Posted in Prose, Stories

Dandy’s bar

ACT 3 SCENE 1

The bar: Cool music is playing at the back ground, Akpan the bar man is attending to guests. On a table are three Customers, Brian, Njoku and Tope discussing.

Brian: Old Boy Nj! How far nah?

Njoku: How far for wetin? You have been asking me how far since you joined us on this table, do I owe you or something?

Tope: (Stutters) may- maybe he- he does not wa- want me to understand wha -what he  wants to tell you! If you- you owe him, you- you better pay o!

Njoku: I do not owe him anything to the best of my knowledge. Or Brian do I owe you?

Brian: You do not owe me but at the same time you owe me!

Tope: Which kain yeye talk be- be that? Abi drink don dey- dey worry you?

Brian: How can? No be only two bottles I don drink?

Tope: Ho-how many bottles have you drunk be-before co-coming here?

Brian: I have not taken any alcohol today till I got here so I am very sane. Nj have you forgotten today is Friday? TGIF nah!

Njoku: Oh! (Laughs) Campus runs abi? Is that what you are coding? Tope is not a stranger nah! No wahala, by ten o’clock we go enter!

Tope: Whe-where una dey enter by-by te-ten o’clock?

Njoku: We dey enter Campus nah! Abi you no go go Club tonight?

Tope: Okay! Na true o! Bu-but I won’t be-be free to-tonight because my-my babe is coming to-to meet me here, any moment from-from now.

Brian: that is the more reason you have to go clubbing tonight, give her a treat men!

Tope: Old Boy! You-you have a point there o! So which Clubs we –we go groove to-tonight?

Njoku: We can start from Casablanca and end at Boomerang! Old boy Boomerang na die!

Brian:  Boomerang is the place to be from two o’clock till four before taking your babe home, It puts you in the right mood! (All comments in agreement. Dandy approaches the table)

Dandy: My Ogas dem! I dey hail o! (He shakes their hands in turn) This one wey una dey here alone tonight, una no bring madam dem come?

Brian: No no Dandy! Or have you forgotten today is Friday? Its Ladies night nah! Not Wives night(General Laughter)

Tope: On-on Fridays we-we normally work ve-very late at the o-office so we don-don’t go home till Saturday morning! You-you know nah! (General laughter as Akpan comes to evacuate the empty bottles) Bar-bar man, bring another ro-round of beer!

Njoku: Dandy how far with “Point and kill”?(Live cat Fish) please arrange two for us

Dandy: How do you want it? As pepper soup or barbecue?

Tope: For-for me I prefer pepe-pepe-(Pepper!! soup others quip) yes pepper soup!

Dandy: It’s alright! (Addresses Akpan) oya! Go and bring their drinks and tell Solomon to get the fish ready!

Tope: Please pu-put enough pe-pe-(Pepper! Others quip) yes pepper! You know I am a yo-yoruba man !

Brian: Yoruba people! Ndi ofe ose, ndi ofe mmanu!( Those that eat plenty of peppery and oily soup)

Tope: What of you Igbos? Aje okuta ma mu omi (Those that eat stone without drinking water)

Njoku: I wonder why you  people say we eat stone, it does not click!

Dandy: I think I can explain that! You see, the Igbo’s like their local food like Garri, Fufu, pounded yam to be a little hard so that they can mould it well before swallowing, But the yoruba’s prefers theirs to be soft like the Amala, ilafun, semo and co! It’s just a matter of cultural preference

Tope: But how can somebody prepare pou-pounded yam and add Garri to it again ju-just to make it strong! Is it not su- suicidal! (General laughter)

Brian: And how many of us have you heard died in the process? Yeye man I beg where is the beer nah?

Dandy: Okay let me leave you Guys now and attend to your request! Ehen Mr. Tope! Any take away for madam?

Tope: No o! Not tonight, ha-have you forgotten I am supposed to-to be at work?

Brian and Njoku: (both chorus) how can you forget nah!

Dandy: (laughing as he retreats) Oh sorry! Sorry! I almost forgot!

A young svelte walks into the bar, she looks around  obviously looking for someone, all eyes turns towards her as Tope beckons at her, she smiles and cat-walks towards them. Tope stands up and offers her a seat

Tope: Sweet heart, how are you? P-Please meet my friends ,Brian and Njoku! We-We are also Co-colleagues at work. Guys me-meet Ezinne my heart throb!

Ezinne: Good evening sir (she bows slightly as she greets displaying perfectly set sparkling teeth coupled with a dimple)

Njoku: (offers a hand shake and holds onto the hand) Nne! You are welcome to our Table, I am Njoku Kunu from Ohafia in Abia state! Jeez! You are too beautiful! What are you doing with this ngbati ngbati man? (Ezinne smiles shyly)

Brian: Nj leave her hand alone nah ,wont she greet me too? (Snatches Ezinne’s hand from Njoku’s grip) my dear, my name is Brian nedu from Udi in Enugu state (Njoku interrupts)

Njoku: He is a waawa man! Please don’t let him hold your hand for too long (General laughter)

Brian: Don’t mind this bush man! Please do you have a sister or friend that looks like you? I would very much like to meet her, where are you from and where do you school? (Releases her hand)

Ezinne: I am from Owerri in Imo state and I am a four hundred level student of accounting at uniport.

Brian: well that is not actually what I meant when I asked where you are from! I meant which world! Our world or the mermaid world (Ezinne burst out laughing) you are beautiful I must confess! But what do you see in this stutterer? This ugly Yoruba man! (General laughter)

Tope: Stupid waawa man! You fine pass me?

(Akpan approaches with a tray of assorted drinks, sets it on the table and opens for each person)

Akpan: Aunty! Please what do I bring for you?

Tope: B- Bring her a small bottle of Heineken!

Njoku: Ahn ahn! Can’t she make her choice? Why do you have to choose for her?

Brian: Nj wetin be your problem? Na your Babe?

Tope: No mind am! He just dey show himself!

Ezinne; yes small Heineken please.

Brian: oho! You see yourself now? Yeye Ohafia man!

Njoku: Sharrap your mouth! waawa man.

Tope: (Addresses Ezinne) see how your brothers are f-fooling themselves because of you! And they-they are ma-married men o!

Brian and Njoku (Chorus with mouth agape) ha! Tope!

Tope: What? B-Because I told her you guys are –are married? Of course she-she knows I am a married man so-so my friends being married will not sur-surprise her.

Ezinne: (laughing as Brian and Njoku stares at her with guilt) but you guy did not tell me that you are not married either! So no big deal! You don’t have to feel bad. I understand.

Njoku: Nne thank you for understanding! Chai! Yoruba’s are always saboteurs! They can never change.

(General laughter till lights fade)

 

 

Posted in Prose, Stories

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 officer, 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’s 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.