My name is Mbazi.. I’m the first born of my Pah.. Pah means father in my tribe, We are three brothers and a sister, Zila. This story is not just about me but mainly about my only sister Zila,
my father had three sons, and a daughter , We are the four children of Mukattabaziela, My father’s name is strange and long.. According to him.. his name means root of a tree, which literally stand for a great man.. He was well known in my tribe as a man of wisdom.. He is one of the clan chief. People find it difficult to pronounce his name.. Some settled with calling him Pah..
This are the names of my father’s children, me, being the first, Mbazi, Mekah, Muke and Zila,
The only sister I had was a twin to Muke..The last son of my Pah, Zila, as we all fondly call her was the pride of our home.. She was the beautiful flower that welcomes the sun with a smile.. But later the flower was plugged off even before the rising of the sun..
So many things I want to talk about.. I wasn’t there when most of the things I want to talk about happened but I was told..
Zila was an outcast.. Because she’s a twin to a boy.. is not generally acceptable in my clan.. A girl being born with a boy at the same time was an abomination and father been a clan chief has to live by example..
Pregnant women always pray that they don’t give birth to a boy and girl as twin, because they couldn’t bear to watch their female children thrown off to be devoured by animals, Either 2boys or 2girls. Or just one, Male or female. Because if the girl is born with a boy together as twins she will be mark as an outcast thereby thrown to the deep wood to be devoured by hungry animals.
The boys are kept while the girls are unlucky, and this bad omen happened to Zila, Because of their general belief that such baby should not be alive or she will bring bad luck to all the clan, they believe Zila was a bad omen.. If such thing happen the land will have to be cleanse just to appease the gods, after the cleansing of the land it will then be prepared for cultivation,
Mother begged father to reason with his people so that their little girl can live.. But father refuse and said he is the clan head.. He came and met the tradition that their forefathers made long before him, He will go one day living the tradition behind for his sons.. Mother was in pain.. She understand Father.. She knows father couldn’t do anything because he has joined hand with other tribe Chief and send so many unfortunate baby girls born in this form to the wood because tradition requires it,
baby Zila who was few months old was taken away from mother’s arm.. Father was bitter.. He loved mother and hate to see her in pain he also love his little girl.. But the clan men look upto him to see if he will defy the law.. Which he doesn’t want to.
Father gave her the name Zila, meaning a beautiful flower, despite he knows she won’t live for long,
Before Zila was taken off to be disposed in the wood, where she will become food for the animals.. My Pah stroke her shoulder hard.. And there was a deep mark.. And he said with sadness in his voice ..
” Ooh my sweet Zila, you are the sun covered in darkness.. My beautiful flower, I wish I can change the hand of time, which will enable me go back to the day you were conceived and make you one in the womb of your mother so that you can come into the world alone not with a boy, in that way you won’t be termed as an outcast or abomination, how I wish….i wish for many things but i must follow the law as a tribe head…my daughter please come again to me.. In your another world… But alone all by yourself.. Not accomplained by anybody.. So you won’t have to be an outcast. I don’t know why God gave you to us at this time that the wickedness of men are very high.. “But I can’t question Him cos he is God am only human.. He gives and takes”. Farewell my daughter….you will always live in my heart…
The men that took Zila went deep into the wood to dropped her, Zila was in a woven basket, Which was decorated with flowers.. I quietly followed behind with Riko my father’s servant, whom i was close to.
father was with the men who carried Zila in the woven basket, he wanted to say a final goodbye to his little girl.. Whom he love so much from birth..
Zila never stopped smiling all through the journey to the wood.. Everywhere was quiet except for our footsteps and the sound of the birds, no one is allowed to speak a word all through the sad journey to the wood,
Sometime Zila’s laughter will startle everyone, her giggling was so lovely to hear, innocent little zila, she didn’t even know the kind of fate that awaits her, she was so beautiful to behold and didn’t know what was going on, that this day will be her last, her her last giggling and last laughter, no one will hear of her again, she will not grow up or know what the world holds for her because her fate has being destined , her fate was decided by men who have being long dead and every generation kept to this barbaric law until now it has gotten to father’s turn and to his own skin,
Zila’s constant giggling begin to soften the heart of some harden men among the group heading to the wood.
they sometime bend to have a glimpse of Zila and then smile back at her. She was lovely.. Some people wish the tradition of trashing the female twin into the deadly forest could stop..
Everyone deserve to have a chance to live.. No one is an abomination cos children are gift from God.
Zila was in her beautiful woven basket and beautiful flowers where placed inside she never stop giggling..
When we finaly got to the wood.. children’s bone and skull were scattered around the wood.. It was a dreadful place to be, Father hasn’t been there before. The only reason why he was there was because he wanted to say a final goodbye to his daughter.
as they dropped Zila’s basket on the ground which was filled up with mites, caterpillars different kinds of ants and dry leaves everywhere, father walked upto where she was.. He knelt down on one knee.. He looked round again.. All he could see was bones of babies, discarded for tradition sake, scattered everywhere.. Baskets just like the one Zila was lying on also was scattered round, he looked troubled and pained, sorrow was marked on his face, he knew he can never forgive himself for being part of such evil, father spoke again…his voice cracking..
