A journey for Self-Discovery, discover the story of Tamba.

The protagonist of the story— Tamba, man from Kissi tribe, later known as George, escapes from Lofa, Kissi village following an epidemic that killed the villagers one after the other, including his father and many other relatives. He could not but leave the village, because of his close ties with the native tribe, its traditions, Palawa hut, and specifically Kumba—the eleventh wife of his grandfather—Oldman; the woman who makes Tamba a man, shortly after his ‘Poro’—initiation. The unconditional and unconventional relationship Tamba develops with her keeps him bounded with the Kissi village but he is left with no option other than to escape from ‘The bush-curse’ which he later discovers as ‘Ebola’. The book challenges the West African deeply rooted belief that Ebola is all new in their territories. Then, what is ‘The bush-curse’ of the bleeding zombies? Why did Oldman once say ‘If three monkeys are found dead three days in the row, the fourth one will take the whole village with it’?
Tamba escapes Kissi village, affected by ‘The bush-curse’, meeting and taking refuge in different tribes along his journey till he meets Reverend Maurice who baptises and renames him ‘George’ as per the christian calendar. The book critically looks at every single molecule of the chemistry of the religious conversion; the Kissi boy who believes in animalistic beliefs is reborn as George—a Christian: ‘white man`s religion’. Would Reverend Maurice be able to change his inborn attachments to ‘The Creator’ and the ancestors of Kissis? The book leaves many questions that are pitched between spirituality and religion; specially after the protagonist escapes the multiple wars that break out in 1990 and 1997, and he finds shelter in a Protestant church in Guinea and then in Côte d’Ivore. Would the Changing of the denomination change his way of acceptance of God? And are the Creator of Kissis and his powerful Kissi ancestors still in his mind? Has Christianity changed the way the African society thinks or has it merged with animalistic tribal beliefs to survive under African skies? Is Tamba an opportunist to become George by embracing the religion of the stranger? Or do the circumstances compel Tamba to fence his ancestors and the ‘The Creator’ to his inner-self and wear the mask of George? The book leads the thoughts of the reader to several directions.
Ultimately, with the support of Pastor Jean-Paul—the priest from the Protestant denomination, George becomes a nurse and joins a medical non-governmental organization as a nurse. He gets married and becomes a father to three children —one daughter ‘Princes’ and two boys. His wife Aminatta who is a follower of Islam faith, just like his first love Kumba (Oldman-his grandfather’s eleventh wife) who has been converted to Islam when he meets her in the refugee camp in Yomou, Guinea, almost two decades after ‘The bush curse’ hits his village; She is seen with her man Mandingo man from Sierra-Leone.
After settling down in Liberia—the country that is found completely different from what he leaves before the war, George releases a sigh of relief and he begins to be hopeful of a promising future, basically not for him but for his children who are fast growing up . And he allows his wife to follow a religion whereas he lives a life based on christian doctrine. But he fails to forget the powers of his ancestors and ‘The Creator’.
In silence, in the deep forester provinces Gueckedou of rural Guinea, something unprecedented begins to take control over every single thing there; life in Meliandu is in the jaws of death. In a split of a second, the killer epidemic spreads across the borders, killing villagers not in hundreds but in thousands, ferrying everyone in the region. Life changes according to the dynamics of the epidemic. Amidst horror, some opportunities pop up. Consequently, George joins Ebola operations in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Elwa Junction—Peyneseville, Monrovia, Liberia where he contracts the virus owing to a clinical misadventure. Will he survive?
George goes through the same cycle that patents in the treatment centre go through, except one stage that many of them pass. When he survives, he receives a call from another treatment unit and learns that his wife Aminatta and daughter princes have left him with his boys behind. He is devastated and returns home; his house has been burnt and looted, villagers do not want him back to the village. It is astounding how he maintains resilience to face life, his thoughts about the boys do not allow him to give up his life.
Surviving in the society as a survivor is more difficult for him than surviving the deadly Ebola. He returns to the treatment centre and pleads his supervisors to allow him to stay there which they accept. What happens to the boys? where are they? with whom do they live? He receives a visitor, he is no one else but Paster Jean-Paul; their lives and roles also have changed. The French protestant church has opened an Ebola orphanage in Tumbanbourg in Liberia where the boys are in safe hands; they are waiting for their parents and the sister to return. What’s going in the mind of George? How is he going to break the news to the boys? How would they react? How is George going to handle the situation?
Medical managers decide to send George to the Ebola treatment unit in Tubmanburg as a nurse; there, he finds it comfortable to live with the two boys. The first time he met the boys he could not but hug them tight and he cried silently. ‘There are certain things that children should not know before the right time’, he heard from the background. It was Pastor jean-Paul, his mentor.
In Tumbanbourg, Bomi county in sub-urban Liberia, things move slower than the capital Monrovia. Despite the psychological scars, the life has just begun to be a routine. Boys spend time studying under the supervision of their father; they are still waiting for their mother and sister to come. George is working in the Ebola treatment centre but he is prevented from hard word as he is still suffering from side effects. That was a usual day besides the all-staff meeting.
‘Ma mama o, mama o,’ the hysteric wail of a little girl dragged everyone’s attention to the ambulance that had just reached the Ebola treatment centre. The woman—the girl’s mother who was still in the ambulance, was declared dead—it was a usual daily experience in an Ebola treatment center but the girl’s behavior compelled the head doctor to order the burial teams to show the girl her mother once again to say good bye and the medical teams were advised to admit the girl into the observation ward.
As the face of the dead mother was uncovered, George could not resist emotions that ran along his spine’ Kumba, No’. He fell on the ground cold. Later, when he regained his consciousness, he found himself in the staff sickroom. By that time, he had already passed the ecliptic line and behind the eclipse, instead of darkness, he saw a bright light, where there were three children, his two boys and the daughter of Kumba.

62 thoughts on “A journey for Self-Discovery, discover the story of Tamba.

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