The Moon Light Play – The Thrills, Intrigues And Pains In It

Moon Light Play:

Moon Light PlayMoon light play is synonymous with rural areas located within the trajectories of countries with the acronym name third world countries. And of course the home of many third world countries is situated in the Sub-Saharan. In most of these third world countries, electricity is a luxury because it is rarely available. The moon shines at night to naturally give them whatever luxury electricity would have offered to them.

In these remote areas life is so natural and embracing. The natural light from the moon is not harmful to the skin and its presence paves the way for activities to continue even in the late hours of the night. So because of the presence of the moon light people pay visits to each other at night. This is the case in my community.

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It is Saturday night and the time is about 7:30pm. And we have just finished taking our dinner. My mother asked me to bring out one of the mats. The purpose is for us to sit outside and receive fresh air.  The atmospheric condition outside is very soothing because the moon is shining brightly and the breeze blowing across is very gentle and refreshing. One wouldn’t help than to fall in love with the natural scenarios happening around us at that moment. Just before we barely sat down on our mat, we heard voices behind our house. It was Bato, his mother and younger sister.

The Moon Light Visitors:

They have come to visit us and this visit will culminate into many activities. In what looks like an arranged visit, we have Nta and his father and two younger sisters coming from the other direction to our house. And as if that is not enough, Issy and his father and one of his younger sisters came in through our front entrance. We exchange pleasantries and my mother told me to get chairs for the men.

The chairs we have in our house for this kind of occasion are called Ekwe. It is made from a log of strong tree. And to get a nice Ekwe you have to cut the log into sizable height suitable for sitting. I brought the chairs and my mother served them fresh palm wine and our locally made snack called Agbarati. This particular snack is made from melon and fresh pepper with some crayfish grinded together.

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Of course we all came from the same hamlet and of the same kinsmen. The men sat down while sipping the wine from their Mpi. Mpi is a wooden cup that is made from a spacie of melon that is not edible. To get an Mpi you have to harvest the melon and keep it to dry. Thereafter, you cut off a sizable portion of the tip of the melon and smooth the inside.

You do this by removing the unwanted residues in the inside and wash the container with clean water. Here you have your Mpi Mmaya. Health wise, this particular Mpi mmaya is better than plastic cups because it’s natural and organic. The women sat on the mat and of course the children have to play around. This is what we call Egwu Onwa in my community.

The Moon Light Play And Activities:

Egwu Onwa means moon light play. Moon light play involves those playful activities that can go on while the moon shines at night. During the dry season, moon light play is a delight children cannot afford to miss. Meanwhile I overheard my mother talking to the other women about the encounter they had in their last women’s meeting.

The girls moved a distance away from us and there they set up their Oga play. Oga play is very typical to girls. And is a game that involves the use of hands and legs at the same time. A girl needs to be very clever to be able to catch up with the level of tricks involve in the game. I think this game opens the mind of girls early enough.

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On our part, Issy signaled that we should play football. The moon light play involves playing football but I didn’t buy the idea. I rather go for something that is mind engaging like telling folks tales or playing Nchoroko. We opted for Nchoroko because of Nta’s hearing disability. And already we have in our compound Nchoroko potholes.

I suggested to Issy that we should play Nchoroko and Nta agreed immediately because he is an expert in the game.  The Nchoroko is made up of twelve potholes with six on each side. There are two ways to play the game. One is called Aka Igbo and the other is called Aka Hausa. In the Aka Igbo style or pattern, each pothole contains four pieces of seeds.

Nchoroko A Mathematical Game:

Mon Light PlayThe seeds are mainly seed from Udara (local cherry). And in the Aka Hausa style each pothole contains six seeds. Since we are four in number we shared the potholes into four slots each person controlling three potholes. Nta made a gesture with his right hand that we should play Aka Igbo, and we all agreed. However, suddenly we heard brisk of laughter from the women and it seems this moon light play is putting them on the lighter mood.

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And for us the moon light play is very engaging because Nchoroko game is a mathematical game. One has to be very tactical in making his calculations if not one loses his potholes to his opponent. And it is very painful to lose any pothole because the punishment is a kind of laughter that is annoying. Honestly that is what I am passing through now. Nta is laughing at me profusely and down in my heart I’m bleeding. Not really because I have lost my two potholes to him but because of the way and manner he’s dishing out his laughter.

It does as if I have no brain in my skull. And at this point in time Issy is also targeting the remaining pothole. And the situation is like I will be out of this game any moment from now. I don’t know how to lock horns with these people in order to defend the last pothole. Bato can’t help me because he is also fighting hard to survive the attacks from Issy.

Facing The Shame Of Defeat:

However, on the side of the girls the moon light play is very interesting. This is because we can hear them laughing, hugging and giving each other high five. And on the side of the fathers, they are discussing deeply in a low voice. On the other hand is like I am out of the game. Yes because Nta has just made a mistake; the gesture he took landed him on a wrong pot. I pray Issy doesn’t take advantage of that. For now I’m breathing very fast, I gazed on his face steadily praying that he takes from the wrong pothole.  He takes a deep breathe, then chuckled and looked at my face, Nta laughed as Issy picked from the right pot. Well, Bato buried his head in between his thighs though not laughing; the result is that I am out of the game.

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I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh but I felt the sobbing inside of me. And suddenly I realized that if I cry the laughter from the girls will be more painful. I maintained my posture and eat up the pain. Instantly I felt a hand robbing my head, I lift my head up it was Bato’s hand, then he said to me, Kensi, never mind I will deal with them. I laughed within myself because for sure he is the next target. He was saying that in a way to console himself. He doesn’t have what it takes to take a pound of flesh for me from Nta.  Yes Nta is an astute player of this game and Issy can navigate his ways in it. However, I wish him the best!

Bible Story A Better Option:

Moon Light playNow, I have become a spectator among them. Nta will briefly look at me and chuckle. It is annoying but I can’t help it. I am contemplating leaving the scene, but it will show that I am angry and naive. Also it will amount to a hostile attitude to our visitors. I am regretting opting for this game, if I had known I would have chosen bible story. Yes it would have been better for me. At least none of them can compete with me in that direction except Bato.

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The story of Joseph would have been better and refreshing this night. The moon light play is very thrilling but I wish we could stop this game now. The worse is that no one is in the mood of stopping everyone seems to be enjoying the moon light play. I don’t know what to do now; it wouldn’t be nice if I go into my room and stay. Well, something has to bail me out this shame. I look forward for an intervention probably a divine one.

And suddenly, a horrible wind starts to blow from the location of our stream and it is evidence that it will rain. Yes, surely the rain is here and our visitors need to hurry back home. I felt a sign of relief at this moment because at least the game has to stop. However, I am this upset because I chose to play Nchoroko. If I have gone for bible story my mouth would have been filled with laughter like that of Nta. Well, tomorrow is another day, I pray the moon will be brighter for another moon light play, I will definitely choose Bible story!

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