#Opinion: A Gentle Reminder to Whom It May Concern – By Ucheoma Onwutuebe

#Opinion: A Gentle Reminder to Whom It May Concern – By Ucheoma Onwutuebe


When news got to your kinsmen in the village that Ebere, your mother had finally put to bed, your grandfather pulled out his riffle from under the bed, blew away the dust that had settled on it for lack of use and fired three shots in the air. Birds scuttled in the sky and ran for safety. Passersby filed in to inquire the reason for the happy commotion and soon enough, merriment began in that compound. Because of you.

Child, why would you let anyone treat you like your birth was not heralded? You are not another statistics, not another born-throwa. You are much more than a biological accident. Was it not you at age two, that your father carried in the crook of his arms when you convulsed none stop and each time you took each abated breath, he cried and prayed that it will not be your last.

It was because of you that your mother stayed up late to make jollof rice and salad for your visiting day and she had to set forth before dawn to board the first bus in order not to miss seeing you.

It was because of you that your big brother waited on power supply like he was keeping vigil just to iron all your school uniforms.

It was to you that your grandmother willed her Bird sewing  machine and she taught your legs how to run the machine and taught your hands how to threads the needle.

Think of Aunty Agbonma your hairdresser who never ceased to offer you the best of weavings and how she never failed to oil your scalp with shea butter.

Think of Okonkwo the carpenter who made you the most comfortable chair and locker big enough to contain all your books, making you the envy of your class mates.

It takes a community to raise a child and it took a village to raise you. Your life is a tapestry of many acts of love, woven intricately with fine details.  Every inch of you is art and you do not feed what is precious to swine lest they trample on it.  Think of all the love that was poured into you.

As you venture into life on your own after time and distance have done their work on you, do not fail these hands that raised you by accepting subpar treatments. Whenever you are tempted to make do, to accept less, think of the firm hands that pulled the trigger at your birth; the wizened hands that taught you to thread your needle, the busy hands that made you meals for visiting day, the dry hands that ironed your school uniform, the gentle hands that oiled your scalp, and the steady hands that made your school desk.

These hands did not love you for you to nurse another blackened eye, for you to pay so much for so little. Make these hands rest easy in their graves. Make the dead less anxious for you like they were spectators of a football match whose club was losing.

For you are not mere statistics. You are a tapestry of many love stories; Too much has gone into you for you to come short. Too much.

Happenings Media