In the 90s, Nweke went for apprenticeship in Jos. He was from a very p00r background. Their h0use was mud and that¢h. They hardly eat. His father was a palm wine tapper. His mother ¢ut grasses for people before they would eat. His father being a d.runkard, he fell d0wn from a palm tree and his waist almost wasted.
When the villagers go to bed that's when you would be hearing the pounding on the empty ikwe— mortar. The idea was to show everyone they also eat.
Their condition was a typi¢al of what the Igbo called: ogbenye ọnụ ntụ.
This was a condition of Nweke's household before leaving the village for Ugwu Awụsa in order to better the life of the family.
God helped him, he was settled. He was doing well. Nweke had over 6 shops in different locations in Jos. Ọ na-agba Chaịna. Hé was doing well. Nweke became a millionaire in late 90s.
His family were still living in mud house and that¢h house.
What did Nweke do?
He began to buy land in different places in both Jos North and Jos South. He developed the lands, built mansions. His duplexes in Jos were up to 3. Remember, his father was still a d.runken tapster. He couldn't climb trees, he now settled for tapping the fallen palm tree—nkwụ ala. The mud house and that¢h house was still there.
Villagers who traveled to Jos had returned, talking about Nweke's mansions in Plateau State. Some advised him but he told them no one gave him money.
Jos crisis of 2001, Nweke's 6 shops were burnt down. Nweke's mansions were burnt down. He was running for his life. He lost everything. Nweke returned to the village, lying on the mat. Every morning, he wake up and cry, shudder, snap his finger and cry again.
It was over. Crisis was over. Nweke returned to Jos again.
God helped him, people gave him goods on credit. He made another money. He only managed to build uncompi in his father's house. Even a goat cannot stay in that house. As I am talking to you now, Nweke has two big houses in Jos.
I paused, Jos paused, Nweke paused; all of us paused.
This is a true life story of Nweke (not original name). I know him. He knows me. Many are on this table.
By Maazi Ogbonnaya
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