[Short Story] Uncle Johnny…[Part Two] by Isoboye Danagogo





Continued from last episode


Kala-Ama Village is a hidden little world, where all fishermen live in echoed-saltiness. It is close to the Atlantic Ocean. The beauty of the place mesmerises aquatic deposits; a habitant of solemn fishing settlement.



In early 1822, it was said to be discovered by a man named; Kala-Obene, a wanderer, who for all his life knows only canons, nets and fishing. He settled therein for a while before he invited others and the place became a home for fishermen.

The history of any fishing settlement begins with a bunch of fishes, because good fishermen will always describe when and how the fishes could be caught before they build grotesque structures as their huts. Then, the elders amongst them will sit and breakdown the governing council rules.

In the ruling council, they are four in number, among whom one will be the leader.

Their names are as follows:

`Kiriy’an`abo….. He’s like a monarch with three others…

`Opu’da’- Chief Advice….

`Opu’wa’ri- Vigilant group head

`Op`u-kiri’-  Keeps records of property, people and buildings.

They have rules, but among these rules, the most pertinent of them all is; you must marry a woman before you can take her to bed. And if you secretly take her to bed and was caught or you impregnate her, you must marry her.

These rules have been for centuries even before Uncle Johnny was born.

Uncle Johnny, held to this rule. He gave birth to numerous children, just to fulfill his antics. To him, child bearing is nothing, because every of his wives had canons and nets for fishing, so he makes parody of fatherhood.

On the dawn of a morning pregnant with promises, Uncle Johnny started up his day with dry-gin to wash away his night snores. So he does every other morning, in order to stir the dew with more craves and catches, getting set at the bank of the river close to his boats.

Elder Fubara : ‘ Good morning Uncle Johnny’

Uncle Johnny ‘ Good morning, how was your night?

Elder Fubara : ‘ it was good, I just doubt today’s catch, since there wasn’t enough breeze from the ocean’

Uncle Johnny: ‘yea! I observed. But we must try to sail through, so the family could feed’

Elder Fubara: ‘you’re right? But we must expect difficult catches’

Uncle Johnny : Laughs! “If we don’t, how do we feed?”

Elder Fubara: ‘why are you laughing at me? Did I said anything wrong?’

Uncle Johnny: ‘please leave me o! Let me arrange my nets properly’

Elder Fubara: ‘ chai! Johnny I don’t blame you, I have become your clown?’

Uncle Johnny: Sarcastically replied, “if that’s what you call it, then it’s fine”.


Kala-Ama Village is a resourceful place, where all aquatic deposits are richly endowed, mangrove swampy place with crabs, prawns and Tilapias, etc. easily seen and caught for livelihood. At the age of five, any child born in Kala-Ama Village is given sea experience for at least five times, dipped into the water for two minutes of each dip. It is a ritual which connotes; introductory mechanism of the new born child to taste from the river.

This ritual had been on-going for centuries. Every child from Kala-Ama village with this treats must know how to swim, paddle canoes and fishing.

Okirita is a growing young Lady, first granddaughter of Kala-ru Abite; only daughter of Wariba. Wariba, the only female and daughter of Uncle Johnny’s father.

At her early fifties, she gave birth to Okirita. She was all she had, so she decided to teach and guide her through.

Okirita: ‘Mother’

Wariba: ‘Daughter! How are you?’

Okirita: ‘Mother I am very curious. It had been a while, you and I went fishing?’

Wariba: ‘ O! That? We must observe the water flows to enable a better catch’

Okiriba: ‘Really? Mum! But I thought river flows doesn’t hinder our throws and catches?’

Wariba : ‘it does, bigger fishes follow trail of the water flows, to enable them use their fins to swim through the large waters’

Okirita: ‘Mum, OK, but when is it good to go fishing?’

Wariba: ‘ while the water is drying, it is the best time to set traps and throw nets before the full flows of water’

Okirita : Sarcastically, ‘ Mum! the river expert.’

Wariba: ‘Laughs, that’s why I want you to be one of the resilient women in Kala-Ama Village, it will mean you take after me.

Okirita: ‘ Really? but Mum, I must marry and have children, but not like Uncle Johnny ‘

Wariba: ‘Shhhhh! Keep quiet and I don’t want to hear it ever again from you. Uncle Johnny is our father’

Okirita: Mum, I’m sorry, I was just joking’

Wariba; ‘ It should not repeat itself again? Uncle Johnny’s first Son; Toru is older than you with twenty good years’

Okirita: ‘Mum! I just said I’m sorry. I promise it won’t happen again’

Wariba: ‘glares, better.’

‘Okirita went out Wariba’s presence, with heavy hearts for her ridiculous utterance.


To be continued….

(c) Isoboye Danagogo 2016



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