Posted in Prose, Stories

RUGGED KUMALO Chapter 7

KUMALO COVER

 

CHAPTER 7

FORCE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OFFICE

Superintendent of police, Sunday Onche was summoned by the commissioner of Police Mr. Frank Ahindero. Ahindero was the sleeping patient whose clothes and Wallet Kumalo had Stolen at the hospital .

He sat on the executive brown leather swivel chair in his office. Behind him up on the wall hung his portrait, that of the executive governor of Enugu state and that of president Good luck Ebele Jonathan smiling as usual. The smiling face of the president was the only friendly thing in the office, so SP focused his attention on it as the CP accused him of everything.

“What are you telling me? What are you and your team telling me SP”? The commissioner of Police asked furiously banging his fist on the large sparkling mahogany table in front of him. The picture of his wife and children displayed on the table tripped over, he returned it to position. “This is gross negligence on duty! It is gross incompetence”! “The officer that should be on night guard at that hospital should be arrested and locked up immediately”!

“That has been done already”! The SP said quickly.

“He should be charged! He should be dismissed and jailed for corroborating with a criminal to escape”! The CP fired on. “I am very sure he knows about the boy’s escape! How can a sick boy un-cuff himself, steal my clothes and my wallet and then knock out a man twice his size before escaping? How can? Is he a wizard”? CP asked. SP was staring at Jonathan.

“I simply went to take a rest at the hospital because my BP was high”. “I could not go home because my Kids are on holiday and my house was full”, the Kids brought their friends home to spend the holidays!  CP explained. I woke up to realize my clothes were not on the table where I kept them, I sat up and looked around but only saw someone’s hospital clothes on the floor close to my bed. I opened the door and peeped out to see if any nurse would be on the corridor so I could get assistance, nothing! I then remembered I had put my phone by the pillow, it was still there so I called my orderly to bring some clothes for me at the hospital. I sat in the ward till 10.00AM before the stupid Orderly came around! 10.00AM! Can you imagine? I was supposed to have a telephone conference with the IG and other CP’s nationally at 8.00AM”! “I called John my Orderly at about 4.00AM, he lives in my compound! In my BQ! Yet it took the stupid recalcitrant, lousy! Oh! I don’t know what else to call him! It took him six hours to go to my house and collect my clothes from my people! The idiot said he forgot and fell asleep again! Can you beat that? I was trapped in the hospital wearing only my boxers without any money on me waiting for my own Orderly! SP my Orderly was sleeping in his house”! He banged his fist on the table again tripping the family portrait once again. He returned it to position and got up from his seat. SP stood at ease with his legs spread apart, arms behind his back as he focused on Jonathan.

He is a suspect! Since he likes to sleep, I have sent him to where he will get enough sleep. Nonsense! CP continued. SP Sunday Onche! You and your men are not on top of your game at all at all! I must say that I am highly disappointed in you and your team! And to say I recently endorsed your promotion, now see what I am getting! Its like this your new rank has made you to become lackadaisical!

No Sir! SP said quickly.

Go and put your house in order and get me my wallet! I have one hundred and fifty thousand naira in that wallet! I want my money! You are dismissed.

SP came too attention, saluted and marched out of the CP’s office. He smiled when he closed the door behind him and he took a deep breathe. But how will a wallet contain the sum of One hundred and fifty thousand naira? He pondered. That is a bundle and a half. Even if it were in the highest denomination of one thousand naira notes, a wallet can never taken more than half a bundle, in fact quarter of a bundle. CP lied on that one and he knew it. No wonder Jonathan kept smiling above his head. Jonathan must have heard a lot of lies in that office.

He knew better than argue with his Boss. He had to obey first before complaining, he had to obey the last order. The last order was to look for Kumalo and his wallet. How can the ID badge of a whole Commissioner of Police be in the hands of a wanted criminal?

He now understand what Peter was trying to tell him about the Egbesu Cult and their capabilities. How could just one injured man accomplish such a feat within so short a time? He stole from the CP, un-cuffed himself and knocked out a healthy male nurse twice his size and then he vanished into thin air, the stupid receptionist on duty said they saw something ran past! They said they were too busy. Lousy people! And how on earth would a police officer abandon his duty post and go home to sleep? The fact that that boy had his legs cuffed to the bed should make the officer on duty know the worth of such a suspect. He went home to sleep with his wife! Stupid officer! No problem, he will be dismissed definitely and he will have enough time for the wife. By the time he does not bring home money for the family upkeep after two months of eating up what ever he has as reserve then he will know the really meaning of the word House wife!

Those were the thoughts of SP Sunday Onche as he drove to the State criminal investigation department. He brought out his phone and dialed. “The two of you should meet me at the office right away”! He barked into the mouth piece and dropped the phone on the console.

 

WARRI

Bros Jato, the leader of the Egbesu cult is seated. With him are Kumalo, Ese, Kumalo’s girl friend and two gentle men on suit.

One of the men on suit was talking.

“As it is now, Okiemute need to go to the Police station to make a formal statement about his incarceration and eventual escape from the Police in the hospital at Enugu. He was held hostage illegally by the police because he committed no crime, rather an attempt was made on his life and his brother was killed in the process”. “Why was he chained to the bed? His life was even at risk when those boys attempted to kill him at the hospital yet what did the police do about it? His brother was murdered! His mother died in the process! Yet the police did not deem it fit to release him to come home! In fact we need to sue the police! We need to sue them”!

“Another thing we need to do now is to ensure that Okiemute remains here in Warri until the revenge mission at Enugu is accomplished. He needs to be close to the police here so that he will not be suspected for whatever happens in Enugu”.

“And how will he be kept close to the police here”? Jato asked.

“We will cause a little gbege at the station that will lead to his arrest”. “When we get there, the police will naturally threaten to arrest him for escaping from their custody in Enugu. At that instance, we sill start trouble which will lead to our arrest”.  Said the man on suit.

“But you are a lawyer! How will they arrest you”? Jato asked.

“That I am a lawyer does not give me the right to constitute nuisance at a police station”. “They will arrest me quite alright but they cannot beat me or keep me there more than necessary. They will release me because i am a lawyer but when ever Okiemute is released, we will cause another gbege that will send him inside again. We will keep doing this until the mission at Enugu has been executed”. All these should not exceed four days said Barrister Otioto.

“Bros e”! “Are you saying that i will not go to Enugu for the hit or what”? Kumalo asked.

“Which kind hit you dey talk about Kumalo”? Ese asked. “You well at all? Craze dey worry you”?

“Why you dey shout for me Ese”? Kumalo asked.

“Why I no go shout”? Ese fired back.

“Yes Okiemute! You cannot go for the hit! You are a wanted man in Enugu and the Police will naturally expect you to go for revenge, so if anything happens to those hawks now, you will be the primary suspect and they will hunt you down! You do not under estimate our police if they set out to work”! Barrister Otiotio explained.

“Okiemute please listen to the voice of reasoning I beg you”! Ese pleaded. “Please I beg you! Mama and brother Jumbo are dead! You are the only one in the family remaining”!

“No! I must be there”! Kumalo stood up. “How can you deny me the pleasure of taking revenge on the murderers of my brother”? “They cause the death of mama also! How can you do this to me bros”?

“Look Kumalo! They killed an Egbesu child! We are Egbesu! They killed our brother! Do you understand that”?

What of my mother that they led to an untimely death? Kumalo asked angrily.

She is the mother of two Egbesu Children! We are Egbesu! She is our mother not your mother alone so sit down there now and stop creating a scene here! If you shout here again i will blind your ear!  Sit down! Jato commanded.

Kumalo sat down grumbling. Ese wrapped her arms around his neck to console him but he flung her arms away angrily, leave me I beg! He shouted.

Barrister Otiotio continued.

Everything is in place now; we have Okiemute here hale and hearty. Jato! Send words to Rukewe in Enugu to execute plan A while we go to the police station with Okiemute now and file a formal statement. Oya guys lets go!

 

CAMPUS 3 IMT ENUGU

Rukewe, Sampson and Pastor came down from a Toyota Camry popularly called ‘pencil light’. Rukewe had parked the car close to the Bus stop Pavilion.

The trio dressed in uniform of red jeans, white T shirts and white berets, their eyes are covered with dark sun glasses and each lit up a stick of cigarette and started walking towards Nkutu-ume. The school’s joint.

Their appearance caught the attention of the other students going about their businesses on campus and pockets of people began to gather.  They moved from shop to shop looking for somebody. Many students ran away as they approached the shops while others cringed closer to the walls while hiding their faces.

The Egbesu trio were puffing out smoke from the cigarettes as they scanned the shops one after the other until they got to the shop where the Black Panther men were relaxing and discussing. Rukewe removed his glasses and looked at their faces very well.

Maxwell stood up abruptly. Na wetin dey happen here? Na who una be? He asked

Hey you! Pastor called. You no go sit down there now or you want winch to chop you? You dey craze? Why you dey show your self any how?

Sit down Max! Danladi advised. Sit down! Maxwell sat down.

Rekewe went to meet Danladi, he pulled an empty plastic chair closer and sat on it facing Danladi. Pastor and Sampson stood as sentries with legs spread apart and arms folded across their shoulders smoking. By now pockets of students had gathered at different angles watching the drama unfolding.

Rukewe picked up a pack of Benson and Hedges from the table in front of Danladi and brought out a stick from it. He removed a fire lighter from his breast pocket and lit the cigarette. Took a long drag on it and puffed the smoke in the face of Danladi.

Maxwell could not stomach the humiliation to his Boss as he charged towards Rukewe. Something intercepted and hit him hard on the fore head and he fell to the ground on his buttocks. He looked up and saw Sampson standing between him and Rukewe. Rukewe had not moved an inch. Maxwell got up again and charged towards Sampson but received another head butt that sent him down on his buttocks again.

Stay down Max! Danladi said. Don’t allow him to hit you a third time please. Danladi also remained seated as he pulled out a stick from the packet of Benson and Hedges also; he removed a stick, lit it and inhaled deeply before exhaling the smoke in the face of Rukewe.

Maxwell got up again and rushed towards Sampson with a right kick. Sampson swerved to the left side and allowed Maxwell’s foot to hit the ground before sending a flying head but to Maxwell’s face. Maxwell screamed as he went down on his buttocks for the third time.

My eyes! My eyes! He screamed as he crawled on all fours on the ground. His forehead had punctured and blood was dripping over his face.

“Wetin dey worry this your man”? Rukewe asked Danladi.

There were creams from the crowd. Pastor had not moved from his position. He was looking around the school environment from his standing position. Sampson picked up his Beret and his glasses from the ground and wore them then he went back to his sentry position while Max sat on his buttocks cleaning the blood from his face. Paschal the man ‘o’ war was starring at the trio with awe while the other Panthers sat in silence staring at Maxwell the hardest of them all.

Rukewe brought out his phone and showed to Danladi.

That’s my man! Rukewe said. Where is he?

Egbe! Danladi called. He is now a born again Christian! Danladi said.

I know! That’s why i need to see him; they need him in heaven right away! Rukewe said.

But you can’t hit a servant of God nah! Danladi pleaded. Meanwhile he is no longer number one, he had been dethroned.

