Mama Christina

>> Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When staying in the village, the standard morning scenario is always the following:
5:30 Cock #1 screams
5:31 Cock #2 sings
5:32 Cock #3 wails
5:33 Cock #4 cries

5:35 Mama Christina: Iii-yo! Iii-yo! Iih-yo – LOUDLY

5:45 Cock #1 screams
5:46 Cock#2 sings
etc etc
Mama Christina: Iii-yo! Iii-yoh!

and on and on....You get the drill..

Mama Christina, a permanent inhabitant of the village, is a very special character I’ve had the pleasure to know- According to the villagers, rumour has it she’s “always” been old. She sure is old, only God would know how old because she herself has no idea. First time I went to see her, she was sitting at the back of her house in a fallen-apart sofa from the 40s, close to her fireplace where she usually roasts yam. She was sitting there with an old, washed out head-tie and and wrapper with the longest, sagging flaps of skin that were once used to breastfeed her children. Mama Christina: Chaiiii! She shouts, opening her mouth, biting down on her few remaining, dark brown front teeth over and over again, sticking her tongue out, hitting her chest.Mama Christina: Welo-come! Welo-come! Come well-o! Come well-o! Chai! Chai!She starts dancing, clapping her hands, ee-yo, ee-yo

Mama Christina is the first wife of Augustin. Several of her children have managed to die before her. She’s so skinny, it’s a wonder she’s even walking, but the woman can even dance WELL at her age. She barely eats, barely sleeps, but seems to have no problems what so ever bending down roasting her yam or dancing old traditional dances from her days. According to the elders, she used to be the most beautiful woman in the village. But she’s mad. Absolutely mad. And you wouldn’t want to meet her on one of her bad days. She curses the children, grinds her teeth and pees wherever,whenever she wants. But she never dies, and no one seem to think she will ever die. She wasn’t always crazy, it happened when she was around 40 people say, when her husband decided to marry another wife. Since then she’s been down right cray-zee. They say these days are even her better days, that she used to do and say things that are too explicit to write down on this blog. But she absolutely amazes me. She’s so old, never washes, never eats, walks around with short white hair with bits of soap in it, but never gets sick. Her sons used to be wealthy and take care of her, but now, no one in her family cares, so the rest of the villagers drop by her place giving her naira bills and rice or vegetables.
Just thought i'd share this special character with you guys.
Thank you everyone, so much, for all your replies on my last post. Unfortunately I am not going to be able to reply individually right now – but I’ll come back soon with an update. So frustrating to not have the time I want. I wish all days had 30 hours instead of 24.

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jhazmyn October 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

O my, this sure is sad...its a shame she allowed the disappointments of life affect her so bad, but I'm more touched at the fact that she's living out her old days alone...

30hrs eh? i tell u, even if that were to happen, we humans would still always need more, take it easy dear, hope ur good

BSNC October 7, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

lol she refuses to die, its not her time yet.. eya i wish she has family who cares, but she seem to be doing just fine.

lol 30 hours, trust me the time will never be enough. How are you though, its been a while.

Gee October 7, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

wow @ the character?
is she really fully crayzee tho?
cuz she seems to have her senses to me o.
lol @ u wanting 30!

Larom October 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM  

it is not yet her time...Her story is so sad...Wish her children would just care for her

Rose October 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM  

A really sad story..
Mama Christina..'tis good that the villagers stop over to show her some warmth whenever thay can..
Sometimes, life happens without our consent whatsoever.

leggy October 7, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

lol..chee yah.
her kids should try oh.

Myne Whitman October 7, 2009 at 5:54 PM  

Interesting character, too bad her family abandoned her. Nice of you to share.

Nice Anon October 7, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

What a sad story.

24 hours is more than enough. Anything longer would drive most of us

Good Naija Girl October 7, 2009 at 7:52 PM  

I love how the village takes care of her; poor woman. My hope is that she is not suffering, and lives in bliss in a world of her making.

What a beautifully written character sketch though. You managed to capture it and take me there effortlessly!


Lady X October 7, 2009 at 9:15 PM  

Finally! An Update! It's so sad that she went mad when her husband married a second wife. I guess she must've really loved him....

The Girl with the Red Hair October 8, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

Nice sketch of character!!!

The villagers are doing a good thing to her. Pray she get happiness when she leaves these earth

Writefreak October 8, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

I was going to say Mama Christian must live in a very lonely and sad world...but then she probably lives in a happy world all by herself!
This is so beautifully written! How're you doing Adaeze? Been a while!

Justdoyin - Anoda Phase October 8, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

lol @ her refusing to die...too bad her family have abandoned her...that's sad...

if u had 30hrs, u'd want another 5 or

HYAW October 8, 2009 at 9:03 PM  

story is well written. thank God for her she has nice villagers to take care of her. evils of polygamy!

Enkay October 9, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

An interesting character indeed but sad still....wonder if she ever has any moments of real sanity when she has memories of years gone past.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu October 20, 2009 at 11:57 AM  

You did very well in sketching Mama Christina without pity. I especially like the "supernatural" comments like "she has always been old", haha!

The story makes me think of destinies of other mentally ill people I have come across in Ghana. Despite quite shocking behaviors, it seems quite common villages or neighborhoods help out long after families have given up.

Ultimately blogging should be giving voice to people not heard in other medias. Again, well done.

SOLOMONSYDELLE October 23, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

in another place, in another time, she'd likely have proper care and amenities so she wouldn't have to be dependent on the kindness of others.

Imagine the stories a woman like that could tell. She must have gist for ages!

Anyway, how you dey, sis?

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