Posted in Prose, Stories

NOTHING TO LOOSE

The next week, I was withdrawn from the private school to a public school with very poor infrastructure. Most of the students are house helps in different homes or from very poor back grounds. The teachers could barely construct good sentences so the lingua franca in the school was Pidgin English. The school is very close to the Woji creek, thus the name Creek view community secondary school. Most of the students come to school very late daily and we have assemblies on Mondays alone.

At ten years plus, I was very smart and tall for my age, I was almost as tall as mummy who is actually a tall woman, she is actually taller than daddy.  At this age I was knowledgeable of happenings around me and I knew that all was not well. The problem was “what was wrong”?

Daddy had not left his job; he still drives to work daily and returned as usual. Everything was normal except for the way I was being treated. But I was doing very well at school all the same. In fact I had no competition in the new school as I came top of the class after the first term examination in JSS 2. My average score was 82 percent while Julius came second with 65 percent. Julius used to be the best in the class before my arrival

Julius Odeh is a year older than me, his father works at Genesis fast food as security opening and closing the door for customers as well as directing them on where and how to park their vehicles. He thrives on tips. He said his father used to be a police officer but was dismissed with some of his colleagues for collecting bribe at an illegal check point from the wife of the state commissioner of police. But Julius is a very quiet and ambitious young man. We became friends and solved mathematics equations together. He used to be in a better school too but after the dismissal of his father without benefits, his mother ran away from the house with a strange man and things fell apart for the family. The mother used to be a business woman that goes to Aba to buy textile materials and other accessories and sells directly to office customers with her car boot as her ware house. She was doing well. But she could not cope when the dad lost his job. The father became temperamental and edgy so she fled.

His father focused all energy towards fulfilling his dream of educating all his children especially Julius being the only male child. His resources are very lean but he became unnecessary friendly with every customer that visited the fast food and took in all insults just to get his tips. The amount he realized from daily tip kept him going and meeting daily family needs.

Julius talked a lot about his father and how he advises them and challenged them to be the best they can and make a success out of life, he advised them to shine their eyes and never let an opportunity to slip by them. Julius has an elder sister and two younger sisters.

The treatment I received from my home did not improve rather it grew from bad to worse, I no longer ate on the dining table, my food was being dished in a plastic plate, the same type we used for the dogs but a different colour. The plates were actually purchased together.

The first day mummy served my food in the plastic plate and handed over to me, I took it to the dog’s pen and came back to her for my food. I used to eat with a ceramic breakable plate just like daddy and mummy. I had to rush back and retrieve the remnants from the dog before they licked the plate. That was after mummy had slapped me hitter thither for giving my food to the dogs. I ate the dog’s left over under her supervision

At thirteen years old in JSS 3 my world had always revolved around my small nuclear family. Extended family seldom visited and as such the way my life metamorphosed from grace to grass seemed normal to me. I gradually adapted to the life of servitude in the house. The kind of stories I heard from my classmates who were mainly house helps in their various homes did not make me feel out of place. The quality of teachers in the school did not help matters either: they did not care, all they do in the teachers office was chew bubble gum, gossip and sell. Our female teachers bring clothes, shoes, perfumes and different kind of commodities to buy and sell among them. No one cared if a student failed or passed an examination, as long as the student paid his or her school fees and other levies.

Julius my new found friend is an exceptional guy, he has this knack for success in life and I dare say he took life too seriously. He had his life planned out; he knew what he wanted to be in future and how to go about achieving it. He always knew he could not rely on his struggling father to see him through to the university so he had planned that immediately after his secondary education, he would be apprenticed in the skill of underwater welding and subsequently seek an employment with which he would see himself through the university to study chemical or petro chemical engineering. He probably would be working off shore which would be taking him in and out of town at intervals. He planned to be buying portions of Land whenever he returned from the rig instead of lavishing his money on frivolities. After buying sufficient plots of lands, he will start to develop them into houses and before he is forty, he would have become a real estate mogul. I liked it whenever I hear him talk like this, like an adult with so much confidence. He knows where he is going and how to get there.

For me, my future was just in front of my nose. I took every day as it came. I had no worries because I had been spoon fed until lately when the page turned. Julius had asked me severally about my future ambition and I could not give a definite answer. I had no future ambition. Every time he asked I gave him a different answer.

“Make up your mind Ceece” he would say. “Stop being a pendulum!”

One day after my daily chores at home, I got to school after ten o’clock: no one questioned lateness in our school. Daily roll calls were not taken. The proprietress would always say” If you like you come to school!” if you like do not come!” it’s not my business” Just pay me my money! That’s all!

We normally chorus the last statement with her “That’s all!”

During the break session thirty minutes after I got to school, Julius approached me.

“Ceece I need to talk to you” he said and “it is very important” he added

Really? Okay nah! I am listening” I said

“I have an eerie feeling towards you” he said

“Me?” what is it about?” I asked

Are you really sure this people you live with are your real parent?  He asked and continued as I stare at him.

I asked because no reasonable parent would intentionally delay their child or ward from coming perpetually late to school every day! No parent would change their child from a prestigious private school to a lousy public school like our without having lost their job or source of income. They stopped driving you to school! They chased their house helps away and replaced them with you, they even relocated you to the BQ! These are things you told me nah abi?”

I nodded my head.

Good! He continued, Ceece shine your eyes o! Something is not right here! Have you seen your birth certificate before? He asked

No! And why? I asked

Look out for it! Get it and go to the hospital to confirm if your birth is actually in their records and who your real parents are!

I am told I was born in Europe! I replied.

Europe? He teased, okay nah! No wahala, but just get the birth certificate all the same, you will know if it made in Europe or made in Nigeria!” he said.

Hmm, Julius you are getting me scared o! Why all these assertions nah? Because you have to know who you are Ceece! You need to where you stand early now, if you are a house maid, then so be it! If you are a bonafide daughter of the Harts, then so be it! But being in between is not good at all, are you a Bat?

Bat! How? I asked

The butterfly and the bird both fly but they are different. Any butterfly that dares to fly as high as a bird will lose its wings. Its better it maintained its own altitude. Ceece, I am from a poor background but I know I will not be a poor man! He said with emphasis eating his chest. “I will work hard and cut my coat according to my size. My father made some mistakes which I have learnt from. I will not follow his footsteps even though he  has learnt his mistakes and is paying hard for it now by bearing the family burden alone, my mother that was assisting him before has run away with another man. My father is still a police man even though he was dismissed some years ago! That police mentality still dey him blood, so I have vowed to be a better version of him. We live in an abandoned building free of charge. We don’t even know the owner of the building but all the families occupying the building know that one day, the owner or his relatives will come and chase us all out of the building! They may even sell it off and the new owner would chase us out! When this happens, where do we go to? He asked

“Ha! Me I don’t know nah!’ “Maybe you people will rent another house”. I said

“No way! I can’t see my father paying for a decent house! I ask my father this question every day and he does not have an answer instead he says when one road closes, another opens!” “Imagine! Such a lazy mans philosophy!” “About twelve different families live in the building illegally without paying house rent. There is no water there! There is no electricity, no toilet or bathroom but we all survive”.

“Ceece, my point is that we know we are poor and we do not deceive ourselves. Ceece you need to know who you are!” with much said, he walked away. I began to think.

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

At fifteen in SS2 my position in the family was unquestionably that of a maid. No show of affection from my mother at all, she sometimes referred to me as “This girl” or she asks:”What’s that your stupid name again”.

I had withdrawn into my shell. I used to be a bubbling happy girl. I now wear under sized tight clothes or over sized clothes given to me by mummy, there are clothes that were given to me to use as rags for cleaning the floor that I converted to personal wears. No under wear was ever bought for me and I dare not ask mother for clothes because I was afraid of the consequence. I degenerated. All I do is wake up and work, there is always enough clothes to wash from Daddy’s to the Kids who are now in nursery and primary school. Expensive private schools with a car and driver attached to them.

Upon return from school, I change into my domestic clothes and continue to work. Mummy always bags of melon to ensure I am kept occupied until mid night and upon all these I was still tops in my class to the bewilderment of my friends. My parents never uttered a word whenever I give them my school result. So I stopped giving it to them.

I do not have a tooth brush in the house, no bathing soap. I was restricted to the boy’s quarter and nothing is bought and sent there. I only come to the main building to work then I go back to the BQ to sleep. I bath with the bar soap I used in washing clothes, I used my finger to brush my teeth which has lost its sheen. I don’t use cream let alone pomade. It was Julius that gave me the first shaving stick to go and shave my arm pit when he was bold enough to tell me that I smelled.

At fifteen I was I was fully developed in puberty. My first menstrual flow came in the third term examination hall. I was experiencing some sort of stomach disorder and releasing some farts into the air to relieve myself. I did not know that I was stained until I stood up and proceeded to submit my answer sheet when the hall was full of laughter and jests from the boys. Some girl pulled her cardigan and gave me to tie around my waist and I went home in shame. I told my mother about my flow and she gave me some old news paper to use as Pad. I told her I had no pants and she gave me two of her old tights to wearing. The tights have faded and have holes beneath.