I know! Stanley is number one now! Rukewe said. He is also on my list.

Well, he is always preaching at the bus stop there these days! Danladi said.

 

At that moment, Stanley, his ground lord, Emeka the number two and four other members of the Hawks confraternity ran into the Nkutu-ume arena with portable Axes. They have come to see what was happening in their school. They are the Hawks and they rule the campus so who could be pulling stunts in their school?

Who them be? Where them dey? The Hawks were asking aloud, brandishing their number 7.

Amici! Pastor shouted as he saw them from his standing position

Amici! Rukewe shouted as he jumped to his feet and joined Pastor

Amici! Sampson shouted as each of the trio picked up a bottle of coca cola and started marching towards Stanley and his men.

Stanley and his crew spread out as they saw the trio advancing dangerously with bottles in their hands. Danladi and his men got up and pulled Maxwell up and outside the Arena to a safe distance. There were screams everywhere as the school was witnessing an epic event.

Amici! Amici! Amici! The Egbesu boys were chanting as they charged towards the seven Hawks men.

There was no time or room for negotiation as the two group clashed. The Hawks men cut the Egbesu boys randomly with their Axes but nothing happened. The Egbesu kept chanting and fighting.

Emeka looked at the blade of his Axe after cutting Pastor severally when Pastor held on to his neck punching him in the stomach. He wanted to be sure that the blade was not blunt. It was that moment that Pastor hit him hard with the bottom of the coca cola bottle oh his head.

At this point that the music changed.

Igbokigbo! Igbikigbo! The Egbesu boys started to chant and jumped about, the whole school went on rampage with students running about screaming and girls crying while some bold ones were taking pictures and videoing the scene.

The bottle of coca cola which Pastor rang on Emeka’s head opened the head yet the bottle did not break. Emeka screamed as the Axe in his hands fell off. Pastor hit him hard across the face with the bottom of the bottle pulling off the whole front teeth, Emeka slumped. Pastor picked up the Axe that fell from Emeka and gave two quick blows to Emeka’s neck. A vain was cut and blood gushed out like from a slaughtered Christmas goat. Sampson was wrestling with another Hawk’s man, he gave him a head butt and the man fell on his buttocks but before he could stand up, Pastor was on him with the Axe chopping off his head. Rukewe was busy stabbing a Hawks man in the stomach when the sound of a gun went off. Stanley’s bull dog had barked. The bullets tore Rukewe’s T shirt. Rukewe turned around and the Bull dog barked again, Rukewe staggered back wards and dabbed off smoke from his shirt, he bent down and pulled out a pistol from his boot and fired at Stanley on the leg. Stanley screamed and fell down. He got up but fell again; Rukewe went closer and fired the other leg. Stanley screamed and fired at Rukewe three more times, he fired at Pastor and Sampson but the bullets did not harm them, the Egbesu boys were chanting Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo!

The remaining two Hawks men that were not lying on the ground fled limping with deep cuts. Stanley was left on the ground writing in pain. The Egbesu men picked up their Berets and wore their sun shades then they faced each other and started cutting with knife and bottles still chanting the Igbokigbo. Rukewe shot at Sampson with the gun, Sampson dabbed the smoke away and collected the gun from Rukewe to shoot at Pastor, Pastor vibrated and jumped higher chanting before collecting the gun to shoot at Rukewe, the school went agog, and students were hailing them shouting Igbokigbo.

The Trio marched back to the Car they had come with and zoomed off. The Car had no number plates.

 

Egbe had just arrived at the bus stop for his daily preaching when the clash happened. He witnessed what happened to his men but could not decipher where the men on white and red came from. He had hidden his face and kept his distance but from what he gathered from the students that witnessed everything from the beginning, the men in red and white are mercenaries imported by the Black Panthers. They had a meeting with the Panthers before attacking the Hawks.

 

 

Posted in Prose, Stories

RUGGED KUMALO- Chapter 6

KUMALO COVER

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

NKUTU- UME CAMPUS 3

 

GUYS! Yawa don gas o! Stanley was addressing his Hench men. They are seated inside a Shop smoking cigarettes. The mood was pensive. It is still like a dream to me! It was like those guys were expecting us! We went to the hospital reception together and I pretended like I was a patient while Vicious and Dagger went to the receptionist to ask for Kumalo’s ward. The lady directed them to the room and while they were on their way, she quickly picked the phone and made a call. Before you knew it, four plain clothes police men brandishing pistols stormed the reception hall and the lady pointed towards the corridor that our men took. They said we are Egbesu Boys or something and they have been expecting them. They did not even allow the boys to talk as they started beating and Mal handling them. They took the boys upstairs to Kumalo’s room to ask if he knew them, but of course he wouldn’t know them, it will only confirm his fear that we are not done with him yet!

Stanley threw away a cigarette stud and lit another one. So they brought our boys back in hand cuffs kicking them out of the hospital into a stand by police Van! Stanley summarized.

And all this while you were there our men did not implicate you?  Emeka the number for man asked.

No! They did not even look at my face and I am grateful for that! Stanley said. Thank God that they did not implicate me because I had my bulldog with me!

Haba Stan! Emeka exclaimed. Old boy! Hell would have been let loose o!

So what do we do now?

Naturally they would be taken to the station for interrogation. If they are not released after twenty four hours, it means there is serious trouble which may lead to a court case! Stanley explained. None of us can go there to see them except an elderly person that can pass for their guardian or parent.

Then let us contact Mr Alozie, the HOD of statistics department. He is an XY. He can go there as a guardian to one of them. Emeka further suggested.

He is actually related to Dagger for real. He initiated Dagger himself during one of the end of year parties we held in his house three years ago. Stanley explained.

You mean am? Emeka asked.

Then that settles it! Another Hench man offered. Let’s go and tell him what has happened before things get out of hand. But Guy you get luck o! If to say those guys nab you with your dog ehn?

I know! No remind me again I beg! Stanley snapped. Meanwhile who don see Egbe?

Ol boy, no body don see that guy o! its like he dey dodge us. Emeka said.

Leave am! If I catch am eh? I go kpai am myself! He cause kasala keep for ground, he come disappear! Stanley said.

 

CAMPUS 3 BUS PARK

The park is busy with students boarding and alighting from shuttle buses and taxi cabs. The bus conductors are shouting the names of their destinations to attract passengers.

Abakpa! Abakpa!

Obiagwu! Obiagwu!

New haven! New Haven!

Campus 2! Campus2!

The list is endless, as most of the students live off campus. Students rush into the buses going along their way while some are still waiting for their destination to be called, others are waiting for the school bus to arrive, having bought two way tickets from Campus 2.

Former Lord Egbe alights from inside a shuttle bus with a big size Bible in one hand and a white handkerchief in another hand, he chose a vantage spot opposite the bust stop pavilion and he began to preach.

Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand! The soul that sinneth, shall die! He shouted.

“The bible says and I quote ‘come to me all ye that labour and are heavy laddened  and I will give you rest”!

“What does it profit a man to gain the world and loose his own soul in hell? I was formally in the world but now I am saved! Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was blind but now I see! Was weak but now I am strong! Glory to Lord God almighty! Glory halleluiah”!

He preached on while the students listened, those that knew him came together to gossip, making faces and gesticulating frantically. They did not know what to believe because two months ago when the revered Reverend Father Mbaka had come to the schools mini stadium to preach on cult renunciation and many students had come out to denounce cultism, Egbe was not one of them, in fact some hawks men would have gone out to confess their sins and repent on that day but for the fear of Egbe and Stanley that were present at the sermon. If either of the duo had gone out, many cultist would have gone out too because in the real sense of the word, most cultist are living in bondage.

They have no real freedom, they are living in fear of their own lords who are very dangerous, they are perpetually indebted to the cult because they pay semester dues and so many unexpected dues that keeps them perpetually broke, they live in fear of other cultist, they live in fear of the man ‘o’ war, they live in fear of the school authority and they live in fear of the police.

When ever there is an emergency on campus and the Police and Army joint tax force patrol team storms the school, all hard men are afraid, afraid of the unknown, they take cover when no one is looking for them, fear of the unknown.

The Buccaneers run for cover, the Axe men scamper, the Burkinafasso change their positions, the Juris men vanish like smoke, the Vikings regulates, the Blood brothers diffuse into thin air, the Campus pirates turn to chameleons, the Eiye boys fly away, the Ku Klux Klan extinguish their flames, the Mafites turns under cover.  The sinner, they say, runs when no man chase him. When the JTF might have gone, they will then come out from their various cocoons to ask the so called Jew men questions. “Na wetin those police dey find sef? Na who dem carry? Dem arrest any one”?

The Jew men stayed but the hard men ran. When the tyre of a car accidentally bursts in the school premises, the Jew men turn to see what the matter is while the hard men run for cover, clear conscience fears no accusation!

Many of them are being expelled and jailed daily. Many of them are being lured into nefarious activities by the lords. Like Armed robbery, Political thugs and burglary. Many of them never bargained for what they eventually are faced with once they got themselves initiated, and there is no going back because of the oath of allegiance and secrecy taken. The only way out is death.

Some cultists have lost their hearing as a result of injury during the initiation, many have indelible scars on their bodies thus they cannot take off their clothes in public or in the presence of their relatives. Many have died and were buried at the initiation grounds and their parent still wonder when they would return from school. Many have been rusticated from school but cannot go back home so they loaf about in the city constituting nuisance to humanity. Many intelligent boys could not combine academic activities with cultism and because cultism takes preference in their school life they go down academically and ended up graduating with a pass or a third class result which is as good as useless in the country. Many have come to realize that cultism cannot help them in any way, rather it compounds their problems but it is too late to cry when the head is off. Many cultists would have repented for good and followed Christ on that day when Reverend Father Mbaka came to preach but they were afraid of what men like Egbe, Stanley, Danladi, Paschal and Maxwell would do to them.

And today Egbe stand in public and preached the gospel. The smoke from the gun he used to kill Jumbo is still swiveling in the air.

 

STATE CID INTERROGATION ROOM

 

Dagger and Vicious are cuffed together on their wrists and they sat side by side on the floor of the dimly lit room. Their bodies are stained with their blood. Their faces have been reshaped into something amoebic. Swollen lips and swollen eyes, their noses have doubled in size and on their heads are several lumps with blood stained cuts. They could not cry anymore, tears were no longer dropping from their eyes. They could only grunt and nod their heads.

You bloody criminals are being economical with the truth! Look! I will burn you again with this pressing Iron o! The interrogator, a man that looks just like Wesley Snipes except that he has a very conspicuous K leg. They say he had the K leg in the line of Duty. His right leg was broken into shreds by the bullets of some Militants that they had gone to arrest in the creeks of Degema. The leg was to be amputated at the National Orthopaedic Hospital but he had escaped from the hospital at night and ran to his Village at Omagwa Nike for a traditional treatment. The Herbalist did a good job on his leg.

Constable Ubani pulled out the hot Iron from the wall socket and threatened to burn the boys with it.

Oga please sir! Please sir! We have told you everything sir! Dagger managed to talk through his mouth and nose, the front of his mouth is devoid of teeth and every word came out like a whistle sound. Our former leader is the one that caused the whole problem; he lives at the railway quarters along Ogui road sir. I know his house. He was beaten by the boy in the hospital in a one on one fight and that was why we went to hit the boy and his brother, in fact it was him that shot and them.

