She considers herself as the fulfillment of a promise. She views herself as a gift to the world. Akwa Ibom is a delectable young lady. She has well chiseled facial features and a curvaceous body shape. She is famed for her beauty. She pulls attention wherever she goes, and all the young men lust after her.
Maybe it is her simple and peaceable nature, maybe it is her culinary skills that makes her visitors never want to leave. A friend from the western kingdom visited Akwa Ibom last week and she invited him to feast with her at her dining table.
She placed before him steaming plates of afang soup, edikang ikong, Ekpang nkukwo, efere editan, efere atama, asa iwa, ubobok ukom, efere ndek iyak, edita iwa, mfi, Asa ibipod and a whole lot of delicacies that made his eyes to pop open.
He ate ravenously and she kept urging him to eat more and more. He ate to his fill and when his stomach threatened to burst, she brought a gallon of ukod nsung for him to drink. He drank a cup of the sweet palm wine and exclaimed, “Oh Akwa Ibom you won’t kill me with food!”
He couldn’t move an inch from his seat and it was getting dark. Akwa Ibom gave him a comfortable resting place and he fell into deep sleep, dreaming lucid dreams that could only be caused by Akwa ibom’s dishes.
Akwa Ibom is an industrious lady, she works round the clock. Her farmlands are huge. She plants cassava, yam, vegetable crops and fruits. Because of her industrious nature, her neighbours and contemporaries used to take advantage of her. Akwa Ibom can still recall the bleak days of hopelessness.
They would arrive in flashy cars from distant lands, they would take her away to their houses to live with them. They would make her work as their house-help, doing all the menial jobs, working from morning till night, barely having enough to eat to calm the hunger pangs, enduring affliction, ill-treatment, and servitude.
But one day, as she bent down to sweep the task-masters’ bedroom, Akwa Ibom saw her reflection on the big polished mirror on the wall. The image she saw was that of a gorgeous young lady, a queenly woman. It was a moment of epiphany for her.
“I don’t belong here! I am too beautiful to be in this condition. I should be the one owning this house. I should be the one with all the money. I am going back to my land to take my pride of place. I quit!”
The taskmaster was shocked when Akwa Ibom announced she was leaving.
“You would regret this, you would come back begging for this job and I will laugh you to scorn!” He declared.
The young maiden packed her bags and stormed out. She had, had enough of the servitude, she wasn’t returning. She had realized the enormous potential in herself.
Now Akwa Ibom is a very sophisticated lady wearing the latest designer’s fashion, speaking British English at the tip of her teeth, watching the latest movies in the Cinema, slaying at the shopping malls and driving the classiest cars.
Her friends say she is a well-behaved lady with good virtues. Right from childhood Akwa Ibom had received good home training and her character had been well molded. She had been brought up with the fear of God, this explains why she attends a legion of churches. She dances in church A, sings in church B, serves an usher in Church C, Preaches in church D, Prophesies n church E, in fact, she never misses a church service.
I saw Akwa Ibom dancing yesterday, she was clad in her colourful Ekombi dance costume, she was performing the Mboppo dance, showcasing her beauty and femininity. I saw her performing the Ebre society dance, celebrating the harvest of the new yams, I saw her dancing the Asian Uboikpa dance showcasing her pride and advertising herself to eagled eyed suitors.
She shook her waist vigorously, gyrating to Akilo’s highlife tune,
“Eyen okuk ikpu ikpu ofong ikpu ikpu
Owo edi inyene
Oh ya oo owo edi inyene”
Sometimes, Akwa Ibom wishes she can return to her childhood, to the time where she would go out with other kids when the full moon shines in the night’s sky to play the Mbre offiong, to play Ekpe ino ebot mmi, Edibe and Nsa isong.
Sometimes she wishes she could attain more heights and pedestals than where she presently is. She knows she can do better with all the money and resources she has. But then she knows she is the envy of her cousins. Akwa Ibom walks around with dignity and with a cheerful air, and whenever you meet her and she smiles at you, you can’t help but exclaim,
“Akwa Ibom nnyin ayaiya!”
Written by Iniobong Leroi Umoh