You were the child that saved your mother’s marriage.
That family picture hanged on the wall, above the television in the sitting room was taken on your christening. Your sisters are standing beside your parents , two by your mother’s left, one by your father’s right. Your mother is seated with you on her lap, your father next to her. He has one arm draped across her shoulder and the other placed gently on your leg. Everyone is dressed in the same lace material. Your mother’s headgear was so big the photographer had asked her to adjust it a few times. One of your sisters had cried prior to the picture being taken because the bow that held her hair in a bun was too tight. In the photo, everyone had a big smile.
Our son is here.
It was said that after your birth , your father was so excited he started keeping a beard. Because he was now a father to a boy. Now your father was his mother’s only son and only child. The 3 children his mother bore had all died before the age of 2. His father took another wife who ended up having three girls. So you see it was up to him to keep his father’s name alive.
The first child born to your parents was a girl. They named her Ifeoma, something good. A child is a good thing, be it boy or girl right?
The second, a girl they named Ngozichukwuka , God’s blessings are better. They are always better aren’t they?
The third, another girl they named Chinweokike , God owns creation. Everything, he created isn’t it?
Things started to change. Your father’s uncles would come and hold meetings behind closed doors. Your mother’s greetings were replied with mumblings. The meetings they called your mother into, she came out crying . This part Ify told you because she was older, she understood what the others did not.
It’s around this time Nne Ifeoma would call her younger sister to come and look after her children that she was going away for three days. The child she wanted, that would save her marriage, she was going to ask God for directly.
Your mother was away , praying at the mountain or water side or somewhere. She prayed, she rolled, she cried, she screamed. With Prophet.
Few weeks later she was pregnant with you. Her greetings were still met with mumblings, this time a bit more audible. During this pregnancy your mother was unsettled. If she had another girl what would happen to her and your sisters.
It is at this time that her friend Abigail visited.
“Abigail, m mwuo nwanyi ozo… hmm. If I have another girl it is finished”
“What will I do”
During her 7th month of carrying you, she packed a few things and said she was going to deliver you at her mother’s place , na nukwu nne ya.
Your mother carried you for 8 months and three weeks before she bore you. Your sisters said your father came home dancing that day with so much joy. A few weeks passed before she came back with you in her arms. Vistors trooping in and out of the house.
Your mother’s greetings were replied with “Ehen our wife kedu. Kedu maka baby. How are you. How is baby”. Your mother went from being called Nne Ifeoma to Nne Chidera.
On your christening you were called Chidera, maka, chi dera o de si go , when God writes, it is written
Ifeanyichukwu, what we asked from God
Osinachukwu , it came from God
It was on that day, the picture was taken. Everyone dressed in the same lace material. Everyone with the big smile. Everyone dark skinned, you light skinned.
Prophet was fair in complexion.
The pregnant woman at Aunty Abigail’s hospital was fair in complexion.
Your father’s father, your grandfather was fair in complexion.
It’s the joy on your father’s face when he throws you up in the air. When he looks at you and says “My son”
Who gave you life does not matter. You saved your mother’s marriage.
You are your father’s son.