The year was 1995. Mama Nneka had died nearly a year earlier without giving him male children. It was only three months ago that Amadi reluctantly acquiesced to the wishes of his extended family, to take a new wife and try to save what was left of his lineage, for he was the only child of his late parents.

His planned marriage to Perpetua was barely four weeks away, and what began as a slight worry had grown into a huge complication. Initially he thought that his failure to achieve erection must be due to his long absence from the dating arena. Then it dawned on him that he might have impotence. At 40 years old, he felt invincible, but that did not stop the alarm bells going off in his head.

Ojo his friend told him to go easy on his mason job, but even a fool knew the importance of paying the bills on time. The nagging headaches meant nothing, and the local chemist did a nice job of mixing him good paracetamol and panadol extra tablets to keep the aches at bay.

His decision to see the local physician for his erection problems might have saved his life. His blood pressure was consistently over 200/150, and Dr. Akin said he could have had a stroke at any moment. The hypertension was also responsible for his erectile dysfunction.

It has been five years and Amadi has been faithful with his antihypertesion medications. The near brush with death showed him how precarious it all is. His only daughter now has a special place in his life, and he is yet to take a new wife. The villagers are still pressuring him, of course, but right now he does not give a damn.

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