” So my little Zila will be gone.. Eaten by some disdainful animal.. And her basket thrown off.. Like the ones here…oh mine.. I wish the power is in my hands to change this barbaric law….
Father raised his head and shut his eyes. Just thinking of animals tearing children off for food.. Makes Pah to become dizzy..
No..”No.. I can’t let that happen again.. Pah stammered.. More to himself.. As the men stood watching him and waiting for him to say his final goodbye as he had wanted to do.. So that they can be on their way back.. He took Zila tender hand as tears poured down his face.. Zila held unto him and giggled.. Father tried to pull off.. But her tender hand held his two finger, she held on tight..and look into father eyes.. And she has that look on her face that was like saying “Father Please don’t leave me here”.
father was becoming too emotional.. I have never seeing father cry or so broken before except now, He thought of innocent children.. Killed all because of stupid belief.. Some of the men that came with him try to encourage him to stand up so that they can leave and put Zila behind like one of those unfortunate happenings… Some of the other tribe men whisper within themselves waiting to see if father will break the law, Riko, my father’s servant and two other men came to take father who was bent over to his daughter up,
But father dismissed them.. Father felt ashamed of himself.. For even agreeing to dispose his on child for a tradition That was organized by men.. Probably for their selfish reasons. So many innocent children..has been destroy for same stupid belief.. It got to stop.. It must be abolished.. He will be tagged an infidel.. Law breaker, a weak man, some will even stage war against him but He cared less about what they will say or do.. He is the clan chief.. He will not leave his daughter to be destroyed here in the wood by a hungry animal.. Neither will he allow any other child to be thrown away for the sake of tradition or anything.. He lifted Zila up.. While the tribe men watched
“Am taking my daughter home’. this law, this unlawful sentence, this wicked tradition and ritual has to stop. Every child is a child.. No child is a bad omen.. Children are precious gift from God.. Zila.. My daughter will live. I know i was once part of this, I have agreed severally for a girl child to be disposed, I was foolish, now I understand what it feels like, I understand the pain the mothers and fathers go through as their daughter is taken away from them…i can’t do this..i can’t .please forgive me, I beg everyone.. Please my people….i can’t leave my daughter here… The thought of leaving her here to die will kill me faster than anything… Please my people.
There were murmurs coming from the men present, some disagree and said that it wasn’t possible for father to take Zila, father got angry and spoke loudly
Anybody who doesn’t agree with me should try and stop me, I’m taking my daughter with me and she will live among her brothers, she will grow up in our tribe, this law is evil and will be abolished, this children did not chose to come to this world on their own, why should we destroy them even before they could have say about their lives.. Go and deal with it if you don’t agree with me…or try to stop me..
Some cheered for him.. While some were not happy..
Argument began right there in the wood, some men said father can’t change the tribe tradition because he was born into it and he will die leaving it behind, he is the tribe Chief and he has allowed the trashing of the female child since he became a tribe leader, is not possible for him to change it now it has gotten to his turn, he must live by example.
The tribe men refuse to allow father to save his daughter, Zila. But father was determined, is either he take Zila home with him and end such law or they kill him too along side his daughter, he was strong willed person and was ready to face anybody or anything that will stop him from taking his outcast daughter, who was abomination to the clan home
[nextpage title=”episode 2″]
Father pulled a great fight with his men on his side and he was able to win through and take Zila home, abolishing the law of trashing the female twin,
Mother couldn’t contend her joy of having her child back to her arm.. She praised father for his courage and those who stood up against this forbidden tradition,
Those who were against couldn’t have much say because more people stood with father,
Father personally went to the houses of the people that has lost their daughters to tradition, he pleaded with them and begged to be forgiven for being part of such evil and abominable act, he doesn’t really know or understand how it feels like until the ball was thrown to him, it was until he was staring at his daughter, how innocent and beautiful she was and never knew what fate awaits her, it was through his own daughter that his eyes opened to understand what it feels like to loose Your Own to tradition made by men who were far gone, since the twin girl was tagged an outcast because of some selfish reasons or unknown reason by the forefathers, men like him, they neither grow horns or ferns, they were probably tribal leaders like him, so they made this law and it has being practised ever since, generation to generation, if anybody breaks this law should be punished by the land or by the gods then he is ready and willing to receive the punishment, let the gods strike him dead or let the land open up and swallow him up for breaking this outcast law against the female twin,
“let them do all they could against us but spare our daughters, they should punish us and spare our innocent daughters, I will be waiting for their equal punishment if there’s any but until then i will be in my house watching my daughter grow among her own, men like me made the law long time ago, I broke the law, no more leaving the female twin in the wood to be devoured by wicked animals, no more, it ends from Zila, my daughter, let anything that will come, come to me, I’m not scared of being punish for stopping this.
Muke and Zila bonded together.. And their wasn’t any such thing like killing of the female twin child again. Some clan chief were not in support.. And they were looking for all means to strike father for destroying the tradition that was set down by the forefathers..
While some called father a hero.
