Kodlli

Alot of traditions that Igbos observed was abolished leaving the outcast, which meant no good to humanity. Osu as igbo calls has rendered some promising lives unless and brought some to an untimely end.

The death of the two lovers has left the whole community in a great horrendous state, as the people of Amangwu continued to troop inside the compound of Maazi Adani, with fears written all over their faces. As two bodies were seen lifeless, lying vertically opposite each other, with a container that had the description of sniper pasted on its body. Chukwudi, the son of Maazi Adani, who hailed from Amangwu, was a graduate of the University of Benin and was posted to serve his country in Kaduna state. He fell in love with Kodili, who was also in the same university as him when he was in his second year. Everything worked in pari passu for them as they found out they shared a lot of similarities. They both had the dream of ending together as husband and wife, and they built towards it. They fought battles as lovers; they shared their similarities and differences. Their friends tagged them "perfect couples" as everybody who sees them together always gets convinced that they are already married. They became the best of lovers as they continued building together. Chukwudi had no other option than to seal their feelings with an engagement ring during their graduation.

¬†It was such a romantic scenario. Many were forced to start looking for a lover.ūü§£Am the luckiest man ever, Charles kept telling friends. Till he decided to take the package home. Great shopping was done for the traveling as Kodili appeared more beautiful than she was Chukwudi was set to give his parents a surprising visit. They arrived safely and were welcomed warmly by the overwhelmed old couples. Their joy knew no bounds as they watched the couples to be looking so amazing.

 They enjoyed the delicious local food prepared by Ebere, Chukwudi's mother. They were so curious about the beautiful soul their son came back with, as they started dishing out their questions in a very mature way. Am Kodili, the only child of Maazi Udeh Nkwo from Anata, the neighboring village who died many years ago, leaving only me and my mother, Ada Nkwo. She said as she was trying to wisely choose her words. Ada Nkwo? he asked, astonished and at the same time interrupting the innocent girl who was trying to use the perfect words and comport her diction. You are the only daughter of Ada the Osu(an outcast). 

He asked again with a ferocious tone. Everybody became silent as they were all trying to understand the sudden question...Osu? Kodili asked as she had never heard such a word. Am I an outcast(Osu)? She asked again, feeling embarrassed by that statement. But Nne has never mentioned this to me all these years. She murmured, still confused. This marriage will never work! He sounded like thunder with an unremitting look, which brought Kodili back to the real world. For your information, this family is not free-born; they are a slave to Agwu, the gods of the land. And it is forbidden for a free-born to marry a slave(an outcast). He told his son as he stormed out of the room, followed by his wife Ebere, who never knew about this. The two birds were left in an obfuscated and perplexing condition. Does this still exist in this present world? Chukwudi asked rhetorically. Kodili was still confounded by what she heard. I need to hear from my mother; she sluggishly stood up as her joy and strength had been shagged out of her from the shock she got from the unprepared drama.

 Her village was just a stone's throw from Amangwu. She left with no other option but to visit her Nne she had never seen for long with the question behind her existence. Tears became her succor... "I have not seen Nne for years now and am going to meet her with this question," she muttered as she staggered in confusion." But yet my life is at risk here," she recalcitrated her thought.

"So I am an outcast, how? No is not true; nne must tell me everything today. She said as she chuckled to herself like a madwoman. I never knew all these; even as a grown lady, Nne hid this from me. She couldn't get rid of this; she kept asking herself as she trod down the narrow road that leads to Anata. The last statement of Maazi Abani kept ringing in her noggin 'this marriage will never work! This marriage will never work!!' Chukwudi quickly rushed out to meet his father about the drama he just stated as he couldn't get enough of the drama. 

He needs more explanation. ....."I need to know more about this because I am going to break this Osu law; my relationship years won't be in vain," he murmured under his breath with anger."Papa, why did you call my fiancée an outcast? Even if she is, you wouldn't have said it before her," Chukwudi losing control of his anger, yelled out to his father. For goodness sake, this is the lady I have been with for years; how do you expect us to end all we've been sharing together. Papa is done with this marriage ooo and already telling how it went. "May Amadioha strikes your mouth,"... his father cursed out of anger. Over my dead body will my only son bring in a slave into my lineage. No! it will never happen in my time, he sounded as he moved his hands around his head as a sign of rejection.

