THE OUTCAST – Episode 11
Written by Amah
“Can you stay one more night, tomorrow is there kakun night, is a big gathering of the outcast, they will all gather around the big fire, singing, dancing and also tell different stories, is always fun, they celebrate it every 16th of each month, they Mark it on that day because that was the date the outcast came into existence, and for decades now is being on, it use to be a mourning period for them, when they all have to look back and remember how it all started, how they became the forbidden people in our tribe but instead of always remembering how sad it was to be different they decided to turn it to celebration, they are free people, free from the world hate and trouble, the gods seems to be with them even in their small clan, by providing all they needed to live, so is actually a night to remember, despite they are tagged forbidden people and cast off, they still have everything they needed in terms of food, water and herb medicine, to keep them healthy, they discovered different leaves and root which serves as remedies to them, I will be glad if you can stay, there’s a different shelter created for the normal people, so you wouldn’t have to mingle with them… What do you think Mbazi.. Can you stay..
” aaah Zila, i wanted to leave here as soon as possible..i don’t want father and mother to be worried, if it will make you happy..Then I will stay..one more night will not kill me..I will stay and watch their kakun night..
I stayed, Zila wanted to take me round the clan, I hesitated but later agreed with the hope I will see the strange girl.. I wanted to ask Zila her name but resisted the urge, I wondered why I’m feeling this way for an ordinary outcast, does she has strange powers too, I’m I charmed.. Why do I keep thinking of her, what’s so special about her
I wondered to myself as I carefully walked round with Zila, not touching anything and avoiding some parts that are regularly used by the outcast, I saw them going back into their huts as we come into view, any one that sees me and Zila coming will either hide or disappear off, their faces were covered, including children and adult, i never saw the strange girl, I saw some young people some stood while some went into hiding,
I also saw a young Lady standing by a hut with her face mask, she was all covered up, she was facing our direction, I asked Zila who was talking who she was, she laughed and said that’s the same girl that brought me down and i saw earlier in her farmland with Ladi before she ran off,
I turned to look at her again but she has disappeared into her hut, I asked Zila why she was covered up, Zila replied that
“probably she looked at you when she doesn’t suppose to, is unworthy of her to look you straight into your eyes, she thought she will defy you with her looks, well that’s their general believe, is better for them to watch you under the facial mask rather than for you to see their eyes. Which they maybe tempted to look at you, whereby defying your person,
We are born to an important man of the tribe, Pah is a tribe leader and the people fear and respects him, most of them here who sees your tattooed wrist band felt like we are too worthy to be among them, your wrist band shows the kind of family you came from, that was why I trashed my own on my first week here and cover the tattoo with this hand made cowry bead, that’s big time discrimination Mbazi… Is very wrong..
Zila keep talking as we tour round the clan, and it all looks normal to me, this people are harmless, if not they would have hurt me and Zila long time since, but instead they treated us special not wanting us to become like them, I can’t untagged them from being forbidden, because that’s what they have always being for decades, nobody can change it.
We returned back to the hut and Zila made a delicious food, I didn’t bother to ask her what it was, I enjoyed the food, I sat outside with her after the meal, Ladi came and stood at a distance, he asked how our evening was going Zila replied him, then he proceed to apologise for eavesdropping earlier, he started by saying everything I was told or heard about him is never true, it was a plot by his father’s younger brother to destroy him after a sudden strange illness wiped his parents and sibling leaving only him, which he doesn’t know why the gods spared him and allowed him to become an outcast which was almost like being dead, because you will be tagged forbidden and will never step your feet to the clan again, all your life time will be excluded from the normal people..
Ladi said he use to hate himself back then, and attempted suicides many times but for every reason the gods spared him they only knows, he is happy now and look forward to every kakun night, where they celebrate instead if mourn like they use to, he is more happy having a friend in Zila but he will never advice her to be in this place, she will have a better live outside here, he has tried to encourage her to go back but she seem to be stiff necked and will never listen to anyone,
” i..Will be glad if she listens to you and leave, marry a worthy man and have children with him not unworthy fellow like me, being here..and having unwanted feeling for Zila is totally wrong and very impossible Union, it will never happen in our life time so please take her home, where she belong, as much as she will always be welcome but there’s no home for her here…Zila..please listen to your brother and go home…please I want you safe and happy…
Ladi talked maturely, I looked at Zila who Sat beside me, her face normal, not sad or happy, I knew she will never agreed to follow me home, her mind was made up on staying with the outcast
Ladi, from his tune I knew he love Zila but felt unworthy of being with her, I like the young man already, I began to see him as normal not like the evil child he was tagged, Zila was right, I just needed to listen to them and hear their stories for me to understand, I looked forward to the kakun night, to hear their different stories,
being here is wrong and forbidden, if Zila isn’t going then I will leave her behind, I can’t force her
The following day, the community gathered for the kakun celebration, it wasn’t big clan but they were united, the local drum played, they beat hard on it making a fine music, they sing and dance, fire burning in the centre as they gather round, I and Zila had a stand where we watch them from, after the whole dancing and singing thing, it was time for stories, as they retold their stories all over again, or stories of how they found love and brotherhood among themselves,
I listened to some of their amazing stories and realized that they didn’t choose the live they found themselves in, selfish and wicked people choose it for them, they are happy living among their kind,
a tear dropped from my eyes and I knew right then that even mingling with them does not defy me, eating and drinking with them does not defy me, looking into their eyes not to facial mask doesn’t defy me or make me one of them, I’m already one of them, because we live on same land, is not like they live and operate in the air while we live in the land, we all breath the same air and drink same water, we celebrate birth and death like they do, so what exactly is the difference, absolutely nothing, is ignorance that’s is our enemy not this people, we needed to see that same blood runs in our veins and that we are one people,
Despite all of this things going in my thoughts, I was scared, I can never speak of the outcast to father or anybody because they all see them as a forbidden people,
As I lay awake that night I thought of ways for me and Zila to liberate them but it was an impossible mission..