Life has its own unique ways of throwing out things that give semblance and rise to the conflicting state of love and rejection. But these are two forces that closely relate to our daily life struggles, inasmuch as we try to dodge away from them, one must peep at us while at an assured point of liberty. That being the case, I start by penning down a journey of an amazing, youthful and caring relationship that for so many years enjoyed tranquillity and a sense of happiness until the dissenting pitches of the drum started to pierce through the fabrics of the hearts that make up the relationship.
Fanta and Dodou got their hearts bonded by a strong feeling of love from an early age. Then, their love wasn’t harnessed until a later stage in life when nature blew an air of affection into their hearts prompting each to search for the other half to make a whole. Nature’s effort started with a phone call that sparked a sense of appreciation from both ends. All that while, nothing much was known about their relationship in an era where relationships hardly go unnoticed. They are hardly seen together despite sharing a fence that serves as a boundary between their homes.
Fanta who lost her mum while in the cradle and after a few years, lost her dad must have been greeted with a sad life. Notwithstanding, her brothers and sisters stood by her along the way. An angel who happened to be Dodou’s aunty and was married to Fanta’s dad took the role of upbringing her. She diligently devoted her time to Fanta as if she were her born child. As the pages of age flipped, Fanta grew to be a modest beautiful girl that became the envy of many parents within the neighbourhood. It is said that her guardian at the time had in her wish list for Fanta to be married to Dodou; her sudden and unfortunate demise landed innocent Fanta into the hands of her brother’s wife. Life for Fanta continued in a new environment with a new guardian. She got enrolled in an Arabic school where she is left with a few years to finish.
As for Dodou, he is a dedicated hardworking young man with an aura of excellence in his undertakings. Upon completion of his secondary education in one of Gambia’s leading secondary schools, Nusrat, he decided to venture into the teaching field to serve humanity. Serving humanity is at the nucleus of his heart regardless of whatever challenge that might surface along the way. When he finished his teaching studies at The Gambia College, he was posted to provincial Gambia to help in shaping and bettering the lives of the less privilege until he was given a scholarship to pursue university education in the same field which is in progress.
Dear reader, at this point you must have craved so much to hear about the dissenting pitches of the drum. I kindly implore on you to exercise a bit patience while I take you through a tour of captivating and twisting events that will give rise to a dissentient view from a section of the actors circumscribe in the story.
Aback to Dodou’s life as a teacher in provincial Gambia, euphoria took charge of his life processes but that was always short lived if he didn’t hear from his world. Fanta too, would experience a gloomy day if the telephone didn’t ring at the other end. Such was the steady strong bond nature implanted in their hearts that reckoned true love while they were miles apart. There was always a flow of happiness and positivity in their talks that one day lead to a simultaneous marriage proposal from them, which they both accepted. Quite amazing! Therefrom, their relationship started to shape up into a more serious and recognised form. Dodou had long wanted to make his intention for Fanta known to her family but that he couldn’t execute without Fanta’s consent. As soon as he was given the space and green light by Fanta to unveil his intention to her parents, Dodou pressed ahead in safeguarding the love they all joyously share by sending his parents to Fanta’s. The message imprinted on the Kola nuts to Fanta’s parents at this point was clear, that they would want to be married when Fanta finishes her schooling which was welcomed by her family.
Ironically, that decision on the side of Fanta was a hesitated one for she was caged in fear to tell her people notably, her brother’s wife and guardian that she wanted to settle down in the soonest possible time. What could have been the cause of that fear? Why wasn’t she able to overcome it by coming out boldly? Well, up to the time of writing down this story, nothing quite attributive and substantive to the above questions was generated.
Years down the line, the love grew bigger and stronger. That which is good is desired by many. Accordingly, eyes from different latitudinal variations started to widen up to Fanta. Amongst the latitudinal eyes were those of her former Qur’anic teacher who with his demeanour, courageous and steadily toed the footprints that lead to Fanta’s crib to prophesized his love and intention to marry her. He did that without Fanta’s approval and he was given a message to keep; and that is Fanta is already someone’s fiancée. Other suitors rained too on Fanta but her soil was already polished and saturated to absorb them.