Good! Good! Said the interrogator. What is his name?

We call him Egbe ‘the Kite’ sir! I don’t know his real name sir. But every one calls him Egbe and he is a final year accountancy student. Dagger whistled.

Can you guys see where you have landed your selves now? You are small boys of barely twenty years old. Your parent sent you to study and become important people in life but you chose to be criminals! You turned yourselves into murders and armed robbers in the name of cultism. You may not have committed any felony yet but being a member of a secret cult automatically makes you a wanted person any a’ persona non grata’ in public places! Your place is in the prisons! You will be charged to court for aiding and abating of a murder and an attempt to commit murder at the hospital. You will each get at least thirty years in jail with hard labour. By the time you are out of jail, civilization would have left you behind. All the so called Jew men on campus today that are your mates would be fathers and owners of businesses by then.

Chai! Oga please nah! Oga but you said that you would leave us if we cooperate nah! Oga we cooperated nah! Please sir! Dagger cried and pleaded while Vicious was shaking his head from side to side. He could not open his eyes or his mouth because they were swollen beyond their limits.

It is because of your cooperation that you will get thirty years nah! Constable Ubani said. Your sentence would have been fifty years!

Chai! Chai! Dagger whistled. Oga please nah! We won’t follow cultism again o! Please sir! Dagger begged

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA TEACHING HOSPITAL ENUGU

 

It is now a month and two weeks that Kumalo has been hospitalized and chained to the hospital bed. He wondered who must have been paying his hospital bills, he thought it could be the police if not why would they keep him under surveillance? Or could it be part of the hospital’s corporate social responsibilities? He is being rotated between different wards on a daily basis since after the visit of the Hawks men.

Kumalo knew he was no longer safe at the hospital, he had told detective Peter to take him to another hospital but he was told that the police can only use a teaching hospital because of its government affiliation but promised to ensure that security around the hospital is improved upon.

Kumalo does not trust the Police; he knew there could be Hawks men that are members of the police force. Kumalo started thinking. He was very sure now that his mother must be dead or down with a sickness that would not allow her to come and see him in Enugu. Detective Peter had lied to him  that his mother was doing well when he went for Jumbo’s burial, he had asked the detective the cause of the bandages he wore but he said he had an accident while he was in warri. He had asked Peter of those that buried his brother and Peter had said it is the community youth. He knew Peter was hiding something from him, he had attended so many funerals of the Egbesu members and he know how it is done so he expected so many questions from Peter but they were not forth coming.

How were you able to meet my People? Did you introduce your self to my people? Did you tell them about my where about? Kumalo had asked Peter.

No! I simply went to represent you there; I dressed like one of the youths so no one noticed me, and no! I did not introduce my self nor did I tell any one of your where about! Peter affirmed.

So what did they say about me? Kumalo asked.

Nothing much! Peter said. Please let’s talk of something else, how is your injury? Are you still feeling the stomach pains?

Was there a time they started chanting Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo? Kumalo asked.

Jeez! Peter screamed and ran out of the ward. Kumalo laughed out loud and had to suppress the laughter due to the pain in the stomach. He knew what Peter was hiding.

Kumalo had noticed over time that only one police personnel is detailed to the hospital on Sundays. He had also noticed that the guard resumes after 12.00PM and closes at 10.00PM. He had planned his escape to be on a Sunday so on Saturday evening he had dodged a mini surgical scissors from the tray the nurse brought to dress his wound. He had raised the bed sheet and dug the scissors into the mattress.

At 12 midnight on Sunday, the hospital was quiet as those that could sleep were asleep already. The maternity ward never sleeps. There is always a woman in labour. Kumalo has heard a lot of nonsense said by women in labour shouting on top of their voices. Some had made him laugh while some had mage him sober. Some women pray for God’s assistance during the labour crisis while others rain curses upon the man that put them in that condition and his family members.

Kumalo pulled out the mini scissors and used the pointed edge to uncouple the cuffs on his leg. The cuff gave way and fell to the ground, it made a noise and Kumalo quickly lay back down and pretended to be asleep. When no one entered the ward after five minutes, he knew no one was on guard.

Kumalo indeed used to have his own set of hand cuffs when he was still in the kidnapping game at Warri. He got up and limped to the door, he opened it and saw a deserted corridor so he stepped out; he had a cramp on his legs so he went back into the ward and stamped his feet severally on the ground.

The corridor was deserted as he stepped out again but he could here voices at the far end where the receptionists are, and that is the only exit route. Instead of going forward he turned backwards and started opening the doors of other wards. He opened a door that a patient was fast asleep; he saw some clothes folded on a table close to the bed side of the patient so he tip toed in and closed the door.

He pulled off his hospital clothes and wore the blue jeans trousers and while T shirt on the table. There was something in the pocket of the jeans, he brought out a thick wallet and in it is minty wad of one thousand naira notes. His heart beat skipped. He made a quick sign of the cross as he pockets the wallet; there was a belt in the trouser so he buckled it up even though the waist of the owner is bigger than his by five inches, the belt helped.

He heard foot steps on the corridor and sounds of doors being opened and closed. The sound got closer, a nurse was going round! He thought. The nurse must have opened his door and seen an empty bed. He knew an alarmed would be raised at any moment so he quickly opened the door and jumped outside.

This young man! Where were you? The nurse asked as he came out of a room and saw Okiemute on the corridor.

Okiemute squatted down and started crawling on all fours. The nurse was shocked.

Young man! Stand up! Are you okay? He went to lift Okiemute up. Kumalo allowed the man to pull him up quietly and when he was upright, he took a cursory look at the man’s face smiling as he did so, then he took a quick step backwards.

You must be Goliath! Kumalo said, pointing at the nurse. Can I snap a photograph with you? He asked the perplexed nurse still smiling.

The man took some steps away from Kumalo while Kumalo took same number of steps forward calling

Goliath! Goliath!

When they got to Kumalo’s ward, the Nurse opened the door and pointed inside. Kumalo slowly walked inside smiling and jabbing in the air

David kills Golaith! Goliath kills David! Kumalo was saying as he moved slowly towards the bed. The nurse followed him into the room and closed the door; he dropped his tray on a table and brought out a syringe and needle. He fixed the needle on the syringe while Kumalo climbed on the bed and squatted facing the nurse and smiling. The nurse inserted the needle into a medicine bottle and extracted its contents, his back was turned to Kumalo but as he turned to face Kumalo it was too late.

Kumalo sprang into the air from his squatted position on the bed; the spring in the mattress helped him to spring up into the air. The nurse saw him mid aid and opened his mouth to scream but the sound was muffled by the blow to the side of his head close to his eyes. He was knocked out cold and he slumped to the floor. Kumalo quickly retrieved the injection that fell on the floor and injected the nurse on the neck. He pulled off the nurse’s shoes and wore them. It fitted. He opened the door and ran through the corridor and out of the hospital.

The receptionist saw someone run past but was too preoccupied attending to patients on emergency that just came into the hospital that night.

Kumalo kept jogging until he got to Okpara Avenue before stopping to catch his breath; he pulled up the T shirt to see if he was bleeding. The bandage was stained with blood but not flowing heavily. It must have been due to the way he constricted himself mid air to deal the nurse that deadly blow that silenced him. The nurse would not recover in a hurry; it depends on how long the sedative he had prepared for Kumalo would last.

He brought out the wallet in his pocket and counted fifty four crispy one thousand naira notes. He searched further and brought out the Identity and business card of the states commissioner for police. Phew! He blew. From frying pan to fire! He exclaimed. He needs to be in Warri fast! He needs to see his mother. Either she is dead or alive.

Posted in Burning Platform, Poems, POLITICS, Prose, Stories

MY COUNTRY MY HONOUR

 

 

To Maiduguri we were drafted

Sixty six of us with shaven heads

After six gruesome months in Zaria

We were caged in the land of no return

It was there we went through metamorphosis

 

In six 911 Mercedes military Trucks

We were sent to six different Battalions

To defend the six Geopolitical regions

And prevent us from splitting into six pieces

Our job was to keep the peace

 

I went to hell and I survived

I see, I saw and I conquered

For not all that went to the hell I went

That returned to tell the story

Of how we were dehumanized to attain glory

 

I was trained to maim and annihilate

With the bare hands I could strangulate

To endure the pain with eyes on the gain

All for the honour and glory of my mother land

Nigeria we hail thee, our home and mother land

 

As I clutched my Riffle beneath my chin

Waiting to kill or to be killed in the jungle

Flashed of home disturbs my concentration

My mother awaits my return from the Depot

My siblings await to see their hero

 

My Casandra who expects to see me every tomorrow

And my friends who wait albeit in sorrow

My inherited lands for too long have fallowed

Loved ones pray and fast and God they hallowed

That someday they will see me home when peace will follow

 

But today I am far away from home

Far from the love and care of my own

In the forest of Sambisa we have made home

Our quest is to make Nigeria a home

 

Ratata! Ratata! Infantry Guns barking

Kabum! Kabum! The sound of the Artillery

Flying shrapnel, writhing bodies, smoking nozzles

Screaming Soldiers, screaming Rebels, the race for life!

AlahAkba! Sweet Jesus! We called before we died

 

A man who believed in a cause

A cause sworn to uphold

To lay his life for his father land

And he turned his back against all he hold dear

For a Soldier is duty bound to serve his country

 

So I as lay wrapped up in bandages

My legs gone from the exploded mines

I remember my Colleagues

I see their faces as they screamed

I see as they ran and fell to the Enemy

 

I see as enemies tie them up and slit their throats

Blood and water oozing as life takes leave of them

I see them being charred like goats

And the tears poured down my eyes

And I weep for my fallen Compatriots

 

Family and friends we will see no more

Dreams and aspirations were cut short

Because we swore to serve and defend

When will this madness stop?

How can this house stand?

When siblings lift up arms against each other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama, Literature, Prose, Stories

ASUNDER!

ACT 3 SCENE 1

Family meeting at Ogiri’s house, Ogiri’s Uncle and the Wife are present. Tombra’s Father a.k.a Old Soja and his Wife are also present. They are all dressed in traditional Kalabari attires save for Ogiri that is putting on a Jean trouser and Polo Shirt. Hot drinks have been served everywhere on the table, male and female all have a bottle and a glass of spirit, brandy and whisky, anytime Old Soja sips from his glass, he gaggles noisily before swallowing with squeezed face.

Ogiri: One again, I welcome you all to our house! This is our house because we are all one family!

Old Soja: (Cuts in) Na today? E don tey ! (Pours himself some drink and drinks up, he gaggles and squeezes his face as he swallows) Ahgh! This ogogoro na correct o! Go on! Go on my Son! I dey with you!

Tombra’s Mother: Papa Tombra! Why you dey like to fall you self hand like this nah?

Old Soja: Wetin I do nah!