When I got to school the next day, the new had gone round that I was stained the previous day. I returned the cardigan to my class mate and went in search of my friend Julius. He laughed and teased me then he observed the way I was walking because of the paper pad I was putting on.

“Why are you walking like a crab? He asked laughing. Is it paining you or what?”

I told him about the news paper I was wearing.

News paper? He exclaimed. Who does that in this time and gage? Not even toilet tissue? He asked

“That is what my mummy gave me I told him. Please keep your voice down “I begged.

Okay o! I have never heard of such in my entire life. At worse you could have used an old worn out clothe or rag instead of news paper. My sisters use old clothes or tissue paper. He said

So did she advise you to stay off men or you will be pregnant now?

“No o! Stay off men like how?” I asked him.

“Didn’t she tell you anything?” He asked feeling genuinely concerned

No! I snapped. What is she supposed to tell me? I asked

Na wa o! Listen let me tell you what my father tells my sisters. Now that you have started menstruating, it means you have started releasing eggs in readiness for pregnancy.

Pregnancy! I exclaimed.

Yes nah! Didn’t you read in biology? They taught us in reproduction nah!

Okay! But I do not really understand it then.

What don’t you understand? He asked. You don’t know that if you are indulged in a sexual intercourse with a man now you could become pregnant? That is if you have eggs waiting in your ovary or is it uterus sef! He said

That is biology nah! I said

“That is reality! My sister!” He added

“Ceece! At this stage of your life you need a mother figure to guide and advise you”. “There is a lot you need to know now about life!” About men!” He said.

“But you are a man nah!” I said.

“Yes! Men like me!” He said

“Please tell me nah! What is it about men?” I asked

“Ceece, I can’t teach you about men! I am still a boy. Get your dad or mom to tell you about men please”

The bell rang for the beginning of the day’s examination paper.

 

 

 

Nothing to lose

Posted in Prose, Stories

NOTHING TO LOOSE

NOTHING TO LOSE

 

I heard that my parents were married and childless for eleven years before I was born

My mother had to leave town when I was conceived and she returned with me months later. The child dedication ceremony was a big do at the Holy family catholic church Woji in Port Harcourt city of Rivers state. That is the church I grew up to know as our house of worship.

I was christened Cecelia at baptism, my surname is Hart and we are from the historic kingdom of Opobo. The great King Jaja of Opobo is my ancestor so my family is one of the ruling houses in Opobo and my Dad, heir apparent.

The prolonged childless state of my parent had caused a strain in the family. My mother was at daggers drawn with my father’s family members especially my grandma. It was my arrival that brought them together. My grand ma had at one time told her son to get a second wife who would bear him a child. My dad had discussed the idea with his loving wife and hell was let loose. My mother traveled to Opobo the next day when Dad had gone to work and brought the roof of the ancient house down on the occupants. She insulted every member of my father’s family and dared thNothing to loseem to come visit their son in the city. She promised to mix rat poison in their food.

She returned to Port Harcourt before dad returned from work and pretended as if all was well. She even seized grandma’s GSM phone, she had bought it for her after all: that was when they were still friends.

It took my dad two weeks before he knew of the havoc the wife had gone to wreck in the village. Daddy happened to be the only child of his mother, he has step brothers and sisters though and as such he love his mother so much and did not take it lightly with my mother when he returned to Port Harcourt. He swore to take another wife after all; his dad had four wives before his death.

Granddad was into boat transportation business, he had several boats that plied the water side villages and islands. From the great waters of Bonny island to Opobo. His four wives are from four different riverine villages, a woman each from Opobo, Okirika, Ogoni and Bonny Island. He had a total of twenty eight children and my Dad happened to be the ninth child and first Son.

When daddy came back from Opobo, there was a serious quarrel between the two that daddy vowed never to host any of my mother’s relation in the house, mommy also vowed to do the same so no relation visited them for several years until my arrival.

I grew up being pampered as an only child. I had all the toys I wanted and ate everything that pleased me. I grew up as ajebo and when I came of age, I was registered at Kiddies international school; the best and most sophisticated private school around. I started reading and writing in nursery two and I had to skip nursery three into primary one at the age of five.

At church, mummy was the head of the children section and she was always proud when I go to the podium and recite bible passages off hand during children presentations on feast days, I usually get a standing ovation and cash gifts on such occasions. I was every one’s delight.

At six, I had started fiddling with musical instruments in church so that daddy had to buy me a key board to play with at home. I was loved by everyone and my parents were proud of me. I came fourth position in the first term examination in primary one having skipped nursery three but by the second term until I finished my primary education, I came tops in the class

Mummy became pregnant in my primary three, I was seven years old. It was awesome watching as her stomach grew inch by inch until it was very protruded just like other pregnant woman I used to see. I was happy I was going to have a baby in the house. I told mummy that I wanted a baby girl like me but she said that daddy wanted a baby boy since I was already a girl. So I changed my mind, it has to be a baby boy.

I was in primary four when Oprie my baby sister was born; I was almost eight years old. We were all happy especially my mother. The child dedication was done with aplomb, she was christened Anita. Our house was full with guests from every where

Two years after the birth of Anita, mummy conceived and gave birth to a baby boy, I was about to be admitted into secondary school at the age of ten plus, he was named Fenibo Prince Hart. The arrival of Prince started the dark days of my life in the house.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Daddy wanted me to go to the Federal government girl’s college having passed the entrance examination but mummy would not support the idea, she needed me around to help out with the Kids, after all I was of age and she had no house help. She declined even after daddy got two house helps to help her with home chores, she put them in the BQ, and she said she does not trust any external body with her children. So I was registered in a private secondary school two streets away from our home at Woji.

 

The change in my parents’ attitude towards me was so fast that I did not seeing it coming, I had been a good girl all my life. I had never taken any thing not given to me. I had no reason to steal or pilfer. I was happy and spoilt. I was called “Aje butter”! So it was very strange and surreal the first day my mother called me inside her room as I just returned from school, she started to frisk me, she searched my school bag and brought out all the contents. I asked her what she was looking for but she did not utter a word until she was done.

“I am looking for my money”! She said finally.

“Mummy is that why you are searching me”? “You should have asked me first nah” I was feeling sad

“Answer my question with a yes or no”! She snapped: did you take my one thousand naira?!

I was shocked: she had not spoken to me in such a manner before.

“Mummy, are you serious”? Have I ever stolen anything before? I asked

She smacked my face “Idiot! Answer me now before I slap you”!

I screamed “Mummy”! As I rubbed my palm over my cheek. “You slapped me mummy”!

And that was it, she pounced on me and dealt me several slaps, it was a festival of slaps on my face. I was screaming in pains and I tried to run out of the room but she had locked the door. Before I could turn the key to unlock the door, she was on me with her shoe in one hand and a broom in another. She beat me with both until I collapsed on the floor. That was the first beating I got in my life and it was epic. I slept off afterwards and woke up hungry in the middle of the night in my bed.

I went to the kitchen for my food but every flask was empty and all the plates clean. No food. I opened the refrigerator and the micro wave oven, no food, so I peeled some sliced bread from that in the refrigerator and applied jam then I took a can of Maltina and went to the dining table to eat. It was after ten o’clock.

I was chewing the second slice of bread when mother walked in and saw me eating.

“What are you eating”? “Who gave it to you”? Thief! Bastard thief! She shouted and charged towards me, she snatched the bread in my hands and slapped the chunk out of my mouth. I tasted blood from my lips.

“Mummy I am hungry”! I cried. I have not eaten since I returned from school!

“Don’t mummy me”! “Who is your mummy”? “I am not the mother of a thief”! “Idiot bastard”! She cursed and took all I was eating into the trash bin.

Daddy! Daddy! I shouted.

Daddy ran out of his room upstairs, “what is wrong Ceece”? He asked.

“I don’t know what I did to mummy o! I cried. When I returned from school this afternoon, she accused me of stealing her money and she beat me, I don’t even know what happened to me afterwards but I woke up in my bed this night hungry! Now I am eating bread and she has collected the food from me again, look at my mouth bleeding daddy”! I cried and cleaned the mucus from my nose and mouth with the back of my palm. Mummy had walked out while I spoke to daddy.

It’s okay!”It’s okay”! Daddy said and he prepared another bread and butter for me. “Your mother is going through a hard phase” he said.

“She even said I should not call her mummy “: I reported.

“Don’t mind her dear”! How could she? Daddy asked

And she called me a bastard! I said

What!? Daddy asked surprised. What has gone wrong with this woman! Don’t worry dear, come! I will deal with her, don’t worry. Oya eat! Eat and go to sleep ehn? There is school to attend in the morning.

