Her legs spoke to my heart in a rosy but glamorous manner. Her ears spun, mouth painted graciously with a black substance that represents the sand of Africa. Her eyes flashed like the lightening that came after the rain. The breast that stood on her chest greeted glibly waiting to receive recommendation from the audience. The beads on her wrists cackled and sounded lovely to the glee audience. Her jigida was not left out in the world of her own; it shone and sent messages to the entire crowd for peace. Under her feet were lovely lines that crossed path to make the souls present witness the beauty of an African festival. The Tiro on her eyelashes told tales of Ogbanje from Flora Nwapa and Gracy Osifo’s tone. Never was anything finer than the colorful wrappers that covered her waist and chest found, never was her beauty compared to another. Was she a goddess or a mermaid? My heart pounded but no answer came. On her head were golden cowries planted magically. No one could answer her communal calls not even the king. She was graceful with her attire, I waited; we waited like Nigeria men on a queue at the ATM center. It was a perfect arrangement with the cheering and lost-in-joy crowd. It was obviously written on our faces that we were all lost in amazement of an African beauty.
When her flowered legs moved, our eyes followed it; she stole the movement of our eyes with her legs. When she moved again on the throb of the drums, we followed her moving chest welcoming our stay. Tippling from every word of the drums, she was lost in the act, limbs like fresh hibiscuses waving with the drive of the air. She never missed the treads that patterned the intricate rippling crest after crest. Again, she was lost in the timorous beats that wake acerbic, her waist whirling and tweaking, tossing up eyes of men; her eyes darting from one place to another. Her finger tips were not pitied, romantically, she twirled them gracefully. In her heart was melody that got our toes moving. She jumped and jumped to greet the lonely cloud watching above, she was pregnant with the choice of strides. Too atrophic for our lips to say to an absent eyes! We all long for her warm embraces that could protect and guide the trembling joy in our hearts. So spirited and lost in an ancestral core was she caught in her steps and movement.
Like dark sinister wings, her hands enthused forcefully to create traditional styles of Atilogwo dance. In the village, screams of delighted children were heard echoing among the trees of the forest. The wind whistled by, the birds chirped ceremonially, women, men sang along with the speaking sound of the drums and ogene. She tossed and turned our hands and head here and there. No soul trembled, rumbled or cracked with fear of what tomorrow would be. Dangling breasts were seen among other women but hers was better and pelting march of the drive of the moment. Amidst the smell of her body was flavored rose scent that covered the entire milky sky.
When the dance ended, our spirit was brought back from the trances it embarked on. Never was a single-boned dancer like her who was capable of capturing men, found among the maidens of my clan.
© John Chizoba Vincent
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