The Fire Within
217 Pages
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The Fire Within


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217 Pages


In Africa, there is unrest, and possibly tragedy, when new trends clash with traditional values. With a curmudgeonly stepmother who harasses her even as she spoils her own biological daughter, Mungeu', the protagonist, blazes a path for herself in the face of many odds. But things go terribly wrong when she falls pregnant. The dilemma of whether or not to keep the pregnancy, given society's expectations, flings this young woman into direct confrontation with a life that is beyond her years. She is bent on succeeding: she will keep her baby, and with her training at a girls' craft center, start a business and bring up her illegitimate child. But Mungeu' can only make plans as she realises before long that the authority to dispose of them does not rest with her alone; there are other powerful forces out there.



Published by
Published 15 April 2008
Reads 0
EAN13 9789956716838
Language English
Document size 2 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0043€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


re within
Emmanuel Fru Doh
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Emmanuel Fru Doh
LangaaResearch & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG (LangaaResearch & Publishing Common Initiative Group) P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Province Cameroon
ISBN: 9956558184
©Emmanuel Fru Doh 2008 First Published 2008
DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
To the memory of my grandparents: Marcus and Kamah Awah Njoya.
Praise and Glory to God Almighty
Prologue Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen Chapter Eighteen
1 5 21 34 53 60 64 76 88 105 113 121 134 148 153 165 175 190 203
Prologue rom a distance Pa Anye, Ndomnjie, Yefon, and her uncle Dr Wirghan could see the smoke rising slowly to about five ThFen what appeared to be a pile of clothes by the side of a to six feet before spreading out like a rejected offering. makeshift hearth moved slightly. As the group of four approached, the scene became clearer. “He is the one!” exclaimed Ndomnjie. “Yes, he was in the bus as we came up.” He gently nodded his head several times. “It is almost two years now, but I can recall that he was with us.” “Are you serious?” questioned Pa Anye. “He is the one,” Yefon confirmed. The pile of clothes was, in fact, a tall young man in his mid twenties. As Ndomnjie stared on, he noticed the young man’s very black and somewhat overgrown hair, which looked shaggy at the top. It had, at one time, been neatly trimmed low around the upper tips of his ears and below to the back of his neck. Eyes with very clear whites, though partially covered by heavy eyelids like those of a person struggling to stay awake, lighted his long face. His long nose ended in a tip comfortably lodged on a sprouting moustache crowning his upper lips. His broad shoulders and V-shaped chest narrowed to a thin waistline, and the muscular thighs convinced Ndomnjie that his subject of interest had once been much involved in sports. Pa Anye was still wondering about his pair of trousers which, unlike most mentally disturbed men’s, was not threadbare, but had been rubbed all over with something black. “What is he rubbing on his leg like that?” “It’s charcoal,” answered Ndomnjie. Occasionally the young man would look around him with a very confident, if not defiant, smile and then he would sigh, moving his head from side to side. He was lying down on his side, with his left elbow propping the upper half of his body from the hard and cold tar on top of the brickwork, which formed the heart of the Sunshine Chemist roundabout. In a way, the roundabout itself is in the heart of the town of Batemba, the capital of the Savannah Province. As he lay there, the different roads leading out of the roundabout were like the network of a spider’s web. He himself, in the centre of the roundabout, looked 1
like prey, the surrounding houses and people, spiders of different sizes and shapes, creeping threateningly towards him. The vehicles that zoomed past the roundabout with screeching tyres meant nothing to him. Occasionally a passer-by would briefly catch his attention and he would tail the person with his eyes until distracted by something else. Up in the distance, above the houses on his right, lay the Station Hill from which the roofs of houses in the government residential area glittered. On the cliff where the almost flat top of the Station Hill comes to an abrupt end, dropping down about 60 feet, were many shades of green. The fresh leaves of tall trees that seemed to vie with each other for a greater dose of the sun’s rays were visible from a distance, and so were a few waterfalls running down the slope like tiny silver threads. On his left was another hill, although not as pronounced as the Station Hill. On it stood a mesh of haphazardly constructed houses with footpaths snaking in and out of the different compounds. Occasionally a storey building disrupted the regular nature of the height of the houses. People were all over the place and milling around the streets, without paying any particular attention to the solitary figure that seemed at home in the street. His fireside was much alive as bright red flames leapt up almost engulfing the dirty pot on the hearth. Pa Anye, Ndomnjie, Yefon, and Dr Wirghan approached cautiously, wondering what Pa-pa (as people called him) could be muttering to himself. They were just two paces behind Pa-pa when he burst out laughing and then the clapping of his hands followed the movement of his head from side to side. Then the muttering, but this time his words were audible. “Beauty! Beauty! When they talk of beauty, she had it: ebony black and glittering like a polished carving. A-a-a-a-h! Then when she smiled, ah! But I told you, I denied, yes, I said we should keep it, I even promised telling my people, but you would not listen. You said you would not hurt Mommy’s memory. You didn’t want to see me in trouble, but which is more painful, which is worse—losing you two or having both of you and to hell with what people say? Why have you left me alone?” Pa-pa paused for a while before continuing sadly, “I can take off my pair of trousers eh! I can do it, or rather I feel like running along this
straight street. No, I won’t. People would think I’m ma-a-a-ad ha-a-a-a-a!” He laughed aloud. All of a sudden, Pa-pa jumped up as if struck by a thought. With grim determination in his looks, he started marching purposefully along Central Avenue. This main street leads from his residence—the roundabout—into the commercial nerve-centre of Batemba. Pa-pa marched with his chest jutting out and his head held high like a disciplined soldier on parade. The supercilious look in his eyes and his commanding bearing gave the impression he was above everyone else around him. Then he began talking threateningly as he marched on, “Just let me get there, fools. I’ll make them know their right from their left. I’ll make them know how to guide and not dictate their foolish superstitious whims to others. Mad people!” Pa-pa never really got anywhere for, each time after marching for a while, he returned to his hearth where he started all over again, warming and painting himself black with charcoal. “This is just a case of acute depression. If only we had psychiatric units in this country, this is a young man who should be functioning well with the right treatment,” Dr Wirghan lamented. “You say he’s been like this for over a year now?” “Yes,” answered Yefon. “What a waste,” Dr Wirghan lamented. “True!” Yefon agreed. Yefon had not given up on Adey, and so had brought her uncle who studied in Sweden and had been practicing there as a medical doctor for over 20 years to get his opinion. “So you say there is only one mental health hospital in the whole country?” “There is only one in the capital city of Nayonde—Centre Bonaparte,” Ndomnjie put in. “And they’ve not been able to help this young man?” Dr Wirghan questioned in disbelief. “His parents and I have been there with him four different times. First of all, nobody speaks English there and so we could barely communicate. They kept him there for about a month without any changes. A doctor saw him once in all that time. We had no choice but to bring him back. All his parents can do now is pray for him while I hoped you would someday see him during one of your visits back home.” 3