What would you do if you were told that your mother was dying of an incurable curse, and you too, were not exempt from the wrath of the gods? Imagine that your mother has lost seven children in their infancy and she now fights for her life. Will you leave her to her fate or fight to keep her alive? Can you risk your own life so that she can have hers?
I believe we all have our own answers to those questions, depending on how much we care about our mother. But this is exactly the situation that a teenage boy called Okambi faces. It is a testing time for him. He has no doubt that his mother has inherited the curse. The sign is so obvious. He needs no other proof. The repercussion is an inevitable death. That’s what they have told him. That’s what he knows. But there is always a way out of a predicament. He will not let his mother die. And he is determined to beat the odds. Desperate to find the cure, he is prepared to do whatever it takes, even risking his own life.
Gbagala, the only cure for the curse, lies with King Bam Dakuro, the powerful ruler of the Wilderness of Wisdom. Okambi dares to go on the dangerous journey. But he has to undertake the journey alone. In the Wilderness of Wisdom, no one fights for you. No one carries your burden. You do it alone, and die alone. He may get lost in the wilderness, never to return home. But it is a race against time. His mother has only a few days to live. Without the cure, she will certainly die.
Okambi travels on a journey never undertaken by a human being. Even the greatest Medicine Men can only make brief spiritual visits, never in person. There is no road map to the sacred wilderness. There’s no day or night. But he must find the palace. He must find the key to unlock what the gods have locked. He must appeal to the ancestors through King Bam Dakuro and return home with Gbagala.
He mingles with half-bodied beings. He has to eat what they eat and do what they do. He mingles with invisible beings. He even fights Kiliwi, the formidable Giant of Ilu and looks at death in the eye. He must find the cure for the curse. That’s his mission, and it’s all that matters. That’s his mother’s worth.