Ogiri: (Cuts in) Thank you sir! As I was saying, I have a problem with Tombra, I have been trying to settle it on my own for sometime now to no avail. As you all are aware, I have been out of job for sometime now, I am still not able to secure one as I speak but..(Old Soja Interrupts)

Old Soja: go straight to the point! wetin be the problem? Why you summon us come here from the Village? Tell us! Abi! (Looks at his wife for support)  Mama Tombra no be so? (He gulps some whisky and gaggles noisily, squeezing his face as he swallows:  his wife cuts in)

Mama Tombra: (Angrily) Papa Tombra! Na wetin dey worry you? Na only you dey here? You no get shame? If you no get shame, me I get o! You dey embarrass me I beg!

Old Soja: (Surprised and with more drink still in his mouth, he tries to speak thereby spilling the content of his mouth on his dress, he wipes his mouth with his hands, searches his pocket and brings out a white handkerchief to wipe his mouth and his dress) you dey craze? Ehn Mama Tombra? Why you dey shout for me like that? I be your mate? Na your mouth I dey take talk? Na your mouth I dey take drink? Abi na your belle I dey drink am put? See as you don make me to waste this foreign Ogogoro now! (Points at his stained dress)

Mama Tombra: Why you dey drink like animal? (Mimics how Old Soja gaggles his drink) you think say na Village you dey with your drunkard friends? You no see our in-laws here? Why you too dey like to fall hand sef?

Old Soja: (Exclaims) Tamuno eh! Why I go shame for my in-laws? Dem be strangers? If to say you sabi the worth of the Ogogoro wey I dey drink so, you go understand why I dey drink am with impact! (Emphasises the word ‘Impact’)

Mama Tombra: Impact? Wetin dey bring that one now?

Old Soja: Yes! (Stands up, sways to and fro, obviously tipsy) yes Impact! Push me, I push you! If you sabi wetin this Ogogoro dey do me as e enter my body, then you go understand why I dey charge like that! Before I swallow am, I need to shake am well- well for my mouth so that the drink go don confuse before e enter my belle! If you think say I dey lie, drink am nah! This one wey una dey drink so na woman ogogoro, na only twelve percent alcohol e get! This one wey I dey drink get forty five percent! We be mate? Oya take small from my own drink! (he lifts up his bottle and approaches the Wife, picks up her glass and empties the content in his mouth without ‘impact’ then he pours some drink from his bottle into his wife’s glass and hands the glass back to her) Oya drink am if you strong! Drink it and see Impact! (Mama Tombra drinks from the glass and swallows, she attempts to take another sips but suddenly clutches her chest)

Mama Tombra: (Screams) Fire! Fire! Water! Water! I don die o! (She runs into the room coughing as husband jumps about excited)

Old Soja: (Pointing at her direction) Impact! Impact! You see what I mean? (Asks the others) That is the ‘Impact’! (He continues to laugh as Ogiri’s Uncle looks at him with scorn shaking his head sadly with disapproval, Tombra notices this)

Tombra: Papa! Sit down! When you go back to the village, you can continue with your drama!

(Old Soja apologizes and sits down stifling laughter by covering his mouth)

Old Soja: (Jumps up swaying to and fro) ehen! Where were we? He drinks some more whisky and gaggles again)Ahgh!(Shakes his head vigorously, shuts his eyes tight and opens them very wide, he shakes his head again and close and opens his eyes) Yes! We are good to go! Go on my Boy!  Did you say you now have a job! That is good! Very good!

Ogiri: (Cuts in) No sir! I am yet to get a job! The problem why I called you here is that my Wife has been so uncooperative since I lost my Job. Even after loosing my job, I still carried the family with my savings. Now the Kids are going back to school and I begged my Wife to help in paying their School fees but she declined! She swore she will not pay their fees! (Mama Tombra walks back into the forum with a hand kerchief cleaning her eyes with her mouth wide open; she goes to sit down while Old Soja begins to mock her) Mama Sorry o! Hope you are better now? (Mama nods her head) My wife has a thriving business, I am out of Job! And she refuses to help out at a time like this! I have called this family because I do not want to take some actions that I would later regret! I can take some drastic action! (Old Soja interrupts)

Old Soja: (Flares up, stands up swaying) Drastic what? Hic, you be Obasanjo? Hic, what drastic actions can a jobless man take other that to go and get a job sharp! Sharp! Hic. (He grabs his bottle to pour some drink but the Wife rushes and collects the bottle from him, there is a struggle and he let go of the bottle) ehen! Mr. Drastic! Hic, you say wetin? (Staggers to and fro)

Tombra: Papa! E do! Sit down! (He sits down)

Mama Tombra: (To Ogiri) My brother! No vex I beg! This drink you gave my husband is too strong for him nah! The alcohol is 45 percent!

Tombra: it is Old Soja that choose the drink himself o! Nobody gave it to him; he went to the shelf himself and selected that particular brand.

Old Soja: (Stands up swaying) hic, all these other ones na woman drink! Hic, na dat one be the correct drink! Hic. I remember when I was in 103 Battalion! Hic, dem sabi me for the mammy Market! Those days we dey drink raw Ogogoro from fire! We dey, hic.

Tombra: Papa! (Old Soja sits down)

Uncle Joe: (Stands up and clears his throat) my in-laws, una welcome once again! Please what we are here for today is a serious issue and I think we should tackle it seriously.

Old Soja: (Jumps up staggering) tackle? Who are you? (Points at Uncle Joe) are you Austin Eguavon? You want to tackle me seriously? I will shoot you seriously! Hic, in fact I don’t need to waste my bullet on a bloody civilian like you! I will flog you, flog your Wife and wait for your Children! Are you mad? When I was in the Army, during the civil war, a man tried to tackle me at, hic, Umunede, we were advancing towards Onitsha then, hic, and I killed him with only one bullet!

Uncle Joe: My wife Tombra, I think you should calm your father down, it seems he listens to you alone. What kind of attitude is he displaying here? In fact I am highly disappointed to say the least!

Old Soja: (Flares up) hic, you are mad! You are a, hic, goat! Are you feeding me? You say I disappoint you! Who the hell are you? (Advances dangerously towards Uncle Joe but is restrained by Tombra) Are you the one that bought the Ogogoro? You People want to cage my Daughter! Lazy family all of you! (Points and staggers towards Ogiri) you! Hic, you are a jealous fellow! Hic. My Daughter is drastically building me a duplex in the village! Hic.

Tombra: Papa!

Old Soja: yes! That is why he is jealous! Hic. What do you have here? (Looks the sitting room over) a common Bungalow! Hic. My daughter is building something twice this Bungalow! That is why you want her money! You want her to start paying School fees! From there she will start buying clothes for you and your family! See dem! See dem! See their heads like Coconuts! You people are not ashamed of your selves. Hic. You want to turn my Daughter to a man!

Ogiri: Oh Tombra! So you are building a hose with out my knowledge? Is that why you couldn’t assist to pay your Kid’s fees? Is the house more important than the future of our Children? I can’t believe this! That means you have been a pretender all this while! And you go to Church regularly o! Even house fellowships you do not miss! So you are building a house behind my back?

Old Soja: Yes it is remaining roofing! Hic. And you want her to use the money to pay School fees? When we have already fixed a date for the house warming ceremony? Hic. Old boy no body can stop that ceremony o! Hic. Mama Tombra! Where is my drink? He goes for Uncle Joe’s drink and gulps down the content of the glass cup that was half filled. (Faces Uncle Joe) bloody Civilian! Who are you to drink when I am not drinking? Coconut head! All of una for this una family, una heads be like Coconut! (Points at Uncle Joes head, then Mama Joes head and then Ogiri’s head) Family of Coconut! (He gulps down the content of Mama Joe’s glass too, Uncle Joe wants to intervene but is stopped by Ogiri) wetin you want to do? You wan fight me? (He staggers to his seat)

 

Mama Tombra:  (To Ogiri) my Brother, I beg you in the name of God (She kneels down) I am at a loss here, kindly ignore Papa Tombra’s attitude and utterances; he is drunk as you can see! He was not like this until lately when Tombra started sending money home for the building Project. Are you not aware that Tombra is building a House for us in the Village?

Ogiri: (Shakes his head and pulls her up) no ma! I am just hearing of it today!

MamaTombra: yee! (Faces Tombra) Tombra eh! Tombra is it true? Your husband is not aware of the house you are building?

Tombra: (Shrugs indifferently) it is my money! I can do what ever pleases me with it!

Mama Tombra: You are building a duplex for us in the Village, yet you cannot assist your husband in paying your Children’s School fees! I am not a party to this! I will not step my foot into that house unless you change your ways and start supporting your husband!

Tombra: They are his Children! They bear his name!

Mama Tombra: what about you? Don’t you bear his name? Are you no longer his wife?

Old Soja rushes from his sitting position to the centre of the sitting room and begins to vomit. There is pandemonium in the house.

 

Exit

 

 

 

 

 

ACT 4 SCENE 1

(Ogiri’s sitting room, the two Kids are busy at the dinning table with their home works. Ogiri enters)

Joshua: Daddy welcome! Good evening!

Ogiri: Good evening Josh! How are you?

Daniella; (Comes to hug Daddy) welcome Daddy!

Ogiri: How are you my pretty Angel? Where is your Mother?

Joshua: She has gone to Church for fellowship! Daddy, they say we should not come to School tomorrow!

Ogiri: why? Because of your School fees abi?

Daniella: Yes Daddy! We were called out today at the assembly ground for non payment of School fees! It was so embarrassing!

Ogiri: did you tell your Mother?

Joshua: mummy came to pick us from School and our Bursar saw her and told her personally.

Ogiri: and what did she say?

Daniella: she said we should tell you! She said you have the money to pay our fees but you do not want to pay it.

Ogiri: My God! Is that what she said?

Joshua: yes Daddy! We reminded her that you are jobless but she threatened to slap any one of us that says so again!

Ogiri: how much is the total fees?

Joshua: mine is seventy two thousand naira and Danny’s own is sixty four thousand naira. The total is em, em, one hundred and thirty six thousand naira!

Ogiri: Okay! I will give you the money tomorrow, but don’t tell your mother about it yet!

Daniella: Daddy but you said you do not have money! So mummy was right after all?

Ogiri: I can raise the money for your fees my dear, but after paying the fees, things will get worse for us, especially me!

Daniella: how daddy?

Ogiri: I will become penniless! I will have no dime left to feed on! I am sure your mother will not allow you Guys to go hungry, but for me, the Lord is my Shepherd!

Joshua: but Daddy, why is mummy behaving like this to you? Was it not you that opened the Shop for her when I was ten years old? I remember nah!

Daniella: mummy must be wicked!

Ogiri: no! No Danny! Do not say that about your mother, she is only going through a process called metamorphosis! When jungle mature, who no know go know!

Joshua: Mummy has a lot of money Daddy! Every day at the Shop she counts a lot of money! Why can’t she help you out?

Ogiri: my Son, women are like Children, give a Child a piece of Cake and try to collect part or all of it, you will see drama!

Daniella: ahan! How will you give a Kid cake and you want to collect it back! Is it fair?

Ogiri: good! Joshua, you heard your Sister abi?

Joshua: yes sir!

Ogiri: that is a woman for you! Don’t you know that the Person that gave you Cake and wants to collect part or all of it has a good reason for doing so? Well, no wahala! (Walks towards the room and looks at the lights) this light! Is it NEPA or Generator?

Joshua: it is generator sir!

