In response to the literary lions water challenge.
I watched the adults with a look of masked irritation.
“Ndi oshi, ndi aghugho,” I mumbled under her breath. The only thing that stopped me from saying the words out loud was a vivid image of mother hands as she twisted my ears in reprimand for being so rude to my elders.
This was the second time in three years the “Oyibo” man would be visiting our village. This time he came prepared with a bigger crew but the same vision of hope. I wondered how long this new attempt would last; the previous one had only worked for a miserable three months. I had no faith in him or our elders, I was here simply to get the benefits of being the only girl in my class who could speak and understand English better than others.
Just like the first time I was put in a dress with scruffy edges and several holes, a sandal that looked as miserable as the shoemaker who made them in his tacky shop, and my hair was brushed to look like a carpenter had made attempted hair dressing classes on my head. Finally, I was saddled with a 5 litre gallon which I carried half full from the stream whilst wearing a look that could melt a hard core criminals heart, all with tears and quivering lips.
I felt like a thief in a gang stealing from my own people. When I said so to mum, she said I wasn’t a thief. She said it was the elders and the “oyibo man” that were the thieves. According to her the elders stole from us by selling us out for fake goods and projects just to line their pockets and the “oyibo man” stole from kind hearted people who donated to his charity. A charity designed to help provide clean water to people in our village by installing boreholes and water cleansing pipes.
If only the borehole had worked for as long as they promised and the Oyibo man had tried to fix the broken one rather than pass it off as functioning in the new commercial he might have being exonerated of mother’s claims that he just wanted to make money off peoples misery.
I was slowing learning the strangling hold money could have on people and how greed could take you across the globe into confused waters.
Word count 395.
This is purely fiction and based on documentaries I have watched detailing fraudsters who use charities to obtain peoples hard earned cash for bogus projects around the world.