The Arduous Journey to My Dreams
About three decades ago today, a young woman was in labour in the then remote village of Jenuwa kogi. An innocent, cute, confident baby boy was the result of that labour. A couple of year, later the tender family of Mr and Mrs Joseph Uruku, nyiputwen left the village for a Hamlet, a few kilometres from the village. The then young family of five, consisting of three male children, the youngest being the one whose labour is mentioned here, and a grand Mother under the care of the couple stationed in the Hamlet for reasons best known only to the father. There, these children were growing happily, eating, playing and fighting one another without keeping any record of such children's fight.
The Hamlet is guided from behind by mountain, and shielded in front by the river gamena. As such, the children were in social darkness, having no other means of socialisation apart from the weekly visits to the church in the nearby village and sporadic trips to the markets in company of the parents or the grandma. These trios of children had no access to school and had no contact with their peers, as they were imprisoned within the location chosen by their father. One consequence of such geographic disadvantages is lack of access to primary school as pointed out above. So, life was all about filling the stomach when emptied and protesting against any abnoxious event.
About two years after spending the quinquenium in the Hamlet, a skirmish issued between our tribe and our neighbours. The wind of the chaos swept the family in to takum town, where the oldest of the three was retained by an aunt and the remaining two still made their ways to the Hamlet at the restoration of peace to the troubled areas. Life continued from where it was interrupted by the skirmish. The children were growing tall and fat physically, perhaps the brains were disproportionately growing too, but most probably in the opposite direction. Dad was comfortable, mum was comfortable, and granny was OK and the kids where happy and jubilant. This time, they had a sister too. All were within, the slit left by the mountain and the river.
It was actually life without a challenge, life without a dream and life without hope for formal education. The two boys stock to each other and we're always seen together. Visitors had thought they were twins, yet when a fight broke out between them; it was usually brutal and heartless, typical of children! However, temper and flares always gave way to soothing peace without any form of grudges after such fight.
In the middle of the raining reason of the year, 1995, the older child was taken away from the village by an aunt; the tears of the younger one could not prevent his brother from being taken to a faraway town. To the one left behind, he had lost everything and anything he had, but to the one going to the town, he was overtaken by the euphoria of going to the town. So, it was a hard time for the younger one left behind! A whole day of tears and hunger strike were only ceremonial time wasting.
When he was gone, and the mourning was over, in a day or two, an independent decision was made by the younger one. And that decision was to start primary school in the nearest village! At the age of eleven, it might seem an easy decision for many, but that wasn't the case for two reasons; firstly, dad was against going to school and secondly, the bush tract from the Hamlet to the village is nothing short of three kilometres, crossed by not less than three major streams. So, crossing any of these streams during rain or immediately after the rain is sometimes impossible. Yet the boy made up his mind, driven by the fact that his elder brother was taken to the town to start school. Promises by parents that he would be taken to the town when the time comes fall on deaf ears.
When he returned home on his first day in school, dad was angry and tried to deter him, but he vowed never to stop going to school. Today at the age of 30+, the boy has become Dr. Joseph Divine Ande (Noble Jad), His immediate older brother is pharmacist .Joseph Rimamfate and the oldest is Dr. Joseph Rimampuwe.
I am grateful to God who saw the three of us over the wall against all odds.
Source: Noble Jad
Photo Credit: Buschauer Portraits Design