By Omonalukhe Matthew Ajakaiye
Nneka. That was the name of the fair Igbo girl I constantly saw in my dreams from the time I started reading ABC comfortably.
She lived down the street with her parents who owned a little provision store.
Most times, I ‘pinched’ my mother’s money to buy biscuit from them not because I needed it but because I wanted to see her perfect smile.
I mimic the voice of the only nurse in our community health center who sounds like someone that has hot beans in the mouth, that surely gives her a nice smile, in her pretty lips, with those big round cheeks.
Without saying a word, her smile conveyed a confident, optimistic and friendly personality. An aesthetically pleasing and attractive smile that lures people to her.
We grew up as besties, spending every waking moment together.
Somewhere along the way, she took possession of my heart,
What we had was so true and pure, all she needed was to be by my side, she knew I didn’t have 30 billion in the account. It was just me and her, being together, in love.
Things fell apart when war drums became banged, the Igbo’s felt marginalised and wanted Biafra, the northerners gave quit notice to the Igbo’s to leave the north, people started saying I was Hausa and she was Igbo, her father swore that we will never be together, my family was on the verge of disowning me but this didn’t kill my love for her, I was determined to fight for the woman who stole my heart but ethnicity made it impossible.
One day, I waited for her in our special spot, ” the love garden”. I waited patiently but she was nowhere to be found, so I decided to go to her house. On getting there, I found an empty apartment. I thought I was in a trance but the voice of her neighbour brought me back to life telling me that Nneka left a note for me.
Dear Mohammed, my Hausa groundnut, the love of my life. I know you must be looking for me but don’t, I’m safe in Nsukka. I left with my parents and Chinedu my husband to be. Chinedu is a trader who owns 30 shops in Onitsha and 20 in alaba market. My parents asked me to become his second wife because they believe that will be the best for me. Always have in mind that I love you.
Have we ever thought of how many relationships will die if Nigeria ever break up? Have we ever thought of our many lives will be shattered if Nigeria ever break up? Have we ever thought of how boring Nigeria will become if Nigeria ever break up? Let us not allow some unprogressive elements break us up
I’m Matthew and I am just being a Nigerian.