Zila grew up to be a brave strong girl, she was more wise than her age mate, she’s mostly found on her own.. She was to be betrothed to a prince in the neighboring clan once she comes of age,
Zila has heard severally from people how she was an outcast and was taking to the wood until father saved her, she hated the stories because it always scares her whenever she’s being told of it,
Despite father stop the killing of the female twin there were tradition father couldn’t tamper with, his power was limited to that, he can’t save or stop somethings from happening,
there were set of people who are tagged as an outcast in our tribe
There was also a boy Who was banished several years ago.. When Pah was still so traditional.. Before Muke and Zila were born. When mother was still pregnant for Muke and Zila. The boy was just 9years then. His name was Ladi.
Ladi’s family were all wiped off by an unknown sickness.. Ladi’s uncle claimed that Ladi was the bad child that brought darkness to the land and he needed to be set ablaze.. He need to die, before more people dies. some of the clan chief.. disagree to burn or bury him alive, my pah was among the people who disagree to this barbaric act, instead of killing the little boy they agree to banish him instead.
he was told never to return to the tribe or he will be stoned to death and anybody that comes in contact with him will also be banished, so everybody stayed off the outcast side, his uncle who was Ladi’s father’s younger brother took over all their properties as Ladi was sent off.
Ladi wasn’t just the only outcast in our clan, some of the people who are sent out of the clan for being an outcast created their own clan in the outskirt of the forest, they stayed far off from our clan and never come any close, they feed in Bush animals, fruits and different plants,
We also stay far and are warned never to go close to them or we will become like them, everyone stayed far off the outcast lane
Zila was 12years… She sometime go to the wood alone sometimes with Muke, Mekah and other neighbors kids who like been around, they are always warned not to go deep into the wood .. They should just be where their voices can be hard or can be easily seen.. And should avoid the outcast side of the wood.
One day Zila went alone into the wood.. She sometime does that.. As she walks round the wood.. Taking in the fresh air.. She has always thought off what could be at the other side of the wood. She always wanted to find out.. But they have been thoroughly warned to stay off,
she has decided to check it out,
.. She made sure that no one was following or watching her as she slowly went deep into the wood..
She will hide and see if the stories she was told was real.. If it was true that the outcast communicate with sign language.. They don’t talk normal because the gods cursed them , they are horror to look at, has horns and dark reddish eyes.. Long fawns.. This were the stories we were told about the outcast. Zila decided to find out herself
The more she thought of it the more she want to find out herself,
“The outcast. Hmm “What could be on the other side, dangerous men.. Vampires.. They also feed on human flesh, women too.. Very ugly.. Or maybe deadly looking people.. I will like to find out myself…I’m not scared…
As she thought of it fear grip her.. She moved faster.. And even started running down, when she feels she was getting close she slowed down, she wanted to have a full glimpse of them,
she slowed down and moved slowly she must see what they look like or even hear what they sound like
she sneak down the path that’s all covered up with thorn bushes.. She was suddenly caught up on a hard rope.. Which wrapped her up and threw her into a hole.. She screamed.. She kept screaming for help.. Darkness surrounded her. As she was shouting.. She was shock when the rope that was tired all around her started lifting her up gradually.. Somebody was drawing up the rope, as she came up the surface.. The rope started loosing up by itself.. She couldn’t see anybody.. She just felt like invisible hand loosing her up.. After she was free from the rope .. She traced the rope to know where is coming from and found out that the person was hiding in a crowdered leave up on a tree.. She couldn’t see the person.. But she saw that there was somebody hiding there. She became scared, could it be that what she heard about the outcast are actually true, if so then she is in serious trouble, she didn’t even know her way back again because she has gone pass the boundaries of our clan to the forbidden side of the wood.
[nextpage title=”episode 3″]
Zila traced the rope again, checking if she will be able to see the person hiding up in a crowded leave, she tried to know where the rope is coming from and found out that the person was still hiding in a crowdered leave up on a tree.. She couldn’t see the person.. But she saw that there was somebody hiding there..
“Who are you.. Show your face.. Show your yourself.. Who are you.. Am not scared of you.. Or what you look like, Why are do you have to save me.. And why are you hiding up there…
She kept talking.. But got no reply..
My name is Zila.. Am sorry I crossed my boundary.. Am harmless.. I have always been curios to know what was on this part of the wood.. That is the main reason I’m here, I meant well.. Am sorry to have crossed the boundary, I meant well.. Please show your face.. I just want to be a friend.. Please..” I’m not scared of what you look like, but please don’t hurt me, I have lost my way, don’t even know how to go back but I’m not in a haste to do that.. i just want to see your face, to confirm if the stories i was told are true..
All her word were met with silent again but she continue to speak while looking up to the tree, trying to get a glimpse of the person up the tree but the tree leaves where hiding the person, she tried to let go of her fear and speak again, to see if she can convince the person to come down
“I don’t care what you look like.. Am not scared.. I don’t care if you have horns, fawns and feed on human, as I was told, I don’t care if you uses sign language to communicate because you don’t have a voice…I’m not scared of all that, I just want to see what you really look like and all I want is to just see your face..
Zila waited again but no response, she felt strange eyes watching her, but she was not ready to let go, she will keep trying.
