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DEADLY DECISION

A PLAY

BY

GANYAM DOROTHY DOOM (MRS)

DEDICATION
This play is dedicated to God the creator of heaven and earth who has constituted the institution of marriage, right from the times of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

AUTHOR’S NOTE
Deadly Decision is fictional. The names of the characters and places mentioned in this book may sound familiar but its all a mere coincidence.

INTRODUCTION
The play is a story of two girls who grew up in the same village and started their secondary school education also in the same school, but for financial constraints and cultural affinities the other girl is not given the opportunity to complete her secondary education. While the other one had the privilege to attend the educational status she desired despite marriage.
Unfortunately for Aisha, she marries against her will and gets pregnant which eventually leads to her death.
This story tries to depict the situation boys and girls are faced with when it approaches the choice of marriage and education as well as the roles some parents play when it comes to this delicate aspect of the life’s of their children.

CHARACTERS
Aisha : The Hausa young girl who dropped out for
Marriage.

Udoo : Aisha’s friend

Mama Udoo : Udoo’s Mother
Papa Udoo : Udoo’s Father
Alhaji Audu : Aisha’s Uncle
Mama Aisha : Aisha’s Mother
Gema : Udoo’s husband
Terfa : Aisha’s husband
Sammy : Terfa’s friend
Mama Ichan : Udoo’s Neighbor
Female Patients : pregnant women attending clinic in the
Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Gynecology
Clinic Section.

Doctor : A medical Doctor working in the Aminu
Kano Teaching hospital. Nurses : two nurses working in the hospital

SCENE ONE
(Students are heard charting on their way back from school, discussing differently what transpired in the school that afternoon, as they appeared on stage, a narrator surfaces and begins to talk)
Narrator : (Academics! Academics! That’s what every one suggests now For the young and growing children Youth and for the entire community Education is her life wire. My people, send your children to school Spend your life on it Nurture them into good morals Make your beds comfortable
And you will have lasting and sweet sleep

Cultural and religious affinities
Affects not only our growth but also emotions
Marriage is sweet Only when bargained and purchased in a proper manner

When a sound education is purchased
Every other thing falls in place
A fulfilled life is acquired with it
Fame, wealth, peace, wisdom, accompanies

Read now before time passes
Read now before poverty strikes
Read now before you are isolated
Read! Read!! Read!!! )
Narrator Exits.

CHARACTERS : Udoo, Aisha, Mama Udoo and Baba Udoo.

Udoo and her friend Aisha coming out of the classroom discussing the day’s lessons and some teachers.

UDOO : (Beacons) Aisha, how did you find the lesson today?

AISHA : Boring. You know my problem with science classes. I don’t really find them interesting Mr. Mark the
Physics master makes it worse by talking to himself.

UDOO : (Holding her friend’s hand) what do you intend to study
In the University because I had thought we were all going to Study Medicine but the way you are sounding now…….

AISHA : you mean me? Marry of course. You already know a lot about my culture and condition so I don’t need to talk more on the issue. You know I lost my father at an early age and my uncle takes care of me and would not want me to further my education. He has already chosen a husband for me. The only problem is that, the man is old.

UDOO : Ah! (Taps Aisha on her shoulder) that’s bad.

AISHA : let’s go home Udoo, my mother will soon go out of patients waiting for me, she would want me to go to the market for her.
(Holding their hands, they leave the school gate)

SCENE TWO

CHARACTERS : Udoo’s father, Gema and Mama Udoo.

(Udoo comes back from school and meets her mother sitting beside her father in an open parlor with a calabash and a basket, one with groundnuts and the other for the peals or shells of groundnuts she seats down and begins to break it. A young man later comes in and greets everyone and is shown a seat suddenly Udoo enters the room).

Udoo : Good evening mama (kneels down) and good evening baba (also kneels)

Mama Udoo : : Ah! My daughter, you have delayed in school today what happened?

Udoo : mama, we had an extra lesson on chemistry that is why the delay.

