ACT iv, SCENE ii
UDO: Through the open compound, I walk into the smaller hut to find Mama pounding okro . Mama o
CHISALE: Hei! Udo nkem. Ndaah? You are here.
UDO: Yes Mama, how is it?
CHISALE:(Excitedly.) I am well, go and bring a stool esor, quick. You know since you left three nights ago, everything has been one, one in this house. Nobody to sit with me ….eh…will I now sit on two stools. How many buttocks do I have? Go and bring a stool, ooh?
(Udo laughs into their main hut and appears with a short stool.)
UDO: Mama, chei you behave like you have not seen me since I was born.
CHISALE:(Cackles.) See this child, I have not seen you for three nights and you think it is easy.
UDO: But I have been going to Paa Chukwuma and coming back to you for four farming seasons, you are getting used to seeing me come and leave.
CHISALE: I won’t get used to it my daughter, it is not my age grade song. Udo nkem, how is it with you?
UDO: I am well. Now that all the clans have known that I am Paa Chukwuma’s goddess, sometimes I feel like it is too much.
CHISALE: It is not viko. Please enjoy it, the greetings, the morning praises. I even forgot to say, Urie now farms with me. She cannot stay away anymore.
UDO:(Clapping.) Heeeh! That is good. It seems wealth brings more peace or should I say more evil.
CHISALE: What are you saying this child?
UDO: People say no other kinsmen grow wealth like Paa Chukwuma and few kinsmen who disappear in our clans every farming season might be his sacrifices to the god of wealth.
Missed other Acts?
CHISALE: Shhhhh! Close your mouth Udo. Paa Chukwuma trades with other villages and we see the goats, fat yams, palm oil, farm lands, goat skins that he trades with them. Do not listen to our enemies, I beg you. Ehem….two of his younger sons has gotten married, what are the other two waiting for?
UDO:(Smiling.) You are asking me?
CHISALE: Do they not see you?
UDO: Ikendah and Anochie are now like my own kinsmen, Mama I am not marrying there. I am only Paa Chukwuma’s goddess.
CHISALE: When shall you marry?
UDO: I do not know. Paa Chukwuma’s only daughter Ekwah has not gone to her husband’s house, even Dinma is still a maiden…
CHISALE: Ehem? Did our gods make you the same day with them? Paa Chukwuma should take you as his youngest wife.
UDO:(Sternly.) Tufia, I rebuke it!
CHISALE: The youngest wife is pampered the most, do you not know?
UDO: Tufiakwa Mama, I rather marry Ikendah his fourth son.
CHISALE:(Displaying her teeth.) Ehem…I have gotten what I wanted. Ikendah is the one. Let me go and get oil inside.
UDO:(Shouting.) Mama! Mama! It is not like that o.
ACT iv, SCENE iii
UDO: I gently rub Paa Chukwuma’s feet in his obiri while he talks with some kinsmen. Paa your kinsmen talk with you, shall I leave your presence?
CHUKWUMA: No! Not today. My goddess, the other day I raised my voice for you to leave my presence because I was angered by Okenu.
UDO: Your youngest wife.
CHUKWUMA: Eheh. She is well now. You are to stay by me till our gods give you a man. Do not worry your beautiful face.
ECHILE:(Clears his throat.) Chukwuma is this maiden not just more than your goddess? Make her your eighth wife.
GBILE: Eziokwu, true. Her hands are good and her voice most times sends me to sleep inside this your obiri. Let her womb carry your twentieth child soon.
CHUKWUMA: No! My goddesses have their own free will to want anything. Udo has grown into a maiden that quiets every evil without knowing.
ECHILE: Iiiyaah! It is so.
GBILE: It is so.
NMEKINI: Her husband will need to pay two times bride price, one for you and the other for her people. Do you even see the heaviness of her chest?
(Everyone laughs. Enter Ikendah.)
IKENDAH: My elders I greet you. Meka o!
IKENDAH: Paa I have selected the yams and goats for our trade tomorrow. I want to go and see the olua farmland.
CHUKWUMA: That is good. Leraya, go well.
(Ikendah stares at Udo shortly and leaves.)
NMEKINI: Chukwuma this one takes after you so well.
CHUKWUMA:(Smiling and nodding.) It is not our making. Udo do you have any tune?
UDO: Always my Lord. Osumini va weh, river come o
Osumini va weh, river come o
Iri koriri, if you swallow
Isori paa chukwuma, you cannot swallow Paa Chukwuma
Osumini la weh, river go o
Osumini la weh, river go o
ACT iv, SCENE iv
UDO: Dinma and Anochie wait at the big tree where three foot paths meet. I rush to them impatiently. Anochie, Dinma ndaah?
DINMA: We are well, waiting for you, Anochie just told me now that he cannot be a man without me.
UDO:(Smiling happily for her friend.) Chei! That is good. Anochie your father still talks with more kinsmen but he let me go to rest, where is Ikendah?
ANOCHIE: He should be here soon, he went to see a land at olua.
UDO: He told me, no he said it to your father and I…
DINMA: Hmmmm! My friend’s head is full of Ikendah.
UDO:(Shyly.) It is not so Dim, we are only liking each other.
ANOCHIE:(Looking towards a path.) Ikendah is here, hmmmm. Udo run to him, he came back with a rabbit.
(Udo rush towards Ikendah, greets him and takes the bush meat. They join the other two under the tree.)
ANOCHIE:(Holding Dinma.) My brother, how is it?
IKENDAH: It is good. Are you talking to me or whispering to Dinma. Look at your mouth almost inside her ears.
ANOCHIE: Your trap caught a rabbit.
IKENDAH: Two rabbits, Zenu, the drunk son of a drunk father staggered into me and I gave him one.
DINMA:(Laughing.) Chei! Poor Zenu, who could have made such a young and strong kinsman into a drunkard like his own father. I only knew about it when I started visiting Udo here, he is not from our clan.
UDO: I have not heard or seen him. Why is that?
IKENDAH: Who knows? Our people say if one person sees a snake, there is no harm but if another person still sees that same snake, abomination is near. He started drinking palm wine and wandering the village like his father some farming seasons before. He walks to every clan maybe you have not met him many times, even at nights.
UDO: Chei! That is not good.
ANOCHIE: One day, some evil will travel far from this village.
ACT v, SCENE i
UDO: Paa Chukwuma has given me a keg of palm wine which I am sending to Nmekini’s home. My eyes suddenly meet Zenu staggering towards my path. Chim o.
ZENU: I have told my father that nothing will make me eat a rat or drink and tell…nothing…..nothing. (His eyes fall on Udo. He stops.)
UDO:(Whispering.) Zenu….the drunk son of a………
(Zenu’s keg of palm wine quickly falls from his own hands. For a moment he knows himself and begins to stare at Udo. They look at each other even more as Udo pass him by trembling quietly.)