Time’s Arrow does not falter or reverse. It only moves forward.
Now that is a truth I cannot argue with because even in those vulnerable moments when we remember the past, even in those helpless instances where we live in the past, time still moves forward. But it is okay to be nostalgic. There’s healing and freedom in remembering and that is the one lesson I took away from Anthony Azekwoh’s Time’s Arrow: The Origin of Madam Koi Koi.
Yes, you read it right. Even now, I’m sure the name brings up memories. “The madam koi koi” of our childhood, the sole tormentor of all boarders who passed through the walls of any secondary school worthy of mention. You were never truly considered a boarder until you told stories (no matter how bogus) of escaping the clutches of Madam Koi Koi.
It’s funny that in those days, as we hurdled in groups, clutching Bibles and telling harrowing tales of this mysterious ghost, we never really thought to ask about her origin. Who was she? What happened to her? These are answers we do not seek, and even when we find them, somehow, she still ends up a monster, a ghost.
But that’s the beauty of storytelling. That is the beauty of Anthony Azekwoh’s storytelling. With simple words filled with gut-wrenching emotions and flawed humanity, Anthony weaves a legendary tale of familial love, courage, and passion, a tale of childhood innocence and the cruelty of the world that takes it from us.
There’s also the irony of heroes or in this case heroines and the sacrifices they make. It is one of those rare stories that are hardly ever told. We see the shiny exterior of their victory, but do we see the scars? Not the ones that are on the skin really, but the ones in the heart. It is a contrast that the author captures so beautifully as he places Madam Koi Koi on the same pedestal as the legendary Moremi of our folktales.
Do not expect a ‘once upon a time’, because I can tell you for sure that this is not one of those stories. This author expertly uses words as tools to shed light on dark corners and spin a ghost into an angel, and he does in such a breathtaking style, that it brought tears to my eyes.
Simplicity is the currency, vulnerability is the trend, reality is the key and in this 8-paged short story, Anthony Azekwoh is a master of them all.
Nwadiuto Okwuniru Azugo (Calm).