Muchanga and the old woman.

  • Historical Short Story
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This is a story that keeps you in touch with humanity, the beauty of selflessness and the reward therein.

In a town not too far away from ours, there lived a man called Muchanga. He lived a regular life just like mine and yours except for his unrivaled kindness towards his fellow humans. He worked hard daily to provide for himself and his family and mama ULeke, the old woman who lived at the outskirt of the town. Early in the morning- perhaps too early for even the cock to crow, he would venture into the old woman's compound and drop her a breakfast for the morning. At first light, mama Uleke would be greeted with smiles from her favourite dish, just as it has been yesterday, and a day before that and a day before that for years. She would smile back almost almost exposing all of her teethless jaws. Unsurprised and unperturbed, she will later fill her belly with this food gifted her by this unknown guardian angel. For years, she wondered who her benefactor was. Even in her dreams she could only see his back as he was walking out of her ancient building. 'Could it be my neighbor mama Ntebo's son or that or that?' She whispered. She later gave up the search. She couldn't find the right liquid to quench this fire of curiosity, for years she tried and each time, all her efforts like the ones before ended in futility. The only thing that was crystal clear in her mind was that her guardian angel was a man. The big footprints casted on the sand in her house each time couldn't have been that of a woman, she concluded.

This went on for days even Muchanga and the old woman had lost count of until one day. That fateful day, the old woman came out of her room and didn't find her usual morning supplies. She knew for sure that something must have gone wrong. She raised up her hands and cried to the heavens 'Oh Allah I don't know that man but you do. Any hardship or test you may have put on his path, please help ease it for him. You sent him to me as a helper when I needed one, O you who listens to supplications, send him a helper from you in his hour of need.' She withdrew back inside. Elsewhere, Muchanga had worken up in a hospital. He looked so lost and blank faced like a bird whose wings were trapped in the branches of a tree. The only time he showed any sign of emotion was when he remembered that he had not made a quick stop at mama Uleke's house that day. He became worried and prayed softly, hoping the heavens would send another person to feed the old woman. Muchanga's ten year old son Tekuku had been involved in a hit and run accident. It was an innocent passerby who knew the boy that rushed him to the hospital before informing the parents. At the hospital, the doctor said that the boy had fractured his spinal cord and needed a surgery worth 3.5 million naira immediately if the child were to ever walk again. This was the Muchanga that did not have any penny above twenty thousand in store. How was he supposed to raise such an amount to save the life of his only son.

All these and more kept the beat of his heart rivalling the sound of a drum played far beyond eyes' reach. He then stepped out of the hospital, to somewhere quiet where he could cry and table his grievances to the great beyond. Thirty or more minutes later, he came in and the whole hospital was in total disarray. When he enquired about the doctor, he was told that the doctor was in the theatre operating on his son. When he was out, an unknown man came in and paid the bills of most of the patients including his son. He ran to the gate to say 'thank you' atleast, but all he met was the footprint of the man's car. Yes! Heaven had sent him a guardian angel in his time of need. What we do for others have a way of coming back to us. More than being human!

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