The bride 2
At first, everyone was surprised. I took a few seconds before they
recovered from the shock and sought to do something. Kunle was the first to
run to Nneka where she was scattering the canopies and held her. She pushed
him away with so much force that landed him on his buttocks. Nneka’s
brothers and some of the kinsmen then surrounded and held her down before
taking her into the house. They were many murmurs among the people present.
Some of the women cried out of sympathy while others discussed the possible
causes of Nneka’s insanity. Gradually, the guest dispersed as the chief
celebrant had become a mad woman. What a way one’s special day went sour.
While these commotions were taking place, Nneka’s mother sat where she was.
She was too shocked to move a limb. Her facial expression was indifferent
as she watched her first daughter running around naked in front of the
crowd on her wedding day. She just moped like someone who’d been hypnotized
or under a spell. Her mind was vague with no thoughts of what was happening
running through it. She was in that state for a while before letting out a
loud scream. After the scream, she collapsed to the ground and became
unconscious. People rushed to her side and took her into the house where
efforts were made to resuscitate her. After she regained consciousness, she
started crying and making some heartbreaking comments.
When the commotion died down, Kunle made arrangements for his people to
return to their bases while him and his brother stayed back, probably to
help find out the reason and possibly solution to the darkness which had
befallen the love of his life. In his heart, he was convinced that someone,
somewhere, who didn’t want the progress of Nneka’s family had made a
spiritual projection to stop Nneka from getting married. This supposed
person he swore to find and deal with. He was determined to go to any
length in finding and punishing the person who had inflicted such pain and
shame on the woman he loved.
Have you read shalewa the bad girl?
Time passed with no solution coming up. Kunle had gone back to his base and
was visiting whenever he could. Each time he visited, he’d sit with Nneka
in the room where she was bound on both hands and feet. He would cry
bitterly as he watched what had become of his woman. The once beautiful
Nneka had become a ghost of herself. Her bulky eyes had sunk in, her firm
breasts had become almost placid, her glowing skin has sores and her hairs
were falling off. She would be snarling and talking to herself. Sometimes,
days would pass without her sleeping at all. The more Kunle saw Nneka, the
more heartbroken he became and the more determined he became in finding a
solution to Nneka’s problem.
Around the town, many people peddled many rumors and gossips concerning the
cause of Nneka’s madness. A set of the gossipers had it that Nneka was from
the marine world and had a husband there. They gossiped that her marine
husband struck her with madness because she insisted on getting married in
the physical realm. Another sector of the rumour mongers said that Nneka
was an ‘ogabnje’ and that ogbanjes are not allowed to marry mere humans,
thus her madness was projected to prevent her from doing so. This set
buttress their claims by insisting that it was only a person from the
ogbanje caste that could be as beautiful as Nneka was.
Another set, mainly made up of men whose advances Nneka turned down in the
past peddled another rumor. They said that Nneka was using her beauty to
defraud men. They further claimed that she promised to marry a man and
absconded when she’d liquidated the man. Thus, out of anger, the man struck
her with madness. All these rumour, lies and gossips were mere speculations
as no one knew exactly why the beauty queen went mad.
Time went by and solutions were sought for in different prayer houses. Most
of the supposed men of God gave false prophecies and provided fake
solutions. Some sold fake sacramentals to Nneka’s family and duped them
huge amounts of money. These fake prophets told many lies concerning the
cause and solution to Nneka’s condition. One of these fake men who defraud
people using the name of God came to Nneka’s family house on invitation and
requested to have some time alone with her. He claimed that he needed to
pray against the violent spirit which was tormenting her and wrestle with
it (the spirit) physically if need be. They (Nneka’s people) obliged and he
was led into the room where Nneka was. He (the fake prophets) started
shouting in form of prayers. He shouted for a while before he went mute.
After a while of going mute, he started moaning softly. It was then that
one of Nneka’s brothers opened the door and found the ‘prophet’ having a
carnal knowledge of mad Nneka’s body. So much for a prophet who’d come to
wrestle with evil spirits.
It got to a point that Kunle couldn’t take it anymore. He decided it was
time to seek for solutions through traditional means. This decision of his
was not welcomed by Nneka’s family. They insisted that there is nothing God
cannot do and that if it is the will of God, their daughter, Nneka would be
healed. After a long time of dialogue and facts presentation, Kunle was
able to convince Nneka’s family to try a herbalist who practised somewhere
around his base. Arrangements were made and Nneka was transported to the
herbalist’s home in the company of Kunle, her mother and her eldest
At the herbalist’s home, after some incantations and greetings to his gods,
he (the herbalist) threw his ‘awön ohun elo afòśè’ (divination materials)
and looked at them keenly. He stared at the pieces of bones, sticks, cowrie
and other items he’d thrown on the ground for a long time and shook his
head in pitifully. He looked up and stared at Nneka with the same pity in
He then went ahead and told them the cause of Nneka’s madness.
What did he tell them?
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