Iya Alake hurried back to the market, beating at herself, biting a finger in regret, untying and retying her gele and wrapper in turns. Death, especially the tragically untimely kind, holds much spectacle, and Iya Alake rose to the occasion. At the entrance to the market, it suddenly occurred to her that the news was best broken with loud weeping. So, she let out a ringing cry that made storekeepers stand bolt upright, knocking over their wares.
"Sisi Teacher is dead!"
A running clatter of overturned goods, scattered stalls and the bleating of goats for sale, collided with women's cries and turned the market into a riot of noise. The market was deserted within minutes as the women formed a chorus of laments in the direction of the river. Iya Sikira broke away unnoticed and headed for home, eager to tell her husband of the fate that had befallen his beloved—and her rival. Her two other rivals were on hand to witness Chief Mayokun's reaction.
"Our husband! Our husband!" Iya Sikira called after him as he dashed out, leaving behind wives shocked at the dawning realization that they were jealous still, of a woman lately turned into a ghost.
- Efita's End... (read on).
~ ~ ~ ~
In Anietie Isong's The Last Messenger, a charismatic African Religious leader comes to London to give a talk and meets the disbelieving Professor Ralph, in an encounter the latter is never likely to forget. Here's an excerpt...
"An African mask with whiskers. That mask is in your bedroom now. It does not belong there."
The professor fell to the floor. (Later when he reported this to his friends, they said it must have been his knees. Professor Joe said he suspected Ralph had always had arthritis.)
"You may think that a mask is just a mask," The Last Messenger said. "But I am afraid it is not. A mask has its own soul. It has the capacity to hold and evoke memories, to build bridges to past times, peoples and places."