“Well since you don’t want to show your face.. I will sit here and wait until you are ready to make a sound or show your self… I only meant well, my name is Zila, I’m a twin to a boy, meaning i was once an abomination to our tribe, I was told that when i was born I was an outcast like you people over here, I was meant to be left in the wood to die, just like every other female twin born before me, but father saved me, I know you were cast off because of one thing or the other, which i may not know all the stories but I’m not different from you, some people still look at me as an outcast, they still reminds me of my birth but I can’t tell my Pah, it may bring trouble to those reminding me of being an abomination, I know what rejection feels like because i was once cast out to die, so you can see i meant well, you can see I’m not like everybody, I’m different just like you are…
Silent met all her speech, only the cricket sound could be heard, Zila sat on the root of the tree praying and hoping the person up the tree will have a change of mind and come down,
After sometime She hard a tick and heavy voice that got her to her feet, it was terrifying because she did not expect to hear a voice since she was told they can not speak but uses sign to communicate
“Go home.. Go home to your moma and your Pah, you know you shouldn’t be on this part….. of….the..wood .Remember..curiosity kills the cat, I’m not a model and am not so good to be looked upon, we that lives over this part are very scary… young girl, and seeing our face is very deadly, it means terror for you, believe what you are told about this part and stay far off, go home right now. And never thread on this forbidden part again.. Is only a stubborn fly that follows a Corp to it’s grave.. Leave now and stay far off from us, we are not like your normal people,
Zila stood still and try to see if she can have a glimpse of the man speaking from the tree but she couldn’t see anything, She shouted back so that whoever that’s talking will hear her very well,
” You are just like a sounding cymbal.. You are wasting your time trying to convince me to go home..Am sorry to disappoint you Mr invisible, am not going anywhere until you show your face..
She waited.. The evening was going down.. She knows that her people will be looking for her by now.. But she has refuse to go.. She wanted to see what an outcast look like, as she has being told that they are very scary.. And no one should ever see their face.. Or the person will die.. And if you are ever caught trailing their side of the wood.. Or caught with them in anyway.. That person will be banish, and they don’t speak like normal people, everybody avoided the outcast side of the wood.. Our parents always warn her and us off this part.. We have live with fear of them.. Until she hard the story of her birth.. She was an outcast too.. And would have been gone if not for Pah, so she’s more like them.. She began to see them as helpless people who couldn’t help their situation.. Which if someone has intervened on their behalf.. They wouldn’t have been marked as an outcast” she wish the man could come out, so that she can see his face and find her way because it was already getting dark.
As she was still thinking on what to do the voice came again.
“Why are you so stiffed neck…young girl.. You are such a stubborn child.. Go home.. Your People are looking for you.. Do you realize the consequence of been on this part of the wood.. Please .. Go home young lady. Go home now.. Men are already on the other side of the wood looking for you, is so deadly to be here, we are not celebrities that people look out for.. We are “outcast” and we love to be hidden… Please go before you cause so much trouble for yourself, night is fast approaching.. If you don’t leave now.. You may not find your way back again..
Zila gave up and decided to go home.. It was almost dark.. She has spend all afternoon and evening here, she has to go.. Even though her journey has proven to be abortive.. But she was glad to hear a voice from them which convinced her that they are not dumb or communicate with sign, they talk like normal people do.
Convincing the invisible man to come down or show his face has fell on deaf ears..
She felt more than one eye watching her now.. She hard mouth whistles from afar, two or tree persons has come to join the person on the tree, how did they even come to the tree without she seeing them, or do they leave up the tree.
She felt more eyes watching her, the mouth whistle coming from afar continued, she knew it was time to go,
” I will go invisible man.. And whoever that has come to join you.. But don’t think you have won, by convincing me, I will be back here again.. Until you decides to show yourself.. you will see that all I want to be is a friend..
The voice shouted back.
“There’s no friendship for you here young lady, be friends with your kind.. With your people, we don’t belong with you.. And stay off our part just like you have been warned.. For your own good.. I repeat again is only a stubborn fly that follows a corp to it’s grave, stop calling terror when terror is far off..because when it finally answer your call.. You might not be ready for what it will bring along. Never you again come back to this part of the wood…never again.. And you dare not to tell anybody that you were on this part of the wood, follow the.. Rafico rot back home so that you won’t be caught.. Listen carefully.. The Rafico is by your left side.. Go straight down.. Then turn right.. You will see the Rafico tree. Run ahead and never look back until you get out of this forbidden side, From there you will know your way home.. Don’t mention to anyone of being on this side, Never come to this part of the wood, I repeat again stay off it.. Don’t say you weren’t warned..
She shouted back ..
“Thank you, atleast I know now that you aren’t dumb.. And doesn’t communicate with signs.. As I was told”.
as she said that she wasn’t expecting a reply as she ran along the way, another strange voice echoed behind her..
” Is good you know.. And will be even better if you stop being inquisitive”
she ran the path she was directed. When she finally got out of the forbidden side it was already dark.. She saw torch lights, and people calling her names, we, her brothers and some men who were looking for her,
She ran up to them and fabricated a lie of where she has been all day, she lied she was picking flowers in the wood and later felt sleepy and slept off in the wood, it was the noise from them, calling her that awaken her, .. She left the flower she plucked at the place she slept off
They took her home to a worried mother and father, .. They sent some people to go call the men that went to look for her in another side back, because they divide themselves in search of her,
Everyday she thought of the outcast.. His voice and imagine what they will look like, she has been more to herself.. She had not talk much ever since she visited the forbidden part, she wanted to tell somebody that the outcast actually speaks fine, she needed to tell somebody about her adventure, somebody she trusted,
she called me aside one day and told me everything that happened and I promised her not to tell anybody if only she will listen and stay off their part as she was warned but she wasn’t ready to stay off, she was eager to visit them again this time she begged me to go with her so that they will not feel she was missing just like the last time but i hushed her not to do that because is means trouble for us if we are found on that part, but Zila was determined, she was strong willed like father.