Ogiri: ha! Why not wait until seven o’clock before putting it on?

Joshua: we need it to do our assignments and home works!

Ogiri: you can still do your home work at night nah! It is just past four o’clock and you have already put on the generator! Do we still have fuel in the fifty litre jerry can?

Daniella: Joshua poured the last one into the Gen!

Ogiri: hmm, you Children don’t know what you are up against! Look! I don’t have money, I am broke! After paying this School fees of your, I will be left on nothing! I will become a beggar until I get a job. You Children are used to a life of surplus but my dear, levels don change o! Your mother that I know would rather buy fuel for her Generator at the Shop instead of the one at home. Go and put off that Gen until night!

(Joshua reluctantly leaves the room grumbling)

Daniella: daddy, did you buy anything for me?

Ogiri: how? Anything from where nah? Did I go to work? Don’t you understand all that I have been going through in this house? I am a jobless man! I am getting desperate now! (Storms out of the house, Daniella feels embarrassed and begins to sob as she enters the room)

 

Fade

bookcoverimage-asunder

Posted in Prose, Stories

RUGGED KUMALO

WARRI –EFURUN TOWN

Pandemonium as machetes wielding youths with fresh palm leaves tied around their heads and waist took over the streets linking to the residence of Kumalo.  They all wore black trousers and white singlet. Car owners and drivers had to abandon their cars and flee to avoid molestation from the rampaging irate youths.

There was tight traffic jam on the street as they conveyed the corpse of Jumbo home for burial. The Egbesu Cult members have the sole responsibility of burying their fellow initiate. While smoking Indian hemp and drinking different colours of ogogoro in different shades of bottles, with blood shot eyes were visibly saddened and angry at the death of a very young member. Every shop on Otiotio Street was closed for safety while non initiates stood by the road side to watch the procession. They were singing and chanting war slogans as they marched on with the casket on the shoulder of six able bodied youth wearing only trousers.

 

Detective Peter was in their midst dressed to match. He also has a red Papas cap on and a bottle of ogogoro and

Machetes in his hands. He had followed the corpse from Enugu, though in his private Car. He had driven after the Bus that came brought Jumbos family members from Warri to carry the Corpse from UNTH Enugu. He had gotten to the local mortuary where the body was deposited before going into town to lodge at the ‘blue waters’ hotel. He came around Kumalo’s night in the night to attend the wake keeping and from there he4 had gotten the whole information he needed about the Akporjotor’s family.  Their men do not live long due to their affinity with the Egbesu cult. They have always died accidentally by the bullet. Though they are noted for their brevity and ruggedness. Kumalo had wanted to break that jinx and make a difference in his own generation that is why he decided to leave this vicinity to Enugu where he can live and graduate peacefully with his brother. Peter also learnt that Kumalo’s mother is hypertensive and lives on daily drugs to stabilize her BP.

Detective Peter was among the group today mimicking the songs they sang and dancing to the rhythm with them also. He had joined them at the Morgue when the Cultist came to carry the Corpse and had followed them thus far. The corpse was laid in state on a platform at the center of the Akporjotor’s compound and the youth danced around it pouring libations and chanting amidst gun shots in the air.

The head of the group later came to the center of the circle and signalled for attention.

Area! He called

Hey! They chorused

Area! He called louder

Hey! They chorused

Area!! He screamed and vibrated.

Hey! The chorus.

Men! Egbe don gas o! He addressed the group. Yawa don gas! Na which day we bury Oga Akporjotor the rainbow shoe here? He asked no body in particular.

Now we don come to bury him Pikin again! Na who dey do this family nah? He asked no one in particular while there were remarks here and there.

See small Jumbo Akporjotor wey just enter school yesterday here! See as dem just burst him head like coconut! Wetin he do dem?

Nothing o! Nothing! The crowd chorused.

Someone in the crowd started a song.

Na wetin he do dem?

He no do dem nothing o! The chorus

Na wetin he do dem?

He no do dem nothing o! The chorus.

Ha! This one! This one! Gentle man no dey o!

This one! This one! Gentle man no dey! The chorus.

The crowd went into another frenzied singing and jumping mode until the leader beckoned for attention again.

The crowd mellowed and in unison started to chant

We no go gree! We no go gree!

Make una wait! Make una wait! He calmed them down.

Madam Akporjotor get only two pikins! Okiemute and Jumbo! Papa Akpors don follow warri crisis waka! Now the only two children wey de give the woman hope, winch don chop one of dem! Jumbo don kpai and Okiemute de form missing in action!

We go bury Jumbo! Yes we go bury am because na we brother. After the burial, we go storm Enugu! We go storm that town to go look for Okiemute aka Kumalo. If Kumalo don Kpai also, we go find the dead body and carry am come home come bury before we know how to take revenge. Egbesu no be small children runs! We no be campus confra! We be correct witches and wizards here! No be every bird dem de chop!

Dem no de chop Vulture nah!  Wey dem? Dem de mad? Someone screamed from the crowd.

This Enugu People don chop Vulture o! He continued.dem go feel us! We go burn down that School! We be Egbesu! We be Winch! We be dead body!

This one! This one! Gentle man no dey o! This one this one gentle man no dey o! He started the song all over while the crowd started charging and cursing.

The leader suddenly stood transfixed, he stood on his toes and spun around, he spun around three times before he changed the tone of the song.

Igbokigbo! He chanted

Hey! The chorus

 Igbokigbo! He chanted

Hey! The chorus

He started chanting and jumping and the crowd went agog as they started cutting one another with their matchetes. The matches were just like mere canes on them as no one was cut.

Igbokigo! Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo! The crowd kept chanting and gyrating. Detective Peter was most unfortunate to be within the crowd at that moment as he received several machete cuts all over his body and his hands as he tried to block off the machete swipe while making his escape route out of the crowd. His head was spared because none of them tried to cut another on the head.

Peter boarded a bike and headed straight to Saint Philemon’s Hospital along PTI road and he was admitted immediately after he flashed his badge. He came back after two days at the hospital to find out that Kumalo’s mother had died of heart attack when Jumbos body was being interred. She was taken to the mortuary where her son’s body was kept while a contingent of ten members of the egbesu cult had left for Enugu to look for Kumalo.

 

 

STATE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT HQ

ENUGU

Detectives Peter and Sandra were in the office of former ASP now SP Sunday Onche. He finally got his promotion after proving to the Police that he is mentally stable and physically competent to carry on with the police job for his mates have been Superintendants three years before now, he was in a good spirit and resplendent in his new uniform of blue and black. He also has an office to himself now.

Peter had narrated what went down at Warri to the SP and briefed him of the imminent danger facing the city by the entrance of ten members of the dreaded Egbesu cult.

Oga! Those guys were cutting and shooting at one another and nothing happened! They were just chanting Igbokigbo! Igbokigbo, and jumping about. It was like an evil spirit entered them all, sir! I was lucky o! I was not expecting the turn of events at all else i would not be in their midst at that time! Peter explained: what if they had shot at me thinking i was one of them?

Then you would have been dead meat boy! SP said: you are an undercover cop and in your line of duty, anything can happen. But thank God you are safe and healthy!

Oga! I am safe but not healthy! My back is gone! My shoulders are finished! The cuts are very deep! Each cut was stitched twelve times. If not that I  am a police officer, I would have been rejected at the hospital. Peter explained.

Which means you could have bled to death? SP asked.

Oga! You are not even feeling sorry for me! Peter challenged.

No sir! Sorry for what? That’s the job you have chosen as a career so you should accept whatever befalls you in good spirit! SP said. Meanwhile I have had my own fair share of misfortune in the line of duty.

Oga! You mean you have scars on your body as a result of the job too? Sandra asked.

Hmm! Peter! Have you guys ever wondered about the where about of my family? At least I should have a family at my age nah! Not so? He asked.

Of course your family is abroad nah! We all know that! Peter said.

SP shook his head sadly from side to side and stood up from his seat. He pockets his hands in his trousers side pockets as he paced about the room.

I was undercover at Akure eight years ago to burst a cartel farming and distributing Marijuana. I infiltrated the cartel and became one of them. The marijuana business in that part of the country was very organized. They had farms in the deepest part of the forest that people don’t venture into. It was another world in those farms. There are houses for the labourers and their families at the plantations. They are well paid and taken care of. The rules at the farms were very strict and must not be broken. The Barons were small gods! They were revered by the workers and these barons were so ruthless that they kill workers at will and bury them at the farm. The security network at the farms is likened to that of a maximum security prison.  We had such farms at Akure, Ifon and Owo communities. The Barons were high chiefs and traditional rulers in their respective climes. But I bust them after three years of working for them. I was as discreet as I could be or so I had thought. I succeeded. I was rewarded with a promotion and I was redeployed to Gusau in the north for another under cover job on smuggling between Nigeria and Niger boarders. Two months going at Gusau. I was invited to Lagos to be briefed that my wife, my four kids, my house help and my two Alsatian dogs were slaughtered over night. A note was pasted on the door of my house claiming that the attack was from Akure drug farms!

Jeez! Sandra screamed.

Peter was speechless, his jaw simply dropped.

So my guy! SP continued, that is the path we have chosen to follow. I was told I lost my mind and ran mad. I was hospitalized at the psychiatric hospital for two full years. I spent one year at rehabilitation before returning to the police three years ago. It’s been over six years now but I still look forward to waking from the night mare. How can I just loose my beautiful wife of fifteen years like that? My first son was in his third year at the Nigerian military school zaria, my second child was at Air force military school while the last two were at staff school UNILAG because my wife was a lecturer there!

I am so sorry sir! Jeez! My gawd! Ha Oga! May I sit down please? Peter asked.

Why? Sit down if you wish! SP said.

Peter and Sandra sat down and Sandra started to sob.

Sir! Your family was wiped out in the course of your job and you still remained on the job? Peter asked.

Yes! They are the only family I have left. The police took care of me when I was sick. I was given the best medical attention until I regained sanity. Even my family members and in-laws abandoned me for madness. The police alone did not desert me. My in-laws blamed me and my job for the death of their daughter and grand children. I had kept my family with my wife safe in Lagos while I was moving around with the job. I never knew that just when we think we are safest, we are actually most vulnerable!

 

It is six years altogether now, Sandra said; sir, do you have any plans to start a new family?

So that they will be wiped off again? SP snapped

Haba! Oga no nah! That was six years ago nah, you need to move on, Sandra persisted. You cannot say because you fell from a horse you would not climb the horse again nah!

My dear! Fall pass fall! You see this fall ehn? I am not going to re climb the Horse. SP said; enough about me now! Let’s get back to where we were. Where were we?

Sandra and Peter jumped up to their feet.

Peter! From what you have said, there is red alert in town now! Isn’t it? SP asked.

Yes sir! The Egbesu boys must be located and arrested before they reach Okiemute!

And how do you plan to achieve that? SP asked.

We have been to the Edo line motor park! Sandra continued; we found out that they had arrived town in two station wagon cars while a third car was driven by the one of them who we suspect to be the leader of the cult. They chartered two cabs to the IMT campus two. We went there and tried to look for clues but no head way yet.

We also went to Okiemute’s class to know his close friends, especially those from Delta state. We are keeping tab on three of them in case the Egbesu makes contact with any of them. Peter said.

