Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 1

Albert sat down on the grass while the cutlass lay at his feet, he had a look on his face i couldn’t tell_ anger? regret?, he started pulling out the little green weeds infront of him while I sat beside him uncertain if I should talk or not. What will happen now? What will Npa( Father) do to my brother? I thought.


” Ole wo egbe! voju a medi! O le wo e gbe voju me di!” ( You have been caught! Your charm has failed!) The sudden chant pierced the atmosphere. We know that song too well, a th**ef has been caught. Usually Albert and I would try to guess who the th**ef was before rushing out to see the th**ef.

Togo is a peaceful country, almost free of crime except for the occasional petty cassava or goat th**eves. We don’t have much industries in my country and the only one in my area is Wacem the cement factory where you get paid one thousand and six hundred cefa for a day’ s job.

There are some Indian companies too but they treat us so badly and any little mistake results in them shouting ” Go Home!” Which means you are fired. The same president has been ruling us long before Albert was born and he’s 23 years old now.

Nobody dares to lift a finger against the government of the day, just thinking of it alone could lead to d**ath. I don’t blame those who result to petty st**aling but that doesn’t mean I won’t mock them when they get caught.

” Efo (bro) Albert, they have caught a th**ef ” I just couldn’t resist saying so.

” Go see if you want to, am not interested ”

I hesitated.

” O le wo egbe voju a me di!” The angry voices got nearer and before I could stop my legs, they were already flying out of the church premises. I was shocked when I saw who was being led with a basket filled with cassava on his head to the king’ s place.

Mensah! My cousin!

He has been so good to us, bringing us a basket of cassava now and then, occasionally some fresh goat meat. The angry crowd dragging him got to where i stood outside the church. Our eyes met briefly but i looked away, what could i do? He was unclad, his eyes were bloodshot from the beatings he had gotten and on his head was a basket filled with cassava that I would have dined on that night if he hadn’t being caught.

I went back into the church compound. Albert was still sitting down in a trance like state where I had left him. When something goes missing, the owner can either decide to swear for the th**ef with hebieso (gods of thunder) and on the seventh day the th**ef will slump and d**e or he either sets a trap to catch the th**ef and take him to the king’ s palace where he will be fined.

I shuddered as I remembered a terrible incident that occurred in a neighboring village. A man had stolen a goat and used it for his dad’ s burial, the owner of the goat was so grieved that he called on hebieso ( god of thunder)

The owner cast a spell saying ” whoever stole my goat,whoever saw him, whoever cooked the meat and whoever tasted it will d**e” after pouring some gin on the head of the god.

The owner cast a spell saying ” whoever stole my goat,whoever saw him, whoever cooked the meat and whoever tasted it will d**e” after pouring some gin on the head of the god.

Hebieso ever so blood thirsty did as he was bided, everyone who attended the burial d**ed on the seventh day. Even my maternal grandma who had only put a finger in the soup a neighbor brought home to taste d**ed. The whole village went wild on that seventh day, there were corpses in every households especially those who love burial food. Some delegates were sent to kuvi to consult the powerful Vojusi( priestess).

The delegates came back shaking their head in fear ” It was Hebieso’ s handwork! the goat used for the burial was a stolen goat”

I vowed not to attend any burial again for fear of dying meanwhile my family and i have been feeding on stolen foods ever since my father got a new wife. What an irony!

Kojo! ” Albert shouted. Jolting me to the present. ” Who was the th**ef?”

” I didn’t see his face Efo…..the crowd was too much” I looked down at my dirty feet.

I didn’t want Albert to know his best friend, our cousin, who had been our shield all this time was being led unclad to the king’ s palace for st**aling cassavas. Efo Albert will find out soon am sure but I spared him the pain for now.


We headed home at night in silent, we walked through the bushes leading to our house_ I have never thought of it as a home. It has always been a house to me. If you can call a little mud structure with a tiny window to let in air and dried Ebe ( hay) for roof as a house.

In my father’ s compound there are three mud houses, the biggest one belonged to my father. Few weeks before he brought home the new wife, he bought some bags of cement and plastered it.

We all wondered what was going on, that my stingy father could count cefas to buy the ever so expensive bags of cement was beyond us.

