Remembering the Days of Humble Beginnings


I consider myself a proper village girl. Put me anywhere in the world and that will not change. But I can keep up with the Joneses and speak through my nose when the situation calls for it. I was fully immersed in my culture when I was growing up. My parents made sure of that. I got to spend holidays in the village. Mingle with my cousins and do things that village kids do.

I remember going to the stream with the other children at the crack of dawn to fetch water. We would tarry a bit to play and catch little fishes that swarm by the bank of the stream. They were a delightful treat when smoked. I was really proud of myself when I finally learned to balance a calabash of water on my head. The other kids did it with so much ease.

I enjoyed going to the farm with my Ekaeka (maternal grandmother) and my cousins. While the adults worked, I joined other kids to dig for small snails (Nkoriko). I enjoyed (and still enjoy) them. Lunch was usually roasted yam and palmoil. 

Nkoriko (small snails)

In the evenings, we’d sit around my Ekaeka as she regaled us with the exploits of the Ikud (tortoise). I usually slept in her room. I’d stay up in the darkened room and listen to the hooting calls of the Nkudikud (owls) in the thick bush that surrounded our compound. I remember the midnight trips to the Nto (latrine). I’d drag one of my cousins with me because I was afraid to go out alone into the pitch-dark night. The Nto was housed behind the compound in a separate hut further into the bush. We’d make our way through the clearing that led to it, lantern in tow.

That was all back then. I had a delightful childhood. I experienced life in the city and the village. I still visit once in a while but I confess that now, I couldn’t do most of those things. I’ve been “ajebutterised.” I now wear this cloak of sophistication. But everything I experienced then shaped me into the skinny Efik gal that I am today.




6 comments on "Remembering the Days of Humble Beginnings"
  1. Nkoriko. I Loooovvvveeeddd that stuff, and how about using kerosene lantern to catch flying termites when the rains started, Fun stuff, an idea one could organise trips and activities for kids along these lines

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    1. Well, welcome fellow villager! You know all about it... Nkoriko is out now by the way. I've been binging on it since. Have to get enough in my system before they disappear again.

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  2. Mbok. Some1 fetch me some of this delicious nkoriko oooooo. Mbok oooooooo. Nkama abasi nkpe fi ubok oooo.

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    1. Hahaha Mfana Idughe. Adu ke mmong? hahaha I'll eat some more for you

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  3. Wow! This is beautiful, I enjoyed reading it. Nice one, dear.

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  4. I grew up with my Eka eka and Ette eka, in Calabar along with a host of cousins, and it was the best tie in ones life, going to the farm at 8 Miles, and farming, making of garri, and foo foo (ukpup), edi ta iwa, ekbuba nyo too (thanks to my Eka eka Big Qua origins). Looking for Ekwong, and Nkoriko at night and for Nkakad too, shooting birds with our home made catapults, one could go on and on, I love my child hood, and proudly say i am a bay side boy, one of the original founders of Agaba before they ruined it.

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