My Aunty was a typical Igbo woman. At least she behaved like one. Her husband had somehow convinced himself that the Igbo tribes were the African Jews. He said they were the descendants of Abraham. He said Eri who was one of the grandsons of Jacob was the forefather of the Igbos because he settled in Eastern Nigeria.

My dad always found his analysis laughable and this caused occasional heated arguments between them. One careless comment from my dad or one thoughtful comment always made my Aunt’s husband throw tantrums and keep malice for days. It was an endless circle. Yet he was always quick to raise the issue about his ties to Isreal.

There was this time he claimed that the star of David was found in Eastern Nigeria. He even had a picture of it. My dad laughed so hard that he choked on his tea.

“You see, when you laugh at the children of God, bad things happen to you.” My Aunt’s husband said with all sense of pride.

My Dad was angry that day, he almost dealt a slap on my Aunt’s husband face but was refrained from doing so by my Aunt.
My Aunt was a peace-loving woman who was always caught in the crossfire of her brother and husband’s heated conversations.

“Next time you say such words, do not expect me to stop or avert his wrath.” She said to her husband.
She was getting tired of their heated arguments, usually, it was a mixture of laughter and shouting but today was different, my Aunt’s husband had provoked my Dad and this would have resulted in violence but for my Aunt.

You see my dad was a proud Kalabari man. He challenged illogical or perceived illogical reasoning. Everyone knew this about him. He always said we were the descendants of the great Perebo Kalabari who was a son of Mein Owei and he was proud of his origin. The only problem was he believed that no other tribe had a culture as rich as his and my Aunt’s husband claims of being a descendant of Abraham agitated him.

“Why has this star of David that was excavated from your land not gained international recognition?” My dad asked.

My Aunt’s husband was quiet.

He sulked for two weeks because he couldn’t answer this question and re-appeared with another tale in support of his belief that he is an African Jew.

This time he said, Gad who happens to be the father of Eri had two other sons called Arodi and Areli and this can be found in Genesis chapter 47 to 49 and the three sons of Gad lived in Eastern Nigeria that is why there are towns called Aguleri, Umuleri, Arochukwu, Arondiezogu, Owerri etc who are all sons of the above-mentioned sons of Gad.”

“But you said three sons and ended up naming 5 places.” My dad commented.

My Aunt’s husband couldn’t bear the ridicule.

“You are an enemy of the African Jews.” He blurted.

“Not quite, I just like historical facts of this nature to be backed by evidence.” My dad said.

It’s the bible not enough evidence for you?” My Aunt’s husband asked.

“Is Owerri mentioned in the bible?” My dad asked.

My Aunt’s husband was silenced once again by this question.

My dad ran his home like his father and his granduncle and his great-granduncle and his great-great-granduncle. As the strongest of his siblings and cousins, he was the leader of his house. His Great-great grand-uncle founded the house ( wari) and while his great-great grand uncle’s direct lineage retained leadership for two generations, it shifted to my grandfather who was able to amass sufficient followership, popularity and tremendous wealth. He passed on this title to my dad and my dad has reigned ever since with no one disputing it. The ancestral shrine was located in our village house. But we lived in Port-Harcourt city and while my dad put on a modest appearance in the city, he was considered the wealthiest person in the village. None of his relatives was wealthier than him.

At 35 I was still scared of getting pregnant even as a married woman. I dreaded the childbirth and pregnancy experience. I was unconcerned about the ongoing discussion between my dad and Aunt’s husband. Both had a fully detached 5 bedroom duplex which they flaunted about as their most prized achievement in the City. Their identical Mercedes Benz stood tall by the side of their identical buildings which were built beside each other. So day in, day out they hauled insults or bantered about being the Jews of Africa and seeking proof of same. After all, there were only separated by the fence and the not so large expanse of land.

I was contemplating how to approach the issue of not trying for another child with my husband. I had used all forms of contraceptive and now I wanted to tie my womb. The procedure was reversible but I had no plans of reversing it when done.
The only issue seems to be spousal consent.

I was satisfied with having one child because I had been through a lot, the pregnancy wasn’t easy and the child birthing was harder and looking after the child was the hardest for me. I had adjusted quite alright but I was unwilling to go through the process again. My Aunt’s husband had once said that if I was to be of the jewish origin, having children wouldn’t be a big deal for me.

“Haven’t you heard of women praying to deliver like the Hebrew women?” He asked me one day when he overheard me and my mom discussing about the difficulties and challenges of childbirth.

My husband mother had called me the month before and asked if I was pregnant. The woman was that blunt. I wasn’t willing to let her into my personal space and I refused to answer her question. Then the tension grew and I had to leave for my Father’s house where I would enjoy peace and tranquillity save for the endless banter from my dad and my Aunt’s husband.

My mom played a bigger role in the family, but in a quiet way. She managed the family affairs while my dad supervised his General Wari affairs. This meant my dad travelled frequently to the village or we have the villagers visit us frequently.

“Good morning in-law” My dad shouted from his balcony. He had a chewing stick in his mouth.

“I will not answer your greeting my inlaw.” My Aunt’s husband said.

“What have I done this time?” My dad asked.

