Many dealers in “Belgium”or fairly used motorcycles at Nwagbala area of Nkwo Nnewi Machine Parts International Market knew him so well. He would be standing beside mechanics coupling or servicing newly bought “Belgium” motorcycles for buyers from far and near.
That was in the 1990s when the whole of Nigeria was coming down to Nnewi to buy fairly used motorcycles imported from Belgium, Austria and other western European countries. It was a big business. I would buy some motorcycles and move them to Enugu to sell to Okada riders to finance my masters degree at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus.
I had curiously observed this erudite mad man for some time and was forced to ask what happened to him from a willing tale bearer. And my ears got filled up.
“He is not the first to go mad in his family”, the man began. “They would be born normal but would go mad before they attain the age of 25. The girls are exempted. The madness curse is only on the boys. This one concluded his Engineering degree from the university before he started ‘madding’ madness,” I was told.
“Their father must have offended someone who heaped a curse on him and his children. I heard that all the doctors at Psychiatric hospital in Enugu couldn’t diagnose the medical cause or the brand of their madness”, my willing story teller ended.
My further enquiry revealed that the father of the mad boys was a very rich man that didn’t see oppression as evil. He cheated people mindlessly, took over their businesses, imprisoned anyone that questioned his audacity and even organized fatal accidents for his competitors until he caused a young man he accused of stealing his money to commit suicide. The accused young man could not stand the shame. He was the only son. He committed suicidal to avoid going to jail.
Then the widow, the mother of the only son, pulled off her clothes publicly and swore that none of the children of the man that caused her son to take his life shall be useful. She decreed that they would go crazy upon attainment of the age her own son took his life. She wanted the man to feel the pain as sudden death of his sons might not drive the nail of the grief so deeply in the man. She wanted the man to be alive to see his heirs waste away through madness.
And it came to pass.
The widow died soon after her son was buried making it difficult for the accursed man and his family members to appeal to her to reverse the curse or for her forgiveness.
This has made me to expand my research to cover the notorious men I had known or heard of in Anambra state and the lives of many wealthy and powerful men and how well their next generation have fared. My findings are same for those deemed “wicked”, “powerful” and “fearsome”. Their wealth, influence and reach had gone with them. The compounds the great men lived are usually desolate once their widows die.
Mama Obiora, my mum, would admonish me, “Anayo, ị na emekwo ife, mefọrọ ụmụ ụmụ gị” meaning that “Anayo never commit offences that will affect your children and children’s children”. Before my mother died, she told me that she and my father had done nothing to mortgage my future and that I should never do anything that would negatively affect my “nkụtụ azụ” or my successors.
My people, evil doesn’t pay.
Its consequences are irrevocably transferred from a man or a woman to their offsprings.