Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Beauty of a Mother

Nkili stumbled out of an incoherent dream and woke up with a start. Blaring horns, booming music and myriads of voices mingled to produce unbearable noise. As the driver pulled toward the community school, she felt her heart tick like a grandfather clock. Home was only minutes away. She was going to see her mother - after ten long years.
The driver pulled into the family compound. She let herself out of the car slowly. The vast compound filled with red sand was bare. A rich diversity of orange, mango, cashew and Kola nut trees towered above the compound creating a sense of serenity. The gray bungalow where her mother lived still maintained its position in the middle of the compound. Hens scratched and pecked the ground leisurely. Goats helped themselves to crops spread across the ground.

Nkili inched closer to the bungalow. She could perceive the familiar smell of smoke. The same old family photographs, palm wine gourd, and cowhide skin adorned the wall. Her mind began to wander back to the past, before her father died. But her recollections were truncated by a heap of fire wood that came crashing onto the ground. Beside the fire wood stood two feet. They were familiar feet; ones that once walked her to school along the dusty brown path; the hands were the same one that flogged her when she stole a piece of meat from the cooking pot; the shoulder was the one she used to cry on when she bruised her knee or received strokes of the cane from her father; Before her stood the very embodiment of virtue, integrity and strength.

‘Mother,’ Nkili muttered in a choked voice. Her eyes welled up with tears.

Nkili's mother held out her arms. ‘My child.’

That was all Nkili longed for. She couldn’t hold back the tears as they embraced. It was so good to be home.

(Culled from my novel, 'The Desperate Dreamer')


  1. Beautiful iteration for mothers day. I still wonder why the world cannot come together to celebrate a unified mothers day, I mean if Christmas, Easter and even St Patrick's days are celebrated on the same day, I think its high time North America and Europe reaches a consensus on when to celebrate mothers!!

  2. Thank you, Chuks! I know, it's funny that in your part of the world people have to wait until May to celebrate Mother's Day. I guess it's because each country/continent has its unique history & adopted Mother's Day at a different point in time. Hoping for a unified mother's day is only wishful thinking I'm afraid.

  3. Mmmm..., while the image of ten years away from one's mother might be difficult to identify with in some areas of the world, I think everyone can totally identify with the image of a mother's arms as being the place of total peace, familiarity and laughter.
    The beauty of the mother is that she is the personality that represents the place where you can just be yourself!
    I hope we can get some more of your novel on the next article?

  4. Thank you, Dlaw. Like the saying goes in Igbo, mother is supreme. Don't you worry, I will post excerpts from Desperate Dreamer in the coming weeks.

  5. Such a touching piece. I particularly liked the imagery while describing the compound. It helped me picture the scene more clearly.

    Hopefully, you'll share the novel when you publish it.

  6. Beautiful story Oluchi. Has this novel of yours been published? I'd definitely like to have a read of it, if it has.

    - Avid Fan