I went with him to the sitting room and ate my food until he retired upstairs. I heard their voices quarrelling before I went to my own room to do my home work and read my book.

 

A couple of hours later, when I was beginning to enjoy my sleep, I heard mother’s voice so I opened my eyes.

Wake up silly girl! Oya! Go and take a broom and sweep the whole house! Start from the sitting room”!

I looked at the wall clock; it was four o’clock in the morning. It must be a dream. So I turned over and spread very well on the bed. The sound that woke me up was louder than the impact of her hands on my back. I screamed out of bed. My hands could not reach my back to properly rub the spot she had slapped. As I rubbed my back against the wall, I was looking at her hands to see if she has hit me with something but no, it was her palm.

“My friend, go and sweep the parlour”! She screamed.

I pointed at the wall clock with one hand while I covered my mouth with the other

Ehen? She asked

“Four o’clock in the morning”! I managed to say. My back was burning.

“Yes! It is time for you to start your daily chores”! She said.” From today hence forth, you must wake up at this time and clean up the whole house before going to school”! “If you do not finish it, then no school for you”! She said.

I was suddenly scared of her. Is this the mother that raised me up? Had an evil spirit taken over her?

Daddy! I screamed but she was upon me in a flash. She grabbed my mouth and pinched it until it bled. I spat out bloody spittle. I touched my lips. It burnt. “If I hear any sound from your mouth I will skin you alive”!” Do you want to wake my baby”? She scolded.

I scuttled out of my room towards the kitchen and got a broom to sweep the parlour then she went upstairs. As I began to sweep the parlour I had to sit down and think if all that was happening was indeed reality of hallucination. I fell asleep on the couch again.

It was a double barreled slap that woke me up at after six o’clock on the couch.

“You are sleeping”? She screamed

As I opened my eyes, the lights in the sitting room were blinking at me. I was confused.

“You have not even started sweeping at all”? “I swear I will kill you today”! “I will skin you alive”! She pummeled me, she stamped her feet on every part of my body as I lay on the ground trying to get up and run upstairs

“Please mummy”! I begged. Daddy! I screamed to no avail.

I finished sweeping every room in the house and went to the bath room to take my bath so as to be ready to leave the house with daddy as he leaves for work at seven o’clock.

I was in the bath room with lather all over me when mother opened the door

“Look! Make sure you wash and scrub the toilet and bathrooms before you go to school o!

Mummy! Daddy leaves for work at seven! He has to drop me at school; the time is almost seven o’clock! I said while wiping lather off my face.

“I have told you that this mouth will kill you”! She retorted.” You like to argue with me”! ‘If you like don’t do what I told you”! “Then we shall know who is who in this house”! She said.

“But mummy, what of the maids”? I asked

“Look” ! “One more word from you, I will pour this kettle of hot water on you”! She threatened.

 

I opened on eye and saw a smoking kettle in her hands, she was preparing to bath the baby. So I kept mute. After bathing and dressing up in my school uniform I went to the BQ only to discover that the maids had been laid off. The doors to the rooms were all open and empty. That was when it dawned on me that all was not well at all. I pulled off my uniform and washed the three toilets and three bathrooms in the house. I finished washing at after ten o’clock and proceeded to school. I had to trek to school for the first time. When I asked my mother for transport fare to join a Keke to school she said I should come and pull her teeth and use as transport. She asked if I was better that all other kids that trekked to school. I wanted to remind her that she once said I was special and different from other children but I thought it better to keep quiet so I carried my bag and went to school with an empty stomach, no pocket money and no transport fare. It was the first day that I went to school late and when I returned home from school on this same day, all my belongings had been moved to a room in the BQ. I did not go to school the next day as I was told to cut the weed surrounding the compound and so it was for the rest of the week.

Posted in Prose, Stories

The End

ACT 16 SCENE 1

Dandy’s bar: morning. Workers are cleaning up the mess of last night activities: Tombra saunters into the environment looking very unkempt, she looks around and beckons at one of the workers in Dandy’s Bar. Worker approach her and they talk then worker points at Dandy’s office.

Tombra walks briskly towards the Office as Dandy emerges and sees her, he gives a long hiss and turns to go back into the Office but Tombra runs and pulls him back, she falls on her knees

Tombra: Oga Dandy please don’t walk out on me! Please I beg you in the name of God!

Dandy: (Barking) see me see trouble o! Am I your husband? Why did you not say that to Lanky when he walked out on you? So you can kneel down before me now! Me! Another woman’s husband! But you could not kneel before your own husband! What do you want here please, I am a busy man!

Tombra: My husband sir! My husband and my Children! Please help me to locate them!

Dandy: shuo! I should locate them? Am I a compass or am I goggle map? Am I your family’s keeper? Why come to me? I am not even related to Lanky! Don’t you know his relatives?

Tombra: I know Ogiri is your friend and he comes here! Oga help me please! (Crying)

Dandy: woman why are you just coming for them now? Lanky left home about eight months now! You have not seen your children for about six months now! Are you just waking up from a drugged sleep? Something must be wrong! What happened to you madam? Even the way you look shows that all is not well! What happened to you?

Tombra: em, em, yes! Yes o! Something terrible happened to me! I was duped, I lost everything to fraudsters! I lost everything! My shop, my Cars and my building in Okirirka! Even my father’s lands were all confiscated by the Bank in order to recover the loan I collected to finance a business deal that turned out to be a farce! I am kobo less as you see me here! I can’t even go back to my family! My father has sworn to beat me to death if he sees me! My brothers are also calling for my head as they were hoping to inherit my father’s lands!

Dandy: (feels sober) hmm, what a life! Pride goes before a fall! So what do you need Lanky for now? Have you forgotten he does not have a job?

Tombra: I just need to see him and apologize for all I did to him; I know it is nemesis that has caught up with me! My father and my friends misled me!

Dandy: I don know their where about please!

Tombra: Oga Dandy, please nah! I am begging you in the name of God! To ere is human and to forgive is divine!

Dandy: oh! So you know that now? When we were all begging you to assist you husband, did you agree? You turned your back against the Father of your Children; you prefer your family to the family formed by you and your husband! You sex starved your husband! You denied him food in his house! You denied him the use of his matrimonial bed! You disrespect and embarrass him constantly in the presence of his Kids! Lanky was confined to sleeping with the Children or in the sitting room! You became a colossus in the house! Giving orders and instructions! Lanky became less than nothing before you! Do you know who Lanky was before you married him? (Shakes his head) go and research very well then you would understand why we respect him so much! Lanky was deceived by your churchy attitude! That was why he picked you for a wife because there were so many girls in his life and when it was time to settle down, he became confused. If not, who know you? And like a thief in the night, you talked him into establishing you, we thought it was a good idea, some of us warned him not to give you total free hand in the business, but Lanky has always been a big boy with a good heart and a lover of his women so he let you be. But you had your ulterior motive! Building a duplex for your family without carrying Lanky along! Is that what your learnt from all the fellowships and church services you attend?

Tombra: what God has joined together, let no man put ASUNDER!

Dandy: ehen? Are you blind? Or you simply refused to see! So all the so called church activities you partake in are for nothing? Can’t you see you allowed your selfishness and your money to put asunder in your marriage? For your information, you got what you deserve! You are not a good woman let alone a good wife! I think you are better off the way you are now! You cannot come and reap where you did not sow! For your information madam Thatcher! Lanky has bounced back better and bigger than you ever knew him to be!  Your Children are in one of the best schools in Ghana and they are doing great! And for lanky, we shall invite you very soon for his traditional marriage!

(Dandy walks out o her: she collapse on the floor)

END OF DISCUSSION.

 

Posted in Prose, Stories

Asunder! Acts 14-15

ACT 14 SCENE 1

Ogiri and a beautiful young Lady are sitting together under a tree in a local setting, they sit side by side, the lady has a tray containing melon seeds on her laps, and they both scoop from the tray to peel.

Ogiri: Kate, are you always this quiet? I don’t know of any school Teacher that is this quiet o!

Kate: (Laughs) I am not quiet o! Go and ask from my Parents. You can even ask your Uncle’s wife! I am not quiet!

Ogiri: (pushes her softly on the shoulder) na lie joor! Mama J said you are a quiet and humble girl! But I don’t like quiet girls’ o! They will be hurting inside without voicing out their minds! Are you like that?

Kate: no I am not o! Ha! Me I speak my mind o!

Ogiri: Okay! If na so, speak your mind now!

Kate: ahn ahn! (Laughs) just like that? What is there to speak?

Ogiri: I can see that you have a lot of questions to ask me

Kate: (Laughs out loud) ahn ahn! Are you a prophet? Who says I have a lot to ask you?

Ogiri: of course I know! I can see it in your eyes!

Kate: (Laughs) oh Uncle Ogiri! You are too funny!

Ogiri: (feigns surprise) what was that? What did you just call me?

