Maybe a more befitting title for this piece is ‘the place of an Igbo in the body of an animal’, but let the above suffice.
As is the custom in some parts of Igbo land, when my grandmother died, a cow was killed and its corpse was used as both meat and meal for the multitude that came around to pay their last respect to the dead. For me, this would have passed as a normalcy but for one incidence that I found funny somewhat.
On the evening of the burial, I was worn out from the running around and stress of the successful burial and was already retired for the evening when the ‘Ndi Ada’ of the family sent someone to call me. I had to quit my romance with sleep and go quickly to answer the call. On getting there, I was handed a tray that held something I was yet to ascertain and a sharp knife. The instruction was that I count how many we were and cut the ‘thing’ into the number we were. It was my ‘big aunty’ talking so no questions, just do. I did. I was now to take the tray round so that everyone would take a piece but I had to do that based on the eldest to youngest. I did. After everyone had gotten, the one piece remaining on the tray was for me, I mumbled a ‘thank you’ and left to seek an explanation from those who knew better. That was when I found out what I am about to share with you. Do watch this space!