Header Ads


Book Preview

ISBN: 9781418439941 (c)2005 by Dave & Dennis Jah (Twin Authors)

Great men do not die in strange lands where no one knows them; this was why my heart leapt for joy when I heard you speak to me. Now I know that I am home at large, I can peacefully join my ancestors. I know my friends Chea-Nyonnoh Quayee, Weh Nyenka, Wlobo Toh, Tutu Torplu and the rest are waiting to welcome me. I can see them but you don’t, son. I can see Welleh Jahbo and Jarwon Saykay beckoning me to come home and rest with them. There they shall prepare a table before me where my cup shall never run dry. Unless-- I may never get where they are feasting. But I have to get certain things off my chest.

My name is Jaytorhnyonnoh Saykagee. This was the name given to me at birth. I was born eighty years ago, a time when young men knew and accepted that they were young and as such looked up to their elders to lead the way while they followed. At the time when women could not stand equal to their husbands but respected them as heads not as competitors. Those were the days when death was a mark of old age. The young knew that death was not their portion. O yes, rebellion and infidelity were not known at such time.

My birth occurred in a village through which a stream runs gracefully from a rock of enormous height. The stream was called Koo jay gbay (which is interpreted as encountering the devil). I do not know the exact details for this name but it seemed that the life of the entire chiefdom was tied to the stream. It was highly revered. There was no swimming or the fetching of water allowed in Koo jay gbay. There was no gaming so its creatures flourished. At the beginning of each farming season, the Bodiour would visit this stream and slaughter a white hen then sprinkled its blood into the stream. By this they said the region was spared any impending calamity. The sick were often instructed to dip into the stream after which they were cleansed of whatever infirmity. A lot went on at Koo jay gbay some which were so sacred to the people that only the Bodiour and his advisors knew about them.

My father, Juah Jlapoh died when my mother was six months pregnant. He was well known throughout the villages and towns as a renowned hunter. One day he went on a hunting trail when he was attacked by an elephant. After a long fight, he was overpowered and smashed against a rock by the dreadful creature. His body was torn into pieces and scattered across the wild jungles. Three months later in 1920, I was born.

My mother, Jaytorhnyonnoh was remarried to my uncle, a physically challenged.

My new father was a sickly old man. He had only one leg which was plagued with elephantiasis. He carried a cane or kortu to compensate his movement at least that was the sole purpose I knew the cane was used for. How he had come to lose his left leg, I do not know; even up to today the story is still a mystery. Maybe both legs had the same problem and the worst was cut, I do not know. So many stories went about my father’s leg. Though he took kindly to me just as he would have done to his own; he never allowed me take liberty into the details of his story. But like any curious child would do, I would some times ask him: “Papa, why are my legs different from yours?” Then he would look at me quietly and laugh.

“Son, it is a long story, a very long one, even longer than the great Dugbae River.” After this he would laugh softly and add no other words. His condition did not handicap him in any way. By our local standards, he was such a great man, a very tough one, to state. In those days power and influence were not only measured by the number of wives, children, farmland, and cattle one possessed but also by the “number of leaves” he knew. I mean the leaf that makes things go the way one desires. Powerful juju, son – the one that makes you disappear or appear at will.

Few years later we moved to my step father’s village near a town known as Doodwicken, a very big town. Doodwicken was a wonderful place. A leopard may forget her spots and an elephant, his tusk but I shall never forget Doodwicken. There, was a Christian mission built mainly for orphans and poor children collected from across the districts. This Mission was set up by a group of missionaries from America after they were expelled from their initial area of operation in another part of the Kwaata Empire. The locals in that area said the missionaries were spreading false teachings and were dishonoring their gods. So they drove them at the emergence of dusk. The Bodiuor of Chetteh, which included the villages, towns, and cities of our clan heard of their plight, sought them and helped them to establish the Doodwicken Evangelical Christian Mission. The missionaries were kind to my parents so in 1930 I was admitted at the Doodwicken Evangelical Christian Mission (DECM), cohabiting with a legion of many other kids and teenagers most of whom were like me on the social scale, born on the worst side of the track.

Get your copy by calling 1800-280-7715

No comments