THE STORY OF TAMUNONIMIM CHIMA LULUBRIGGS
I will try and keep this story as accurate as possible, please forgive me for any mistakes made while writing this story.
My story begins like every other normal family story, involving Chief O.B. Lulu-briggs and Barr. Udeaku Obioha, but known to me as dad and mum who lived in No. 17 Igbodo street Old GRA Portharcourt, Rivers State.
It was a normal family, and I had siblings with the names Racheal Lulu-Briggs and (Chief) Dumo Lulu-Briggs, Senibo Lulu-Briggs, Sofiri Lulu-Briggs. These were the people I grew up with, who I knew as my family and watched me grow as a child, I and Racheal had a close relationship growing up, because we were almost of the same age, I can remember as far back playing and creating little mischief as children do, we would always stick up for each other, even when we knew what we had done. This in turn made Chief O.B Lulu-Briggs (My Father) glad because deep down he knew that we would always be there for one another in trying times.
Now, there was nothing that made me happier as a child when you are shown an abundant amount of love by people you call family. I could recall the days we would pay visits to my brother Chief (Barr) Dumo Lulu- Briggs residence and be given gifts in the form of money, treats etc. I and Racheal made it our mission to pay our brother visits occasionally, I mean which child wouldn’t.
Fast forward to late 90’s, I had noticed that my Dad and Mum were not in speaking terms, and tried as much as possible to hide it from us the children (I &Racheal), and I didn’t understand why, but I’ve come to realize that every marriage has its ups and downs, and sometimes couple need their space and time to heal. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and so from what I remember I stopped seeing my mother, and asked after her continuously but was told she wasn’t coming back and I enquired why?, Later on a new face was introduced into the household, it was a woman with a much older girl who I would come to know as Seinye and the girl who is her daughter Solate, now to an 8 year old boy, that introduction into the family as the new wife and mum, came with resistance by me because I didn’t understand what happened to the woman I called Mum (Barr. Udeaku Obioha) now my dad being a protective man wanted me to stay with him and try to adjust to the new setting, I wanted to stay with my dad but I missed my mum, so my dad gave me the opportunity to go and be with my mum, but I never knew that would be the last day, I would set my eyes on him. That marriage to my mother dissolved and with every divorce comes an amount of bitterness towards each party. Notwithstanding I missed my father, siblings and always asked after them. Especially Racheal, because we grew up as children together and also attended the same Primary & secondary school named BERETON MONTESSORI PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL.
Moving forward my mother had to cope with raising a single child alone, and in this country we are all aware how difficult it is to cater for a child and deal with Psychological and Emotional trauma of going through a divorce. The times were rough and hard filled with obstacles but we pulled through as a Family, moving from Abia State to Lagos State, now came a dilemma of what my name would become since she was now divorced, I was too young to understand what my mum was doing or going through, but at the end I was given my step father’s surname in a bid to hide the shame that she felt losing her husband in an unceremonious manner. So my name became Chima Andre Shaldas, for years I had to hide this secret because I didn’t want my mum to relive the pain she went through in the divorce, but inside me I was saddened that I couldn’t spend quality time with my father, who would always joke with me and carry me on his lap.
Now people would question as I grew older why I didn’t establish a means of reaching out, but the truth is that I did, but almost all messages sent in rekindling that relationship with him was blocked by people who were around him, how was I going to come to a house 10years later to say ‘Hello Father, do you remember me’ I also felt hurt that he didn’t try to even look for me, not until later when I was about 24yrs of age that I was told by mum that indeed he had asked after me. That gladdened my heart but still reaching him would still prove difficult, because of the type of personality my late father was in his lifetime.
This is just a story from the eyes of a child growing up with having two loving parents then tragedy struck and made it just one. Seinye Lulu-briggs through her Spokesman Oraye St. Franklyn has made the public believe that I am not in existence but I am, and will fight for the TRUTH TO BE HEARD!