Musa Bah

Synopses of Part One:In the village of Nenemaaje, in the hinterland of Moofingduu, the Alkaaloo Keejang Meeta was forcefully ousted by Keejaw Warata and was himself later replaced – through the casting of stones – by Suntukung Koyoo. Suntukung Koyo had a lot of problems as many villagers who destroyed the rule of Keejaw Warata remained in his inner circle. They plotted and hatched different plans to defenestrate him. He started scheming also to ensure that he remained in the seat of the Alkalooship. That is what brought about his giving away – to selected members of the Council – bags of cowries containing ten thousand each.

The interactable problem for Suntukung Koyo though was more than just the issue of succession. He had his plate full (sometimes literally) as his wife, Suuta Lampoo – the French will refer to such a woman as famme fatale – had her eyes set on ever remaining the Premierre Dame of the village.

Thus, she started a Teery Kafoo in which she invited people from different parts of the world to contribute money or whatever they could so that she would be able to help the less privileged people in the village, especially women and children.

It was for such reason that from the farthest part of the world – where very short and smart people lived – a company called Ceebiya deposited close to thirty-five million cowries into the accounts of Suuta Lampoo’s Teery Kafoo.

Suuta Lampoo and her aunt withdrew the cowries, but it disappeared a little while later. Everyone in the village started asking about that amount. The criers said that as she got the cowries in the name of helping the villagers, it was unfair for her to just keep quiet about it. They demanded that she explain where the cowries went to. There was a lot of noise, but she remained tight-lipped about it.

To make matters worse, one of Suntukung’s courtiers – the town crier – came out to say that cowries were meant to buy air-tickets for Suntukung Koyo to go and attend a meeting at the far away country of the short and smart people. Perhaps, they surmised, he could gain some wisdom from them to bring home. But the criers were not satisfied with that explanation. For them, the Village had a lot of accounts all under the Alakalooship of Suntukung and thus no one needed to put any amount of cowries in the accounts of Suuta Lampoo. The questions kept coming, but no answer from the house of the Alkaloo.

A time came when the people from the different Kaabiloos pressured their representatives in the Council of Elders to raise questions- on their behalf about all the anomalies going on in the Alkalooship of Suntukung Koyo. They said that the representatives had been given pickup trucks by Suntukung Koyo, but they did not ask him where the pickups came from. This was against the Rule Book set here by the ancestors.

They said that Suntukung had also given a select few among them bags of cowries but did not say why or from where the cowries emanated. Now that his wife, famme fatale, had gone away with thirty-five million cowries, it is time for them to raise questions.

The Council of Elders made some noise as to what is happening in the village. The criers welcomed it only for some of the representatives to be invited to the Alkaloo’s house and everything went eerily quiet again. What must they have been told by the Alkaloo for them to go mute as if the issue has become chthonic?

The fear of many was that Sunukung Koyo was becoming exactly like Kaajaw Waraata, or very close to him. It seemed as if they had the same teacher, read from the same book. One thing about village life though, everyone is related to the other. What affects one affects all. You know that saying, ‘In Moofingdoo, it takes a whole village to raise a child,’ it is in the same way that it takes a whole village to punish a wayward child.

Suntukung Koyo and his Council of Elders should keep that in mind