The story I am about to tell you is a sad one o and it is hurting me bad.
It is about my mother; I am not the only child she has; there are seven of us, 5 in Abroad and two in Nigeria. We call my mother Alhaja because she went to Mecca way back when I was much younger.
Alhaja married twice; so I have half brothers and sisters; they are the ones abroad, myself and my sister are the two she had for another man, my late dad, who passed away years ago.
See, Alhaja needs help; she is going mental and the money needed to take care of her is something I can’t afford, even my younger sister can’t afford it either. The drugs they are naming and the prices they are calling are way beyond what we can afford because we had to take Alhaja to the general hospital when we didn’t understand what was going on with her anymore. It was after many visits there that they, ‘transferred’ us to yaba; they said we should go to Yaba, you know Yaba left?
Ehen but we have elder brothers and sisters abroad, whom Alhaja took care of, labored for when they were young and all they can tell us now is that Alhaja deserves what she’s getting They have all refused to help their own mother, the woman who gave them life!
What do they mean by that?
Well, to the best of my knowledge, they blame Alhaja for the death of their father, who was Alhaja’s first husband. I wasn’t born then so I only know what I was told, what I heard. They claimed that Alhaja killed their dad to inherit his wealth. I really don’t know what wealth, I know my mother, Alhaja worked hard to train us; I know she sold off a few properties, which I was told belonged to her late husband, to send my elder brothers and sisters to school and when time came, one after another, she sent them abroad.
Today, they pretend she didn’t do anything for them; that she is a witch who killed their father, the one who prevented one from having children, prevented another from settling down peacefully in her marital home, and another from securing a well-paying job, caused one to be a drug addict…I mean…this is so wrong!
We have the same mother, if she was such a wicked woman, how come she didn’t affect my sister and I with her witchcraft? We aren’t doing well and that can be explained, me, I didn’t go to school, I hated school; Alhaja did her best to make sure I finished school but I was a rascal. I am telling you what I did; I skipped classes, I joined bad gang. I am what I am today because I was a rascal, nobody did this to me, I did it to myself!
My sister on the other hand went to school, finished, is a graduate but Allah hasn’t yet given her the job she desires, yet.
She is still managing with a small company but she is not begging anyone for food. Do you understand what I am saying?
Back to my story, Alhaja is just doing any how these days. She doesn’t remember much; when you’re talking to her, she is saying something else. When everyone has gone to bed, that is when Alhaja will say she wants to go and pray Jimoh at midnight! She would finish eating and shit in the bowl… you know? It is bad.
She is 79, almost 80 but she can’t do anything for herself, common going to the toilet is work. The small girl myself and my sister got from one of our distant relation is not able to cope with Alhaja.
Me, I have to go out to hustle, as an area father, I control some of the boys in my area; my younger sister has to go to work, she is still a small girl herself, just 26years, she has to work so we can’t stay with our mother all day.
I called my senor siblings telling them of Alhaja’s situation but they were just talking rubbish. If it isn’t rubbish, why won’t they send money to help their own mother? If she was a witch, she would have wiped them out, clean, isn’t that how witches are supposed to behave?
But she sent them to school, sold properties to send them abroad and now, they label her a witch in her old age.
God will punish all of them and their stinking money!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)