Have you read the book or watched the movie adaptation of ‘Flowers in the Attic’ By V.C Andrews? It’s about a recently widowed mother who locked her children up in a bid to get her dying father’s inheritance. She gets remarried and losses complete interest in the wellbeing of her children, and tries killing them so she can enjoy her inheritance.
Well, just like their mama locked them up in the attic, stunting their growth, limiting their freedom and exposure, and gradually laced their cookies with poison, so is my mother killing me. She’s locked me up in cell of oblivion, stunting my growth, limiting my potentials, and quenching the fire of my dreams for the future even before it takes shape, leaving me to dwell in ignorance while I peep out and sadly watch as other mothers send their kids to the best of schools and embrace their potentials.
Its funny how much I still love her despite it all. She’s caused me so much pain and hurt, deprived me of sunshine and emaciated my mind. Oh, there have been tussles in my mind as other mothers with hearts of love try to adopt me. I hear that the foster homes are a dream come true. Well I know they are. I live in bliss on those occasions mother lets me go on vacations to the foster homes. I see my brothers and sisters who ran to the foster homes when they couldn’t stand mother anymore looking all jovial, like it was the best decision ever, and I wish I could remain there with them. But I can’t bear to be adopted, to be taken away from mother, there’s something about her that brings me crawling back to her. That thing is hope. Hope that she will eventually change. Some would call it foolish hope.
You see I don’t blame her entirely. I blame her husbands. They changed her. Sometimes she had good ones, most times not. There was Daddy Balewa, Daddy Zik, Daddy Shagari. Daddy Shonekan, Daddy Ironsi, Daddy Umaru and Daddy Gowon. There was Daddy Olusegun…(who I had to call daddy twice because she remarried him after the first divorce). We had Daddy Ibro, Daddy Sani, Daddy Buhari, Daddy Abubakar. Mother could hardly breath with some of her ex-husbands around, talk less of we her children. They openly took her jewelry and all her heirlooms and disposed of at will. They would abuse me, molest me, and keep me starving while they had the best of everything, and mother watched silently but did nothing, because she was powerless… They are responsible for mother loosing her mind.
Most only married her for her money, her inheritance… few of them for her substance, her grace or her natural beauty. They all pretend and whisper sweet nothings to her, telling her they would take care of she and her kids, they would make her smile again because they are better than the last… then they don’t. Its always the same pattern, the same sweet lies, and we the children are so desperate for change that we're gullible and have hope that maybe this time we'll have a better daddy, one that would stop mama from locking us up. Mama too, she’s so desperate for companionship that she lets them in even when she knows, they wouldn't be better than the last.
I hear from those who know, my elder brothers and sisters, that mother was once beautiful, that foreigners wanted the whole of her, her head was always held so high when she walked, that it almost looked like she was gliding. Her breasts were perk and firm, her hips well rounded, her waist as tiny as could be, her eyes shone with warmth, you could almost drown in it, people listened when she spoke and her hair glistered in the sun as she wore it in those endearing weaves… She was the toast of most, till she got into one abused relationship to another.
I cringe in disgust at how she lights up when foreigners come to visit. Some take advantage of her eagerness to please, that they allow themselves get adopted by her, her eyes lights up as she tries to please them, treating them with priority, huge banquets held for them, the best toys given to them… while a majority of her kids are given left overs, with nothing but the sand to play with.
How ignorant mummy is, thinking her adopted ones would speak well of her, if only she knew that they just pretend to love her for what they can get and not for who she is…. If only she would know how much we her children love her.
I pray for her, I hope one-day mother would be mother again. She would wear the right bra to get that perk look, she would wash her hair and brush it till it glitters again, then weave it in the most glamorous of styles, her eyes will have that glint even as she stares at me and listens to my dreams. Maybe she can't be exactly as she once was, but who knows, maybe she could be better than she was? (There’s always reconstructive surgery right?)
I pray that the day will come when she wouldn’t hit me anymore, she would nourish me with her riches, settle the fights between my siblings so we don't have any more meaningless deaths in the family, feed my younger ones milk from her breast. Stop the poisoning, open the doors up and let me into the sun to bask in its rays and develop my ideas. She would splurge her riches, whatever is left from the looting of her previous husbands, on we her children who have remained faithful to her.
Nigeria is my mother. And those men who whisper sweet nothings in her ears, are the politicians/leaders who make her giggle and take over her life just to steal from her resources while we the citizens, her children suffer…. we’ll keep praying that one day it’ll be better again.
Mother is preparing to take in a new husband, from those courting her; we have no idea who she leans towards. But I pray she uses wisdom this time… would she go back to her ex? Or would she continue with the present?
God bless Nigeria.
Joy Inyamu Akut is the Author and publisher of iNyamu’s Eldorado, a blog site where she writes about life, the awesomeness of God, and encourages people by enriching their Spirits with words of inspiration. She also just recently published her first book Kiss & Tell. When she is not writing, she is getting inspired to write some more.