Papa Udoo : (Snaps in) yes I know. This is the problem with the girl child, even if it is not just that, who will know?

Udoo : Ah Baba, you…(Stops and look up for a moment and continues) I know that I am always honest to you. I am not Terna who always tell a lie to win every one’s heart.

Youngman : (Gema enters the parlor) Good evening Baba, good evening Mama.

Papa Udoo : (To the visitor) My son, you are welcome. What has brought you to my house this evening? Sit down and tell me who you are. A rabit does not run across the market arena except if something triggers it. Tell me, whose son are you and what is your name?

Youngman : I am Gema, Atekumbu Avidi, the son of Ugba Agir of
Kuravya North district of Kwande Local Government.

Papa Udoo : What a distance. (Hits the handle of the knife he is using to smoothen the word he had carved for hunting) How are my clans men? Have they sent me words of wisdom?

Gema : Yes papa, My father sent you lots of greetings. (Brings out a smoked grass cutter, wrapped in carton coloured paper and the native kola nut referred to as Leyer and hands it over to Papa Udoo) Baba, this message is also for you from my parents.

Papa Udoo : That’s good (Mama and Udoo lives the room) My son, your parents seems to be good and generous people. Mama Udoo! (He calls) please come and take this meat, but let me keep the Kola. I don’t know women to be friends with Kola.
(Mama udoo collects it and gives to Udoo and they all leave)

Gema : (Silence prevails for a while) papa I stay in the city, in
Kano. I am a Law graduate from Bayaro University Kano and have secured a job with a private practicing legal firm. I have come to see you papa but I will disclose my mission as soon as things are alright.
I have been directed by an aunty who stayed with you during the course of her treatment. She talked so much of your family, particularly the people staying with you, you really saved her life. What the autordoxe could not do, you did.

Papa Udoo : You mean Shiimana? Oh, what a nice woman! How is she now? Can she use those legs of hers now? That woman has suffered too much in her life and it shall never be well with who did that to her.

Gema : Yes, though with aid of a stick. She asked me to come and see your daughter Udoo, that she is a very nice girl and will make a good partner for me in the city.

Papa Udoo : Thank our ancestors for her, no one taught that woman would ever use her legs again. (Flash back showing Shimana who cruels out of Papa’s room after one of the treatment session. He shakes his head and calls his wife) Mbakyegh! (daughter of Kyegh)

Mama Udoo : (Exclaims) Wuoo! (Runs in and bends beside him)

Papa Udoo : (Introduces the quest and tells her his mission, he then walks out living the two alone) This is Gema, a visitor from the city. He has come to see us, I mean your daughter.

Mama Udoo : My son, you are welcome. Let me go and get some food for you (She leaves the room calling Udoo) Udoo! Udoo! Ka Udoo ga?

Udoo : Ma! I am coming mama

Mama Udoo : We have a visitor and he says he want to see you.

Udoo : (Entering the room) okay mama. (Mama leaves the house)

SCENE THREE

CHARACTERS : Udoo, Gema (young man) Aisha and Mama Udoo.

Udoo is seen discussing with Gema and he invited her for a village dance which is coming up soon at the Adeyongu market square at sunset.
Aisha visits Udoo and meets with Udoo’s guest, who has come on another visit to his fiancé. He is seen seated in the parlor with her.

Gema : (Introduces himself to Udoo). My name is Gema
Atekumbu, graduate of law Bayero University Kano, hail from Kwande.

Udoo : (bows her head) you have already known my name. I believe you heard my mother call me.

Gema : Yes, but I still want to hear from the horses mouth.

Udoo : okay. (Squeezing her palms) my name is Susan Udoo
Igba.

Gema : What a beautiful name ‘Susan’. Have you received baptism? Udoo : Yes. In N.K.S.T. (Nongo u Kristu u Sudan hen Tiv) Church

Gema : That’s good I learnt you are in school. What class are you? Udoo : (Looking up) SS Two (Aisha walks in with an exercise book in her hand) Ah! Aisha, (she stands up to welcome her) you are welcome. I have been expecting to see you. How is your mother and uncle?