I looked at my brother trying to mentally read his thoughts,fear oozed from his body but he was trying to act like he wasnt scared. Albert never talked to me about girls, he loves his books, they were all he ever talks about. If not for his encouragement i would have long since dropped out of school….. thanks to him now am in primary five.

Its not easy schooling in Togo because of the educational system, six years in primary school, three years in secondary school, mandatory four years in Lecee (Poly) and four years in the university. Our parents don’t care if we fail or pass especially my father. We also started school late because my father refused to pay for us that is why at 23 Efo ( bro) Albert is still in lecee ( poly). But he is smart.

We go to class twice a day. Morning classes begin 8 am to 12 pm. We go home to freshen up, while noon classes begin from 2.30 to 5 pm. After a noon class i waited for my brother in front of my school gate so we would go home together but to my surprise he didnt show up. After that day i started noticing Efo Albert combing his hair real good, he always had a comb with him, he washes his khakis everyday unlike before.

Nma ( Mother) said they were signs of a boy in love. She cautioned him not to get any girl pregnant, i tried all i could to pry some information out of him but he always smile n said ” You are too young for this, face your book.”

But while he’s sleeping at night you can get him to tell you anything. One hot night, i had trouble sleeping so i decided to play one of my favorite games. I leaned close to him on the bamboo bed and whispered ” I love you Albert” . He continued sleeping soundly.

” I love you! ” I said louder but not loud enough to wake him.

I waited, my h**art leaping with excitement…….he kept on snoring and i was getting sleepy but i forced back the sleep.

” I love you Afine ” Efo Albert whispered.

I smiled and drifted of to sleep.



” What will happen now?” I asked.

We were almost home now walking through the

dark bush paths that leads to our house. The

night creatures were out by this time, their

screeching sounds filled the air. Albert suddenly

stopped walking and stood as if he was

Pondering over the question I just asked him.

” Let’s go to Mensah’ s place. We would spend

the night there” he resumed walking again and I

hurried along like a puppy.

” I don’t think we should go to his place, Nma

( Mother) will be worried and my exams starts

tomorrow so I have to revise tonight”. I said

hoping he would believed me but he laughed and

looked at me.

” What’s this Kojo? trying to ditch your own

brother? You know you can go home if you want


” No am not trying to ditch you, I just thought

Nma will be worried”

” Yes she would, but she won’t have to worry

about burying her husband if we spend the night

at Mensah’ s place” he said

My stomach growled then and we both laughed.

Albert has this kind of laughter that makes you

want to laugh and I laughed harder. For a

moment I forgot that I had, had only one meal

today, I forgot about my poor mother laying in

pain at home, I forgot that the police was looking

for my brother. As for my father only God knows

what had become of him, I put cousin Mensah

out of my mind too because we would soon find

out if he was sent to jail or fined by the king.

We continued joking and laughing until we got to

Mensah’ s compound. We opened the rusty zinc

gate and entered. The entire compound was lit up

by the electric bulb in front of Mami ‘ s room.

Mensah’ s father unlike mine had used cement

blocks to build the four separate rooms in the

compound, although the rooms were not painted

it was stilll like a palace compared to mine.

Mami, a little fair lady who was Mensah’ s

mother sat on a stool in the compound.

” Bonsoir Mami ” we both chorused.

” Akwabaa ( welcome) what are you doing here

so late? Oh! You came to see your cousin, he’s

writhing in pain in his room. I can’t say he

doesn’t deserve it, if only he had taken my advice

to learn a trade he won’t be in the condition he is

now ” she said hurriedly.

Mami is always in a hurrry, the speed at which

she talks and does things makes you wonder if

she’s a spirit. Although she has been in Togo for

years she occasionally slips in her Ghanian

language when speaking Ewe ( Togolese


” What happened to him? Is he sick?” Albert

asked. He hurried away not waiting for answer.

My eyes romed the compound, searching, while

my heartbeat suddenly changed tune. I couldn’t

see her, where is she? I wonder.

” I see you are looking for your wife, Ama is in her

room” Mami said with a knowing twinkle in her


I blushed and looked at my feet. This Mami, she

has eagle eyes because they never miss a thing.

Ama is 14 years old but she is tall for her age,

she has big bosoms too, she is light skinned like

her mother. She has a little gap between her

upper front tooth and when she smiles it’s like I

have d**ed and gone to heaven.

