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BAWDY music blared, as drinks of palm wine and beer flowed freely and people trooped into the hall in pairs and groups. It was another night party; a time for young boys and girls, not counting some interested men and women, to take to the floor and have a good time. The crowd was anxiously awaiting Kelechi, who was a usual face at all-night parties. He was the best dancer in town and was notorious for binge drinking. Everyone wanted him around on such occasions but, tonight, he was not available, as it then seemed. Hours went by, but Kelechi had not yet arrived. Everyone imagined what could have happened to him and why he was not yet at the party which, indeed, was expected to be an interesting one.

Why is Kelechi not here yet?” asked a girl at the party.

Maybe he forgot there is a party here tonight,” answered another girl.

I don’t think so. I have the feeling that something must have happened to him because, as we all know, Kelechi never misses an all-night party,” a boy suggested. The hope of Kelechi coming to the party was getting dim as it was already 10:00 pm. Just as everyone present was discussing Kelechi, he finally rolled up like a spirit shrouded in white from head to toe.

Wetin dey happen?” he shouted.

Na groove night,” chorused everyone in attendance.

But what happened?” asked a guy. “You came rather late this night and we were already giving up expectations of seeing you.”

Actually, my aunt came from Ekwulóbia at twilight, only to find out that my parents were away. She had to wait for them, while I had to prepare food for…..” just before he finished the sentence, a girl shouted mockingly: “Mr. Cook!” and they all burst into laughter. Kelechi ignored them and said that he could not tell his aunt that he had a night party to attend because she was the strict type, unlike his parents who would not even disagree with him. So, he had to wait until 9:30 pm, when he quietly sneaked out of the house into the dark, while his aunt was already in dreamland. Before he could utter another word, the crowd shouted in unison: “Nwanne, idi sharp!” Soon, the brief conversation was over.

The party continued in full force, as Kelechi was already dancing with a bottle of beer in hand. As the best dancer in the clique, girls were happy to dance with him, especially when the music playing was their favourite. Suddenly, Kelechi extended his hand to a girl named Sopuruchi asking to dance with her. She readily agreed and, before long, they were dancing together. Nónso, who was Sopuruchi’s boyfriend, was angry and couldn’t bear the affront. He immediately walked up to Kelechi and warned him to let go of his girl. Kelechi, who was already under the influence of alcohol, did not respond to the aggrieved boy’s warning but continued dancing with Sopuruchi. Irked by the silence, Nónso pushed Kelechi angrily and he fell to the floor. However, he was soon back on his feet and, with all his might, hit the beer bottle he was holding on Nónso’s head. Nónso collapsed on the floor, with the words: "Nnaa, this guy…” What followed was total confusion, as all who came to the party, excluding some close friends of Kelechi and Nónso, quickly deserted the hall. Even Sopuruchi, who was the bone of contention, also made good her escape.


The meanings of Igbo words and expressions as used in this story are given below.

Nna m, gini mere?  -----------------------My father, what happened?

Biko ----------------------------------Please

Egwu mmanowu -----------------------------Igbo masquerade dance

Na odika isi kwue! ---------------------------------------Amen! (so be it; surely)

Noro nwanyo!  --------------------------Keep quiet!

Nwoke m! --------------------------------------Young man!

O buru na nwata enpu isi oga ataa ahuhu --------------- If a child does not humble himself, he will                                                                      suffer adversity

Nwaanyi a!  ------------------------------This woman!

Nwanne, idi sharp! -------------------------------------Smart guy! (a hail word)

Ibu ajo mmadu! --------------------------- You are a bad person!

Chineke m! ------------------------------- God (as used- my God!)


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