Aisha : (reluctantly answers) fine. My uncle is sick.

Udoo : What’s wrong!

Aisha : A swollen leg. He woke up with it two days ago and its increasing every day that passes by.

Udoo : That’s bad. I wish him quick recovery.

Aisha : Udoo (points at the young man) Who is this your visitor? I have never seen this face in this village before
(Aisha flashes back to her relationship with Terfa in school some years back)

Udoo : Oh! I am sorry. I have been carried away by the news of your uncle’s sickness. He is a visitor from the city. His name is (she looks at him) Gema.

Aisha : (Genuflects) Sanu Sir. How is the City? Snau da zuwa fa, yaya hanya? You are welcome fa.

Udoo : (Snaps in) She is my classmate, Hausa by tribe but lives in the Village.

Gema : Aisha it’s a pleasure meeting you. Sanu Ko! Yaya …..?
What brought you to this village? And what part of the state are you from? It’s strange having a Hausa family living in this far distant village of Jatoaka.

Aisha : My parents. I was born here. My father was a trader and came to settle here at a tender age, though he is late now. His elder brother has taken over the business and is also taking care of us. We are from Sokoto state, Algungu, gidan Alhaji Sule na Gwando.

Gema : That’s good Aisha . Once again, it’s a pleasure meeting you Udoo : (To Aisha) that reminds me. Will you be coming to watch the dance on Saturday? Gema has invited me.

Aisha : Yes, but you will be with Gema and I alone. Terfa is yet to come home. Anyway I must first inform my mother if she refuses, you will certainly not see me. She said she would want me to take massa to the market to help her sell.

Udoo : Okay, please go and inform her because I wouldn’t want to be there alone. It won’t be fun, massa should wait please.

Aisha : That’s alright. See you there on Saturday. (she turns to
Gema) Goodbye Sir, we shall see latter.

Gema : Give my regards to your parents (Aisha leaves the house, Udoo and Gema accompanies)

SCENE FOUR

CHARACTERS : Aisha, Terfa, Aisha’s Mother and Her Uncle.

The scene takes place outside Aisha is seen crying and groaning while her mother is seen consoling her because she is asked to marry the old Alhaji.

Alhaji Audu : Aisha you must marry Alhaji. Your father was very old when he married your mother. This man you call an old man has contributed a lot to your education. Haba, I am not going to disappoint him. You will continue with your education when you marry him after all he has a lot of money. I have said my wish. No going back again. (He walks to the door).

Aisha’s Mother : (pleading) Haba baba, don’t be annoyed with her. I will talk to her and she will agree. Baba ka iyi hakuri, sobanda Allah fa. (Continues to plead)

(Alhaji Audu finally walks out of the house as he exchanges with Terfa on the door. He turns and looks at him sarcastically)

Terfa : Good evening mama! (Turns to Aisha) What is the matter? Please stop crying (Aisha sobs the more) please my dear, don’t cry. (He consoles her again) It’s alright. (Moves to her and helps her up0. Please my dear lets go out of this place (they leave the house)

Aisha : (outside and still sobbing). It’s my uncle fa. He said I must stop schooling and marry Alhaji Anka, my late father’s friend.
Alhaji has said he is tired of waiting. I must have to marry him now. My uncle has agreed and a day has been fixed for the marriage, two weeks from now he said.

Terfa : okay, don’t cry. We are going to do something about it but first and foremost, do you like this man?
Aisha : What like? Allah Ikiyaye! That old man? No way (She begins to cry again)

Terfa : What has your mother said about it?

Aisha : Nothing. She said nothing. She did not object to what my uncle said. She has supported him to give me to my grand father for marriage.

Terfa : (Holding Aisha’s hand) But are you ready for marriage?

Aisha : No! I want to complete my school and go to the university. Terfa : You will. I will sponsor your education to the level you want. (He holds her hand and pulls her to his chest to console her) come, your problems are over now my dear. You are my Hajiya ko! Don’t cry again ko, yarinya.
(She stops crying and detaches from him)

Aisha : How? You have not gone to any tertiary institution. You only completed your secondary school education. You were my senior remember, our friendship was even short leave and now you are talking of sponsorship?