Chukwudi was obviously bemused by what he had never prepared for. He knew his father to be a very stiff-necked human being, but he never knew he would still be like that up till that time. Kodi dragged her legs into their compound. She stopped as she stared around the compound she had left for years. She could barely see the path to walk on as every part of the compound had been covered with grasses, only the little portion Nne normally cooked on. She has grown so old that she can't sweep or weed the compound and equally has nobody to help her in doing it.

The compound looked so unfastidious and abandoned, but that wasn't her problem. Nne, who was seen cooking near her hut, saw her only daughter coming; she was surprised as she never told her she was visiting. It's been a while; Nne has never set her eyes on her baby girl. She was overwhelmed with joy, but she could barely move her body in excitement. She was only beamed with a smile. She needed no prophet to tell her that all was not well, as she sensed that through Kodili's look.

After a warm welcome, she was so inquisitive to know why her only daughter she had stopped seeing for so long, came back with tears." Kody," as she fondly calls, "this shouldn't be happening now, but I am not really fine with the tears on your face please what happened?"Were you robbed on the way? "Did you lose anything? She continued throwing question after question." Nne, she calmly called, tell me the truth, are we Osu? She asked without any paronomasia and equally amid tears.It was a long story; she stated as she could no longer hide it from her anymore."It all started when my husband, Maazi Udeh, left me to fight alone in this wicked world one fateful afternoon.

She looked up as she felt the pain fresh. She loured, remembering her past. She picked the courage to talk as she felt within her that this was the right time to tell Kodili who she was. As time is no longer by her side. She knew it and prayed for this to come before joining her ancestors. Even though she never wants her to know. But fate has brought her back."We came back from the farm, and he complained of heartache. She continued, I thought it was just a minor issue till he requested that he want to have some rest. "I laid him to rest, but he never wakes up. I have tagged the killer. I was impelled to leave the land with my hair cut and torn wrapper." I was forced to mourn as a murderer. I accepted my fate. Yes, I did".... Her voice went off.

She heaved a sign of pain. It took her seconds before she found her voice again. I had no other option but to seek solace in the shrine of Amangwu for judgment which made me and my generation become a perpetual slaves to Amadioha and live there. I was childless and equally a widow. So one fateful afternoon, I was weeding the small portion of land an old woman gave me to help her out with, which I received a little token from in other to survive. As I was doing justice to it, there came a loud scream of pain. I wondered what must have happened to this person, and I had to jostle my way to the direction the scream came from.

Behold, I met a lady struggling with her life as she was heavily pregnant, she was about to have her baby." I tried alerting other people, but the place was an outskirt of the village." I rendered the little help I could, though I haven't had any experience, it was quite unfortunate that she couldn't survive it. "I had no other option but to carry the baby. I don't know the lady, but I guessed she was from that land Amangwu, as I was still a novice in the land of Amangwu. "I was afraid of being accused of committing another murder. I had no other option but to take the baby home. I nursed her like a mother. An experience I have been crying for. I was happy to have the joy of motherhood. She stopped as she whisked off the tears rolling down her wrinkled face with the edge of her old wrapper."I hid the baby for so long. I watched her grow into a lady. Dark skin, she looked so beautiful even now.

The gods of Amangwu have blessed me. I kept saying this to her... Nne, who is that baby? Where is she? Kodi, who was listening all this while, was forced to ask. Nne looked up and shooked her head smiled towards Kodili, and said, that's the elegant lady sitting next to me." So you are not my real mother? she asked further. With her eyes Popping out from her eye socket"."Yes Kody, am not, your real mother is from this village, Amangwu." But I went back to Anata with you when you turned 12years because, according to the tradition of the land, being an Osu(Outcast), I was meant to leave alone with nobody coming close to any of my husband's property. So I had no other option but to leave Amangwu at my husband's house.

Kodi stood stupefied with the whole story. Am I not from Anata? Am I an orphan? Why all these now? Why wasn't I told about this since? She buried her face in her arms as she couldn't hold her tears again; she broke down and cried like a baby as her true identity kept unveiling itself before her. Who will believe me? How will this be corrected? She kept asking Nne, who was filled with remorse as she never wanted her to know the truth. She taught revealing the truth would break the bond she had with her. She quietly held her and kept comforting her. Kodi, she called with a voice filled with sorrow and pain; nobody might believe you but know that the gods know the truth. I left Anata because of their evil treatment of me. Amangwu people never knew I was a barren widow. I never wish to tell this story. She broke down in tears as her voice went off. I know I have hurt you so much by hiding this away from you all these years. Amangwu people thought you were from Anata. We are regarded as an outcast due to my decision in years past. She couldn't hold it any longer as her strength started falling. She needed help, she needed to be strong, but she couldn't.

