The Survivor E12: Sacrifices

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2 years ago
Topics: The Survivor

What will Màámi say when she hears about this?

"Olúwa mi, o mọ̀ ṣeun o! (My Lord, Thank you!)"

Seyi hadn't quite expected this height of display of joy. African mothers! Màámi rolled off the floor, in the dirt, her wrapper loosening by her side. She let it pull off, after all, she had an underskirt on. Peju and Timi looked on, glitter-eyed as Bolu took so much pride in explaining to them that "Aunty Seyi won a lottery." A lottery?! Seyi thought incredulously. But to her family, it was a well-deserved description. It wasn't immediate wealth, no, it probably was more spending ahead. She had no idea, even, where she was going to get any other funds from. No registration funds, no accommodation funds, nothing! She had figured out that early enough though, so she had registered for the January session. She hoped too, that she would have saved up enough money by that time. After all, someone wise said; "Start with taking the first step. You may not know what to do next, but at least, the journey is one step shorter now." Maybe that wasn't the point the speaker was trying to make however, Seyi picked something up. Take the first step. This was her first step.

She was deep in thought when she felt a small hand grip her arm.

"Aunty Seyi."

Seyi looked down at the person. A small face; Peju. Seyi smiled in answer to her.

"Why is this good news?" Peju asked.

Seyi thought for a while. Why, really? Sometimes, Peju seemed to ask these thoughtful questions!

"I wouldn't stop going to school." She explained to the girl.

"Why would you have to stop school before?" Peju asked again.

Seyi sighed. "Because we couldn't afford the fees. Now, I have a bursary. The fees would be less. And if I have to take a loan to cover those, that's borrowing some money, it would be smaller too. And if I had gone back to my other school, I would have gone some time ago and there would have been no one to take care of all of you."

"But when you go now..." Peju counter said.

Seyi sighed again as she held Peju by her bony shoulders. "I am not resuming now. So, I'll have time to finish learning how to make hair. And that will be for money for yourself, Màámi and your brothers. So that when I get to school, I'll be able to send some home regularly."

Peju's face brightened as her lips curved into a smile, alluring Seyi's too. She smiled widely as she pats her sister's head. She knew it would be fine now. She believed so.

Seyi worked by the lamplight. Careful as a mother, she threaded a line in a tiny needle eye. Her practice dummy stood on the floor, a wig cap on its head. The room was dim since the only source of light was directed at her work. The window was open, but it only let in gusts of night wind that made the curtains billow about. It was dark outside too. So, she didn't notice when someone came in.

"Seyi." The voice came suddenly right behind her.

She jolted in surprise, dropping her work on the ground. But, she relaxed when she saw who it was.

"Màámi." And just then, she frowned slightly. "You're still awake, ma? I hope there's no problem."

Màámi moved beside her. Her face wasn't worried so, Seyi worried lesser too.

"I wanted to discuss something with you." Her mother whispered. Peju was still asleep.

"Outside?" Seyi asked.

Her mother nodded and pulled her away.

"No, ma."

It was cold outside, the wind was quite harsh. But Màámi must have had something urgent to discuss. Seyi hugged herself against the chill. Or did it come more from inside?

Màámi loaned money. She hadn't wanted that, had hoped it wouldn't happen. Yes, they needed the money but not Màámi loaning. And such a huge amount too. Seventy thousand naira! Loan in these parts are not very kind. They pressure, pester, and charge such high-interest rates in so short periods. Maybe because they loan with very little collateral. Hence, the collateral became your peace of mind, reputation, funds, it really was the most unbeneficial contract ever. Nobody borrowed from them. Except the really desperate. Had Màámi been that desperate?

Seyi had cried a little when she first heard it. Ten months! That was so little time to pay back with a twelve thousand naira interest. She knew the concealed but inevitable truth: Màámi would suffer terribly from this. And she, Seyi wouldn't be there. Màámi would be pestered until she felt regretful of borrowing. Yet, she had loaned for her daughter, for Seyi.

Grief for her mother and selfish pressure weighed her down. Yes, pressure. The pressure on her now! She had to pay back and Seyi couldn't boast of a sustaining job.

"I could have handled it, ma. " She had said the second time.

"Let us be truthful, Seyi!" Màámi looked desperately at her. "There-There is nothing! This has been a choice we couldn't escape. You know it. Do you want to quit school?"

Seyi bit her lip painfully.

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2 years ago
Topics: The Survivor


Mothers love!!!

Màámi such a wonderful sacrifice you made for Seyi. Màámi knew she would be pestered until she felt regretful of borrowing. Yet, she had loaned for her daughter(Seyi)

I await other episodes, I need to know how Màámi would sort out the debt. Nice one.

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2 years ago

It so painful to see the pressure mààmí had to undergo for her kids, for Seyi. That's what motherhood entails.

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2 years ago