I have been a wanderer. Some have argued it was the Tuo and Kenaf leaves soup. Call it what you will but even in the days of Elijah, the arguments have not been that different. It was a terrible and an awful feeling. When I was catapulted into oblivion, I had to cross the river of innocence whose water is filled with the tears of the oppressed and the downtrodden.
I waited long and impatiently for the ferry man to arrive and hoping also that the tears of innocence subside. How wrong I was, the river continued to rise to the brim a confirmation that the cries of the innocent only escalates. My impatience made my short wait looked a century long. The river’s tributaries were: The innocent, the weak, the poor, the voiceless, and those falsely accused and denied justice because they lacked the legal representation. I could see the despair on their faces. Deprived of happiness, their faces were wry and contorted.
A true reflection of what had burdened their hearts. I saw from shore, the children of the innocent flirting with danger. They call it Tramadol. How it ever got to the shores, and why it was used, the seers were yet to confirm. Nothing puzzles God and the righteous talk less. I am not righteous my soul is darkened like soot and daily the priest must hear my confession.
Soonest, I heard of the loud cry for the return of a certain Commander One. The cries of the populace was deafening. I likened the situation of Commander One to the priest who also made his own confession to me. So sad, I thought but the ways of man are not God’s. When he had taken custody of the parish about twenty-years ago, there were many gullies, valleys and mountains. He spent his entire youthful energy leveling the fields and just as the collection bowls were drooling with honey, His Eminence the Bishop sent him to South Sudan.
The wow of Obedience must be adhered to. So, just like Commander One, he assumed his new role. The congregants wept their hearts out as the Reverend prostrated and kissed the ring of the Bishop. The Reverend had seen the protruding bellies and the precarious heads of children running helter-skelter in the land of John Garang de Mabior. His only distress was his own fear of not satisfying his passion and love for the Bishop, a Vicar of Christ, who was bent on making him a modern day martyr. A thought of this gladdened his heart. He never knew the Bishop loved him that much.
The next page was flipped. I started spewing. What were they doing to themselves? The boys were consulting the dark forces for power, control and dominance. Secreting from their hearts was the venom of hate, greed, lust, covetousness, anger, pride, envy and laziness. Fathers were losing control as moral models. The church was worshiping the institution and the mortals running them rather than Christ Arisen.
Before I dropped a cowrie into the broad bony hand of the ferry man, I saw Truth in sackcloth wailing and asking her maker to rename her. Her case was that, people no longer have a clear reverential difference between her and her bitter foe, False. Truth was passionate in her supplication. Shackled in chains also, were the aged. They have served the country well and the pension they receive every month was paltry. Theirs was even better as there were some who had no pension at all. In their youth, theirs was day-work-per-pay (by day jobs). They dug man-holes, built mansions and cultivated farmlands for the affluent and government just for a trifle. They lived the day. Now, their strong biceps and triceps could no longer lift a feather. They sat dejectedly with poverty as their only comfort and wishing also, that death hastens his visit to them.
Matching and singing in unison was the institutional cabal. From a distance, the voices sounded melodious but drawing closer the voices were hoarse like croaking toads. They throttle their institutions. They were sipping exotic wines in their sound proof restaurant called club 666. In attendance was chief gossiping officer and his entourage.
The agenda was how to take over and remain in control for long. The minister who must chastise them in the pulpit was there as well. I wanted to remind the minister judgement will start first in the house of God first but was choked in my words. Only then, I remembered that I was not permitted to speak but observe. Then again, there was a loud whisper into my ears instructing me to avoid such meetings. They were deadly. When I doubted in my mind, a new chapter of the results of such evil machinations were opened to me. There and then, I saw at different times, Abacha the General, Amin Iddi the Marshal and Doe the Master Sergeant and a host of others holding such discussions at different times. The out-come were an ephemeral taste of honey and a lasting multifaceted challenges of prostitution, hunger, diseases, rape, murder, looting, ethnic and tribal jingoism among other despicable things.
The drums throbbed, the women ululated all in praise of those who in their deeds publicly admitted they were wrong and also to those whose life have been threatened because they strove to give truth his real essence. What puzzles man does not puzzle God. For He alone is immutable and so, as the legal titans and puritans debate the truth and falsehood of the peeping’s of a young man, there are lamentations in others whose only luxury is to dream their fear in this one passing life.
University of Ghana.
MA Theatre Arts (Media Arts Option)