Kalba, the Young Man Who Resists the Gods (Excerpt)

After death, a human spirit remains human spirit and will never be transformed into an unclean spirit.


After his father death, the young man Kalba is chosen to succeed his father as the main priest of the gods of Tsepia. He fights and resists the gods and their human agents with the help of his mother and brother who are not well acquainted with the tricks of the invisible world. Worse over, Kalba and his helpers have a thin knowledge only of the Lord Jesus. Will they emerge victorious?

 The Story

It was half past five when the whole home was awakened by shouting:

“No! I do not want it! I don’t want to see you anymore! Go away! Leave me alone!”

We found Kalba in the yard. He was writhing in pain under the blows. He seemed being struck by invisible people and was resisting against an order that he alone could grasp.

Kalba is tortured by the esprits
Kalba is tortured by the esprits

“I have a choice and I will never serve you! Go away! I won’t serve you! I don’t want to see you anymore! Leave me alone!” he was crying out.

For nearly a year, similar scenes had been usual, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the mud and we were fed up. We were worn out and no one to give us a satisfactory help. All the elders who advised Mama had insisted she convince Kalba to accept the request of the spirits. Devoted Catholic and confident that God would do something, Mama was used to counting the Rosary whenever she had a moment free. She was confident that the Virgin Mary would intervene.

Kalba crisis begin after the death of Dad. Our father was Nkemsse[1] of Tsepia and the gods had selected Kalba to be his successor, what my mother couldn’t bear. Long before the demands of the spirits, Mama had asked God to make her son a Catholic priest.

Dad died on the eve of Kalba entrance exam to Form five and Kalba succeeded only by the Grace of God. During the next two years, the spirits visited him once a month at most. The spirits aggressions became weekly since the beginning of this third year. We were in April and the Entrance Exam to University was approaching.

That morning, the scene was appalling and we were unapt to save Kalba from his invisible tormentors. Despite all the ‘Mama Maria, Tsa mayzing’gay monh’ which translated means, ‘Mother Mary, have mercy on me’, nothing stopped the hitting of the spirits. The daybreak found us there, defeated by demons and reduced to hope that they spare Kalba’s life.

Around half past six, at the rising sun, Kalba calmed down and sank into unconsciousness. He was covered with wounds. Mama and I resolved to take him to the hospital and I took him on my back. Along the way, Kalba awoke. We asked him about the visions he had had but he gave no reply.

At the hospital, the nurse sent us away. She required that Kalba should go bath before returning to her. Our house was forty-five minutes from the hospital and we resumed the march immediately. This time my brother could walk even though he was still exhausted.

At home, one of my father’s friends was waiting for us.

 “Ma Lissape!” the gentleman started, “where did you go so early? It’s been a while since I am waiting,” he said.

Mama bowed to the gentleman:

“I salute Nde[2]! May your dignity be welcomed in peace please!”

“Hello uncle!” I greeted.

“How are you, young man?” he replied, his eyes rather on Kalba.

Mama quickly took a bamboo chair and sat beside the visitor who readily stated the purpose of his visit.

“In fact, I come in the name of the gods of Tsépia,” the man started. “I have not come to negotiate; I have not come to give advice; I have not come by myself.”

“May you be seated in peace Nde!” Mama said.

“Crhmm! Crhmm!” the gentleman cleared his voice.

“Please Nde, be seated in peace!” Mama insisted.

“Isn’t this child the son of his father?” the man asked. “Everyone in this land will always remember the greatness of your dear husband, that is to say the father of this young man,” he paused. “Everyone knows the high functions he assumed to the honor of the gods and for the happiness of this community. The whole village knows the prestige which was that of your husband, the father of this child.”

To the nobleman whose protocol refused the ‘right to the point’, Mama encouraged:

“Respected Nde, your dignity can talk, I’m willing to listen. You can talk please!”

 “Have I ever been here talking to you since my friend, that is, your husband joined his ancestors?” the man asked.

“Venerable man, your dignity can talk,” Mama replied. “Your words are welcomed, as you speak, my ears are attentive. Everyone knows the extent of your wisdom in this village. If you speak, I will listen.”

“The gods has granted your son the privilege of replacing his worthy father,” the nobleman said. “The gods are not interested in any of us to replace his illustrious father as the chief priest but Kalba.”

“You’re wasting your time!” Kalba intervened, “I don’t like your gods; I far prefer go to Church.”

Mama hurried to take the floor, to clutch the impudent words of Kalba:

“Respected Nde, I beg you to excuse this child, children today do not know how to talk to people of your dignity. May you forgive him please.”

“Do not worry about me, worthy woman; rather be afraid of the doggedness of him to resist the gods. Everyone knows the violence of their anger and I think you know something about,” the man said.

After a short silence, Mama wiped away the tears that had started flowing from her eyes. The lyrics of the nobleman were not without threats.

“You are highly respected in this village and all villagers know what terrible fate awaits those who resist the gods; nevertheless, may you understand my pain! My sons and I are baptized Catholics and if this boy was not stubborn, he would now be in the Seminary,” Mama defended.

Mama hardly finished talking when Kalba tore his shirt and slapped his chest repeatedly saying:

“I’ll never enter the Seminary, this child is my son. He was born to serve the gods of Tsepia; he has no choice. I do my son what I want.”

After Kalba had spoken this way, the nobleman rose, bowed to the ground before Kalba. When he rose, he thanked Mama for patience and said:

“Observe that I have nothing more to say. Take courage! Once you are decided, send Pamen who knows where to find me.”

The nobleman gone, Mama burst into tears:

“Eh! My pain!” she sighed, “who will deliver me from this trouble?”

End of the Excerpt

[1] Nkemsse means priest of God (priest of the gods in the context) in Ngiemboon language (West-Cameroon).

[2] Nde means Nobleman in Ngiemboon.

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