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On his way to Nekede, Kelechi listened to the sermon of a gospel preacher.  The preacher based her sermon on what a person must do to inherit the Kingdom Come and harped that drunkards or heavy drinkers will not inherit the kingdom.  After she had preached for about 10 minutes, Kelechi interrupted the preacher rudely.

                     “Woman, how can you say that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Are you saying that the Bible says we should not drink?  Does the Bible not say ‘let them drink and let them forget their poverty; let them remember their sorrow no more?’  So a person can drink as his body can carry even if it’s a crate of beer.”

                      “Yes my son, but the verse before that verse you quoted says: ‘give alcohol to those who are perishing……’ So a lover of alcohol is already perishing!”

                      “Madam, nobody is perishing!  I’ve been drinking for years now and nothing has happened to me and nothing will happen to me.  You people should not preach what is not in the Bible and deceive people.  Nothing will happen for our side.  I am a guzzler and I will guzzle forever!”  It was obvious that the message had fallen to deaf ears.  When the bus finally arrived at Nekede, he took a keke-napep and headed straight for Billy’s self-contained apartment which was off the school’s main campus.  When he got there, he freshened up and they soon sat to discuss the anticipated revelry.  Kelechi took the lead.

                       “My guy, how’s the party gonna be now?”

                       “Ah! Na you dey ask dat kind question?  You know say when it comes to things like this there is no dulling at all now.  We are ready, everything is ready; the drinks, I mean everything concerning beer done ready. Na Life, Hero, or '33 Export? All dey.”

                       “So where do we fall into now?”

                        “You know the usual place now, so dat we no go enter trouble for those boys hand; you know say dem dey worry well well.”

                        “What about the babes dem now, I hope dem dey well?”

                        “Man, the babes are correct, everything is correct!  Back correct, front correct, everything set!”

                        “Guy, we storm that place.  As you see me, I fit chop woman!”  Then they began to sing together a popular bawdy song.

After gyrating to that song they continued their conversation.  It was Billy who spoke first this time.

                        “Man, guess what?”

                        “Guy, tell me something.”

                        “To make the night a fun-filled one, it’s going to be a strippers’ night.”

                         “Are you serious?”

                         “I seriously die!”

                         “I can’t wait to see those buxom babes; I can’t remember when last I had real fun.  The very last time I had such an opportunity, that dude provoked me and so I could not access the babe.  I can’t miss this opportunity for anything in the world.”

                          “I actually heard what happened between you and that guy; just be careful so that such an incident doesn’t replicate itself.  But that doesn’t mean one should not have fun, you know what I mean now...”

                           “You can say that again…”

 Then they entered another round of singing; the song was still bawdy.  That very evening, there was a football match between two great clubs, Manchester United F.C. and F.C. Barcelona.  Kelechi and Billy were soon at a viewing centre.  That was an avenue for them to invite interested folks to the party which was going to hold the next day from twilight till the dawn of Sunday.  After viewing the match and guzzling several bottles of beer, they returned home.  As binge drinkers, the few bottles of beer they had guzzled did not shake them or make them fall into the gutter.

The next day was a Saturday, the day of the party.  They made sure that all was ready for the party and saw to it that the drinks were freezing.  Then, at twilight, the party started in full force.  Many people were trooping into the hall and dancing suggestively to the bawdy songs that were being played.  Kelechi could be seen at the centre stage dancing with a voluptuous girl.  They all kept dancing and shouting while music was playing with full stridency.  Kelechi, for his part, continued dancing with several girls at the same time.  At about 12:00 midnight, the lights turned blue.  To them, it was like a trip to never-never land, but on Mungo Park’s ship!  As the music graduated from quite bawdy and strident to extremely bawdy and strident, many began to striptease.  The place soon looked like a den filled with unreasoning animals, lacking moral sense.  One could actually have thought that they were nothing but animals.  A girl stripper could be seen dancing uncontrollably like a furious dog that had just sighted a plate of bones.  Kelechi continued drinking excessively and dancing suggestively like a baboon let loose. Unbeknownst to him, he had already taken a crate of beer.  At about 3:00 am when many had started to return home, Kelechi was successfully hoodwinked by a girl into having relations with her in an inner room.  At about 5:00 am, Kelechi eventually woke up, though still under the influence of alcohol.  At the time, the girl was nowhere to be found; she had made away with Kelechi’s wallet and expensive phone while he was still dreaming.  

Another girl had been drugged and raped almost to death by the boy she had danced with, and so needed to be rushed to the hospital.  Just about then, Kelechi came out of the inner room to meet the noisy confusion.  He was so zealous about another person’s unfortunate predicament that he took a guy’s car keys, stormed outside with the girl on his shoulders and placed her in the car.  Others who were not under the influence of alcohol beckoned to him to allow them drive, but he did not listen.  He soon zoomed off not even knowing where he was going.  Billy was in the back seat of the car with the girl and her female friend, while the car owner was in the front seat.  As Kelechi drove recklessly, funny things happened.  He would wind down the glass and hurl abuses at passersby.  He even beat the traffic signal almost causing an accident and this attracted the attention of some traffic officers.  They immediately went in pursuit of him.  As he noticed they were coming after him he diverted left away from the route to the hospital and kept driving recklessly with full speed.  As he drove, he would look behind him to see if the officers were close; little did he know that a heavily loaded lorry was approaching with full speed from the right corner at the end of the road, which seemed to be a thoroughfare.  As he approached the crossroads, he placed his hand in the pigeonhole thinking it was the brake.  He pulled but nothing pulled.  Before he realized it, a collision occurred.  The lorry swiftly pushed the car and the car somersaulted three times and then fell into a gully by the roadside.  The lorry driver had also lost control of his steering wheel and so ran headlong into a closed shop beside the road.  Just in time, the traffic officers came to the scene and efforts were made to rescue the victims.  Sadly, despite their efforts the victims could not make it; not as much as one of them survived the ghastly accident.  What a tragic end it was for them all!

Back at Nnewi, Mama and Papa Kelechi could not be consoled enough after news reached them about their son’s death.  His friends were also shocked by the news; what happened had taught them a big lesson.  Mama Kelechi cried her eyes out, but her dead son could not hear her cries; he was the architect of his own downfall.  Nevertheless, with heavy hearts, she and her husband tried to console each other as time passed; but she did not dare to tell her husband what she knew about the journey Kelechi had embarked on.  She just sweep it under the carpet.    


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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