Kajata missed her family and friends. Her husband could not afford to live in the city, so they had to relocate to the outskirts of town, away from everyone she knew. Mamadu constantly whined about his work commute to the city centre. He also said that Kajata should be thankful because all she does is go down the road to the market and sit idle all day in front of her silly tray of patch grannat. Mamadu however, demanded to find his food waiting on the table, their tiny one-bedroom apartment cleaned and tidy, his clothes washed and ironed on his return from work. Kajata was also expected to buy, roast, and sell the grannat and have the day’s profit ready to handover.
Every day, Kajata fought the urge to flee but she knew her parents would send her back. Kajata felt her new home was not up to par for a city girl like herself who attended the best girl’s school in the country. She hated him. Her home. Her life.
Sometimes, Kajata wondered why her parents abandoned her. Did they even ever love her? Why had they given her away when all she wanted was to finish her education and become a writer?
As time went by, she tried to forgive them. Her mother made it clear that the decision was entirely her father’s and she was a mere bystander; in fact, her hands were tied regarding the matter.
Her father’s instinct warned him about his future son-in-law. His first impression of Mamadu was disappointing, to say the least, and deemed him unworthy of his daughter. Nevertheless, he had promised to give his daughter’s hand in marriage and was bound by his word.
His cousin had always preferred them being in-laws and was particularly keen on Kajata’s older sister Mariama, but she was already at university and was too studious and quiet to interrupt her education. While Kajata, on the other hand, was a bit problematic.
Kajata was a fun fifteen-year-old. She had lots of friends she enjoyed spending time with. She was playful, even failed a class and was the opposite of her shy, older sister, which was worrisome.
Her father felt he had to decide, there was no other option. It had to be Kajata instead of her sister. But it does not mean he loved her any less despite what she believed. When she was old enough, she would understand. It was not an easy decision but Kajata was not as promising as her older sister. She mentioned she wanted to study silly things and aspired to become a writer or poet instead of a lawyer or doctor or engineer or even an accountant. Her father thought he could see the signs, and the universe was telling him to do what was right before she inevitably shamed the family.
Kajata’s father felt deceived by the boy’s father, his cousin and friend, nonetheless. His cousin had told little white lies about his son Mamadu which he later discovered was quite the opposite. He was disappointed but it was rather late to back out of the arrangement. He had given his word.
Mamadu was easy to sway and was not fussed about which sister he married. He was only concerned with getting a wife, and his father had successfully found one from an excellent family. All that mattered was that Kajata had the body of a grown woman even if she was only fifteen years old – that was enough for him
watch out for part 3
Immoh - Get up
Baba – Father
Patch Grannat – Roasted peanuts
Chop Money- Money for groceries