One day as we all sat for dinner with pah and mother .. Mother asked if she was alright.. Because she was being too quiet, She smiled and said yes.. Trying to convince them that she’s fine, she gave me a pleading look, reminding me of going with her but I stylishly shake my head so that i won’t attract question from Pah,
Deep down i also wanted to see what they look like, I wanted to go with Zila but what if our journey to the outcast turned sour, what do we do, do we become an outcast too, I was scared of endangering my only sister life to such evil but I so much want to know what was on the other side of the wood..
[nextpage title=”episode 4″]
My younger brother Muke, Zila’s twin, who was always talking, said during dinner that day
.. “Ooh Zila, that day you went missing.. Most of us were scared that maybe.. the outcast must have used you for dinner, you know they don’t talk.. They only use sign language, they will use sign to beckon on their fellow.. To come and dine with your meat.. With their horns.. And a very long fawns.. With dark bloodied red eyes they are so deadly and they would have feed on you flesh cos they like human meat especially one that’s as fresh as yours..they will feed on you like this.. Yum..yum..yum.. and left your helpless carcass like …
He demonstrated with his hand while laugh.
Our parents hush him to keep shut.. And never say such thing about his sister again or talk about the outcast again.
Zila without thinking. Forgetting that my Pah was also present at the table spoke, she tried to defend the outcast.
” That’s very funny Muke, the outcast does not feed on human meat, wherever you hard that from is a big lie, their kind and they don’t use sign to communicate.. They actually speaks normal word, they speak and does not use sign to communicate, they are nice people ..and…
She realize were she was and saw the look on mother and father’s face, she quickly shut up and bent her head and try to apologize, Everyone was surprise..
“Hush Zila, keep quiet.. Now tell me how do you know all this, have you seen one before? Answer me Quickly…
Pah shouted at her out of anger, Pah. who was shock with what Zila said and the speed she use in defending the outcast,
“no Pah, no.. I’m sorry Pah, I havn’t seeing one before.. I just imagine what they will look like.. That.. They may not be all that bad as we all believe, they may just be normal human like us..they..
That’s non of your business to imagine what they look like, if they are human like us or not, they are dangerous Zila.. Stay off their rot.. Don’t even get close.. And don’t try to defend them outside or you maybe tamed as an infidel, you need not defend them.. Make sure all of you stick to this warning of staying off their lane. You all are told of the consequences.. And theirs no joke about it. We shouldn’t be having this conversation because you all know what it is at stake, I don’t want to loose any of you to mishap.. Zila..I know you are one stubborn child that always want to do what’s on your mind.. You are strong and fearless.. And like trying new things.. But Zila, you see this particular one.. you need not to be stubborn about it.. Is deadly, Zila.. Don’t go on a quest of no return, you are our princess.. You have grown to be a beautiful woman..kind and accommodating, by next fall.. Next year.. We will start preparing you for your betrothal.. our neighboring town chief son…You two will become husband and wife in few years from now..
you should be more concern on your up coming marriage in few years, not imagining useless things, be close to your moma.. So that she will teach you all you need to know about marriage.. She will prepare you for the journey ahead, not always running off and disappearing to where I don’t know, We don’t want anything to happen to you, We don’t want to ever regret anything, we almost loss you ones.. We almost lost you Zila when you were still little, We don’t want such to happen again.. Please.. Am pleading Zila, stay close to your moma and learn every necessary thing that will help you in your matrimonial home.. Stop running off to the wood all by yourself, because me or your moma will not be there with you at your husband’s house, is better not to cry when the head is off, We love you all and wouldn’t want anything to happen to you, A wise child does not play with fire. “hope am clear enough?
We all replied him “yes Pah” .
despite the warning.. Zila was planing secretly to go to the forbidden side, where the outcast stays again.. She planned doing that on her own since I told her it was a deadly mission,
Getting prepared for marriage next year wasn’t in her agenda, all she wanted to do was to revisit the outcast again This time around she will follow the Rafico way so that she won’t be easily seen, but she slowed down on the plan because of father, Pah placed her on house arrest, she couldn’t go out and was forced to work with mother in the house, she was restricted to many things because of her constant disappearing into the wood and how she defended the outcast during dinner,
Well still on Zila’s story.. I will continue later but let me tell you a little about my parents. And also my father’s personal guard, Riko,
Riko’ my father personal guard.. Told me a lot of things that my brothers didn’t know off, .. Because I was more close to him and father than any of my brother is.