Terfa : Yes. That is why I need a wife who can read and write like you. I shall take you to a big city, Kano where you will attend a better school than the one in this village. You will always see electricity and drink iced water. I have a television in my room that will entertain you.

Aisha : What are you saying Terfa? How can I marry you? You are a Tiv man and I am Hausa by tribe and a Muslim too. (She backs him) Don’t just think of that. It’s impossible. Haba, just stop it fa.

Terfa : Nothing is impossible in life. Only give it a second thought, unless you want to marry that old man. But by the way, how sure are we that my parents too will agree? I am taking this decision for your sake not that I am ready for marriage.
(He draws close to her) you know I love you Aisha, don’t refuse me, if you do, the shallow well will receive a stranger.

Aisha : (with her left palm on her chin) thinks aloud. Yes, but what about my mother, what will my uncle say? How will my mother receive this news? No. I don’t want to break her heart. I shall do no such thing. (Walks a distance away from him) But to marry Alhaji is doom for the rest of my life. Should I agree, no. but do I think I like Terfa? Yes I like him but he is a Christian (with her hands on her head) no. why me? Allah come and help me take this deadly decision. It is a big and risky decision to take alone (she starts to cry)

terfa : (Walks to her) Aisha, (he holds her hand) why are you talking to yourself? Talk to me my dear. I have loved you all this while but hadn’t the opportunity to tell you most specially because of our religious and tribal differences. (Drags her to his bosom) come on, this is our chance. Let us make this decision together. I promise you won’t get any disappointment from me. All you will get is Love! Love! Love!

Aisha : I am not talking alone. I am only trying to think about your request. (Pauses) Yes. I have agreed, lets be married, but who joins us together? What about witness, which Imam should we go to? God please judge this case and tell me the winner.

Terfa : No one. Only God. We are going to elope buy the way who do you think we should tell? (Waits for no answer) our parents will discover later that we are living together and will have nothing to do than to consent to our marriage and give us their blessings.

Aisha : Okay, that’s alright. When will that be? It has to be fast so that it will not coincide with the date Baba has given Alhaji Tanko.

Terfa : That’s my girl (embraces her) I will have to leave now before your parents suspects us. (Dips his hands into his pocket and brings out some money and hands it over to her). Take this money Aisha (she collects it) it will enable you prepare yourself for the journey, better still, leave some for your mother under her pillow.

Aisha : lets just fix the date today before you leave so that as we prepare, our minds will be set.

Terfa : it’s okay, when do you think it will be convenient for us to make the journey? (He gives it a thought and suggests a day) can we make it a week from today? That’s Wednesday of next week. How do you see it?

Aisha : it’s okay by me. Thank you very much for everything.

Terfa : Thank you very much too. Take care of yourself for me my dear. Bye. (They all depart)

SCENE FIVE

The scene opens with Udoo in her room with her books on her laps. Its moon light so she has finished all her house chores and she is resting with her books. She is very intelligent and always serious with her studies.

Mama Udoo : (Calling outside) Udoo! There’s someone waiting to see you outside.

Udoo : Yes mama, I will be with you in a gipsy. (She hurriedly comes out of the room and meet Gema)
Ah! It’s you. Welcome (she takes him in and shows him a seat). Let’s go in or would you prefer we sit under the mango tree?

Gema : Are we not going to watch the ‘Anger’ dance at the dance square again? I thought I had invited you already.

Udoo : Oh yes. I have almost forgotten about it. Is it today? Let me go immediately and dress up, but remember, we must have to pass through Aisha’s house, because I also invited her so we could go together. You know she likes watching the ‘Anger’ dance which is a popular dance among the Kwande people.

Gema : That’s alright (He spots Baba sitting outside trying to calve a hunting stick and goes to greet him) Good evening Baba.