But she’s too proud and rude, nobody in my

village can rival her bad mouth, I hope to tame

her and marry her someday. When I become rich,

I can have anything I want including the beautiful

sassy Ama, money makes the world go round,

even kings and presidents would pay homage to

me! My only dream in life is to have money, lots

of it.

Its a good thing cousins marry in my country else

I would have been forced to abduct her when the

time comes, now is not the time, right now am

only fifteen years old and am hungry.

” Ehen Mami what did you say?”

I was so deep in thought I didn’t hear what she

said until she tugged on my hand.

” I said go meet your brothers inside, I will send a

bowl of Konkonte ( Amala) and soup to you ”

Mami stood up .

I went into Mensah’ s room, he laid on his

matresss, his face was swollen, his eyes were

shut, his head was shaved with

something…..obviously a broken bottle. He looked

like something i saw in a horror movie I once

watched at a friend’ s house. Albert sat beside

him on the bed, he looked up when I entered. His

eyes were filled with anger, he wanted to know

why i didn’t tell him the th**ef being beaten was

our cousin, I knew he would have tried to help

cousin Mensah there and then and risk

endergering his own life. I know am a selfish boy.

” Bonsoir Efo (bro) Mensah, what happened to

you?” I asked to throw my brother off, so he

won’t know that I already knew what happened

to him.

” let him be Kojo, and you will keep your mouth

shut too! ” Albert growled at me.

I was glad to keep my mouth shut. Ama came in

just then with a bowl of Konkonte ( Amala) and

light soup, I could see big chunks of meat in the

soup. My mouth watered. Is this another stolen

food? am i not hastening my own d**ath by

eating something that was stolen?

Ama didn’t even greet us, she put the bowl

infront of us and left. My stomach refused to

cooperate with me, despite my misgiving I dived

into the food with my bro.

” You must be brave! We are not only doing this

for ourselves but for our country too! Even after I

am gone you must not give up the good f**ght!”

I closed my eyes and drew my wrapper over my

head. My eyes were closed but my ears were at

attention. What is the midnight whispering about?

Efo Albert and Mensah are upto something.

Efo Mensah continued ” See what happened to my

Bella….my beautiful Bella, I sent her to the uni in

Lome. I did every job I could to keep her in school

but the bastard went there under the pretext of

helping the students, he only went there to pick

girls. He saw my Bella…he wanted her! tell me

Albert which man would see my Bella and not

want her? ” he started crying like a baby.

I closed my eyes real tight. I never heard or seen

a grown man cry before.

” Charley be calm….you have to be calm ” Albert

tried to soothe him.

” The pig! The uncircumcised pig wanted my

Bella! Bella… Bella is a good girl! She said no!

but she paid dearly for it. He sent his armies to

her town, they destroyed their farmland, torched

her family house to the ground, nobody survived!

He had Bella ‘ s head cut off, her body was left by

the roadside for birds of the sky to feast on! ”

I wanted to puke. Who is this mad man?

” We are being treated like slaves in our own

father’ s land! our people are suffering, our

women are no longer safe! Our girls are being

carted off to be s**x slaves! the masses are

voiceless! No jobs for the youths! We must put a

stop to this injustice! ” Albert said passionately.

I never knew this Albert, I thought I knew my

brother so well but twice today have been proved

wrong. I wonder what was going on, maybe I will

play my little game again when we go back home

so i could get some information. Who is this mad

man they want to f**ght?

” You must promise me bro! That you and the

others won’t give up! No matter what happens! ”

Mensah said between clenched teeth.

Others? There were others too? I snored loudly

like a train, I wanted them to think I was sound

asleep and d**ad to the world.

” We won’t give up! Not ever! but you have to

stop hitting the farms of people from his tribe,

they are as much of a victim as we are. ” my ever

so sensible brother said and I silently agreed with


” No! Albert! they are all the same! I won’t stop!

As soon as I leave this bed I will burn down their

farms…..let them feel the pains Bella and her

family went through! Won’t stop!” Mensah was

agitated now.

Albert calmed him down, he started reciting a

melodious strange hymn and Mensah joined him.

Their voices filled the air and slowly the hymn

lulled me to sleep but it wasn’t a peaceful one…


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