Out of the blue, marriage came knocking at Dodou’s door; it was Fanta. This was at a time that he was preparing for his end of semester exams at the university. Thoughts began to race in his mind on whether to open the door or keep it shut until the earlier agreed period. Besides, marriage wasn’t inked in his ‘to do list’ at that moment. It was a demanding period for Dodou as it interfered and subtly shifted his focus on exams. But he was strong and determined to better his cerebrum with his academic undertakings and impact the lives of Gambians in the education sector. Within a flash, his love pieces merged into Fanta’s as Rumi puts it “Love is the whole thing. We are only pieces”. His love for Fanta is beyond expressible words and imagination. Despite a sudden dip in his plans, he didn’t want to disappoint her and went ahead by forging a blade to keep him company into the love forest of thorns, demons and uncertainty in a bid to get his beloved.
Going a bit aback, Fanta shares a great deal of respect and bond with her eldest sister who is married and lives in another part of the country. She is her sanctuary and in her she finds the courage and right mind to express her inner thoughts. She discussed at length with her eldest sister on her wish to get married at the time as opposed to her initial agreement with Dodou. All that while, Dodou wasn’t put into picture amid the looming situation. The two sisters crafted, planned and dusted together without any external influence. It was when the dust settled down that Dodou got the grip of their plan. The eldest sister took upon herself the responsibility of keeping Fanta’s guardian abreast of the whole situation and this was welcomed with fury, uncontrolled pulsating heartbeat, and constant unfounded demeaning comments about Dodou’s family. Nothing was on the spotlight to be used against innocent Dodou but his family was the only target of wayward or perverse dirty comments by Fanta’s guardian. She would approach Fanta too, fill her ears with sentiments that will catalyse her to retract on her decision but Fanta has already decided and wouldn’t listen. Incidentally, Dodou gave Fanta a call on one breezy early morning as it was customary between them to wake up each other for the Morning Prayer (Fajir) and it was quite unfortunate and unwelcomed as her guardian raced to the phone to answer to the call. “Hello!” said a voice from the other end of the telephone. After a short exchange of words on the purpose of the call, the act was very disapproving and heart aching to the lady and within a second, poor Dodou expressed remorse and apologised to her. Then on, the rumbling seemingly kept gaining momentum.
Back in the love forest, Dodou forged on and paid a deaf ear to the sound of the approaching demonic footsteps. Could the bearers of the footsteps be the ultimate terminators of their about to be ‘halal’ relationship? Well, even the greenery of the forest couldn’t provide an answer. What could provide an answer then? Interesting! Without much ado, he sunk into the pool of advice with a makeup of family and genuine friends. He came out well soaked and approached Fanta’s family for her hand in marriage. Fanta herself was called upon by her family to gauge and established her consent on the situation which she wilfully said yes to.
The ensued events were both approving and belabouring from sections of her family with an atmosphere of great influence. Was her guardian the tornado at the centre of influence? Well, only God knows. The youthful insisted that she must complete her Arabic schooling first and that she will be helped secure a job or be even taken abroad. Mind you, thoughts also rang out that Dodou isn’t well off and might be continuously whopped by agents of uncertainty and poverty thus leaving their daughter and sister within the confinements of unpleasantness. “We don’t want a repeat of the situation our other married daughter and sister is in. Can’t you see the unpleasantness life throws at her?” said a brother. The elderly on the other hand were in support that the knot be tighten whiles she continues her schooling and that fortune isn’t all that marriage needs. Under a tree in the forest, Dodou dejectedly looked from afar as the events unfolded. The demonic yet unknown footsteps kept approaching. Poised to act and on site of their bearers, he coldly shivered and ran out of strength to conquer them for their faces are familiar ones and striking them with the blade equates striking his own down. Meanwhile, Fanta was caught in the middle as she looks for support from the youthful side. With unabating influence, the trunk (eldest sister) she leaned on from the onset of events started to quake hence she has to move on and look somewhere else for support. She was covered in darkness and couldn’t see anything other than to retreat on her decision.
A quote from Muslim Couples has it this way, “Dear parents, let go of your ego, unreasonable conditions and please give your children in marriage when they feel the need of it.” On the other side, Dodou held up his head high for at least acting on the sudden decision by his beloved and urge the elderly to put the issue to rest for he didn’t want a rift between family members in the almighty name of marriage. Then on, he is focused on his university education and has put everything to past while the dissenting pitches of the love drum echo through the town.