You are welcome. I greet you. Please sit down, we must break kola together. He who brings kola brings life. I am Duru Agwubuo, senior member of the Ndi Ozo ruling council of Umuaka Kingdom.
You say you are here to enquire about Lesley. She is a very foolish woman. She married for love. What is love? Who marries for love? A woman marries a man that can provide a good life for her and her children. She could have had any man she wanted, she could have even married the king’s first son. Instead she chose a weak thoughtless boy from a far away kingdom. His family is rich but they do not have a good pedigree. His father was a trader and his grandfather a mercenary.
Just like she insisted on marrying him she insisted on leaving him after two children. But she didn’t marry another man, she decided to live and raise her children alone in The Big City, Lagos. What kind of woman is that? Only immoral women live alone in the city. She said she was still looking for love. Her age mates married the eligible men and she was still looking for love.
It didn’t go very well for her in The Big City. She struggled to raise those boys. She ignored a lot of opportunities to be available for them and what money she made she spent to give them a good city life away from the village where she grew up. Her aunts used to tell her to send the children back to the family that owns them and stop wasting her money on them. She didn’t listen. Maybe it paid off for her. She and her sons are very close. They dote on her.
As her children grew Lesley focused more and more on her career and she did pretty well for a woman. She was generous to her father, the big family, and the lineage and she was interested in kingdom affairs but as she became more and more successful she became less and less interested. She forgot her promise. Her promise to tell our stories. She convinced herself it was just – her imagination. After all who was she making promises too? She forgot the messages we sent her.
I am one of the ancestors now. Our descendants live in a different time, they have new ideas about how life should be. They say we are old school and out dated. In the ancient belief of the Igbo of south east Nigeria the worst fate for the dead is to have no one to remember their name. This is why men poured libations and recited the names of their fathers every morning and every night and taught their sons to do the same. But the world has changed.
Lesley has remembered me again and promised I will be remembered for ever more in her book which she insists will be in the Library of Congress. She would make me immortal!