This is one book that had me super glued to it from the beginning to the end. It was a lovely, captivating and exciting read.
“The Son of the House” by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia also got me thinking about life especially as a young lady from the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Lessons from “The Son of the House” by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
This book is a harvest of life wisdom and lessons. Below are some of the lessons worthy of note.
1. A Single Mistake can Change The Course of Your Life
Nwabulu had a rocky start of life unlike Julie. However, the Enugu episode of her life seemed like the game changer until she got pregnant for Urenna, the rich son of the house who never loved her. Despite warnings from her bosom friend, Chidimma and her Enugu madam, Nwabulu believed the son of the house could actually love the house maid. Her world fell apart when she realised this. Nwabulu was like the proverbial cock that refused to listen to wise words until it entered into a pot of soup. Her dream of going to commercial school and becoming a secretary fell apart and she was back to square one. As a result of the unwanted preganancy, she experienced betrayal, deportation back to Nwokenta, marriage to a dead man, she lost her beloved baby and she couldn’t become a secretary (her dream job).
One mistake can change everything. This is even more cogent when you have been adequately warned. This is the reason why we are advised to look before we leap. Try as much as possible not to eat tomorrow’s yam today lest you risk starvation when tomorrow comes.
2. No Secret is a secret forever
Nothing can be hidden under the sun
Julie’s lies eventually came out in the open. From faking a pregnancy “force” Eugene to marry her to stealing another woman’s baby and representing the baby to be hers. Many people had suspicions about Afam and she had to deal with her ferocious sister-in-laws. Nevertheless, when it’s time for karma to strike, nothing can stop the truth. Nwabulu eventually found out that answers to the questions which she has been asking, questions that nearly crumbled her world; lies in the mouth of Julie.
3. Culture can betray it’s Faithful Adherents
The Son of the House portrayed the Igbo culture as it is without any embellishment. Nwabulu was forced by her step mother and “Umunna” to marry a dead man, Nathan. Nathan was an only son who died untimely. Thus, to continue his lineage, Mama Nathan thought it wise to marry a pregnant woman for her dead son.
Nwabulu protested the marriage but due to her helpless state and in other to give her unborn child a name and a family, she gave in. Upon Mama Nathan’s death, Nwabulu’s child became a bastard and was thrown out like a piece of trash. The reason for this was to prevent a scenerio where the child would grow up and begin to ask for land. In short, Nwabulu’s child never had a place.
Culture tried to protect him by giving him a family and a name. The same culture abandoned him when Mama Nathan died. Culture betrayed Mama Nathan who wanted to continue her son’s lineage.
The real deal here is to try to ensure that fairness, equality and justice are our core values when taking decision irrespective of what the so called culture has in place.
4. Every Individual has the power to move on
Nwabulu is the definition of resilience. She was raped and sexually assulted by her first boss in Lagos at the tender age of 10; she experienced child abuse and labour in the hands of her step mother; When it seemed like her life was about to take shape in Enugu, she was betrayed by her lover and abandoned with an unwanted preganancy; forced to marry a dead man and her child was taken away from her by culture.
The foregoing is too much for a young teenager. She could have committed suicide or lost hope in life and her dreams. But she moved on. She went back to Enugu; learnt the sewing trade; married a responsible and loving man, Ifechi; established a thriving fashion hub; became a mother and lived with hope.
There are times when challenges are thrown in our way; what do we do? Wallow in self-pity? It is okay to be sad and depressed for a while. However, the truth is that only you can decide to move on.
Weeping may last through the night but joy cometh forth in the morning
For us to enjoy this joy in the morning, we have a role to play. We have to learn how to be resilient.
5. The Bastard became the Son of the House
You cannot change destiny. The highest you can do is to become a stumbling block. What will be will be.
Afam’s father, Urenna is the only son of his parents but he rejected Nwabulu’s pregnancy and called her a lowly housemaid. Mama Nathan’s kinsmen rejected Afam because he is a bastard and as such he has no entitlement to any of their lands.
Destiny took Afam and made him Eugene’s only son. He was brought up like every other rich man son. He was recognised by Eugene’s people as the only son of Eugene and he gave Eugene a very befitting burial.
The Bastard; Nwabulu’s Ezinwa became the Son of the house and nobody can change that.
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