“Iye mee!”, Josy the faithful sighed when we finally sat down. This has always been her personal signature. And it made me laugh the way she said it. It means “my mother”.
As I got to know her, I usually wondered if that was just an exclamation or her heartfelt cry to her mother.
Josy has a mother who hated her guts with an evil passion. If I had not witnessed a few displays, I myself will doubt the intensity of my story.
Her mum is the 2nd out of the 4 wives of an old chief. Relentlessly greedy and ruthless in her pursuit of power and money.
Blessed with 3 girls and 2 boys, she had envisaged that her girls will be her ticket to financial freedom in a terrible manner.
As soon as Josy (her 1st child) turned 14, she started lining up old chiefs from the palace for her to marry. The age didn’t matter as long as the man had a place in obas’ palace. I understood that had it’s benefits.
Poor Josy wanted to go to school but the mum wouldn’t hear of it. In her plans, Josy’s husband will help her train the rest.
She did everything in her power to make this happen but her daughter wouldn’t yield.
Josy luckily had given her life to Christ in primary school, and had so much passion for God that all her mum’s pleads fell on deaf ears.
Josy told a story of how her mum had let in one of the chiefs in to her room to disvirgin her.
She woke to feel a strange breathe on her face and a hand pulling crusmily at her dress. She confessed that at 1st she didn’t understand what was going on. And when she did, she raised a hell of a scream calling fearfully to her mum.
Lord, it was the same mum that shouted at her to shut up and cooperate that the chief will take care of her.
She still didn’t understand how she escaped that night but she did.
That was the beginning of the battle between mother and daughter. A battle that drove the girl out of her home at 18 to survive by her own terms.
The stories she told of her life in that house will break your heart my Lord.
Josy knew money was a serious issue in her home, she understood their near-nothing existence and she was willing to contribute but in a different way. She hawked, cleaned, did every odd job known to man just to add that extra help she knew her mum needed but she wont have it.
The woman’s plan for her daughters were simple…..marry rich or go to Italy. Nothing in between.
When the woman could not get the daughter to appreciate this laudable plan, she became embittered and unleashed fury on her own daughter. This is coupled with the fact that some of her mates in the compound were already living large on the dollars their Italo daughters were sending.
Josy was branded a witch by her own mum, and in the compound filled with severe competitive existence, that was a burden no child should be made to bear.
She became an instant outcast in the already dangerous compound. She was the 1st to be blamed for any evil, any uncertainty, any misfortune.
A number of times she had been held down by step siblings while her mum applied pepper in her eyes and genital…..chai!
In my entire life, my mum had slapped me twice. I used to carry the memory like a war medallion until I met Josy. She is the world’s most flogged child, she has marks on her body to prove that.
“Why did you stay that long in that hell?” I believe I asked her this question a 1001 times.
“To protect my sisters”, she will say simply. “Think about it, if I wont fulfill her one dream, who will she look up to to deliver on the-get-rich agenda?”
Sad thing was Josy couldn’t save the 2nd sister. She was way into the runs before she could get her acts together to help her.
Josy not only paid her school fees herself as a teenager, she also paid for her siblings. School was a waste of their mum’s time. So Josy saw to it that they at least scaled to secondary school.
That was as far as she got with the 2nd girl and 1st boy. The boy became “the pimp” for his sister and arrangements were made to get them into Italy. That plan mum could sponsor. ….it was aligned to her vision.
“Walking talking evil!”
When one of the Italo step daughters bought a house for her mum on their street, mummy Josy had had enough, she drove her daughter out of her house.
Josy left home, left school and got a job as a shop keeper in New Benin Market. The shop owner allowed her to sleep in the shop. She used to tell me very terrifying stories about her experiences sleeping in the market and the nocturnal life in the market. Still feel goosebumps sometimes.
There’s no which way Josy wont love You Lord, there’s no which way she wont learn how to pray.
I joke not when I call her the Praying fountain……Josy sure can pray.
She became so in tune with her spirit man that she could easily tell spirits apart.
Then she will simply look at someone and tell you if the person has a good or bad spirit. And she was always right….always.
It was weird for me. I sometimes wondered if she really had some elements of “the witch”.
Nah, No-way Lord…..Josy is no witch. And even if she was, that’s the type of witch I love.
Selfless, kind, giving of herself, a prayer warrior with a voice that makes a sparrow envious.
That voice. That’s what she’s got. Josy has no physical beauty to claim, she is your every day plain Jane until she speaks. She has an incredible voice.
A voice that knows how to call You.
A voice that knows when to call You.
A voice that knows what to call You
And a voice that loves to call You.
This is the voice of Your daughter, not done yet but I am checking in.