Kosi peeped through the side mirror. She saw a strange figure. ‘Dad,’ she called out, eager to know what it was. But Azuka never gave her the attention she deserved: his mind, aptly engrossed in his destination, was on his driving.

‘Dad,’ Kosi called again, this time with furious countenance.  She could not imagine herself being ignored when she needed her dad most, at least, to demystify this mystery. She left the back seat for the front, took the belt, and fastened it around her shoulders. No attention was given to her.  Her dad needed no disturbance to Umuezukwe, having traveled all night from London to Sam Mbakwe Airport.

‘Dad!’ she shouted, trying to draw attention again.

‘What is it, Baby?’ Azuka finally responded. ‘But I’ve been calling you for more than thirty minutes now,’ she said in an unalloyed American accent while tapping the t in the “thirty’’ as if it were an r. Indeed she was a Nigerian with American citizenship by birth.

‘Okay, daughter,’ Azuka imitated her, pronouncing “daughter” as doora. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked, parking the vehicle by the side of the road.

‘Dad, I saw a spirit pursuing people.’

‘Yes, that was Mmanwu. The black one was Okorosha while the one on white was Owu,’ he explained.

‘Hey, was that the Mmanwu you told us about while in the United States?’

‘Yes, dear.’ Azuka could see the excitement on her face. She had finally fulfilled her dream of seeing our masquerades, he thought. He started his jeep and drove off but slowly. When they got to the Beach Ukwu, a crowd of people was shouting and laughing. Looking toward her left, Kosi saw an okorosha and his faithful drummers. Closely chasing them behind was a Fulani cow. ‘Dad! Dad! Dad!’ Kosi called out, pointing towards the drama. ‘Dad, didn’t you tell us that masquerades are spirits, representing the gods of the land? Why is this one afraid of an ordinary cow?’

Azuka was alarmed but wondered about the wisdom of her 9-year-old daughter. ‘Anyway, that was what I was taught until I became mature. So many lies are told when you are a child. So many truths are revealed when you become an adult. Never believe everything you are told, and never fail to believe what you can’t prove. Our culture is entertaining and the best in the world,’ he submitted.

Kosi smiled. At least, she was comforted. She could have a story to tell her siblings and friends who had not visited Nigeria. At least, she was convinced that Okorosha was not a spirit after all.