WINDS OF CHANGE: EPILOGUE

By Okolo Chinua 12 months ago

EPILOGUE 

Years had passed his Okoro’s demise. A lot of changes had happened in Umuoba. Barely a year after Okoro died, Amadi took ill. His sickness was very rare and critical.it was so rare that the white man’s medicine could not cure him. The sickness made him bedridden and caused his body to decay from inside out. He became very irritating and people avoided him. Some said that the sickness was a punishment inflicted upon him by the gods for his evil deeds while others called it a sickness that was as a result of old age, although no old person had ever suffered from such. Before long, he was treated as an outcast as a rumour went round that the disease was communicable even Emeka and sir Dickson refused to visit him in his home. His family ran away from him, leaving him alone in his compound. Amadi suffered alone in his house. Two days after he was ostracized, he gave up the ghost.it was when one of his sons decided to visit home just for visiting sake that he found his father’s lifeless body. Amadi’s body was thrown into the evil forest because as tradition had it, one dare not bury a man who had died from a strange illness to avoid angering Ani, the earth goddess. Mazi Emeka became the next head of the new council after Amadi’s demise. Few years after Amadi’s death, a movement for revolution began. The movement was spearheaded by Njoku, a man from Umuoba, who had been opportune to have the white man’s education abroad. He had allies both in Umuoba and Britain. According to him, he wanted independence for the main indigenes of Umuoba. He despised the idea of the amalgamation. He was an orator and had the people of Umuoba on his side. Emeka and the council strongly opposed him and due to that, there were several riots. On one of those riots, the people had attacked Mazi Emeka’s home. They demolished the house and brutally attacked Mazi Emeka who was trying to flee, hitting and kicking him until life went out of him. The move had become so serious that it had attracted the attention of the queen of England. She invited Njoku to Britain to hear his cause. Njoku who was a learned man knew that it could be a trap took no fewer than fifty men of Umuoba with him. His main basis of the argument was that the amalgamation had been superimposed on the people which was contrary to the rights of man as stated in the fundamental human rights that each person had a right to decide what he or she wanted.mr Dickson was also called upon to defend his cause. There were a lot of hearings and coming to a decision was difficult. However, on the day presupposed to be the fifteenth anniversary of the amalgamation, the queen accepted Njoku’s plea and granted Umuoba independence, thus freeing them from British control. She dismissed the amalgamation and ordered that the other surrounding villages could choose to either stand alone as autonomous villages or come together as one village. Njoku had won the case not just by his powerful speeches alone but by drawing together his powerful foreign allies and convincing them to help him fight for his cause which they did voluntarily. There was so much joy and celebration in Umuoba the day Njoku and the men returned with the good news. They kept on throwing him up and catching him happily. Kosiso was present on that day. He had earlier abandoned the council and stayed off village matters. ‘They do not know, do they? They cannot remember, can they? That today is the exact day Okoro started this.it was because of his sacrifice that this was made possible. I just hope you are smiling wherever you are now, brother. Your dream has come true.it has become a reality’ Kosiso thought to himself. He had aged very much. He had not gone to visit Okoro’s family at Umuebido since that night for security reasons, however, there was nothing to worry about anymore. He travelled to Umuebido the next day. All his children had all married and were in their family houses so he had nothing to worry about.as expected, he met a lot of changes. Odum had already joined his ancestors. All the daughters of Okoro had been married off to respectable young men. Nwokoro as well as his two younger brothers had taken wives and had established in Umuebido. Fortunately for Kosiso, he met Nwokoro discussing with Chizitere as he entered the compound. Nwaanyiorie barely came out as she was critically ill due to old age.it was Chizitere who took care of her. Nwokoro had just happened to stop by that day to see his mother. He had been discussing with her when Kosiso came in. They were both surprised to see Kosiso and they greeted him heartily. ”Uncle, to what do we owe this surprise!” asked Nwokoro. Kosiso smiled and took a seat. He explained to them all the things that had happened I n the village as well as the recent independence. Nwokoro screamed with joy. He never thought it was possible and he started giving praises to the gods. Chizitere was pleased too but the word ‘independence’ brought back painful memories of her late husband. Kosiso noticed this and patted her on the shoulder, saying, “His cause has been vindicated. I’m sure he’s happy wherever he is” she nodded and looked at Nwokoro who was still praising the gods happily. Kosiso laughed and said to him, “Young man, even the gods get filled up, you know?” ”Do not mind me, Uncle. I am just pleased that that which father fought so hard to get has finally been gotten.it gladdens my heart” replied Nwokoro. ”Indeed” said Kosiso. ”So, what next, Uncle? Must we return to the village? Will the systems change?” asked Nwokoro. ”Well, we do not know for now, however, the white man will never interfere with us again.as for your return, you can if you want to but there is also nothing wrong if you wish to stay here” he replied. “I’ll stay here. You can go, my son, if you want to” said Chizitere. ”Not yet, mom. I’ll like to wait and see how things will turn out before I return” Nwokoro answered. They spent the rest of the day discussing happily about different things. Kosiso and Nwokoro spent the night there before they left in the morning; Kosiso, for the village and Nwokoro, for his house. The systems of Umuoba were not really changed. The ways of the old were adapted and everything was peaceful again. Njoku was made King and Kosiso was appointed as an elder in Njoku’s cabinet. Njoku had pleaded with him to join out of respect for Okoro. Culture and tradition were once again revered in Umuoba and yearly, the village celebrated its independence. Nwokoro and his family moved to Umuoba three years after his discussion with Kosiso.

It was on that certain night of their independence that his son had asked him to tell him how it all began. “And that is where we end this story for today” Nwokoro said to Omekannaya. ”Thank you father. I’ll try my best to do more than you and grandfather did. Thank you father” Omekannaya said. “Very well, son, now off you go. Early to bed…?” Nwokoro said. “Early to rise” his son completed and stood up. “Goodnight father” he said as he ran into his mother’s hut. Nwokoro watched as his son disappeared into the darkness. He smiled and thought, ‘he will be great someday and maybe, someone will tell of his story too’. He smiled to himself, stood up, entered his Obi and retired for the night rest.

 

 

                                                                                                           THE END

 

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