Episode 1… the hidden fear.
Amadi, a palm-wine tapper of Mbadike, was very poor. The story of their family background which his father, Moukamadu, had told him contributed much to his own poverty. Sometime in his teenage years, he had become really concerned about the poverty in his family, and had demanded to know from his father the cause of their poverty. He had noticed from his early childhood that every other family was doing well, while his was always wretched.
Amadi’s father had told him that his forefathers were cursed by the gods of Ajana to remain poor throughout their generations. His father also gave to him the names of some of their family members who had tried to struggle against their poverty but had met their doom. They included Ochiedike, Ogbuagu, Anunuebe, Mgbeke, and Amadi’s own mother, Mgbeafo.
After having listened to his father, Amadi accepted the story with fear. He now knew it was this that had robbed him of the opportunity of going to school, because his father would not want to join the group of the dead who had resisted the god’s curse.
So Amadi settled down to the poor business of palm-wine tapping. When therefore he reached the age of marriage, he could not marry due to lack of money. Eventually, he sold some parcel of his land from which he obtained the means to marry. As time went by, he had three(3) sons, Chike, Chidi and Josh.
As a result of his fathers story to him, and because he himself was not sent to school, Amadi made up his mind not to send his children to school. When therefore his first son, Chike grew up to school age, he didn’t send him to school. Chike did not know there was any such thing as schooling until one day, he noticed other children going to school, including his playmate, Ike. He had seen Ike from a far distance and was surprised at his smart appearance in his school uniform that early morning. Chike therefore ran out to meet Ike.
‘Ike, where are you going to in this beautiful dress?’ asked Chike.
Ike felt very elated at his friends observation, and replied, ‘Chike, this is my school uniform. I’m going to school in it.’
Chike was dumbfounded, for he could not understand the meaning of SCHOOL. ‘Ike, what do you mean by school?’ he asked. ‘I’d like to go with you.’
‘No! No! Chike, you can’t go with me. You have not been registered, and you have no uniform. Go and tell your father. Bye-bye! Ike quickly replied, and ran off to school with the other children.