Papa Udoo : Good evening my son. How are you? Youngman,
(pauses a little from the work) what cause you frequent my house or is it too early for me to know? I hope you have not set traps for bush rats in my house.

Gema : I will tell you Baba, as soon as things are ripe.

Papa Udoo : It’s ok my son, I shall wait patiently but don’t forget to inform me when you are ready to leave because I intend to send you words to my sister who is in Kano too. I have not seen her for a very long time now. (Soliloquizes a little) Torkwase! Tokwase! I don’t know what you are doing in Kano, to come home is a problem. You are not getting younger, what will the villagers say? That you are harloting or what?

Gema : (He stands up to go back to the room where
Udoo is waiting) okay Baba. I won’t forget. (Udoo instead comes out and the two leaves together to the market square to watch the anger dance).

(At the market square, the dance is made up of both young girls and boys dressed in a zebra colour wrapper which is hand woven with a white t-shirt and ‘bibi’ tied around their feet with animal tails in their hands)

Udoo : (Now in the market square) I don’t know what is happening to Aisha. She has not been herself since after her last visit to my house. It seams there is something wrong with her.
May be is her marriage to that old Alhaji Tanko.

Gema : But why force her to marry someone she doesn’t want. Anyway, in the North where I schooled, the girls don’t really have a say when it comes to marriage. The parents most often choose the husbands for them. Sometimes, it is even an agreement at birth when the girls are at infant stages.

(And at the square, the ‘Anger’ dancers gather their drums, the ‘ilyu’, gongs, ‘ngo-gbande’ and ‘chorugh’. Drumming has commenced, waiting for the arrival of some of the dancers. Suddenly, the dancers arrays in a single file and commences entrance into the dance arena. Udoo and Gema watches the dance with all excitement, after a while takes a French leave to a corner where they could hardly be seen so that they could have some intimate discussion. A neighbor (Mama Ichan) who passes by, sees them and takes home words to her parents).

SCENE SIX

The scene opens with a neighbor entering mama Udoo’s compound to report what she has seen at the market square. She says it in a manner that depicts gossip hence adding “salt and pepper”

Ichan : Good evening Mbakegh, how are you and the children? What about ‘Orya’

Mama Udoo : We are doing very fine oh. And how about your family too?

Ichan : (No response to the greetings but goes straight narrating what she had witnessed ) Mama Udoo, where is your daughter Udoo? How is she doing with her studies? Please encourage her to study hard because school is the greatest of all husbands. It can buy her a house, a husband, prestige and several other good things I cannot remember to mention now. You know what I mean.

Mama Udoo : No! What Ichan? How can I read your mind? She is really doing well in school ooh. I thank God for blessing her for me and am happy that her father is encouraging her to go to school. My daughter is going to be a great woman. She is a careful and serious girl.

Ichan : But (pointing a finger out) who was that man I saw her with at a corner on my way to the market this evening? I don’t like the manner I saw them oh, because that is how it gradually starts and it becomes a thing of shame. You know what I mean.

Mama Udoo : What do you mean? Yes mama Ichan, but this particular young man came from the city. We all know him now, he is also a nice and harmless young man. In any case, I will talk to my daughter. Thank you very much for your concern. You have really proved that you are a good neighbor.

Ichan : (stands up and leave) Okay Mama Udoo, don’t worry ooh, what are we neighbors for. Bye bye oh! We will see later. My greetings to your husband, I didn’t even ask after him when I came. How is he doing?

Mama Udoo : Fine oh! Go well and my greetings to your family.

A new character Sammy, Terfa’s friend is introduced. Aisha is seen waiting for her suitor whom they are to meet at the out skirts of the village to execute their plans of elopement with a basket on her head, the basket contains a hoe, a knife and yam seedlings for planting.

Woman : (Greets Aisha) Aisha! (Trembles and looks towards her direction) what are you doing here on the road alone? (She does not wait for any responds and leaves immediately and suddenly Sammy appears and Terfa is also seen approaching. Sammy then greets Aisha)

Sammy : Aisha, good morning.