Do the students know where Okiemute is at now? SP asked

That, I cannot be affirmative! But none of them have visited the hospital yet Sandra said.

Okay! Continue to nose around for clues. Meanwhile what about the boys that attacked Okiemute? Have you arrested them yet? SP asked

Not yet sir! Okiemute only knows the face of the one he fought with, he also gave us a name ‘Stanley’ as being called at the scene of the crime when he was pretending to be dead. His information cannot help us much for now but we will build on it. Peter said.

And you said the boy is not a cultist! SP said.

He claims he is not a campus cultist but acknowledges being a member of the Egbesu back home and I have confirmed that to be true. Peter said.

And which is worse? SP asked.

Ha! Oga!

SP started to laugh. I am joking boy! I know a lot about the Egbesu than you do. Okay. Em, we are at a cross road here, the scenario is dicey. Do you know the name of the confraternity that attacked the boy?

Not exactly sir! But we have narrowed it down to either of the Black Panther or the hawks. Sandra said.

And why these two? SP asked

Our internal source told us sir! Peter said.

And who and what is your internal source? SP asked.

We are sorry sir! That is our ‘joker’ for now! Sandra said.

Okay! I respect that! SP said. Now get back to work and close up all these gaps in your case. Let’s clear up this mess now before it forms a big shit! You are dismissed!

Sandra and Peter saluted and left the office.

 

 

 

KUMALO COVER

Posted in Prose, Stories

OUTSIDE THE COCOON

 

 

By Awoleye A.Dominic

 

Four teenagers, Odiri, Kikelomo, Danjuma and Adaeze are childhood friends, all children of Soldiers living together in the Army Barracks at Abakaliki in Ebonyi state, south east Nigeria.

They all attend the Army day secondary school meant for Soldiers Children and their wards. The school is tuition free for soldiers while Civilian Children that attend the school pay school fees.

Their parents are non commissioned officers so they struggle to make ends meet.

Odiri thirteen years old is the sixth Son of Copral Onorode Johnson, an urhobo man from the Niger delta region of Nigeria. Odiri has two younger brothers making a total of eight sons in the family. The mother is still hoping she begets a female child. She augments the family income by selling smoked fish at the front of their block. Corporal Johnson is a diehard pool player who has vowed to win back all his loses to the promoters of pool someday. Odiri’s ambition is to become a soldier as soon as he finishes his secondary education. His first two brothers are in the Army already.

 

Kikelomo Ajose is the first daughter of sergent  Bamidele Ajose, a military medical personnel from the south western part of the country. She has four younger ones; the last born Segun is the only son of the family. Kikelomo is thirteen and in JSS 2. Her father had told her that she would become a seamstress after her secondary education because he cannot afford to see her through to the University. The mother operates a grinding machine business in a stall built behind their block, The Shed is built with Zinc roofing sheets and ply wood, she wakes up very early daily to grind beans and pepper for the women that sells Akara for early morning breakfast.

 

Danjuma Dogaro is from northern Nigeria, southern Kaduna to be precise. His father is a private Soldier. He is fourteen years old. His mother is based in Kaduna farming and fending for his siblings. She had to remain in Kaduna when the Husband was transferred to Abakaliki so that she could live long. Private Musa Dogaro has been in the Army for sixteen years and has remained a private Soldier. He had been promoted three times and also has been demoted three times. All the demotions have been as a result of drunkenness. He becomes violent when drunk and he beats anyone around him. Danjuma wants to be a footballer; his father says he must be a Soldier. He is to try the Army recruit enlistment next year after his JSS 3 examination.

 

Adaeze Nwokolo is from the south eastern part of Nigeria, She is the first daughter of corpral Arinze Nwokolo of the Military Police. She has two younger brothers. She is twelve years old and in JSS2. The mother is a full time house wife who does nothing but to gossip from house to house. She is the unofficial minister for information in the barracks. Her elder sister is married to a Lawyer in Abuja and so she had put it to Adaeze that she must become a Lawyer. Corporal Nwokolo also wants his daughter to become a Lawyer. His focus is on his job and the bribe he collects as a military police, he is always in uniform in and out of the barracks looking for cases to settle. He is saving up money to train his daughter to the University to become a Lawyer. Adaeze got exposed to money early by stealing from her father.

 

The four teenagers boxed into a cocoon by virtue of being born to Soldiers are constrained to think and aspire within the limits imposed on them by their environment. Their Parents are poor and proud because of the power of the Army uniform. The Army provides their basic needs free. Free accommodation, free light, free medicals facilities, free water supply and tuition free from primary to secondary school. They live a life of contentment and forget to plan for their children’s future. To them life begins and ends in the Barracks because upon retirement from the Army, they are paid pension until their death.

 

These Kids must carve a niche for themselves and make a success out of life. But it has to be outside the barracks! They have to look outside the box if they must escape the life of self imposed servitude. But how will they defy their Proud Parents? Where are the opportunities? In a barrack life full of envy, sabotage, war, drunkenness, social vices, any child that wants to make a difference is brought down by jealous soldier’s wives and their husbands. Nobody wants the other man’s child to be better than his.

Posted in Prose, Stories

ANOTHER WEDDING CH 6

ACT 6 SCENES 1

(Patrick’s house: he is dressing up for an occasion, he moves to and from the sitting room as he dresses up, two teenage boys are in the sitting room with him)

Patrick: boy! Emeka, how do I look?

Emeka:  Uncle you are good to go! You know you are the best dressed man in the world! You can never get it wrong.

Patrick: (Pleased with himself) mekus mekus!  You are my man! Thank you!

Emeka: But Uncle today is Sunday! Are you going to work today?

Patrick: my Boy! Where do People go to on Sunday mornings?

Second Boy: Church! Uncle, are you going to Church?

Patrick: (Laughs) Onyekachi are you surprised? Even me I am surprised too, but that is the truth, someone is inviting me to church today!

Onyekachi: then it must be a woman!

Patrick: kachi! Are you a prophet? This must have been revealed to you by the Holy Spirit! You are right my boy!

Emeka: Uncle, no one needs a spirit to know that only a woman can make you do unusual things.

Patrick: what is unusual about going to church?

Onyekachi: nothing ordinarily! But for you it is very unusual! I have never seen or heard of you going to church. So which Church is she taking you to?

Patrick: I don’t know o! But Church na Church I beg! Any one she takes me to is okay by me.

Onyekachi: This woman must be a good woman, but I feel sorry for her.

Patrick: sorry for her? Why nah kachi?

Onyekachi: because you will soon spoil her, she will start doing like the other women you go out with, those women that dress half naked and drink a lot.

Patrick: Am I that bad? Kachi!

Emeka: Uncle, you are bad but I love you! I want to be like you!

Patrick: Mekus! Don’t let your mother hear that from you o! Else you will never come here for holidays again. Hope you guys don’t tell her all you see here?

Emeka: No Uncle, I am a guy nah!

Patrick: My Guy, my guy! Give me a high five joor!

Onyekachi: uncle, I would like to go to Church with you!

Emeka: me too Uncle

Patrick: oya oya! Go and take your bath and dress up before my wife arrives!

Emeka and Kachi: your wife?

Patrick: Go and bath and dress up joor! (Kids scamper out of the sitting room, Patrick begins to whistle and dance to the tune as he knots his tie) Baba! Baba Cook! (He calls out. An elderly man walks in dressed as a Chef) Baba please do you have a bible?

Baba: Of course sir, I have three Bibles, what do you need a bible for sir?

Patrick: I am going to church

Baba: For wedding anniversary or what?

Patrick: Baba, please give me a bible is all I ask of thee!

Baba: Okay which version do you prefer?

Patrick: What do you mean by which version? And what are you doing with three bibles?

Baba: I have a “king James version” the “new international version” and the “new American Bible”!

Patrick: What are you doing with American Bible? What of new African bible?

Baba: Nothing like new African Bible sir,   though we have bible translated into some African languages.

Patrick: Baba, please give me a Bible that I can read and understand! Any Bible would do! Imagine only you having three bibles while I have none! Are you a pastor?

Baba: I will get you the new international version, it is easier to comprehend.

Patrick: Thank you! Just give me a Bible! (Baba exits, there is a knock at the door. He goes for the door and lets Clara in, they hug. Clara has a small plaster on her fore head) you are quite early, I thought you said the service is at ten o’clock? This is just after eight!

Clara:  I know, I wasn’t doing anything at home so I decided to come and spend some time with you before it is time.

Patrick: Oh that’s so nice of you, my nephews say they are going with us o! They can’t wait to see the lady taking me to church, they are already in love with you without having met you.

Clara: that sounds nice, I would love to meet them too. But Pato, when last did you attend a Church service?

Patrick:  hmm, I think that should be at Charles wedding eight months ago! It’s not too long ago!

Clara: I mean real Church service! Not wedding things! I am talking about waking up on a normal Sunday morning, taking your bath and go to Church for sermon.

Patrick: Ha! That one? That was in my secondary school day’s o! I was a boarding student. That should be about twenty three years back!

Clara: Jeez! (Shakes her head) Pato Pato! So, have you taken breakfast?

Patrick: Nit yet, but Baba Cook is preparing something in the Kitchen.

Clara: do I go and assist him then?

Patrick: No! you will be interfering.

Clara: Okay, I understand.

(Baba comes in with three big Bibles)

Baba: These are the Bibles sir, this one is (Patrick interrupts)

Patrick: I will take this one (Picks one) thank you Baba, you can return the rest!

Baba: Okay sir, that is the (Patrick cuts in)

Patrick: baba! I say thank you o! Return the rest nah!

Baba: Okay sir! But I dash you that Bible! You can keep it (n He hurries off)

Clara: why are you chasing him away?

Patrick: you don’t know this man! He is too loquacious, how many Bibles do you have in your house?

Clara: I have two, why?

Patrick: baba has three! Is he a Pastor or an evangelist? The funniest thing is that I have never seen him reading any Bible before!

Clara: (Laughing) you never can tell o!

(Baba returns to announce that food is served)

Fade

 

ACT 6 SCENES 2

(Exterior: Clara parks the car in front of Patrick’s Flat. Four doors opens and the passengers come out, Emeka and Kachi hurries to the front door while Patrick waits for Clara and they both walk towards the door of the house. Emeka and kachi takes turn in pressing the doorbell. Door opens and they charge into the house)

Baba: You are welcome! How was service today?

Emeka and Kachi: Fine sir!

Baba: what did you learn at Church today?

Emeka: we learnt some songs! Aunty Clara is the lead chorister in the Church!

Onyekachi: My Gawd! She can sing!

Emeka: her voice is like an Angels!

Onyekachi: It’s a lie! Have you heard an Angel sing before? Her voice is like the voice of Mariah Careh and Whitney Houston put together!

Emeka: Plus Celine Dion

Baba: Who are those People? Are they Musicians?

Emeka: Yes sir! They are American Musicians!

(Enters Patrick and Clara, baba bows)

Baba: welcome sir, how was service sir?

Patrick: Fine Baba! Thank you!

Baba: sir, can I see you in Camera please?

Patrick: why? I had some visitor’s abi?

Baba: (Glances at Clara) yes sir!