Kate: (Surprised) ahn ahn! I called your name nah! Or have you changed your name? I know your mates call you Lanky, but to us younger ones we call you Uncle Ogiri!

Ogiri: I beg you in the name of every thing you hold dear; I am not your uncle o! I know all my Nephews and nieces and you don’t fall into that category at all. Call me Lanky! Call me Ogiri! But I beg, I beg  no call me Uncle! I no be your uncle! In fact I have a better name for you to call me!

Kate: a better name?

Ogiri: yes nah!

Kate: and what would that be?

Ogiri: (whispers into her ears)

Kate: (Laughing uncontrollably) oh my God! Oh God! So you are this funny?

Ogiri: no be joke o! But please don’t call me Uncle again!

Kate: okay! Okay! I won’t call you Uncle again!

Ogiri: Oya call me my new name let me hear!

Kate: (Laughs out loud and shakes her head) no! No! Not now nah!

Ogiri: Okay you are shy abi?

Kate: No o!

Ogiri: Oya call me nah!

Kate: (More laughs and she whispers into his ears) are you okay now?

Ogiri: (Smiles) Okay that will do for now, but later I want you to say it loud! So back to the matter, ask me what is on your mind!

Kate: (smiling) Okay, what do you want from me?

Ogiri: (Taken aback) shuo! Wow! Well, em, em, I was not expecting that line of question! As in, it came too direct!

Kate: You said I should speak my mind nah!

Ogiri: My dear you get mind true- true and you no dey beat around the bush! Okay listen make I tell you my own mind also. Kate, I want a serious relationship with you! One that would lead to marriage!

Kate: ha!

Ogiri: na wetin?

Kate: that’s too direct nah!

Ogiri: na so!

Kate: But you are a married man with Kids nah! What sort of joke are you playing on me? For the records, I want you to know that I cannot be a second Wife to any Man no matter your worth!

Ogiri: cool down, calm down please and don’t be offended. Perhaps I was too direct. It is a long story but I will cut it short, details will follow as we get to know each other better. I am no longer a married man and talking about my worth, for your information, I am not worth anything again o! I have been out of Job for close to a year now! I am in the labour market as I speak with you. In fact if there is a vacancy for a teaching job in your school kindly contact me! I can teach Agric science, Biology, Physics and even Mathematics! (Kate looks shocked) see! Help me talk to your school Principal! I am ready to do anything!

Kate: What about your Wife? We know she is well to do!

Ogiri: My dear, she abandoned me several months ago when I lost my Job! She said her money is not to be shared with me but with her nuclear family! Her marriage to me was “for better, for better” She was not ready to suffer with me! Can you imagine that I have not touched a woman in almost a year now?

Kate: (Surprise) shuo! For real?

Ogiri: yes nah! Please I do not want to rush you; I just need a shoulder to lean on at this time of my life! I am not a lazy man, I will rise again, and when I rise again, I will need a friend and a companion, not a lone ranger like Tombra my so called wife!

Kate: hmm, na wa o! So the rich also cry for real!

Ogiri: My Sister! I am wailing! Not just crying. I thank God for friends that I have helped in the past, I thank God for my Uncle and his wife! They have been sustaining me since I exhausted my savings!

Kate: what about your Children?

Ogiri: They are now schooling in Ghana! They are both in Secondary School there.

Kate: But you came here with a brand new car? I know your Car but this is different!

Ogiri: I told you I have Friends that are good. It belongs to a Friend!

Kate: Do you still drink?

Ogiri: By the grace of God, yes! I still drink once in a while. But for now, I don’t have the money for beer.

Kate: well, I am sorry for all you have passed through. By the grace of God, everything you lost will be restored in Jesus name!

Ogiri: Amen o! Amen!

Kate: Everyone here in the Village know you as a kind hearted and generous man! Even my elder brother Fubara use to speak of your magnanimity.

Ogiri: Which Fubara? Do I know him?

Kate: Yes! You were classmates throughout your secondary School!

Ogiri: (Exclaims) wait a minute! Jesus Christ! Godspower Fubara! Is Godspower Fubara your brother! The honourable member of the House of assembly!?

Kate: (Nods her head smiling) Yes! He is our first born! I am the last! I am Kate Fubara!

Ogiri: Kate Fubara! Oh my Gawd! Your bros na my G nah! Na my main man! Do you know we were very close?

Kate: of course I know! Why do you think I gave you audience in the first place? Besides, Mama Joe has told me everything that befell you.

Ogiri: Mama Joe? Are you serious? Wow! Well, they have been wonderful People. Uncle and Mama Joe, they spoke well about you too. I will call Fubara  and introduce my self as his in-law!

Kate: which in-law? Don’t bet on it o! (Pushes him softly on the shoulder)

Ogiri: This one no be bet matter! This one na confirm! Wow! It’s like I have Butterflies in my stomach! I have not felt like this in a long while. I never knew that meeting with you could turn out this way! I feel like I have known you forever!

Kate: me too, I feel so free with you. I will talk to my principal tomorrow as per the vacancy. I think we need a physics Teacher in S.S.2, Mr. Johnson has entered politics so the School needs a replacement.

Ogiri: (Hugs her) wow! Thank you! Thank you so much!

Kate: (pushes him off) not yet nah! It’s too early to celebrate when I have not even told him yet, what of if he has other plans for the position?

Ogiri: (relaxes) Okay, okay! But it is comforting enough to even hear that there is a vacancy somewhere! That statement has been scarce to my ear! Every where I went it was ‘no vacancy’

Kate: (Looks at her wrist watch) Uncle Ogiri! Its time for me to go and meet my mother in the shop!

Ogiri: wetin you call me now?

Kate: (covers her mouth to supress a laugh) Oh I am so sorry!

Ogiri: oya call me again make I hear!

Kate: uhun! Not now (She stands up and begins to tidy up the work environment)

Ogiri: don’t worry! By the time my twins will be kicking inside your stomach, I will see if you will still be calling me Uncle!

Kate: (Laughs) don’t bet on it o!

Ogiri: (Mimics her) don’t bet on it o!

Kate: Please wait for me let me go inside and drop this tray in the house and change my Clothes too. Hope you don’t mind?

Ogiri: Shuo! I dey craze? If you say I should stand here till you go to Sokoto and return, I will stay! (Kate laughs and runs off)

(Ogiri walks around the tree; he hails someone greeting him from afar. He brings out his Phone and begins to fiddle with it as Kate re- enters, she goes straight to him and plants an envelope in his hand)

Kate: Don’t open it until you are alone please. Please manage whatever you see inside; you know I am just a School teacher!

(Ogiri stops and looks at the envelope in his hands, then he looks down into her eyes, pulls her close and plants a kiss on her lips)

 

Fade

 

 

ACT 15 SCENE 1

(Police station: D.P.O’s office. The D.P.O is seated while Tombra stands opposite his Table; two Bank Officials are seated opposite the table facing the D.P.O)

D.P.O: so Madam! Who is your guarantor? Who was your surety while collecting this loan?

Tombra: My Father Sir!

D.P.O: Your Father? Can he help you to repay the loan now?

Tombra: (Shakes her head) no sir!

D.P.O: why? Did he not sign an under taking to help you out in case of your inability to service the loan?

Tombra: (Crying) he can’t pay o! He can’t. He is a retired Soldier! He lives on his meagre pension with my Mother in the Village! They are just managing o!

D.P.O: we may need to bring your Father here! As long as he had signed to surety you, then he is liable! Do you People know the implications of signing a document at all? What Properties does your Father own?

Tombra: he has Lands! The Lands are to be bequeathed to my brothers!

D.P.O: where are the Lands?

Tombra: He has two plots at Port Harcourt town and a plot at Rumuodumanya! He has some plots in the Village too!

D.P.O: the lands in the Village don’t have economic value! (To the bankers) did you copy that? We shall confiscate the document of those lands except those ones in the Village. We shall call an estate- valuer to ascertain their worth! You already have the documents of her house in Okirirka abi?

Bankers: yes sir!

D.P.O: what of the particulars of the house she is living in presently?

Banker 1: it is her husband’s property and was not tied to the loan from inception.

D.P.O: Can’t it be tied to the loan now? After all he is her husband! We will get him here! Madam, where is your husband?

Tombra: (Crying) I don’t know o! He lost his job and he ran away from the house since last year! I don’t know where he went to! He ran away with my two Children! I have not seen my Children since he took them away o!

D.P.O: what kind of talk is that? Your husband lost his job and he ran away! Is he a mad man! What sort of man would do that when he has a well to do woman like you as wife? And how can a jobless man run away with your Children? Well, that’s your personal palaver! (To Bankers) I hope you have taken possession of the Shop and her Cars?

Bankers: yes sir! We have the keys and documents sir!

D.P.O: good! She will remain in custody until someone comes to bail her! I would like you People to be here tomorrow or next so we can summarize all the recoverable money from her properties and her father’s properties so that we can settle this issue quickly and out of court as she pleaded!