Riko was handed over to father when he was still a young boy by my late grandpa, Riko Knows a lot of history, and I love listening to him,
Am the first of my father’s children. There’s something about Pah’s name Mukattabaziela you may not have notice at a first glance, There’s little of all his children’s name attached to his name if you look closely.. Well.. Is only the wise that will understand the riddles of an old man. Riko thought me proverbs too, which I use when necessary,
my father is generally address as PAH by his sons, children in the town and some people who can’t pronounce his name correctly.. I am my father’s right hand man.. Pah has a great wisdom.. He is a quiet man.. He thinks deep and act more.. I will say Zila took after his personality, He takes me along most time, whenever he is going out, be it Kinsmen gathering Or the town square festival… I stand behind him whenever he is seated at the square as the clan chief, me and Riko, my fathers personal aid.
I always wanted to have more sister aside Zila, who was a person in her own world and hardly relate to others, she doesn’t tell anyone what is on her mind except me, her beloved elder brother,
My father married only my mother.. They wanted more daughters, but Zila was like many daughters to them because they loved her dearly,
Zila wasn’t close to anybody except me, she trust me with her secrets and I never betrayed her, she so much wanted to go back to the outcast, the way she passionately speaks about them, makes me wonder if there’s something calling her over, or could she be bewitched by them, what exactly is it at the other side of the wood for Zila,
She kept on planing on her journey, looking for when the band father placed will be lifted, a year past by, zila didn’t give up on her quest, then another year came and gone, she stopped talking about it and can fully prepare and wash up things in mother’s absent,
I actually thought she has forgotten about the outcast until she called me aside again and told me she maybe going any moment since father has finally lift her restriction ban, she asked me if i have change my mind, i told her I haven’t I’m sticking to father’s instruction, I can’t disobey him. She nodded her head and left me.
Zila’s betrothal started to kick off as the parents of her husband to be visited father, Zila was already 16years,
Mother and Zila prepared different dish for them, Zila seem happy, as her up coming marriage was arranged
I watched her take a walk with her husband to be, a fine young man of my age, they hold hands and laughed and I was happy that she finally had something that could make her change her mind of going to the forbidden side, I stood with my PAH and watched them, the young man was already in love with her but deep down in my heart I wish Zila will love him back, although she seems so but she maybe pretending because of father,
After her visitors left, I called her and asked her if she really love her husband to be and she said no she was only doing it because father was watching her, that by tomorrow afternoon she will be off to the wood, if I want to find her I should always follow the rafico way
I couldn’t talk her out of it.
her mind was made up
And the next day Zila was gone.
[nextpage title=”episode 5″]
Towards the evening, pah called me and asked if I have seen my sister that afternoon, and I stammered through words, I couldn’t look my father in the eye and lie to him, but I have promised to keep every secret Zila laid at my feet, she was more close to me than any member of the family, I love my sister and i was ready to protect her with my last blood but Zila has made it known to everyone that she doesn’t need to be protected, she can protect herself
Whatever god that was with Zila was doing a great work by watching over her since she was a baby,
I have thought of what i was going to tell my pah, if he ask me about Zila, he will be so angry with me if he finds out that i know about Zila’s quest, it will be so bad for me, because i have being covering up for her not allowing anybody to know about her deadly mission,
I felt so bad for not telling Pah and lying to him when he asked of her,
Pah was very angry when he found out that Zila was missing, he called me again and ask if i happen to know where she could be, and i thought of what to say to him so that he will calm down
“she said she was taking a walk in the wood, probably to pick Pebbles or flowers. Or she just wanted to have a quiet time for herself since her marriage ceremony is in a week time”
“I lifted the restriction i placed on her so that she can be free to plan on how her future will be like, she is no more a child to be running off the wood, she suppose to be planing with her mother, getting herself ready for her wedding ceremony not always being on her own and running to the wood, what kind of child choses her own company than the company of her parents and siblings, she even hate to make friends with her follow mates, she spend more time with you Mbazi…i know she must have being saying some things she can’t tell anybody, what has she being talking about lately…you should know..
“Pah, she only talk about her husband to be and….. And she’s excited about the wedding…nothing much..
We waited till dinner hoping that Zila will be back but no sign of her, my mother started wailing, father knew something was wrong, the search team were alerted and they all swung into action, dividing their selves into different group,
They went into the wood in search of Zila, I followed one group with my younger brothers,
My conscience was at war within me because i know Zila was at the forbidden side, how can I even say that, if this is found out their will be a big trouble for both me and Zila, and a big fight may break out between our tribe and the outcast, the outcast are good with arrows and traps, they fly on trees like monkeys, and are always covered up in leaves, they maybe in the wood watching our people without them knowing because they can’t be easily seen, if they decided to fight back at us, despite how small they are compare to how large our tribe is, many of us will be injured if we attack them, since our tribe exclude them and send them far off, they created their own clan and there was a huge boundary, they stay off our side and we stay off them because anything they touch or come in contact with is tamed as forbidden thing. We were told they are dangerous and they act like animals, so many things we were told, which i don’t know how true must of them are.
Zila didn’t show up or found despite the men tearing down the forest in search of her but they avoided crossing to the forbidden side, nobody ever thought a normal person will want to go over to the outcast clan but that’s where Zila was.