Patrick: what did you tell them?

Baba: I said you went to Church sir but none of them believed me because your Car was parked outside.

Patrick: oh! my Car, we went with my Wife’s Car!

Baba: Your Wife?

Patrick: Yes, this is my Wife to be, Clara!

Baba: (Jumps up with joy and begins to sing in Yoruba language) ose  o Jesun! A o ma yin o! o se o Jesun! Olorun Ayo wa! Ose o Jesun A o ma yin O! Baba! Gba ope t’amuwa fun o!  Thank you Jesus, we praise thee, thank you Jesus the lord of our joy! Father accept our thanks giving! (Emeka and Kachi joins baba as they dance off into the Kitchen)

 

(Patrick yawns and slumps into s Couch, pulls his shoes, unbuckles his belt and loosens his tie, and begins to flip through the Bible Clara picks up the shoes and tie and takes it into the room. Baba comes out with a Tray containing a bottle of Heineken beer and a glass Cup, he places it on a side stool by Patrick. Patrick looks at the beer, then looks at the Bible he is reading)

Patrick: Not now Baba, maybe later in the evening.

Baba: Okay sir! (He lifts up the Tray and dances off singing “O se o Jesun”)

(Clara returns wearing one of Patrick’s T shirts, it is over sized but it suits her well, she sits on the arm rest of Patrick’s Couch)

Patrick: sweet heart, please tell me the truth, did you tell that your Pastor anything about me?

Clara: of course not Pat, he doesn’t even know you exist. Why?

Patrick: The Guy was just attacking me in the Church as if he knew me before! He kept picking on all my deeds!

Clara: That is a good sign Pato! It means you got something out of the sermon!

Patrick: No! no! My dear, it is the sermon that got something out of me!

Clara: and what is it?

Patrick: fear! It brought out fear that eventually turned to remorse!

Clara: Then why did you not go out for the alter call?

Patrick: I was ashamed, I actually wanted to go, my spirit was willing but my flesh was weak! I also was suspecting that you had a hand in the topic the man preached.

Clara: I can never do such a thing Pat, never! But please do not be ashamed to submit to God so that God will not be ashamed of you on the last day.

Patrick: yes! The last day! Are you sure you are not in conspiracy with that Pastor? Because he kept hammering on the last day as if it is tomorrow! He got me scared men! (Emeka and Kachi comes in singing a gospel tune, interrupting the Couple’s discussion)

Emeka: Aunty please sing for us nah!

Onyekachi: yes Aunty sing “Awesome God” for us

Emeka: No! I don’t want that one. Sing “Miracle worker”

Patrick: Hey! Hey! Oya leave here! Go and meet baba to sing for you! Can’t you Guys see that we are discussing?

(They both run towards the Kitchen singing O se o Jesun)

Patrick: sweat heart, I am tired of all these frivolities I indulge in, I want to change, I really want to be a better man, a responsible man, I want to be a good Christian! I never knew Church could be this exciting! And sweet heart, what a wonderful singer you are, you made me proud when you handled the microphone and you sent the whole church to heaven with voice1 I was so proud of you, I could not help but tell those around me that we are getting married soon!

Clara: (Laughing out loud) you did? Do you know those you told?

Patrick: I don’t know them, but at least now they know me (Laughs out loud) but on a serious note darling, please come and teach me how to be closer to God and be a happy man.

Clara: (Kneels and pulls Patrick by the hand, he kneels too) Close your eyes and say after me

Patrick: Okay ma!

Clara: Lord Jesus!

Patrick: Lord Jesus!

Clara: I come before you today as a poor wretched sinner (Patrick repeats) I am not worthy to be before your presence for I am filthy and my soul is full of iniquity! (Patrick repeats) but your words say that we should come and let us reason together (Patrick repeats) you say though my sins be like scarlet, it shall be as white as snow (Patrick repeats) you said though my sin be as red as crimson it shall be as wool (Patrick repeats) you say I should confess my sins that you are faithful and just to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness1 (Patrick repeats) today father, I ask for forgiveness, my fornication, my lies, my covetousness, my drunkenness, father forgive every evil I have done against man and against your throne! (Patrick repeats, Emeka and Onyekachi sneaks into the sitting room and kneels by the Couple quietly) Father I promise to serve you and follow your footsteps hence forth, I renounce the devil and his agents. From today, I decree that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus! (Patrick repeats) come into my life and take total control in Jesus name (Patrick repeats) thank you father for your mercies and love, thank you for forgiving my sins, please give me the grace to follow you now and forever (Patrick repeats) in Jesus name Amen! (Patrick and the Kids says a big Amen, he opens his eyes and the Kids hug him one after the other, they hug Clara too and each give her a peck on the cheek, then they run out of the sitting room singing O se O Jesun)

There is a knock at the door. Baba rush out from the Kitchen to open the door, he has a long spoon in his hands, he opens the door, peeps outside and closes the door immediately)

Baba: won tun de o! won tun de o! They have come again o!

Patrick: who is there! And why are you screaming?

Baba: it is those Girls o! Those Girls with tiny jeans and small Skirts! They have come o! God will not allow you People to kill my Oga for me o! awon oloshi! Awon ole! Stupid people! Thieves! Oga make I pour them water? Abi dem no sabi say we don get correct madam for this house now?

(Clara gets up and goes to the door, she opens it and steps backwards, two skimpily dressed ladies walk in, they look at her with scorn before marching towards Patrick)

Patrick: Oh Ella and Tricia! How are you?

Ella: bros please cut the crap! What is happening to you? And who is this thin over there (Points at Clara) I have come here before and this your baba lied that you went to Church!

Patrick: well as you can see (Shows the Bible) I am just coming in from the Church! And this thing you see here (Pulls Clara closer) took me to the Church!

Tricia: You went to Church? You? Are you okay Patrick?

Patrick: in fact Ladies, I have not been okay all my life until today when I encountered Jesus Christ! I am now a new creation! Old things are passed away and behold all things have become new! Please sit down let me tell you a story!

Ella: Tricia! You dey see wetin my eyes dey see?

Tricia: I think we are in a wrong apartment! Please let us go!

(They turn and flee from the house, Baba bangs the door after them and started singing and dancing to his favourite song, the kids join him as thy dance around the sitting room)

Fade

 

 

 

another-wedding-new-cover

Posted in Prose, Stories

ANOTHER WEDDING

ACT 5 SCENE 1

(Sitting room arrangement, Patrick’s mother is discussing business with a Friend who sells fabrics and jewelries; there is a knock at the door)

Mama: (Shouts) who’s at the door? Ngozi! Ngozi!

Ngozi: (Running toward mama) ma!

Mama: see who is at the door!

(Ngozi dashes to open the door, enters Clara and Patrick, Patrick rushes to hug his Mother as Clara tags along)

Patrick: (Hugs) mama ndewo! Good morning ma!

Mama: Patrick nwam! Anya gi? Is this your face? How are you? You just abandoned your Mother all this while is it fair?

Patrick: (greets the Mother’s Friend) Mama Ada good morning ma, how is Ada and the rest?

Mama Ada: Hmm, Oga Patrick! Welcome home, long time no see, Ada is fine o! She said she has been trying you but your entire phone lines are not going through, please try and call her nah! She is worried.

Patrick: Okay ma, I will call her. Mama, don’t be angry with me, it is work pressure, and the stress at work is too much!

Mama: common shut up your mouth Patrick! What silly excuse that is! All the time and energy you expend on another Man’s business is enough to take your own business to places only if you will agree to come and take over from me, or are you waiting till I die? Look at me nah! I am seventy six; shouldn’t I be retired by now? (She notices Clara standing by) and who is the Lady with you? Have I met her before?

Clara:   Good afternoon ma!

Patrick: Good day my dear, how are you?

Clara: I am fine ma, thank you.

Patrick: Ehen! Mama! Meet Clara my fiancée, I brought her home to meet the family

Mama Ada: Did I hear you say Fiancée? Ehn Patrick? (She stands up and begins to pack her wares scattered on the Couch)

Mama: Mama Ada, don’t mind him o! You know Patrick and his jokes nah!

Patrick: Joke? Mama did you say joke? Why would I joke over an issue like that? Have I ever brought a lady to you and introduce her thus before? Ehn mama?

Mama Ada: Patrick! What about my daughter Ada? What sort of insult is this nah mama Pat? Look! Warn your Son o! If it is a joke, I am too old for such! Bye bye! (She storms angrily out of the house)

Patrick: Mama, what is happening here? (He ushers Clara to a seat) my dear, please sit down, I am sorry for that melodrama, please make yourself comfortable)

Mama: Patrick nwa m! My Son! You should have waited for mama Ada to leave before telling me that the Lady you brought in is your fiancée nah? You should have introduced her as a friend, and then you give me the details after mama Ada must have gone! At least you know you have something going with her daughter Ada and we are all aware of it.

Patrick: But mama, I never promised to marry her daughter! I have never promised any girl marriage in my life until I met Clara here!

Mama: Hmm (Sizes Clara up with her eyes) Clara my dear, welcome once again, how are you?

Clara: I am fine ma.

Mama: Where are you from my dear and what do you do?

Patrick: She is from (Mama Cuts in)

Mama: Let the lady speak! Patrick. (Patrick raises his hand in surrender)

Clara: I am from ebem in Ohafia Local government area of Abia state ma

Mama: hmm, Ohafia! Strange People, your people are more attached to the maternal lineage than paternal lineage; you have well to do and influential people in Ohafia, so who is your Parent?

Patrick: Haba Mama! Is this a job interview or what? Take it easy nah!

Clara: My father is in the Army while my Mother is a medical Doctor at a Military Hospital in Jaji Kaduna

Mama: Wao! Far away, Kaduna? So why are you in Lagos?

Patrick: hey! Mama it’s okay, it is okay, you cannot know everything about her in an hour, and won’t you entertain her? You just sat her down interrogating her like a suspect instead of showing her some hospitality!

Mama: Oh sorry my dear! My bad! (She stands up) what would you like my dear? Alcohol, or soft drink?

Clara: Soft ma

Patrick: And Alcohol for your Son o! (Mama Exits) well, that is my mother for you; she can quiz you for hours till saliva dries in her mouth.

Clara: So what is with you and the woman that just left angrily?

Patrick: oh mama Ada? Ada and I used to date that’s all, all my Mothers friends wanted me to marry their daughters. The truth is that my elder ones all married daughters and Sons of our family friends but I dare to be different. It is a resolution I made long ago.

Clara: hmm pat I am getting scared o! My parent do not know your parent, would your Mother accept me? What are my chances?

Patrick: Don’t worry my dear, do not try to impress my mother, in any way, she hates high service so just be your normal self, I know she will like you else I would have tutored on what to say and how to act before her but I did not do that because you are a natural. Anyone who does not like you is definitely not well. (Enters Mama and Ngozi with a tray containing two Chilled bottle of Amstel Malta and Heineken beer and two glass cups. Ngozi drops the Tray on the centre table and exits) mama the mama! So you have not forgotten my brand of beer? Mama you are too much!

Mama: All my Sons and their father drink Heineken beer! My dear hope you don’t mind Amstel Malta?

