Drinking one’s own poison
Everybody knew Mama Aro to be wicked in the neighbourhood. She was a landlady living with her tenants in the heart of Surulere, Lagos. There was hardly any tenant that could spend two years in her house. She always threatened her tenants with quit notice and curses. She was in her early sixties.
None of her family members paid her visits because of the fear they had for her. She was extremely wicked, diabolic and evil. No good words ever came out of her mouth. Actually, Mama Aro inherited that house along with her younger sister, who died after Mama Aro placed a terrible curse on her. If you want to live long, never pray to come across Mama Aro. That particular house was willed to her and her younger sister by her father, but greed, avarice and wickedness made her kill her younger sister with evil curses that made the lovely woman die of headache. None of the children of Mama Aro’s late sister ever came to claim their mother’s share of the property; it would be like a goat visiting the den of lions. That would be instant death. Those children valued their lives. Mama Aro was tall, fat and strong, with eyes that shone menacingly like that of a lioness.
Most people who indulge in atrocities never have it in their minds that the Almighty God would one day mete out judgment for the heinous crimes they might have committed. No sins intentionally done against humanity can go scot-free.
The reason people call this utterly wicked woman Mama Aro was the fact that her grandchild by name, Aro, lived with her and people thought she was her own biological child. Her true biological child, Ajibike, ran away from home many times when she couldn’t bear the harsh, acerbic and saucy nature of her mother. Mama Aro’s only child, Ajibike, was her direct opposite in behaviour; she was soft, gentle and easy-going. Ajibike thought it was a costly mistake on her part to have brought her only son to live with her mother in order to take care of her. Ajibike volunteered to put her son in his grandma’s care when the boy was six. She didn’t know how terrible and monster-like her mum had grown to be. It was like taking a well-fed goat to a lion to rear. She regretted this step all her life.
‘The voice of man’ they say, ‘is the voice of God.’ So it’s better we let our tongue say what will extol the virtues of love, grace and uprightness. Whatever comes out of the mouth must be good and exalt the living God, not curses, execrations and vituperations.
On a particular Saturday afternoon, Aro had gone out to play with his friends and he was hale and hearty. Aro was now an eight-year-old boy, full of life. About 30 minutes later, he came back home, greeted his grandmother (Mama Aro) and demanded for his afternoon meal; this was after he had finished his home chores and school assignment. Mama Aro was fuming, nagging and very virulent in temper.
“I’m very hungry mama,” Aro said politely, “I haven’t taken anything this afternoon.” “May Sopona, the god of measles attack you for asking for food, you useless boy!” spurted Mama Aro.
To be continued next week.