Aisha : (Greets back) good morning sammy. Sanu dazuwa (and frowns away).

(Sammy and Terfa moves a part from her do decide on the route to follow and who to take the lead. As they come back, Aisha begins to protest but Terfa cuts her off).

Terfa : Aisha no more talking. We are going right away and all you need to do is to come with us. Maintain a distance to avoid suspicion. (Advised Terfa)

As they left the villages nearby, they stopped all Lorries coming from the nearby market (Ikyogen) with tubers of yams, bags of garri and oranges loaded to be taken to the North and eventually boards one of the lorries they travel for two days but by the night fall of the second day, they arrive Kano, the capital of Kano State, an ancient city and boards a town service bus to ‘Bata’ where they will further take an ‘Achaba’ (Motorcycle) for ‘Sabon gari’ where Terfa lives.

Sammy, Aisha and Terfa in Terfa’s sitting room in Kano. In his sitting room are three chairs, a center table, with a tray and three cups with a jug in it. Also is a radio and a picture frame on the wall, with some old newspapers/magazines under the table.

Terfa : (Opens the door and ushers his guests in) Pleas come in. All goes in while Terfa enters into the inner room to drop some items.

Sammy : Aisha you are in a big city now. Come in and start behaving like a city woman. (Holding Aisha’s hand)

terfa : (Terfa comes out of the room with a bottle of water and empties it in the jug and offers it to them) Here is some water. You are welcome to my little house. Aisha drink some water, you must be tired now.
(They all poured the water in the glasses on the table and drinks)

Aisha : (Speaks with regrets and her head down) what will I do now? How will my mother feel when she discovers what I have done? I have disobeyed their words and see where I am now married without witnesses, married without their consent, no ceremony, not even one kola-nut shared on my behalf.

Terfa : (Moves to her and carries her hand) Aisha don’t say all these. You are not dead and Sammy here has witness our marriage. Be a happy girl now for all your problems are over because before the week runs out, you will overcome all these stress, okay? Sammy will leave for the village tomorrow, so you may wish to write a letter to your mother and uncle too, and let them know your where about particularly your mother because she will be so worried.
(Aisha makes a sign of relief)

Sammy : (stands up and yawns) Ah. I am really tired. Aisha prepare your massage for your parents, I will leave tomorrow before the first cock crows. You know how far Jatoaka is from Kano.

Aisha : (Walking round the room with her eyes fixed on the ceiling as she soliloquizes aloud) What do I write. How will I begin my story? May be I should send a verbal message, but my mother, my uncle, my brothers and sisters. How will they feel? No! I will write and tell them what they have led me to do.

Sammy : Aisha keeps on soliloquizing. As for me, I am going to bed. Good night Terfa. Good night Aisha. (He goes to the inner room)

Aisha : Goodnight Sammy. (She sits down again)

Terfa : Haba Aisha, I don’t want us to be enemies. Come on. (He moves to carry her) mosquitoes are too much here, they will feast on you tonight if you sleep here. You need to relax, my wife.

Aisha : No! Please leave me alone. I say I prefer sleeping here. (She withdraws her hand from he’s and backs him)

Terfa : (Pleading) Please Aisha, don’t do this to yourself.
How can you sleep here after the stress you encountered in the long journey? Haba, lets go in please. Aisha : Okay (Reluctantly goes with him and all leaves for the inner room)

SCENE SEVEN

Back in the village Sammy brings Aisha’s parents the letter she has written. Mama receives it and spontaneously run to Baba (Aisha’s Uncle) and calls Sammy who is learned to read and explain the content.

Sammy : Who is in this house please?

Mama Aisha : Maraba. Its me. Sanu, Ka shigau. You are welcome (runs in and brings back a seat) please sit down my son, How are your people. I met Kaka in the market and asked her of you but was told you travelled. How was your journey?

Sammy : Fine mama. Mama I have a message for you from your daughter. (He hands her the letter).

