IT IS PART OF THE GIFT
among us. I would like her to come out here in front of the Class for a briefformal welcome. Sabena!
Applause. Sabena cheerfully comes out, eyes darling merrily through the Class amidst the applause.
Miss Carol: Now Class, are we pleased to have her back among us?
Class: Yes Aunty
Miss Carol: Now, we will welcome her. Say, Sabena you are welcome back!
Class: Sabena, you are welcome back!!!
Miss Carol: We are happy to have you back!
Class: We are happy to have you back!!!
Miss Carol: We love you!
Class: We love you!
Miss Carol: [To Sabena] Now, Sabena, what do you say? . Sabena: [Genuflects merrily] Thank you very much, Class. I am grateful.
Miss Carol: Excellent. Sabena, we love you very much and we are very happy to have you back among us and we pray that you will not be sick again. [To the Class] Is that our prayer?
Class: Yes Aunty!!!
Miss Carol: Yes. That is our wish and prayer for you and every one of us, Sabena. You are welcome. We
are pleased to have you back in our midst. You may return to your seat. [Sabena darts back to her seat], Class, pass your assignments of yesterday to the Class Monitor while I return.
Exit Miss Carol.
At Kelma town: Grand Ma’s shop
The taxi has scarcely come to a stop before Sabena darts out running towards Grand Ma’s big shop. Grand Ma coincidentally stands in front of the shop and spots the taxi and Sabena racing towards her as if her life depends on it. Angela alights, wakes Koly who had been sleeping on the journey, puts him on the ground and follows behind in no haste, taking Koly by the hand and carrying a bag.
Angela: [To Koly] Daddy. come on, wake up. We have arrived. See Grand Ma. [Koly ignores her
rubbing his eyes and ambling along].
Grand Ma: [Joyful] Sabbie slow down, [Refering to Koly] My father. you are welcome! Sabena: [Merrily] Grand Ma
Sabena spreads her hands as Grand Ma posmons herself to snatch her up.
Angela: Sabena! You will trip Grand Ma! Slow down! Grand Ma: [Snatches her up and responds]. You think I’m too old to do that? [Looking harover] Sabbie my daughter, they want to kill you for me. How are you?
Sabena: [Cheerfully] Fine.
Angela: She was running so fast that I was afraid that she might knock you over.
Grand Ma: And what do you call me, some wobbly old nanny?
Angela: [Laughs] Oh no mother. You are still the big and strong Mama, but she was going fast enough to trip any one.
Grand Ma: [Smiles complacently]. Not me. You saw how easily I snatched her up. [Boasts] You were right there; I am still the big strong Mama. How are you people? I heard that she was ill and you and Peter refused to bring her for me to take her to the hospital for the doctor to look at her. [Accuses] You and Peter want to kill her for me.
Angela: [Laughs] Oh mother, It is not like that.
Grand Ma: I know that it was the hospital bill. [Genufiects before Koly who surrenders himself to her wit! latent gratitude as she lifts him to her left shoulded My father. you are most welcome.
Angela: [Concemedly]. We thought we could handle it and we did
Sabena: [Cuts In] Grand Ma.
Grand Ma Yes my daughter.
Sabena: [Queues] Why do you always bend your knees before Koly and call him your father: [chuckles] this small boy?
Grand Ma: Yes, he is my father. He came back to the mrid. it is called reincarnation.
Sabena Mummy Kombi said that after somebody has died he wiil face judgment
Grand Ma Who is Mummy Kombi?
Angela [Intervenes] That is what they call the head teacher of her school. Her name is Mrs Kombi Grand Ma Oh. I see. [To Sabena] You learnt that at school?
Sabena [Nodlees [Frowns suddenly] Grand Ma,l
will not go to the hospitai i don’t want them to given me an injection
Grand Ma: [Teasingly] I did not say that they Would give you an injection. I said that the doctor Would look at you. Looking does not hurt does it?
Sabena: [Innocently] No.
Grand Ma: There you are! [Looking into her eyes playfully, tickling her] It does not hurt when pe0ple just look at you.
Sabena: [A shrill laughter from the tickling].
Grand Ma: [As she leads them into the shop]. So, how is Peter? [Accuses] He has lefused to come and see me.
Angela: Ah mother, he only came to see you two weeks ago!
Grand Ma: Is that why he does not want to come and see me again?
Angela: He will come. He has an urgentjob on hand. He will come and see you thereafter.
Grand Ma: Let me believe you then. [Intones] He reminds me of your father. He resembles him in many ways. He is more than a son in-Iaw to me. He is more like my own son. Well, it is all the same. [Sits down] Please sit down. So, what happened? How did it happen? [To her sales clerk] Hilda! Bring two packets of biscuits here; the medium ones.
Hilda: Yes mummy. Angela: For whom?
Grand Ma: For the children of course! Please tell me how it happened. I want to know how you handled it. Angela: [Narrates] Well, she came home one day and did not look her usual self. I asked her but she tried to tell me that she was alright, but I knew something was wrong.
Grand Ma [Intersects] ….especially for a child of her sharpness.
Angela: Yes. I knew something was wrong. So I took her to the chemist for treatment and I was given some drugs. He said it was malaria. She did not show any sign of improvement by the following day so I took her back and the chemist changed the drugs. By the next day she improved so much that she was able to retum to school the day after. We are here now and you can see that she is well.
Grand Ma: Why did you people not take her to the hospital or at least bring her to me so that my doctor couId treat her.
Sabena [Corrects had so that the doctor can look at me
Grand Ma’ [Amused] Yes my daughter. so that the doctor can look at you. Yes, why did you and Peter not brig her”
Angela. [Implodingly]. We shouldn‘t run to you for everything including the ones we can handle. We should be able to handte certain things. I think that is