ACT ii, Scene ii UDO: I am walking with my mother Chisale, my hands support her weak steps. We meet Dinma and her mother Urie in a lonely farm path. Dinma ndah? How is
ACT ii, Scene ii
UDO: I am walking with my mother Chisale, my hands support her weak steps. We meet Dinma and her mother Urie in a lonely farm path. Dinma ndah? How is it?
DINMA: We are well. Maa Udo I greet you.
CHISALE: Thank you my daughter.
UDO: I greet you Maa Dinma, are you people going to the farm?
CHISALE: Urie how is your people, you have not seen my hut for a while.
CHISALE: Have you suddenly gone deaf and dump? Nshikpor are you deaf Urie?
URIE: Eh eh eh! Do not bring me bad luck this morning you miserable woman.
URIE: Yes! You! Nothing good ever comes out of being friends with you. Parasite. Amusu always sucking and taking from people.
CHISALE: Is that why you avoided me? Urie if I have anything I shall give.
URIE: When will you have? When can you have?
CHISALE: Urie! Me? (She begins to sob.)
UDO: Mama do not cry, let us go.
URIE: Yes go. Lazy mother and daughter.
DINMA: I am sorry Udo, I shall see you soon.
URIE:(Hitting her daughter.) Do not see her. Shut up and follow me. Stupid child, you did not see good homes like Paa Nsirim or Paa Chukwuma to pick a friend.
(Chisale walks the rest of the path weeping bitterly on her daughter.)
ACT ii, SCENE iii
UDO: As we walk across a big tree, where three footpaths meet, heading into the village. Paa Chukwuma journey through the other path with his two sons and guards. I am most concerned about my weeping mother. I do not run to greet him like every maiden do. Mama sorry, ooh. Let us get home fast so that you can rest.
CHISALE: I hear, is that not Paa Chukwuma and his people?
UDO: They must be journeying to the other villages for his trades.
CHISALE: Why not go and send greetings, he is a noble Chief.
UDO: No! Hah! Should I leave you here to go and greet a man that has seven wives and still search maidens?
CHISALE: Our women are not complaining. Who does not like new wrappers every market day?
UDO: I hear.
(From the other path.)
CHUKWUMA: The maiden over there appears as fresh as Ajaka’s morning palm wine yet she looks like a female spirit that can tear lions. Do you know her people?
IKENDAH: (Shaking his head.) No Papa.
ANOCHIE: No Papa.
CHUKWUMA: (To the guards.) Is she from our own clan?
GUARD 1: She is the daughter of Chisale, Odenigbo’s granddaughter.
CHUKWUMA: Hah! Odenigbo, the great warrior whom our gods have wronged. That family is never far from sorrow and bad omen.
IKENDAH: The gods decide. Till now no sacrifice has cleansed that family.
ANOCHIE: The sacrifice can only appease the gods when we know what the problem is. Do we know if the great Odenigbo had some evil feast with deities?
CHUKWUMA: My sons, we can also decide for ourselves not by the gods alone. The evil surrounding Odenigbo and his generation must be resolved either in this generation or any other generation to come.
ACT ii, SCENE iv
UDO: I sit beside Mama at the front of our hut. Chisale , my good mother still weeps and fight the gods. Ozule, it is enough, we will be well.
CHISALE: My daughter it is not enough! It is not! Have I done wrong to be a granddaughter of Odenigbo, a great warrior that our people still sing his praises? Look at me being called a witch for all the miseries that I do not know where it came from?
UDO: Eli the supreme god of justice has heard you.
CHISALE:(Sobbing loudly.) No! I don’t think our gods have heard me. Maybe I need to cry more o, Udo I need to cry more for them to hear me. Where are my first children? Where is my husband? Where are my ancestors? Everyone is gone! Why am I alive? (She rolls on the ground, Udo pulls her here and there.)
UDO: Mama it is enough. You are not the only one alive, how about me, have you not seen me here?
CHISALE: My daughter. ….o…my daughter! I say to the gods today that if anything happens to you, I must take my own life. I must journey to the land of the spirits to curse my ancestors.
UDO: Nothing must happen. We have had enough pain and I know that Eli has heard us today. Do not weep my good mother, out of countless and countless mothers, you supersede all.
CHISALE: (Smiling over her tears.) Udo! Udo nkem. My own peace. I have seen that you are the one to bring me peace.
UDO: Iiiiyaaah! Iseeeeh!
ACT iii, SCENE i
UDO: My body heaves angrily above my growing breasts inside my wrapper and the other wrapper around my buttocks. I run into our open yard and throw the matchet and the basket away. Mama! Mama!
(Chisale rush to her call from the hut.)
CHISALE: Hah! Why are you back already?
UDO:(Sobbing.) Agama and his family did not come to their farm today, I don’t know what has happened. I went to other farms to see if they need someone to work with them, nothing!
UDO:(Stamping a foot.) Oooohm! What are we going to do to survive eh? Many families do not need more hands in their farms. None of our plantains is even mature for harvest and it is not even a market day for me to go and pack yams for some traders……
CHISALE:(Soothing her.) Don’t worry too much, we must survive just like we have been surviving. I even thank my father’s people that they let me keep this compound and left me a small farmland. We shall be fine, ooh? Udo Nkem, my beautiful daughter.
UDO:(Suddenly smiling.) Yes Mama…..
CHISALE: Stop crying, go and suck out the periwinkles, let’s cook what we have.
UDO: Yes Mama.
ACT iii, SCENE ii
UDO: Hunger makes me yawn and stretch many times into the morning. I dash into the smaller hut and pour out some kernels. I started to break and eat, wondering what will be of us if some good kinsmen do not come to help us. If Mama does not want to go to my father’s people then I shall go, I must go and plead with them to help us or let me farm for them. I must!
CHISALE:(From inside the hut.) Udo! Udo!
UDO: Yes Mama!
CHISALE: Bring some kernels for me.
ACT iii, SCENE iii
UDO: Mama is sitting with her chin resting on her palm, worrying for another day. Mama, what do we do now? Let us go to my father’s people please.
CHISALE: No! They might throw me into the river that is what they wanted to do to us. I had to escape to my father’s people.
UDO: It has been many farming seasons, since I was still a child. They might help us now, look at me I will soon be a woman and fetch them good bride price.
UDO: Mama viko, please!
CHISALE:(Shouting.) This child leave me alone. No! I am not going to your wicked father’s people. I rather go and beg Urie for some garri to sip than go to your people. (A tear falls out of her eyes.) I have finally become a dog, I want to go and beg Urie, I want to go and eat my own feces. Chei! Oh!
UDO:(Begins to cry.) My father’s people are wicked, yes they are wicked. Everybody is wicked even your father’s people. I am leaving. I am running to my people.
(Udo speeds into the hut, Chisale follows her screaming.)
CHISALE: Udo, you are going nowhere. Stupid child. Owu, goat. You will not disobey me!
(Udo later dash out again with a wrapper of clothes only to open her mouth in surprise to the people in her compound. Paa Chukwuma and some guards bearing a keg of palm wine, a bottle of palm oil, a bunch of plantain, baskets of yams, wrappers and coral beads.)