm visa. America here I come ooo”. He grinned from ear to ear.
Martins hugged him. “Congratulations, brother. You see, that is why it is good to persevere and never give up after few setbacks. If you had given up all these while that they refused you visa, by now you wouldn’t have gotten it”
Kachi: “you are right, my brother. Thank you for your support o, I mean you have been very helpful, allowing me stay in your house anytime I am in Abuja, feeding me and even giving me money for transportation around town, I really appreciate” He hugged him again.
Martins: “it is nothing, brother. What is life if we don’t help each other? Even animals do that how much more humans? Just make sure you don’t forget me when you go there and the dollars start rolling in o”
Kachi: “I dey craze? Why I go forget you? It is only a stupid man that will forget those who helped him climb up the ladder because he will also need their help on his way down. Nna eh, e be like say this America go favour me o, you know say them say Sunday wey go good na from Friday we go know” He said.
Martins: “how do you mean?”
Kachi: “the way things were just going well for me at the American Embassy. First, I sat close to this thick madam who was just eying me; the woman was expensively dressed with gold on her ears, neck, wrist, fingers and everywhere. O boy see the big phone wey dey her hand na and see the car where driver take carry her come. That’s how she gave me her complimentary card and said I should call her. She said she visits America regularly and only came to get visa for her daughter. Then one of the female staff that was doing the interview was just looking at me seductively. That one is so pretty that if not for my girl, I would have tried my luck with her o”
Martins: “Ah, only you gather all these people today? Where is the complimentary card that the woman gave you? Call her today o, let’s hear what she would say, who knows, she may even help you secure a good job in America” He advised.
Kachi: “ha, what are you saying? As if you don’t know that I am in a serious relationship? I tore the card and threw the pieces away immediately her driver drove off. I can’t cheat on my girl now, never”
Martins: “you did what? Anyway, that is in the past now. We need to celebrate your visa tonight o, see eh, there is this garden in zone 5, I will take you there and spoil you silly this evening”
Kachi: “mba o, I am going back to Owerri this night. I already booked a space in a public transport on my way here”
Martins was disappointed. “why the rush now”, he asked.
Kachi: “I have to go and see Chioma and break the good news to her. You know that she has always been there for me all these years even when I had nothing to give to her. She has been praying and interceding for me, I cannot wait to break the good news to her”
Martins: “but you can do that on phone. Here”, he handed Kachi his phone. “I have enough airtime, call her and tell her the good news”
Kachi: “Chioma doesn’t have a phone now, where will she see phone from?”
Martins: “so you have made up your mind to leave Abuja without us celebrating your visa?”
Kachi: “Na so, let me go and start arranging my things so that I don’t forget anything. I promise that we shall have enough time to celebrate when I return from America”
Mama Chioma: “Chioma! Chioma mo eh!”
Chioma: “Ma!” she replied and came out to meet her mother.
Mama Chioma: “What were you doing that I had to scream out my lungs before you heard me?”
Chioma: “sorry, nne, I was in the bathroom when you called”
Mama Chioma: “ngwanu, sit down”
Mama Chioma: “It has been almost a year since you finished secondary school now my daughter. What are your plans?”
Chioma: “Plans? I don’t understand, ma”
Mama Chioma: “plans for the future, like marriage, children etc”
Chioma: “Marriage kwa, mama. I want to go to the university o, ah. Which one is marriage again at this age?”
Mama Chioma: “Who said people can’t go to the university when they are married? Eh? And which age are you talking about? You are 19 years, I married your father when I was 15 and here I am today, I didn’t die. So, what is your excuse?”
Chioma: “Nne, but you know my boyfriend now, we are still very young and marriage is not on our agenda yet”
Mama Chioma: “What sort of a useless man will go into any relationship with a grown up girl like you and then say marriage is not on his agenda? If marriage is not on his agenda, let him leave the door so that other people can see road and come in now”
Chioma: “just give us more time, mama. As soon as he gets a good job and I secure admission into the university, we will marry”
Mama Chioma: “Nwa’m, you are a very beautiful girl and any man will give anything to marry you. Have you ever taken a good look at yourself in the mirror before? You are very tall, so light skinned that you can easily be mistaken for a cross breed, you have pointed nose, white eyes, long hair. Chai, I know how to give birth o”
Chioma: “Nne, I know that I am beautiful and I am grateful to you and papa because I got my beauty from you. But marriage is not for me now, mbanu” she shook her
Mama Chioma: “Chioma, why are you so stubborn? Do you want to put me to shame in this Owerri? All your mates are married with children already. Every day we go for meeting, my fellow women invite us for their daughters’ marriage and we contribute and celebrate with them. When will I invite people to come and celebrate with me? When will they contribute money for me the way I have been contributing for others? No answer me now, or are you an ogbanje? Do you have a spiritual husband that does not want you to get married? How can you be this beautiful and you are here telling me that you have no other man in your life other than that jobless Kachi when girls who are not close to you in terms of beauty have hooked richer men?”
Chioma: “Nne o…”
Mama Chioma: “Don’t Nne me o. Go and look for your nne if you don’t want to get married because I didn’t give birth to an ogbanje. Every year, during our August meeting, women show off different things that their sons in law bought for them. Why should my own case be different when I have a beautiful grown up daughter?” she interrupted her.
Chioma: “I have heard you mama. Can I leave now?” she got up and began to move away.
Mama Chioma: “leave now, oh, you want to dodge this discussion abi? I said it, this girl is an ogbanje, she is just too beautiful and anytime you talk about marriage, she will just discard the discussion. Let me see that pauper called Kachi in my house again; you will see what I will do to him. If your spiritual husband is using Kachi as cover up, then you will see what I will do to him anytime I see him close to you again. Oh, you are going away without saying anything? Ngwanu try me and bring him to this house again!”She threatened.
Question: Ah, mothers and their obsession about marriage. What do you think this story is about?
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