This story isn’t about Santa Monica as much as it is about the Igbo culture and a role the women play in ensuring the longevity of the family name as no man wants his name to die.
According to the storyteller who happens to be my father, in Igbo culture, a man who doesn’t have a male child has to ensure his lineage goes on by asking his daughter to remain a spinster to as to continue the lineage and whatever child she gave birth to will be his, especially if the child is male.
There was this man, who gave birth to a girl called Monica. Monica grew up as the Ada and only child of her father hence was told by her father to not get married because she was to inherit his land. Apparently, that life ain’t for Monica as she became a prostitute and went to Asaba to grow the business.
While in Asaba, her father died and his brothers buried him. Burying him made them assume rights to his landed property which they sold to a villager, robbing Santa Monica off everything that had to do with her father.
After being a prostitute for a longer time, Santa Monica popped out three sons for three different men and raised them all by herself. While narrating the story, I couldn’t help but notice the respect in my father’s voice during that part of the story. It was obvious my dad was proud of how despite her profession she did well by her kids.
“So where is Santa Monica right now?” I asked.
“She’s somewhere in Shagamu with one of her son who is now really rich and a Muslim”
“Wow,” I said trying to wrap my head around the prostitute that lost what was supposed to be hers and was able to raise a son that is now as rich as my father described him to be… knowing my father, that sound of “very rich” is akshwali really rich.
“Not long ago, the son came to our hometown, he brought two cows and killed it to reclaim his place as his son of his grandfather” That’s interesting.
So get this straight, guys; the grandson because a son after fulfilling his duty that at a point was to bury the grandfather, who would’ve been his father if he had been alive to see him born. That’s not all, he has also built a house close to his father’s house in the village and he is presently trying to buy off his father’s land from the person that bought it years ago from his great uncles, or whatever their positions are in his life.
I decided to tell this story because I was thrilled by the story, especially how they called her Santa Monica. Like why Santa, but then I thought of Santa Claus and the Yoruba term, Animashaun and it all made sense, but I wouldn’t know why she was called that. Truth is, I wish I have the opportunity to speak to her, and maybe someday I will, but right now, I am just happy about Santa Monica and her son who stepped up for her to bring her glory back… or better still, give her the glory she probably never had.
Sometimes a happy ending is all it takes to make it all seem right… Isn’t that what our game with Ice-land did for us?
And not mentioning the son’s name was intentional … in as much as he deserves some accolades, he should be as anonymous as possible.