Banker 1: next tomorrow will be appropriate sir!

D.P.O: but from what I see the money won’t be fully recovered! Nine million naira is not nine thousand naira!

Banker: you are right sir, but let see what we can gather first! Em, the documents to the father’s property, how soon can we get it sir?

D.P.O: I am drafting a team to Okirika now to go and bundle her father back here! And he is to come with the land document. She will go with them but she will be in cuffs so as to show the father that we mean business, I know old Soldiers! They are more stubborn than serving soldiers!

(Banker stands up to leave; they shake hands with the D.P.O)

Banker 1: we appreciate your assistance so far D.P.O! Thank you so much!

D.P.O: you are welcome! It’s our job! (Bankers exit) madam! Your case is different o! I have heard of women leaving their husbands and running off with the Kids but not the other way round! I am sure you are not telling us the truth but like I said, it’s your personal palaver! (He dials the intercom on his table and picks the receiver) Corporal Amachree! Come and remand this suspect back to custody! (Drops the receiver)

(Corporal Amachree comes in and whisks Tombra away)

 

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Posted in Prose, Stories

Asunder! Acts 10-13

ACT 10 SCENE 1

Exterior: Ogiri parks a brand new Toyota Camry 2.2 at the front of his Uncles house, the Children rush out to meet him as usual and he dishes out snacks to them. Uncle and Mama Joe were seated outside peeling melon seed from a big bowl placed on a small stool, they look up to see Ogiri and the Kids, Uncle Joes begins to hail)

Uncle Joe: yes o! That’s my Boy! That’s my Son! The true Son of his father! O God! O my God how I wish your Father my brother is alive to see this day! (He begins to cry) the Wife consoles him) I know Ogiri is not a failure! The spirits of your father and your mother are not sleeping! (He looks up and raises his hands) Thompson my Brother! You no dey sleep! You and your Wife don try! Una don commot shame from our eyes! Make una sleep well o! Make una rest well! Oh God almighty! I thank you! I thank you o! (Falls down crying)

Mama Joe: na dream I dey dream? I no understand wetin they happen! Ogiri na who get Motor? Who give you this fine Coat to wear?

Ogiri: Mama!( He hugs her and pulls Uncle Joe up and hugs him too, brings out a handkerchief and wipes Uncle Joes, face, they hold unto each other for a long hug , Uncle continues to sob while Ogiri consoles him patting his back). Mama no be dream, na the work of God! Na God use my friends to change my story o! That na my official Car! I get driver o! Today na Saturday so I release am to go do other things for himself!

Mama Joe: My husband! I happy for you o! Ha! I thank God o! (Dances and sings in Kalabari) yes! Satan shame on to you! All power belongs to Jesus! Shame don catch them! God pass them! Oya! Sit down food dey for fire!

Ogiri: Mama no vex I no go fit wait to eat, my waka still plenty, I just say make I show make una see me! E don reach two months wey una see me nah!

Uncle Joe: na true! Na true!

Mama Joe: no o! You no fit just go like that nah! Make I put am for Flask for you! (She dashes off)

Ogiri: (Removes his wallet and counts some wads of naira notes and tucks into his Uncles wrapper) hide this one first before mama show back! (Uncle removes the money, raises his wrapper up and puts the money into the pocket of his short pants beneath the wrapper)

Uncle Joe: Thank you my Boy! Thank you! God go bless you! Old boy na plenty money you give me so! No be one one thousand naira notes be that?

Ogiri: Uncle, forget that thing! You be like a father to me! No amount is too much for you and mama!

Uncle: na true! Na true! (Mama Joe returns)

Mama Joe: ehen! (Hands over the food flask) oya take! Put am for your Motor, when you reach house you eat am! Na Starch and banga soup with correct Stock Fish!

Ogiri: Mama de Mama! You too much! Oya take your own (removes his wallet again and counts wads of naira notes, he hands them over to mama and then count a smaller quantity and gives to Uncle Joe again)

Mama and Uncle begins to jubilate and pray for Ogiri

Ogiri: Uncle, I de go Abuloma to carry my Children, I hear say them go spend weekend there with Tombra Cousin, I de go kidnap them! They will live with me in Okirika and I will change their School!

Uncle Joe: Yes! Yes! Na so!

Mama Joe: Tombra no be better Woman! She no be wife at all! She be witch!

Ogiri: I no do Tombra anything O! The only crime wey I commit be say I lost my job! Just for her to be patient and support me, she no gree! She don forget say the down fall of a man, (Uncle and Mama Joins to end the proverb) is not the end of his life!

Uncle: Very selfish, greedy and wicked woman! Imagine her building a duplex in her Village out of the proceeds of a business you set up for her yet she could not pay her Children’s Schools fees let alone give you some money to start up something or at least to survive with pending when things would improve! But come o, Ogori, how far nah! You know nah!

Ogiri: oh! Uncle, that side? Na me dey run now o! They dey rush me like cold beer! (Laughs)

Uncle Joe: (Laughing) I trust you! I trust you! Look just relax make my Wife help you find better woman from here, a well-educated and well trained Kalabari Girl wey go love and value yoy!

Mama Joe: My husband no worry, trust me nah! I go get you my friend daughter, she be graduate too but na better girl, she sabi cook well well, I go teach am all your favourite dishes!

Ogiri: (Jubilation) yes o! (Hugs Mama) thank you! Thank you! I trust you! So when I go meet the girl nah?

Mama: No worry, the next time wey you want to come here, just call us in advance so that I go take style invite her come here.

Ogiri: Okay I trust you! Mama de mama! (Hugs her, hugs Uncle and dashes to his car) make I dey run go Abuloma! Una bye bye o!

 

Exit and fade.

 

 

 

 

ACT 11 SCENE 1

Dandy’s bar: Night: The Bar is full with Customers: beautiful coloured revolving lightings adorn the bush bar. The tempo is high and some Customer are dancing to the music of Patoranking  ‘Girlie o’ featuring Tiwa Savage. At the far end of the Bar, the Boys are gathered around two plastic tables placed side by side so as to accommodate more persons. The Boys are in a celebration mood as there is assortment of drinks and eatables on their table, they also have five beautiful Girls from Campus to spice up the Table.

 

Tope:  Old boy! Ta- ta- ta (Others chorus, Tamuno!) ehen! Tamuno! Ta -Thank you fo- for the life of our friend o! I mean La –la- la (Lanky! Others chorus) ehen! Lanky! Yo-  you try I beg!

Tamuno: (Puffs out Cigarette smoke) Na God o!  He was just lucky the opportunity came at the right time (Puffs out more smoke) you Guys should help me to thank Lanky also o! The Guy has turned my Company around! In fact he is the man with a Midas touch! Every one in the Company praise him for his leadership style, our Market share and profit margin has risen significantly since he took over Tamuno farms  six months ago! (Applause and cat cries from all presen; Dandy approach the Table with his Heineken Bottle handy, he drinks straight from the Bottle, he greets every one on the table a pulls a Chair for himself, Lanky rises to speak)

Lanky:  Gentle men and Ladies!

Tope: Sho-sho- shut up! It is ladies fe- fe- first! Oya rephrase!

Lanky: Oh my bad! Ladies and gentle men! Let me use this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of you here, what would I have done without the likes of you Guys in my life?

Tope: yo –yo- you for don die nah! Na God sa-save you fro- fro -from your Wife! Ma-madam Thatcher! (All laugh)

Lanky: Like seriously, na God save me true true o! He saved me through Friends like una. I thank my Oga here (refers to Tamuno) na my Friend before- before o! But now levels don change! He pays my salary now so he is my Boss! I respect you sir! (Bows before Tamuno) he saved my life and brought me out of a shameful situation! May God bless you sir! And I promise to continue to work hard to take Tamuno Farms limited to greater heights! (General applause)

Tope: You -you get cho-choice? If you do any how, you go- go see any how nah! (All laugh)

Lanky: Dandy! (He leaves his seat and goes round to hug Dandy, he held unto Dandy and he begins to Sob)

Tope: na- na wetin dey do am? He don drink?

Njoku: Tope can’t you be quiet? Must you talk? Are you the only one here? Nna, na wa for you o!

Tope: sho-shut up your mouth! Na na your mouth I dey ta-take talk? How a whole man go -go just start to- to dey cry like mumu and yo- you say make I- I no talk? You dey craze? Abi yo-you don drink too?

Brian: Yoruba Man, shut up your mouth! Na only you dey here?

Tope: (Stands up angrily) you? You dey craze! I dey talk, you day talk! (He sits down and pours himself a glass of drink, he pulls a plate of Chicken and begins to gnaw) yeye People! (Mouth full) is it normal to see a man cry?

