Aerial view of the Coal City
The cosmopolitan nature of Enugu, the one and only 042, attracted a multiplicity of talented people seeking to exploit the opportunities existing in the city.
The lure, power and sheer attractiveness of this city used to be so compelling that a lot of youngsters abandoned their villages and migrated to Enugu in search of the proverbial greener pastures.
As they did so, they brought with them their various talents. But some of those migrating talents were not youngsters. Like one traditional bone
setter who lived in Ogui urban area (which some people derogatorily nicknamed (URBAN JUNGLE).
So popular was this man that some footballers from Enugu Rangers, Vasco Da Gama and elsewhere who broke either legs or arms preferred the man’s services to seeking medical help at the city’s National Orthopedic Hospital.
In fact, as the story went, even some of the cases which could not be “properly” treated at the orthopedic hospital found themselves in the man’s “clinic.”
The increase in clientele brought both fame and fortune to this man. One day, again, as the story went, some professors from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, (UNN), paid a courtesy visit to the bone setter, whose “clinic,” remember, was based in URBAN JUNGLE.
They explained to him that they had come “to explore avenues for possible symbiotic and collaborative research endeavours“with the uneducated bone setter.
But, again, as the story went, the bonesetter did not understand his visitors’ grammar. He bade them to find some space on his wooden benches to rest their bums
. As is usual with the traditional Igbo culture, the host presented some kolanuts to his distinguished visitors. While breaking the nuts, he reeled out a basketful of proverbs one of which was a veiled threat craftily camouflaged and embellished like a kind of prayer that says: “obialu be onye abiagbu kwala ya…”
They thanked the man and greeted him with a litany of excuses, some telling him not to bother (about kolanuts) because they had had “something” already before coming to his house.
Some others took their own pieces and buried them in the pockets. The grey old man sat down, his eyes dancing from one face to the other, and attentively listening to his guests as they lectured him on the “various benefits to knowledge and the advancement of science and medicine” their proposed collaborative research endeavours would bring.
One of them pointed out that one of such benefits would be to help “in modernising the crudity of the bone-setting practice, and easing the pains to patients so as to integrate it into mainstream health care delivery.”
While the eggheads were scampering and struggling in their efforts to explain their ideas and visions to the bone setter in clearer, more understandable level, his patience was hitting the floor.
As the man’s anger and disdain for his visitors reached a boiling point, he cleared his throat to draw the attention of his visitors. The pin-drop silence in the room was palpable as the lecturers paused to hear their host.
The diminutive, heavily grayed old man rose to his feet, with his eyes probing faces before him. Summoning as much decorum as his temperament could accommodate, he told his guests that he totally understood what they wanted from him.
He told them to wait while he fetched “something” from his inner room. As he moved inside, his guests started glancing bewilderedly at each other, trying to decode the man’s intentions.
As soon as the man alighted from his inner room brandishing his Awka-made dane gun, his guests scampered and scrambled for their lives! (…What followed thereafter …?)”.
Dr. Dili Ojukwu, wrote from the United Kingdom