 Kodi noticed the change in Nne's health as her body started becoming cold. She hugged her tightly and started screaming for help, but nobody came as they were meant not to associate with anybody. Nne died in her arms. She was wrapped up in fear as her world kept crashing before her very face. As her only mouthpiece just joined her ancestors. She doesn't know where to start as the true identity of her mom wasn't made known to her. Who her mother is married to, she doesn't know. "Nne, why now? Who will tell this story? Who will convince the people of Anata that I am free-born? Who will tell the people of Amangwu that their blood runs in my vein? She kept crying all through the night. The following morning before the first cock crowed, the remains of Nne were carried into the evil forest, followed by some sacrifice for the cleansing of the land. Kodi likewise detailed the story as was told by Nne to the family of Maazi Abani. But it was unbelievable as she had no evidence. Maazi Abani, one of the elders in the Amangwu kingdom, vowed to punish and drive Kodili away from the kingdom if he happened to see her anywhere near his household. "You are not worthy to be here; you are a slave," he kept reminding her. 

Even at this, the two lovers still refused to separate. They swore to fight the battle together. Chukwudi tried to convince his parents that 'Osu' no longer exists; it is just a superannuated belief against humanity. But everything kept falling on deaf ears by his father. He vowed that his family would never become a slave to Amadioha. The two lovers started losing hope as they seemed to be losing the battle. No one agreed to stand for them as everybody was against them being together. "Guy better leaves this girl; this marriage will never work ." Onyedika, chukwudi's childhood friend, advised him one day. I better die than separate from her, Chukwudi retorted. That's not the best option, Onyedika advised further. It wasn't easy for them as odd thoughts started irrupting into them. They have fought the battle. "I can't let you go; all the things I have ever sought in a woman, I got them all in you. I have stopped you from accepting proposals for five years now. We have gone so far to stop Obim," Chukwudi begged as he dished out his plan. 

Even if we die today, we continue to be together forever. Kodi accepted it without thinking otherwise. "I don't have anybody to live for, my only hope, they refused us to be together. I am in this wicked world alone; I have no reason to live. Nobody, believe me, the more I speak, the more the life am speaking for is being threatened "...Tears rolled down her beautiful face as Chukwudi held her tight, trying to comfort her even though he was down too. "Ooohhh, this world has never been good to me... Even my mother died in the process of delivery. Am I evil? Why wasn't I born like other children" she kept lamenting as she found herself in a most awkward quandary and had no other option but to consume the content filled in the small container. Chukwudi did the same. 

They both weighed in pain as they watched themselves travel in the dark world. They held their hands together as they watched each other dying but couldn't offer any help. The two lovers ended their lives as they continued their unsuccessful marriage to an unknown land. Maazi Abani, having waited so long for his son to welcome him after returning from the village meeting, was so perplexed. "Has he gone to see that evil Kodili of a thing? He asked silently .."no, he hasn't visited her ."He tried consoling his fear. Till the following morning, the situation wasn't getting better.

 Ebere, Chukwudi's mother never stopped running around the village to know if she would get the sight of his son."Did he travel back to the city without informing me? No, I don't think so. Maybe this evil lady has done something with my son"... what is happening... Then he discovered that he had never checked the room Chukwudi was staying in since he came back. "How can he be there, and we are searching for him like this? He tried to wave away evil thought. Hope he is fine," he shuddered as he went in to check the room. Pushing the door open, he felt like he was dreaming as the two lovers were lying lifeless. He shouted in shock, which attracted other villagers. His compound was filled in a twinkling of an eye. 

Maazi Abani wailed like a baby. The whole villagers were seen with their hands folded tightly, kissing their breasts so hard. As they watched the promising lives of their children drown. Maazi Abani regretted ever letting the poor innocent girl pass through such as the life of his only son was also sacrificed because of his mulishness and ignorant. Their death put the whole of Amangwu into tension as Maazi Abani was forced to believe the story of Kodi, but it was too late to revive the dead. Ada Nkwo only scurried for safety in the shrine of Amangwu because of the evil and lousy treatment of the Anata people. She only sought judgment and protection. 

Osu must be stopped; it must be abolished, as many promising lives have been put to a conk because of this. Many traditions and customs were abolished. But this still exists.Outcast(Osu) should be abolished. Rest on to those that couldn't conquer this battle and had no other option than to take their lives.

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