(Lanky is taken back to his seat by Brian, Lanky shakes hand with Brian and continues his speech)

Lanky: I am sorry, I got emotional, I am very sorry, but you will not understand. When I was down and out, it was Dandy that took me in, I came here every night to eat and drink free of charge!

Tope: (Interrupts) Idiot! Is that why you are crying?

Njoku: Tope!

Tope: Na wetin nah?

Lanky: make una leave Tope I beg! Na him way! As I was saying, Dandy never for one day made me feel like I was a liability to him! Even when I had some change to pay for a meal, he refused to collect any dime from me. His Staff and even his Wife never knew I was eating and drinking free of charge else they would have given me a polite insult some day, but it never happened! They still respected me as if I was still working and spending large as usual.

Tope: yo-you are lucky I-I did not know yo-you were eating free all these da-days! I -I for no dey dash yo-you Money nah! Oloshi! (Gulps from his bottle of Jack Daniels)

Lanky: Tope, you don dey drunk I know!

Tope: Idiot! Yo-you get mouth to-to dey call me drunkard now abi? Yeye man!

Brian: (Exclaims) Kai! Na who give this yeye Yoruba Man Spirit to drink this night? Una no know say Tope no dey drink Spirit? Na who give am?

Njoku: Na small Pikin? Anybody force am? No be for Table the Drink dey? No be him choose am by himself?

Brian: I no want make wetin happen for Casablanca last Month happen here o! I no fit carry person o!

Tope: wetin happen for Casablanca? Idiot! Hic!

Lanky: gentle men! I owe Dandy a lot! That I could fuel my Car, that I had a little change now and then was courtesy of Dandy and I owe my new come back to Dandy! Dandy spoke to Mr. Tamuno about my situation and here we are today! I beg a standing ovation for Dandy!

(All stand up to appreciate Dandy except Tope, as others sit down after clapping, Tope gets up and begins to clap)

Njoku: (At one of the Girls on the Table) Come! Babe oya carry your Guy comot for here! This Man go soon embarrass you here I swear!

Brian: He will embarrass himself, not the poor Girl!

Tope: (Stops clapping and clutches his Stomach) ye! I beg wey the road to Toilet here? I want shit!

Brian: (Shouts) kai! Wahala don set! Oya come quick! Njoku, oya help me carry am I beg! You sabi wetin wan happen so o! Na Casablanca part two wan happen so o! (Brian and Njoku help Tope off the scene hurriedly)

Fade.

 

ACT 12 SCENE 1

Ogiri’s House: Tombra is pacing to and fro while talking on the phone

Tombra: Hello! Hello! Akpors I don’t understand what you are saying o! When are the goods arriving nah? It is over a month now and I am yet to take delivery! Remember I collected Loan to finance this business o! My banker is already on my neck! (Silence…..)

No! No! No! I can’t wait any longer! Things are hard for me already! My Sales van has Engine problem, I need to change the Engine! Sales are poor these days and I cannot Stock all the necessary goods because I diverted money into this business! (Silence…….)

(Shouts) Me? Why? I can’t spend any more money! Even my project in the Village has been suspended! I used it as collateral for the loan! (Silence….)

From where do I get it? I paid in Nine million naira and I am yet to see the goods! How do you expect me to pay in more money? I don’t have it! Hello? Hello? (She looks at the phone; she redials the number and puts phone to her ear) Switched off? How can it be switched off? (She redials and puts Phone to her ear, and then she shouts) Lie! What’s wrong with this network? Someone that I just spoke with now?  (She storms out of the scene.)

Fade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT 13 SCENE 1

Interior: provision Shop- products are scantily displayed on shelves, two sales Girls standing by as Tombra  moves to and fro  looking agitated while dialling her Phone ceaselessly.

Tombra: (Soliloquizing aloud) Chai! One chance! I don enter one chance! Ye! Ye ye! (Hands on her head) my own don kpafuka for Port Harcourt! Ha! My own don finish! (To the girls) Did you girls say you have not seen Akpors!

Girls: No Madam!

Tombra: (Tries the phone call again) Chai! I don die! I don die! (Stamps feet on the ground) her Phone has been off for over a week now! I went to her Office, it was locked up! People around said she has relocated, relocated to where nah?! No one knows! Ye! My own don finish! I do enter correct one chance! (Walling) where do I start from? I collected a load of six million naira from the bank, plus my own three million naira! (To the girls) No be nine million naira be that?

Girls: Na so Madam!

Tombra: All my savings are gone! Look at my Shop! (Gesticulates) look! Look! Na wetin remain here? Every thing don finish! I used my building as collateral; I also used my family land at Rukpokwu as Collateral for this loan! Ha! Family land! What do I tell my Father and my brothers? My Bank will confiscate all these properties! Ha! Which kain wahala be dis o! Where or whom do I run to now? So this is how I have become a victim of 419? A whole me! Kai! Water don pass Garri o! (Wailing continues as two plain clothes detectives and two bank Officials enter the Shop)  hey! Dem don come o! (She collapses on a chair crying.)

Man 1: Officers, this is the woman! Mrs. Tombra Ogiri!

Police Officer: Madam! Madam! Are you Tombra Ogiri? (Tombra looks up and nods her head)

Police Officer:  Please you are wanted at the Office in respect of the loan you collected from your bank over six months ago! Please close the Shop and come with us!

(Tombra  keeps nodding her head in affirmation, she stands up and looks the Shop all over, the Police ushers her and her girls outside and close the Shop.

 

Fade

 

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Posted in Prose, Stories

Acts 7-10

ACT 7 SCENE 1

Dandy’s bar- Tamuno and Lanky are drinking together

Tamuno: so Lanky! I understand things are pretty rough with you right?

Lanky: My Guy! I never knew women could be so selfish and wicked! Well it’s just a temporal set back sha, I will bounce back! I am still young and strong.

Tamuno: (Puffing out Cigarette smoke) I understand your Company is waiting on the Government for new Contracts? What if the new Government does not favour you guys? What would you do?

Lanky: How?

Tamuno: how what? Are you not listening to what I am saying? You see, don’t you have a plan B? No wonder your wife dey sex starve you!

Lanky: oh! So Dandy has told you that too?

Tamuno: yes he told me, he also said I should try and see what I can arrange for you.

Lanky: (Grabs Tamuno’s hand) Guy can you do anything to save my face? Please! I will be forever grateful to you! Things have turned from bad to worse for me! My wife has gone to the extent of changing the Locks and keys to the Kitchen and our bed room! All the Cupboards and Freezers in the house now have new locks! Old boy I cannot hide my shame from you o! Na die I dey so o!

Tamuno: but wait a minute! How could your Wife be so cruel? Were you mean to her when the going was good? (Dandy joins the duo with a bottle of Heineken beer in his hand, he wears a three quarter length Jeans and blue denim short sleeves Shirt with a blue Papa’s cap to match)

Lanky: Dandy how far nah? I see say you don tell Tamuno wetin my eyes dey see with Tombra! He is asking if I was cruel to her when the going was good! I beg help me answer that question!

(Dandy sits down)

Dandy: ha! No o! Lanky na the ideal husband o! He established the Woman and even got her two Cars! One for the business and the other for her private runs. Lanky is the only Man that hardly come here with other Women unlike You and Brian and co..(Tamuno interrupts)

Tamuno: Shut up!

Dandy: Lanky is one of the few stupid men I have seen that still put his wife on monthly pocket allowance even after opening a business for her, a business that she runs solely without giving accounts to him! What does she do with her money? Dandy used to pay up his Kids School fees in advance! He pays for all three terms upfront in January. But unfortunately, he lost his job in January this year. No! Lanky was never cruel to Tombra, not at all.

Tamuno: wow! Wow! Impressive CV!  Hmm , ideal husband indeed. I bet she knows what you earn monthly?

Lanky: (Grinning) of course! I hid nothing from her!

Tamuno: (Looks Lanky up and down sarcastically and mimics him) of course! I hid nothing from her! Look at you now! Does your Wife declare what she realizes from her Shop to you? Does she tell you how much she realizes weekly or how much she has in her bank account?

Lanky: No! No! I don’t need to know! After all I opened the Shop for her. It’s hers!

Tamuno: chai! Chai! Chai! Lanky, I never knew you could be so stupid! (He throws away the Cigarette stud and lights up another stick, takes a long drag and exhales thick smoke from mouth and nose. Lanky looks shocked, he looks at Dandy for support) yes! I will say it again and again, Lanky! You are a big fool! I hate fools! And if not for the respect I have for Dandy, I would have walked out on you right away! In fact you be Woman Wrapper! Number one! Your Wife is smarter than you are! That is obvious. Secondly, how could you be working for a private construction Firm without having a plan B?

Lanky: Plan B? How?

Tamuno: are you the owner of the Company?

Lanky: of course not!

Tamuno: apart from the house you built and this Car you drive about, what other thing do you have?

Lanky: My wife’s Shop!

Tamuno and Dandy: (Shouts) shut up your mouth!