Mama Aisha : (Runs to where Aisha’s Uncle is so as to give him the letter) Baba Snau, ga wasika. Aisha sent it. (Baba opens the letter and ask Sammy to explain the content) Sammy : (Receives the letter and as he opens and begins to read, expresses surprise on his face) Ah, Aisha (Pause) is in Kano now. She say she had to run away from the village so as to avoid being married to that old man, Alhaji Audu and that she is married to Terfa the son of Zaki a neighbor in the village.

Mama Aisha : (Drops down and begins to cry) wa yo Allah na!
Aisha has killed me. What will I do now. please someone should come and help me. Who will I tell my story to? What will my fellow women say? Aisha has put me to shame oh! wa yo Allah na!

Sammy : (Helping her up) please mama, don’t cry. Aisha will be alright. I wonder why she should do such a thing. Please stop crying. We shall look for a way of bringing her back.

Udoo on the other hand has completed her secondary school examination with her required credit passes in sciences and is given into marriage to Barrister Gema, who is a private legal practitioner in Sabon Gari, Kano. Living in a decent home and is enrolled into the Aminu Kano University Kano to study Medicine.

Baba Udoo : (Calls Udoo) Udoo! Udoo! va(come). Now that your marriage rights have been concluded successfully, when is your husband leaving with you?

Udoo : He has said Sunday will be most appropriate.
(She hesitates and moves off where she sports Gema strolling to the house)

Gema : (Goes to greet baba) Good evening Baba. Where is mama, I have come to discuss my departure with you, because I intend to travel back to Kano with my wife tomorrow first thing in the morning.
I have things scheduled for Wednesday in my office and would not want to miss them by God’s grace. How is my wife? My parents also sent their greetings to you and Mama.
(He stretches out a black leather bag with him and brings out a bottle of gin and hands it over to Baba)
Baba here is a drink for you. It will keep you warm during the cold weathers. It’s hot but when you seep a little of it at a time, its harmless.

Baba Udoo : (Calls Mama Udoo to come) Mbakyegh! Come quickly. The Dee-Day has come. Mama Udoo : (Runs to meet them and answers) Wuoo..! I have come. What has happened?

Baba Udoo : Our son in-law has come to inform us that he will be leaving with his wife on Sunday because he has some commitment in his office on Wednesday next week. So I have called you to inform you to prepare her for the journey.

Mama Udoo : it’s okay my husband. I shall prepare her for the journey. (Turns to Gema) When do you intend to start your journey? I mean, the time. Gema : 6.00 pm. I have to take her home for my parents first, before the long journey to Kano.

Mama Udoo : it’s okay. We shall be prepared for it. When coming please come with your mother because I want to hand over my daughter to her.

Baba Udoo : Hope you have heard her? My role has long terminated the day you completed the marital rights. Till then my son.

Gema : (Stands up to leave) It’s okay Baba, till then.
Thank you very much my in-laws. (Udoo too joins him to go out)

SCENE EIGHT
Udoo in Kano with her husband Gema. The scene opens with Udoo sitting in her living room with a magazine in her hand.

Udoo : (Reading a magazine) it’s sad. How could they have killed the policeman. These arm robbers are terrible people (She hissed and hears a knock on the door and looks up) Ah! Welcome dear, its you (She goes to get his briefcase to lead him into the bedroom)

Gema : (Embraces her with contempt) Thanks my love.
How are you all? What about Junior? I saw Sefa playing outside, he likes to play a lot unlike his elder brother. It seems he has taken after you because you liked playing too especially going to the market square to watch dance.

Udoo : (she laughs sarcastically) I did it to please you my love. Its better he plays today because his ill health was beginning to temper with my happiness too. He slept all through the early hours of the day. I had to wake him up for his drugs so lets allow him to play.

Gema : (Recalling) How was your exams? I suppose that was your last paper. Udoo : (Nodding) Yes I really thank God for allowing me write this exams successfully too. My trembling has metamorphosed into hysterical built of laughter my husband.

Gema : (Moves to embrace her) congratulations my dear.
You have really tried. Combining schooling with child bearing is not an easy task. We really thank God for this achievement. Am really proud of you my wife.