Clara: It is actually my favorite drink ma, because of the low sugar content. Thank you, ma.

Mama: but do you take alcohol sometimes my dear?

Patrick: This one? For where? Mama, Clara is a born again Christian o!

Clara: no ma! I don’t do alcohol at all.

Mama: o yeah! You are born again? So what are you doing with a devil like my Son? Do you want him to corrupt you?

Clara: (Laughs) well, mama sometimes I ask myself the same question, but he has promised to change and he is trying.

Mama: And if he does not change, what will you do?

Clara: If he does not desist from womanizing, I will leave him!

Mama: Even after the marriage? Clara: even after the marriage ma!

Mama: (Collects the malt and a glass from the tray and places on a side stool by Clara, she opens the crown cork while Patrick collects the bottle of Heineken, opens the cork and drinks straight from the bottle) I like you, I like your guts and you confidence! You remind me of myself when I was your age. Patrick is just like my husband, his father, very adventurous with the ladies, he smokes, he drinks and he womanizes, I had several competitors but he eventually settled for me.

Patrick will change, just like his Father did, but it all depends on you!

Clara: me? How ma!

Mama: Let him always have a reason to come back home after work, make yourself sexually attractive to him always, look at me! (She stretches out her hands and looks herself over) who would believe I am over seventy years of age? The funniest thing is that I do not even feel seventy! I feel like a thirty year old Lady. If he loves beer, then make sure you always have beer in the refrigerator, if you do not cook well, get a catering lesson and improve on your cooking, use good deodorants and perfumes so that your smell will always linger in his mind even when you are not there. Make it a duty to know his friends and their wives invite them over for meals occasionally and visit them too.

I will not advise you to be a nag even though you do not look like one but sometimes it is necessary to nag so as to get their attention. Excuse me please (Mama walks towards the Bar cabinet and pours herself glass of brandy. Clara looks at Patrick and Chuckles)

Clara: Mama, you drink alcohol?

Mama: Yes my dear, do you want some? You can mix it with the malt you know, it is a nice blend!

Clara: no o! I don’t want, thank you.

Mama: A little alcohol is good for an old Lady once in a while, more over, I am happy with what my Son has done today. Cheers! (They cling glasses together) to long life! And to good health!

Patrick: Mama, Clara’s father is a Major general in the Army

Mama: Wao! It would be nice to have another military in-law in the family, one of my daughters is married to a naval commander. Well so you see the more reason you have to treat Clara right!

Patrick: What do you mean mama?

Mama: If you make her cry and she cries to her Dad, be sure that some unknown Soldiers will visit you, and if you want to know what unknown soldiers can do , go and listen to Fela Anikulapo’s Album “Unknown Soldier”

Clara: (Laughing) ha! Mama! No more unknown Soldiers o! We are in a democratic era now.

(Ngozi approaches and stands before mama)

Mama: Ngozi ogini kwanu? What is the matter?

Ngozi: Madam Bukola and her daughter are around.

Mama: Okay let them in, em em, which of the daughters is she with?

Ngozi: That fine yellow one wey dey follow Oga Patrick.

Patrick: (Jumps up) Chai! It is Iyabo o!

Clara: (Laughing) Another victim of yours abi?

Patrick: (pacing to and fro) why are they all visiting you today nah mama? Or is this a set up?

Mama: it is a coincidence! Ngozi please let them come inside. (Ngozi leaves)

Patrick: mama please I will be inside the room, Clara please come with me! (He turns and walks briskly towards the room, Clara stands up to follow him)

Mama: Coward! Clara, sit down there! Is this the kind of man you want to get married to? A coward, that runs off when a difficult situation confronts him? How long is he going to keep running? (Patrick turns mid way and returns)

Patrick: Mama I am confused! And this Iyabo is a mad girl! I don’t want anything like embarrassment for Clara!

(Enters Mrs. Bukola and her daughter Iyabo. Iyabo rushes towards Patrick and jumps on him, hugging and kissing, Patrick was reluctant, Iyabo steps back with shock at Patrick’s coldness, and she looks coldly at Clara)

Iyabo: Hello o! Patrick what is the problem? Why are you so cold to me? (She then turns towards Mama and went on her knees) Mama good morning ma, I am so sorry I got carried away when I saw my love, how are you ma?

Mama: I understand my daughter, I am doing great, you are welcome, how is work and your younger ones?

Iyabo: All is well mama, thank you (She stands up and moves towards Patrick, Patrick moves to his Couch and sits, picks up his beer and sips from the bottle, she sat on the arm rest of the Couch, she collects the bottle from Patrick and drinks from it, she stretches the bottle to Patrick’s mouth, Patrick takes a stealthy look at Clara and refuses the drink by shaking his head, he shift further from her while she moves closer) Patrick! What happened to all your phone lines?  Have been trying your lines to no avail

Patrick: I lost my Phones!

Iyabo: You lost your Phones abi? Okay let’s see (She removes Patrick’s Phones from his Pocket and takes a cursory look at them) Patrick these are not new Phones! They are the same Phone I saw you with two months when I came to your house, please don’t lie to me because you are not good at it. (She dials her number with Patrick’s phone, her phone rings) Patrick! So you changed your line! (She dials her number with the second phone, her phone rings) ye! Mogbe! Patrick! This is another line too! And who is this lady here? I never knew you had a younger sister and I know all your Cousins, so who is she? (She stands and walks towards Clara, Patrick’s stands between them) why are you blocking me? Let her stand up and face me nah? Is she not a Woman like me?

Patrick: Iyabo take it easy please! Why are you trying to create a scene here? I can explain everything.

Iyabo: Oya! Start explaining! I am all ears! Explain why you stopped calling me! Explain why you changed your lines and you deliberately made yourself incommunicado! Explain why you have lost your confidence that you could not even kiss me or hold me in your arms like you used to; explain why you are stealing glances at this lady here as if she has a right to you like I do! Oya spill it out Patrick! (She walks briskly with her characteristics cat walk gait to the Bar Cabinet and pours herself a glass of Gin)

Mrs. Bukola: My friend, what is happening in your house? Talk to me!

Mama: Patrick has brought his Fiancée home!(Iyabo screams and runs back to the bar to refill her glass, she gulps down two quick shots and refills her glass) He just came in about an hour ago, I am meeting her for the first time!

Mrs. Bukola: is she Igbo?

Mama: Yes she is!

Mrs. Bukola: have you given your consent?

Mama: My Friend, I have no say in this matter, I cannot choose a Wife for my Son, what he needs is my blessing! Patrick is forty years old!

Mrs. Bukola: (Claps her hand, laughing sarcastically) wonders shall never cease! So this is it abi? I have never known you to practice tribalism! Because your Son has brought an Igbo girl home as Wife, you now know that you do not have a say in his affair abi? Haba my Friend! This if unfair! This is wickedness! This is cheating! Do you know how many suitors Iyabo has turned down because she was waiting for your Son? (Iyabo cuts in, she is now tipsy)

Iyabo! (Hysteric) fiancée my foot! Patrick! You dumped me for an Igbo girl? Patrick, do you know how many Men I have turned down for your sake? Do you know how many abortions I have carried out for you simply because you were not ready? Patrick do you know why I read Agric Economics at Ife? It is because I was preparing to help in the management of your farms when we get married, Patrick my life ambition was to be a medical Doctor! I altered my destiny for your sake! (She gulps what was left in the glass, she staggers back to the Bar wailing, her Mother rush towards her and restrains her from taking more alcohol, she returns, swinging the empty glass in her hand, she throws the glass at Patrick screaming, he dodges and the glass hits Clara on the head. Clara screams in pain and Patrick attends to her)

Mama: (Advances toward Iyabo and her Mother) how dare you! Have you gone crazy or what? (Patrick interrupts)

Patrick: Mama she is bleeding o! Where is the first aid box? Ngozi! Ngozi! (Ngozi runs into the room) get the first aid box quickly (Ngozi dashes off and returns with the Box)

Mama: Bia! Come! My friend, is it by force? Did my Son ever propose to you? Did he ever plan his future with you? Did he plan your future with him? Did you tell him you wanted to read Agriculture for his sake? Or you want to tell me that you do not now that Patrick has many of you in his life? Now look at what you just did! You threw a glass violently at an innocent girl; you have spilled the blood of an innocent girl! Where did that temper come out from? (Patrick cuts in)

Patrick: mama I told you before that that girl is a mad girl! I told you o! You said I was a coward! Now see what she has done to my baby!

Iyabo: (Screaming) who is your baby? I am you Baby! If you call her your baby again I will do something crazy, (she storms towards the Kitchen door)

Patrick: mama! Mama! She is going into the Kitchen o! Stop her! Stop her! Ngozi! Ngozi! Close the Kitchen door! Close the Kitchen door! (Ngozi rushes towards Iyabo and push her to the ground, then she stands akimbo before her) Thank you Ngozi! Please do not let her cross over to the Kitchen! (He continues to tie up Clara’s head in bandage)

Mama: ngwanu! My Friend, carry your mad dog and leave my house now now! My Son can never marry a girl with such a temper, a drunkard! You have been pretending before me all these years, making me think you were an Angel! (Patrick cuts in)

Patrick: Angel for where! She is evil mama! She is a devil! She can kill!

Mama: you did this because of my Son! You did that because of my Son! What did you do because of yourself? Have you no sense of direction? Please the two of you leave now.

(Ngozi shoos them to the door)

Mrs. Bukola: you see yourself now? Patrick this! Patrick that! You said it is Patrick or no one else! Are your eyes clear now? Oya oya let’s go! I have had enough disgrace for one day (She drags her daughter out of the house as Iyabo keeps begging for Patrick’s forgiveness. Mama goes to meet Clara and hugs her as she rests her head on Patrick’s shoulder sobbing)

Lights Fade

another-wedding-new-cover

Posted in Prose, Stories

YOUTHS GONE ASTRAY

 

 

Arise O Compatriots
Our youths are going astray
We have left the paths our fathers towed
All, like sheep have gone astray
Each sick with the get rich syndrome

The love of money
The root of all evil
Decorum is thrown to the winds
Civility, a thing of the past
Everyone is in a haste to get rich

A child must first sit, crawl, then walk
The durability of a house, they say,
Is dependent on its foundation
Riches would come in due time
There are certain guidelines to ensure it lasts

Corruption! Yes Corruption!!
The bane of our Society
we cry of corrupt leaders!
But corruption prevails
In all facets of our lives

Every Child is a product of a corrupt Leader:
Fathers, Mothers, Teachers, Clergy
Everyone is a Cheat somehow
The Poor cheats to see his Son excels
The Rich  cheats to get his Child richer
Parents bribe their children’s way to schools
Every child is a product of an ambitious parent

The eyes of good conscience is ripped off
We celebrate materialism
Today the patient dog die hungry
Grab all you can when you can
Take your share! It’s a national cake

Education is thrown to the winds
Certificates does not make one certified
Skills acquisition, a thing of the past
‘How can I be a shoemaker? A whole me?’
Our youths want to eat without sweating

Scammers! Scammers! Everywhere
Yahoo yahoo, The rave of the moment
Italian runs! South African runs!! Malaysian runs!!!
The latest preoccupation of our youth
for the child that brings money home
the favorite of every parent