Mother became very sick for a long time. Her body temperature was so high that it can boil an Ice water within a minute,
That was after the mishap fell on the family.. Mother couldn’t bear it.. She became very ill, Father is always beside her.. Encouraging her, Telling her not to give up on fate
Mother’s name is Tabitha, But father calls her Tabi’ he is just the only one that calls her that, Same thing with mother, She calls father a special name too,
They so much love themselves, I will hear father say something like this to her..
“Tabi.. you can do this.. Don’t give room for darkness.. Fill your mind and soul with light”.. “So that darkness can keep out.. “I can’t loose you now”.. How will I cope with life when you are no more”.. You can win this battle”.. I have known you to be a very strong person”.. Who doesn’t give up so quick.. I can’t loose two beloved at same time.. How do I go on.. Please.. Stay with me, Lan the medicine man said you have not been taken your medicine.. I’m worried about you Tabi.. You know Lan can be trusted.. He has been the only one all this while..
That never gave up on you.. Other medicine men gave up when they saw your condition.. Please ..Tabi’ I need you to live for me.. I know you can.. Zila will return someday, our beloved daughter is alive some where, I can feel it Tabi…
Father will hold onto her..while mother will clung to him, Both will be quiet for sometime, I started wondering if the hotness from mother’s body is not affecting father the way he always holds her to himself, Then i will hear mother call him his special name that no one else calls him aside her…
Bazi” I never knew what Bazi means then.. But as I grew up I realize that Bazi was the name she pick up from father’s full name MukattaBAZIela, it sounded so special..whenever she calls him “BAZI”
“Am pushing harder everyday.. But I hate to see you and our children worry about me.. I wish Zila was here, ooh! How I wish.. I miss her so much.. I wish I can see her before kissing the earth goodbye. Ooh Bazi…I’m making everyone to suffer more pain after the one caused from Zila’s disappearance, I hate it so much, It breaks my heart greatly.. It seems that the gods have refuse to smile on us by bringing our daughter back to us, we have done everything humanly possible and yet nothing, no news of Zila.. What is the use of taken medicine without result.. Bazi.. Even if am no more.. Wherever I am.. I will always be happy that I knew a great man like you.. A great husband and father.. You are just like your name.. You are my root, you and our children and the hope of Zila returning someday to us is the only thing still keeping me alive
I hard father murmur something to her.. I strained my ear to hear them From where I was hiding and listening.. When I couldn’t hear their murmur any more I walked away sad, Just the thought of loosing mother gives me goose bomb.
Zila was gone.. Mother want to go too.. And I have this secret i swore to Zila to keep, which is silently killing me, watching mother and father go through pain because of her was unbearable, Now here mother was loosing the battle, how do i live with myself if mother dies and Zila never returns home…how do i, what do i do now..
I ran into the wood crying.. I climbed the cedar tree.. Where I have built a nest for myself.. Whenever I want to hide from everyone.. Is only Riko, my father’s personal guard that knows my hideout.. As I climbed into my nest.. I listened to the chirping of the birds.. The sound of the wind.. The whistling of the leaves.. I always enjoy the environment.. It sound so beautiful.. This is the best gift from mother nature Offered to mankind.. I smiled at my environment.. As the breeze graced my body.. I look towards the outcast rot.. I know soon.. Hand of time will change.. I can feel it for the better.. I wish things will start changing even now.. So that mother can see Zila again and live.. Her health is going down everyday.. The miracle we need was Zila,
I will journey down to the outcast without anybody knowing, to fetch my sister, hopefully she is alive, just thinking of going down to the forbidden side makes all the hair on my head to stand still, it sound so scary but I need to rescue my sister, I need to go and look for Zila among the outcast, I need to.
I relax back and closed my eyes.. I did not know when I dozed off to the other world.
[nextpage title=”episode 6″]
As I finally got there, it was getting dark, every where was quiet, I quietly went round in search of Zila, no sign of anybody, there was a firewood fire burning, with a very big pot on it, I wonder what could be inside the pot, I hide in a crowded bush and watch while scanning for any sign of Zila, I started hearing a sound, I looked at my left side and saw lots of cage, I slowly moved close, human beings where in the cage, men, women, boys, girls and children. In different cage, I quietly started checking to see if i can see Zila,
As i search anytime i hear a noise I will quickly hide, a horrible looking men passed by, they were three and speak a very strange language, while demonstrating with their hands, they have a very long ears, blood shot eyes, their teeth were shooting out from their mouth like vampires, they were not pleasant to look at, the rumors were true about them, they are horrible and forbidden from normal people, they marked their bodies with white clay, and has only their manhood covered, the rest of their body was bare, their head were covered with clay powder, I became even more scared myself, but I need to find Zila without being noticed, I looked for clay powder which was scattered around the bush and rub my head and face, I removed my neck and hand bead, I removed my weaved shirt and rub the clay all over,
I looked at myself again, my leg was bare, no native leg bead as I saw on them, I don’t have ferns or long ears, but I know it will take a second look from them and i will be caught and probably stuffed into a cage and await my death,
I quickly started looking from cage to cage, there was no much time for me, every cage I look the person in it is either sleeping or lying down weak, I was about giving up on finding Zila, after I was about rounding up with the search,
I saw her, she was in the last cage, just to signify that she was the last person to arrive the forbidden clan, she was lying down and probably sleeping because her eyes were both shot, I whispered her name quietly twice, she opened her eyes, and saw me, immediately, I heard another group of ugly looking men passing by, I kept quiet and hide back in the bush, I thanked the gods for the fast approaching darkness, which is covering me from being detected, Zila shut her eyes as she saw them and pretend to be asleep, after they checked all the caged people, they stop over at Zila while speaking an unknown strange language, probably the huge pot on fire was dinner, they are cannibals, they feed on human beings, maybe it was Zila’s turn to be used, Immediately they left, I hurried up to Zila, and called her name again she opened her eyes and asked me to leave or I will be killed if I’m caught, she said her fate has already being decided, she was to be used for dinner tonight, I told her I was there to save her and i will, I asked her to show me how to unlock the cage and she did, we worked very fast on the cage and it was open, Zila quietly came out of the cage,
a fierce looking man came out from a small hut, he made a funny face and looked round, he stood and widen his nose as if he perceived something, maybe a strange being in their midst,
He spoke something strange and others came out, I was hiding with Zila, they lit up the whole darkened place with a burning stick,
After which they moved close to the cages and and terrifying noise could be heard as they noticed Zila’s cage was open, with nobody inside,
I dragged Zila along the bush path as we try to escape, she showed me the right way to follow, we started running so fast,
They noticed our movement and ran after us, some were flying on the trees like birds, they have strange powers, they pursued us, but we ran knowing well our lives depends on it.
