I DARED TO CALL HIM FATHER
Masquerade stands as representative of god’s on earth, at least that is what our ancestors believe and fanatic or not, we all have grown to take it as true- so do I.
The sun doesn’t rise from the East in our sphere, it’s from the opposite direction. We were just blessed with special significance, and each day always makes a tale to tell. The village head always said each day marked one great history, of which I never seem to comprehend why he says so all the time but he was believed to be the wisest, and when majority of people in a community have grown to believe a thing it was compulsory everyone too had faith in it, but I never understood half of what the man said, so I took a different part but I never tell mama that, that was just one out of 260 other beliefs in the society that I was going to take. I am an African, and I could well tell that there were plenty other things I was yet to learn and plenty others I shouldn’t take for granted, but within my 7 years experience on earth I had naturally grown to learn lots of things fast.
I was on the quest to proof something wrong in the society but I knew the gods, elders and all other gods representatives on earth were going to put me out on sacrificial lamb if i dared to do so, but what can we say, “a little boy, walking half way naked on the streets doesn’t understand half of the plight and ancestoral sayings in the community”, but this boy – I, actually knows MOST if not all but I would fall onto deaf ears and play innocent.
My mother had this connection with people, I don’t know how to explain it, let me just say, “Being naturally liked”, everyone always swung into her mood. She wasn’t just only pretty at sight but also in mind, at least that was what everyone said. They always loved her around and wherever she goes I go, and in a way I have to confess there was this little fuss around me, they always had their hands running on me too.
My kind of attention amidst this people, I got to say – I HATE, they were all sort of different people, we had the CHEEK PINCHERS, the PECKERS, the ones that always fluffed ion my hair regularly to always ask the kind of treatment I put in, and sincerly it is nothing other than the usual harbal Amish cream.
The CUDDLERS, SNUGGLE women and the EAR PULLERS (O! I always hated that, it was made me feel I was like a living dull), but anytime I complain to mama, she always said I should stop being ungrateful that it was a sign of love.
“but they never do that to other kids”, I would whine, “YOU ARE SPECIAL” but that’s the only place she would stop and never explain further.
“but on the bright side of it, you happen to even bring more gifts home than even the things I buy in the market..” True, but that doesn’t make me special…
Well there came a day mama never made me miss, “The Masquerade dance out!” It’s just as you are thinking, all the best and most famous masquerade dance around the Kings Court and we all will gather to praise them. It wasn’t fun to me, but at least I do get to enjoy learning free dance steps from there.
And there standing in the crowd was the seeming lost African glory, the African evening city buzzing with love and cultural love was rejuvenated. The market women closed early and made way with their shelter, the farmers back on time, the clinic nurses off duty exscused their way back there… Every trade, and everyone made it a duty not to miss this treat… Little ones, pulling their mothers and fathers forgetting they are one, as they go about knocking each door and taking one palmwine keg and tuns of cups. The palmwine tappers themselves gave cheerly, it was a one evening jubilation that comes just only once. Somewhere, out of the country, tales reach us that on this day 24th of December was an eve to something remarkable, but I can say less as all I know is nothing but my traditions.
The entire focus was on the middle man, pouched with lots of love and women blowing lots of kisses at him. I thought it was a taboo to do that… Mama had successfully wasted most of my time with taking time to dress, I really never understood why she always did that, it wasn’t as if she was out there to impress anyone, maybe my father but she said one day I would guess him out, it sounded strange but all my mind focused on was the grand entry and to see what the middle man that took the women’s love showcased today. Even little girls in my days had no shame, they blew kisses at him too.
The minute I noticed he was moving towards the left wing, I pushed my way forward. The gaze of everyone was on him, he looked quite special with the way people hailed and cheerfully gave money to his followers. He was truly a god on earth but I wondered why he was distinct from others.
Mama’s hand caught with mine but when she saw I was determined to push my way through the crowd and go forward, she let me holding my hand tightly as we made our way forward but what she didn’t know was that I had a plan. The minute the drummers headed to our direction, the masquerade ran after… Only seeing his eye amidst other things, and then with all strength and confusion I couldn’t explain what cake forth from my mouth but I shouted the words “FATHER”. The beat dropped. It was as if the whole village had expected this kind of punishment, in fright I tried to run behind mama, but the whole gaze was on me and so did the chief masquerade, the courage was gone but when I looked up I saw mama stare at his face with love, and then pulling me out from back…. I looked at his giant structure and the words came out again from no where but this time more sure than before, like the gods incarnated into me, “Father”, I said again, dizzingly feeling myself make way to the floor.
I dared to call him father