Dandy: wetin dey do you?

Tamuno: (Takes a long drag on the Cigarette and exhales) look! Lanky or what ever they call you, it is better to be quiet and appear stupid than to open your mouth and clear all doubts!

Lanky: how?

Dandy: how again? You and this your ‘how’ ‘how’!

Tamuno: na you get your wife Shop and owu dey worry you like dis? (Lanky looks at Dandy)

Dandy: can’t you see that you have lost it as the man of the house? (Lanky looks at Tamuno)

Tamuno: your wife sex starves you! She does not prepare food for you! She does not give a damn if you exist! (Lanky looks at Dandy)

Dandy: she has put everything in the house under lock and key! She is building her own house behind your bank! A woman you call your wife! My friend you have been hypnotized!

Lanky: (Holds unto his head as he shakes it vigorously) haaaaaa! How? How? How?

Tamuno:  the next thing she will do is to start bringing her male lovers to your house! And she will lock you out!

Lanky: How can?

Dandy:  dey there dey ask question! When last did you touch your wife? Several months ago! And you live under the same roof! (Lanky stares at Tamuno)

Tamuno:  can you vouch for her that she has not slept with a man all this while?

Lanky: which Man?

Dandy: any Man but you!

Lanky: (Hysteric) how? I will kill some body I swear!

Dandy: you can not do jack my man! How old are your Kids again?

Lanky: twelve and seven!

Dandy: good! They are not too young to understand, you can still change the game to your advantage!

Lanky: really? (Stands up) but how?

Dandy: Mr. How, sit down!

Tamuno: leave the house for her for now!

Lanky: I have thought of that before but where do I go? What do I do? How do I feed?

Dandy: Lanky! Tamuno and I have been talking, he has a large Farm at Okirika, and the Manager of the Farm is running for the seat of the local government area, he will win, Tamuno is sponsoring him. (Lanky stares at Tamuno open mouthed)

Tamuno:  you will be in charge of the farm, you will live there, there is a three bed room apartment there for the Managing Director of Tamuno Farms and Agro allied Industry! The pay is better than what you have ever earned plus the fact that you may never have to buy food, fish and meat again. So when I see you in a month’s time I expect to see a fresher you! (Lanky stares at Dandy)

Dandy: The farm has palm plantation, poultry, Ostrich, Piggery, grass cutter, Cat fish pond, rice plantation and over eight hundred cows being shepherded by Fulani herdsmen! It is a herculean task for you as Managing director! (Lanky stares at Tamuno with mouth agape)

Tamuno: the Fish pond has a capacity of fifty thousand mature fishes with average weight of two kilogram’s, upon maturity the marketing supervisor sends SMS to our existing Clients and in three to four days, the Pond is empty! Then we replenish the Pond! The Cockerels and broilers are booked in advance by over fifty eateries and retail Outlets in out clientele. The plantations are being run by different supervisors, they report to their Managers and the Managers will report to you. You will report there next tomorrow and start your induction; you will need to go round the various sections for two months before you assume your official position.  I will bring your letter here tomorrow and inform them to expect you on Saturday! Congratulations! Lanky you are welcome to my world!

(Lanky falls down and starts to wail like a baby.)

 

Exit.

 

ACT 8 SCENE 1

Ogiri’s apartment, he enters the house to se Tombra discussing on the phone, she is seated on the Couch and facing her on the centre table are bundles of naira notes. Immediately she sees Ogiri she cuts the call and begins th garther the money into her hand bag.

Tombra: (Surprised) ahan! Can’t you knock before you enter the house? (She packs her money hurriedly)

Ogiri: I should knock before I enter the house? Why didn’t you lock the door when you know you don’t want to be interrupted! And by the way why are you packing up your money because I came in? Do I look like a thief? Or have I stolen from you before?

 

Tombra:  that is your business! I can do what I want, when I want and how I want!

Ogiri:: In fact madam! You don’t know how you disgust me! My hate for you grows by the day! You are hiding money from me! The money that is the proceeds of my labour and sweat! So I have fallen so low that you will see me and start hiding your money? You have changed the keys to the Kitchen so that i will not eat! You changed the key to all the Lockers and Cupboards! Even the key to the bed room door you changed it! You turned me to an out cast in my own house! You have sex starved me for almost eight months now! (Raises his voice) well, I know you have a man some where that is servicing you! All your actions since I lost my job show that you have been unfaithful to me all along!

Tombra: yes shout! Shout let the neighbours know that you are a frustrated man!

Ogiri: why wont I shout? What else do I have to hide? I am down and he that is down fears no fall! All the neighbours know of my condition already! They all know about how you are treating me too! Is it not the neighbours that take me in when you lock me out some nights? Is it not the neighbours that feed me some times and give me stipends on which I have survived thus long?

Tombra: I hope you are sleeping with their Wives too?

Ogiri: oh! You think they are like you? No! They are human beings with clean conscience! Haven’t you asked your self how I fuel my Car and still try to look as if all is well? Have you seen me come home drunk at night since I lost my job? No! Yet I still hang out with my friends and they take care of me! The same friends I had before I met you! The same friends that attended our wedding ceremony! They did not abandon me! No! Not for a moment! They have been helpful and surportive.

Tombra: Please go and sit down! You are only jealous of my success! You can not face the fact that I am now richer than you, that’s all!

Ogiri: Jealous of you? How myopic you think! Is it a competition? And how do you measure success? Is it in monetary terms alone? (Laughs sarcastically) woman let me tell you what you do not know!

Tombra: (sits tight clutching her bag to her Chest) what do you have to say? I am listening!

Ogiri: good! I like that! You are listening! Today you go hear word from me! I can choose to chase you out of this house this minute! But I will not do that yet, not now!

Tombra: (Flares up) for where? You can’t! Try it and see!

Ogiri: even your so called business, I can set that Shop on fire without you or any one suspecting me! I can arrange with Boys to burgle the Shop and wreck you! I can pour salt into the engine of your Car and knock the engine! My dear I can wreck you! There are many ways to kill a rat!

Tombra: (Jumps up clapping her hands and shouting) thank God you are confessing! I will report you to my Father! I will report you to the Police in case anything happens to me or my Business!

Ogiri: see mumu! See mumu! If I want to do any of those things do you think I will tell you? I wont tell you nah! You will just be sleeping at home and you will receive phone calls that your Shop is burning, and as you rush out to drive to the Shop, you Car will not start and never will, have you forgotten I am a typical Port Harcourt boy? I grew up on the streets and i dey bam!

Tombra: if you dey bam, I go show you say me I dey well!

Ogiri: oh Tombra, Tombra! You don’t have foresight at all, you no get sense and I think it is because you did not finish your School! So you think I can not rise again or what? Have you forgotten I am still young? I am just forty years old! I have my first and second degree! I am a hustler which means I can do anything to survive! Tombra I am every woman’s dream man! I adored you! I pampered you! I spoilt you! I loved you Tombra! But you stabbed me in the back; you insulted me in the most unforgiveable way! You made me a subject of ridicule in the whole estate, amongst my friends and my family! Even before my Children! You want me t loose my respect before my Children! And by the way, (Calls out) Joshua! Ella! (He goes into the room and comes out) where are my Children? I understand they closed  for the term yesterday?

Tombra: Tyhey are not around! They went to spend the holiday with my Cousin at Abuloma!

Ogiri: when are they coming back?

Tombra: until School resumes!

Ogiri: (laughs sarcastically clapping his hands) Tombra! You sent my Children to spend their holiday with your Cousin without telling me let alone get my approval? Even if I am jobless and broke, you do not have to disrespect me that much! Where and how did I even wrong you Tombra? I do not have a say in this house again because I don’t have a job abi?

But how could you have pretended so well for fourteen years? You are indeed a good actor! Nolly wood must be missing a star! Well I thank God that it happened this way! I thank God that I still have my health intact! What would I have done if I was incapacitated? That means you would have poisoned me for good so that I don’t have to be a burden to you! But I thank God that I am complete and my senses are okay!  You should have waited for a better time to show me your colour! Not now that I am still hale and hearty! Yet every other evening you dress up and go to Church! How am I sure you are not even sleeping with your so called Pastor? I have not been going to Church for over six months now because I do not have money for offering or tithe yet none of the Pastors or Ministers has called me! How daft I have been all this while! Even Pastor Kelvin that I used to give financial assistance never called me on phone for once to say how far? At least they know I am out of Job! Yet you go to this Church every other day! Which kain Church be that I beg?

Tombra: I can see that your condition is beginning to affect your senses! You don dey Kolo Ogiri!

Ogiri: yes! I don dey Kolo! The truth they say is bitter (he walks into the room still nagging, Tombra dials her Phone and begins to discuss on the phone, Ogiri returns with his travelling bag fully loaded) madam heavy weight! Look this Man well, well! Look me! You dey see me? Good bye!