Udoo : (Reacting herself from him) oh dear, let me get your food ready. You must be hungry.

Gema : Alright, let me too go in and get a nice shower before dinner I know its going to be luscious.

Udoo : Oh yes! My sweetheart, I am preparing your favourite ‘genger’ soup with inyam itoho (bush meat) with pounded yam.

Gema : Oooh! Its mouth watering, don’t forget to get some fruits to be served after the meal.

Udoo : Its okay, the food will be ready in a gipsy.

SCENE NINE
Aisha is seen pregnant in a hospital in Kano looking really sick and retched. There, she meets Udoo who is undergoing her National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) assignment in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.

Udoo : (stops and calls) who am I seeing. Is it not Aisha?
(Sights Aisha and stops to call with surprise)

Aisha : (looks up) who am I seeing? This looks like Udoo.
No she cannot be the one. What must have brought her here? Is she sick or pregnant too? Or has she brought a patient? No!

Udoo : (calls again) Aisha! (this time Aisha too realizes and gets up)

Aisha : (Embracing Udoo) Udoo! Hi! Udoo! (she begins to cry and all the other patients looks at them). Look at me Udoo. I am very sorry, I could not tell you before living the village. I had to run away fast because Baba my uncle wanted to give me out for marriage to that old Alhaji Tanko who has grand children that are 10 years older than me.
So (pause and then weeps again) I eloped with Terfa to this place.

Udoo : (Consoles her) don’t cry my dear friend, and where is Terfa now?

Aisha : In the market selling, he is a trader, but his business is not really progressing so we are just managing to earn a living.

Udoo : Okay don’t worry, let me take this file to the next ward before I come.

Aisha : (With her palms spreaded) Thank you Allah.
(Soliloquizes) but see how fine she looks. A medical doctor already, Udoo is dam too lucky. (She gives herself a thorough look around her body. Suddenly Udoo returns)

Udoo : Yes Aisha, lets go in first and see the doctor. They all depart for the consultation room.

SCENE TEN
Udoo and Terfa are seen waiting in a Hospital reception room to receive the news of Aisha’s delivery from the labour room. We could hear the doctor and the nurses encouraging Aisha to help the baby out. Aisha who previously had been groaning in pains suddenly get silent, as the doctor comes out to give them the news. Everyone is anxious.

Udoo : Doctor, how is she? What about the baby? We have not heard any cry. Is all okay? Am scared doctor, did she make it? Talk to me please.

Doctor : (Moves away from her and goes to talk to Terfa)
Please can I see you young man.

Terfa : Yes doctor. (They all move aside)

Doctor : congratulations Sir, you have a baby girl but you have to take heart.
Your wife lost a lot of blood. (Terfa begins to suspect a bad news and moves to grab the doctor’s shirt) Please young man, take heart. You just have to accept God’s wish. God gives and takes. It was a serious battle but her time was ripe so accept the news in good fate.

Terfa : Oh! Life is cruel. Why have you done this to me.
Who will I tell this to?
(The Doctor walks away) What will I tell her parents. Oh! Help me! My ancestors. (Udoo rushes to meet Terfa and begins to cry immediately without being told anything)

Udoo : what ha happened to her (waits for no response continue to cry again as she talks) Parents, this is the destiny you give to your children. Why choose this important aspect of their life for them. Can’t they be allowed to take this delicate and deadly decision? Please (pause) stop this imposition of husbands and wives on your children, marriage is meant to be enjoyed not endured. Taking to husbands or wives without your parent’s consent lack God’s blessings.
(Terfa holds her hand and they all leaves as she continue to cry)

The end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ganyam Dorothy Doom was born in Yelwata, Nyiev, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and is married to Engr. Jude Terwase Ganyam of Kwande Local Government of the same state.
She attended the Kogi state College of Education Ankpa, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, where she graduated with B.ED language Arts-English. She is currently an English Language teacher and Head of Department, languages in the Government Girls College, Makurdi, Benue State. She is happily married with children.

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