“The question is what have you not done? You refused to believe that I am a direct descendant of Abraham, you have consistently insulted my African Jew lineage and put it to ridicule.” My Aunt’s Husband said.

“Your Tea is ready.” My Aunt screamed as a means of diversion. She was more concerned about averting another round of malice and quarrel.

“If that’s the case, I recall my greeting. Hear all people of Port Harcourt let it be known that I Prince Abadi- ingobo will never greet Mazi Obiora who calls himself a chief and yet claims to be an African Jew. He cannot force me to believe in what I don’t believe. That’s why God gave us free will.” My dad said.

“I am an African Jew and I will prove it to you.” My Aunt’s husband said.

“The roasted plantain and fish is ready.” My Aunt screamed.

“Says he who wants to eat the rich Kalabari food.” My Dad sneered, he tugged at his wrapper tied loosely round his waiste.

“I am coming over.” My Aunt’s husband said.

“I will shut my door.” My dad said.

“I will path it open like the red sea.” My Aunt’s husband said.

“How about your plantain and fish, I prepared it just the way you love it.” My Aunt said calmly this time in a loud pitch.

“Shhhhhh. I can have it when I am back.” My Aunt husband said.

“So you are still interested in the Kalabari delicacy, don’t you see there is something special about us. You even married my sister, yet you claim to be a jew.” My dad snickered. He was having the time of his life taunting my Aunt’s husband.

Everywhere was silent but for a moment.

Then I heard the front door slammed. My dad clutched his Imkpara (walking stick) while he peered through the stairs.

“Of course, you are the only person uncultured enough to slam my door. If that door removes from its hinges, I will….” My dad said.

“You will do what? Touch an Israelite? Hmmm have you not seen what my people did to Palestine? I am talking of this present generation… not the biblical days o!” My Aunt Husband chipped in.

“So you are now supporting the numerous deaths of innocent civilians?” My dad asked with raised brows.

“Eh… No. But I am saying do not try an Isrealite, God always fights for us.” My Aunt’s husband said.

I laughed. What a funny pair. I wish they knew that the Israelites and the Arabs do not really care about Africans, they have enough problems to tackle. Several years ago, African migrants have been told to return to their homes or choose a third world country to return to and sometimes are told to voluntarily return with some stipend or choose deportation or jail in Isreal. My Aunt’s husband was well aware of this fact, his elder brother was deported some years back even though he converted to Reform Judaism. Back then the Supreme court had not ruled on the right to automatic citizenship for foreigners who converted to Reform Judaism in Isreal.
His younger brother narrowly escaped jail term for refusing to return to Africa.

“So why didn’t God fight for your brother when he was deported?” My dad asked.

The silence was heavy. I heard my Aunt’s footsteps. I told you not to engage my brother but you wouldn’t listen. His words will only hurt you. But like a stubborn he-goat or should I say the Isrealites in the old testament and the Pharisees, you forged ahead. He has succeeded in making you look dejected.” My Aunt said.

My phone rang at that moment, I peered at the caller identity. It was my husband. I sighed.

“Hello” I said.

“Hi Baby mi. What’s up?” He said.

“I don’t like you calling me baby mi. I have told you severally.” I protested.

“Why?” He asked.

“I don’t like it.” I insisted.

“Then what should I call you ?” He asked

“Fiona” I said.

“Nah! Sounds too dry. I will come up with a better pet name.” He said.

“Ok.. hope no problem.” I asked.

“I am just missing you, that’s all.” He said.

“Since when?” I asked.

“Since yesterday.” He said.

“That means the cooked food is finished.” I concluded.

“How did you know?” He asked.

“That’s when you only miss me.” I said.

“Hmmm, are you calling me a glutton?” He asked.

“I merely stated a fact.” I said.

“Lawyer! Always looking for a way out.” He said.

“So you have started abusing my profession.” I said in an accusing tone.

“How?” He asked.

“I won’t say a word. Engineer who is always looking for how to build things that are not broken.” I said.

“Ok. For real, when are you coming back?” He asked.

“Maybe, next month. Not sure. The burial date has not been fixed and I cannot waltz off. My dad would be furious. Besides, I am enjoying the drama between my dad and Aunt’s husband.” I said.
“Are those two still at it. This has been going on for decades. Can’t they give each other a break?” He asked.
“My Aunt’s husband converted to Judaism last month and he plans on going to Isreal to also convert to Reform Judaism over there. He strongly believes himself to be a jew and my dad is ever the doubting Thomas. I don’t see an end to this.” I said.

When I come down to see you this weekend, you can tell me the full gist.” He said.

“Ok. But no booty call. It’s my red days.” I said.

“Then I will come upper weekend.” He said.

“I knew it! So its just sex bringing you over. Not necessarily me or our son.” I said.

“Nah! I just want the full package.” He said

I laughed. He obviously wants another child and he is not capable of taking care of himself.


By floramichaels

Hi, I am Flora Ngo-Martins. I love writing and I am passionate about fashion, stories, news and food. Sometimes I get a little bit serious but that's alright, I can also be mischievous. I also like to analyse stuffs people do and sometimes judge.*wink* Most of all, I love to influence the lives of people positively and tell people's stories from a totally different perspective. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions or....

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