Onyemaihe The Spirit Dancer
21st August, 2015

Dance was in her blood, she could feel the egwu sliding through her blood stream, moving her this way and that. When she stamped her bare foot on the ground, the earth vibrated in approval of the dance sacrifice she was giving to ala.

Jigida beads and ankle beads join the instruments to make music of their own, sweat dripping off her body as she lost herself to the joy of the dance.

It was a strange night the day she was born, the rain fell heavily, threatening to swallow the earth with the water released from the skies.

She was born with a knowing look in her eyes, she did not come into the world crying as babies usually do when they have been dislodged from their place of comfort.

Her father looked into her dark eyes and said, “This one was born with unspoken things in her eyes, who knows what wisdom she would bring?”

He called her Onyemaihe “the one who knows things”.

Her childhood was relatively normal, she was the only child of her parents and as such, Onyema was a bit spoiled. Her father, Nnanna was a farmer, while her mother, Ngozi sold vegetables at the market.

Onyema was a strange child, once music was played in any form, she began to dance as one in a trance, she would dance continuously not stopping until the music stopped. And when she danced, strange things happened, the ground would vibrate as though it was pleased, she became more beautiful and glowed like some otherworldly being.

As her parents discovered the strange happenings, they banned their daughter from dancing, fearing that she would be called strange and be labelled an outcast.

To be continued…

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Lagos, Nigeria
  • A short story of an extraordinary girl

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