I was loosing strength but I kept running, urging Zila who was also running behind me as fast as her legs could carry her,
I ran like I have never done before, I was hitting off the over grown bushes, clearing way for Zila who was running with all her might, some sharp grass has cut my vein but all I care about was for us to get to safety,
I heard them from behind coming with full speed after us, I began to wonder why I even came down to the forbidden side, the most wicked cannibals on earth, all the stories that we were told about them were all true, they are fierce looking creatures and they feed on humans, why didn’t Zila just stay and listen to father and mother who warned her to stay off their rot,
I was still in my angry thought when suddenly three hefty looking creatures jumped in front of us, we try to run back but another set was also behind us, they rounded us, laughing with a long teeth pulling out of their mouth, I knew we were doomed,
my pah and mother are going to loose two of their children to the outcast, indeed the constant saying that a stubborn fly follows a Corp to it’s grave is actually true, father said it was a journey of no return, a deadly journey, now i see he was right, I know mother will die quickly if she realize that two of her children are gone,
As the strange looking beings pounced on us I screamed and landed hard on the ground in my own pull of sweat
It was all a dream, darkness was everywhere, as I looked round, there was a man sitting down with a small set fire two trees away, I started shaking as he stood, he stood up and started walking towards me, I began to scream and shut my eyes, he held my hands and said quietly
“Keep quiet or you will attract the unseen, Mbazi why are you shaking and shouting like a child that saw a ghost, your father was looking for you and i came here to get you because i know this is your relaxing place, I saw you sleeping and struggling in your sleep I allowed you, you needed the rest because of the recent happenings, everybody is so tensed, nobody gets enough sleep anymore, because of your sister’s disappearance, maybe the gods were revealing something to you and i don’t want to interrupt, I set a fire to keep watch over you, waiting for you to awaken, it was until you fell from your nest and landed on the floor like a bag of potatoes, I knew you must have had a terrible dream, now let’s go home, your pah is worried sick about you…
I looked up at him again, Riko stood a head tall in front of me holding my shaking hands, a small knife was tugged into his waist belt, I wanted to be sure I was fully awake, it was a Terrible dream, as i thought of Zila again,
I told Riko what I saw in the dream and also told him about Zila’s deadly mission, he said it was just a bad dream because i allowed the fear of the outcast to crowd my mind before i slept off, he said the outcast are not as terrible as people paint them,
Riko seems to know a little about them which he never spoke or discus with anybody because it wasn’t allowed, he told me that my sister is safe because the outcast are not cannibals they feed like we do and they look like us, I should forget about all the rumors that we hear, they are not horrible looking things like the rumor says, those rumors are not true, Riko encouraged me not to be scared but I still have doubts comparing to what i saw in the dream
I told him of my plan to go and rescue Zila, he encouraged me to go if i really want to, he volunteered to walk me deep down the wood, so that i can continue the remaining journey on my own, he said I should find something to tell father of my absence so that he won’t be worried about me if i happen not to return on time
The following morning i told father I was visiting a friend of mine in another tribe and i may not be back the same day, I told him I will probably spend a day or two there before i return,
father said okay that I should be safe, he even joked with me that I have probably seeing a young girl over there that i want to marry, he told me to make sure I brings the girl home, whoever that got my heart, I smiled and assured him that when i finally meet the right woman for me he will be the first to know, we joked a little more before I left
I picked few things into an animal skin bag, and held out to the wood with Riko who wanted to make me feel at ease before I face the outcast and bring Zila back to mother and father,
I pray to the unseen god of our land to protect and bless my journey. Only Riko knows of this our quest with the outcast and i trust him to keep it a secret.
Despite everything that Riko was doing to help me ease off the fear, I still have fears growing in my veins, the dream still look so fresh in my mind, i hope it was only a dream nothing much to it as Riko assured me.