Excerpt from The Premature Goal

Nature has been so kind to man that in every generation, in every village and family, she would bless the human race with people bestowed with exceptionally great ability.
In the eastern region, Umuoba was counted as one of the villages endowed with such men. Although this cannot be accounted for in terms of education, because in the 40’s, education was not valued as it is now. The priority and order of the day were farming, and physical strength which was exercised in wrestling especially among the Igbos. The greatness of a man depended on the acres of land he owned, the productivity of his farm, the number of wives and children he had and how many men he could successfully defeat in wrestling.

Among the Igbos, such a man was the ideal man every woman would long to have as a husband. But this was entirely different in the case of Okuafo. Despite the number of women that flaunted their beauty around him, he never took notice of them. There was the case of Ubemma.

Ubemma hailed from a very rich and well respected family. Her father was one of the few titled chiefs. Ubemma was a young, fair charming girl with slender hip. Her narrow nose coupled with her slim stature made most people call her “Oyibo”. She went on bare feet and had a way of walking that gained her the admiration of most men. Most of them were ready to give up anything to win this daughter of Okoli over to themselves. It was very astonishing or rather annoying to most people that this very daughter of Okoli despised all the men who wanted her hand in marriage because she was crazy about a man that never knew she existed. She drowned herself with the psychotic idea of her marriage with Okuafo and kept pressing him hoping that one day; he would change his mind and turn to her. Many people thought her love for Okuafo was not normal. This was because of the way she was seen in Okuafo’s house all day. It gave her father an aching heart that several times, he went personally to Okuafo accusing him of using charms on his daughter. The shame and disgrace which his daughter brought upon him as he kept following Okuafo like a housefly was too unbearable for him. One day, he went and pleaded with him to marry his daughter. That day, Okuafo gave him a piece of his mind. “Nobody can force me to do what I never wanted. If you know what is good for you, take your daughter along with you, sit her down and talk sense into her because, next time I will see her long legs in my house, I will shorten them.”

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