(He walks out while Tombra stood looking wide eyed and dumb founded)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTS 9 SCENE 1

Office meeting setting: There is a projector beamed on the wall and Ogiri is wearing a smart blue suite addressing a Staff strength of about twenty female and male executives all resplendent in their corporate attires. Ogiri addresses the attendees with the aid of a flip chart and projector.

 

Ogiri: The desire of Management is to take this Company to the next level! Though the Company has had a steady annual growth for the past three years, the marginal increase is small as far as I am concerned! 1.4% annual growth is too small for us amidst the vast market we are operating in. What is out marketing Team doing about this? Prie! You are the head of marketing! What is your plan for Tamuno farms this financial year?

(Prie stands up, a beautiful svelte dressed in black skirt and red blouse. She proceeds to the front of the hall and collects the projector remote control from Ogiri, Ogiri steps aside as she uses the flip chart to make her presentation.)

Prie: two years ago we grew by 1.5%, last year we grew by 2.0%. The growth rate is marginal I know but there were circumstances prevalent in the economy that stalled our growth! There was the devaluation of the naira, there was a fall in international oi price which adversely affected the national G.D.P and consequently the national disposable income was cut down! There was also the issue of the insurgency up north and the havoc caused by the Fulani herdsmen at our Buguma plantation. Unemployment rate is on the increase, our competitors also are not sleeping! It is like a war front there sir!

But there is hope! For Tamuno farms, this year promises to be a favourable one because it is an election year! (Round of applause from attendees)

Yes! First of all, we must congratulate ourselves for producing the new local government Chairman in the person of Mr. Alalibo Adokie, our former managing director! (Another round of applause)

And because we have Mr. Adokie, all the eateries in Okirika Local Government Area and environs will patronize us! It is not by force o! But they have no choice! (Round of applause)

We have also proposed to management to embark on the preparation of Barbecued Chicken and bag it! People are used to frozen Chicken! Let us give them something different! Well spiced barbecued Chicken would appeal to the elite class and most of the Oil workers not living with their families here in Okirika and environs can easily buy this Brand for quick stew or they can use it to drink beer with their friends! (Round of applause and Cheers) we can sell into Provision shops and Super Markets! Big beer parlours and Night Clubs in G.R.A are also our target Markets! We need to plant our products into the minds of people! (Applause). We are having problems meeting our demands for Cat fish! Our forecast for this year was a total of Five million Cartons of fish, but the capacity of our ponds can only produce a total of two million Cartons! The gap in demand created will naturally be taken up by competition and substitute brands! The market is there! The demand is there! We need to exploit these opportunities! We need more Fish Ponds! (There is loud ovation, Ogiri claps continuously as he ushers Prie back to her seat)

Ogiri: Great Marketers! (Chorus, Great!) Wow! Wow! Wow! I am impressed! We are prepared! Yes! We are prepared! But, wait a minute; are we all as prepared as the marketing team? Purchasing department, how far? Do you have the best sources of supply of our raw materials? Do you use the most cost saving channels? Do you buy the best quality? Are you cutting corners? Are the suppliers bribing you to overlook standards and receive whatever they supply to us?

Quality department! What about your end? Do we still live by our watch word “best in quality?” a satisfied Customer will only tell his experience to a friend but a dissatisfied Customer will report you to the whole word! Including witches and Wizards! (Laughter in the house) Are we still maintaining proper hygiene in all our processes? Remember we are a food company!

Public relations department! How far with you and the community youth? Are they happy? Do we still give them preference in labour recruitment? Do we still support them with products during their Carnivals and traditional ceremonies?

Finance department! How are we doing? Are we spending within our budget? Are we still saving cost by avoiding wastages and wasteful spending? Are our workers happy? Are they paid on time and in full? Are we managing our loan facilities properly? (Continues till fade)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bookcoverimage-asunder

Posted in Prose, Stories

Asunder! Acts 5-6

ACT 5 SCENE 1

Dandy’s Bar Arena, Customers are seated and getting entertained. Soft jazz music plays on the back ground. Ogiri is ruminating over a bottle of Legend extra Stout at one end of the Bar in solitude. He did not notice Dandy’s presence until Dandy taps him on the back.

Lanky: (surprised) oh Dandy! How nah?

Dandy: old Boy, na so the thing don bad reach? You just dey deep in thought so tey you no know when I reach your back.

Lanky: my brother, I just tire! I don search for work tire, every where wey I go na the same story!

Dandy: no vacancy?

Lanky: no vacancy!

Dandy:  it is over five months now nah! Any word from your former Company? (Notices Ogiri’s drink) wait a minute! You are drinking Legend? Wetin happen? No Star for my Bar?

Lanky: old boy forget that thing o! Na when I get money be dat o! Under normal circumstances I fit take three bottles of Star on a good day, but now I just need a bottle of Legend to give me the effect of three bottles of Star. It is called cost saving! (Laughs)

Dandy: na wa o! Before we know wetin dey happen now, you go begin drink shekpe and kaikai! All na cost saving with more highness abi?

Lanky: me shekpe? God forbid bad thing!

Dandy: no worry nah! Na small small e dey start, when you reach that stage you go still find reason to justify am! I don tey for this business! I have seen Customers rise from drinking Alomo Bitters to drinking blue Label and exquisite wines here! I have also seen big boys go down from blue label to sachet whisky! Back to the matter! Your company, how far?

Lanky: old boy I don lose hope for there o! Government don change hand nah! Our connection na from Abuja before and since the ruling Party don change now that means no hope of automatic ticket for our Company again. The new Party stalwarts would have their own Candidates too; you know how it works in Nigeria!

Dandy: hmm, do you remember my friend Tamuno the Banker?

Lanky: Tamuno that smokes cigarette like a chimney?

Dandy: yes! Yes! I told him about your condition, especially your Wife’s attitude.

Lanky: can he help? I don’t have any experience in banking o! I read Agric engineering in school, but I can adapt to anything sha, anything as long as it is legitimate!

Dandy: (Laughs) don’t worry Lanky! Tamuno is a big boy! You don’t know anything about him other than the fact that you see him here smoking and drinking. He will help you, just bring your CV to me and start praying and fasting so that those wey dey follow you from home no go see road block this one for you! (Both men laugh) meanwhile don’t breathe a word of it to any body until it clicks!

Lanky: (Brings out a folded envelope from his rear pocket and hands over to Dandy) here! My CV!

Dandy: (Surprised) shuo! You dey carry am waka?

Lanky (Brings out two similar envelopes from other pockets, waves them at Dandy and pockets them back) my Guy! Dem no dey tell man o! (Both men laugh)

Dandy: so what is the situation now at home?

Lanky: I have paid the Children’s school fees. Now I don’t have a dime on me, I survive by engaging in any menial job that I come across. You won’t believe my wife came to me three nights ago and told me to provide money to replenish the food stuff in the house!

Dandy: kai! This woman will not go kill you so? Upon say she sabi say you no get work!

Lanky: and the most annoying thing she does is that she chooses to embarrass me in the presence of the Kids! But my Kids are smart, they know her game and they console me after words. She can’t influence them.

Dandy: kai! Your wife dey fall hand I beg!

Lanky: (Empties the content of the bottle into the glass cup) real falling hand my Guy!

Dandy: you don chop?

Lanky: I wan thief am? For where? This Stout will serve as food and drink for me o! If I reach house for night, I go check Kitchen for any left over food to eat, if I see any, then I am lucky else I drink water and go to sleep in hunger.

Dandy: old boy! This your case na like ‘living in bondage o’!

Lanky: (Exclaims) in my own house o!

Dandy: (Calls out) Akpan! Akpan! (Akpan appears) Bring another bottle of Stout for Oga Lanky and tell them for Kitchen to prepare rice for am (To Lanky) you prefer Jollof or white rice?

Lanky: Guy! No vex I beg, I no need alcohol again, and as per the food, my own kind of beggar still get choice o, because we no be strangers to each other. Give me strong Fufu or eba, I take God beg you! Rice na bird food!

Dandy: okay Akpan, tell dem to prepare yellow garri with native soup and Cow belle. You hear me?

Akpan: yes sir! Fufu plus yellow soup and (Dandy interrupts)

Dandy: shut up your mouth! Idiot! Get out from here!

Lanky: (Laughs) you and this your Akpan sef!

Dandy: you no hear wetin  he dey talk? I told him to order for yellow garri, native soup and cow belle and what did he say when I asked if he understood?

Lanky: he said Fufu and yellow soup! (Laughs out loud)

Dandy: please let me give your order to them at the Kitchen (Excuses himself)

 

Exit.

 

 

ACT 6 SCENE 1

 

Exterior: Ogiri packs his Car by the road in front of Uncle Joe’s house, as he opens the door, little Children come running to him shouting ‘Uncle! Uncle! He brings out sweets from his pocket and shares to them and they disperse in different directions. Uncle Joe comes out to the front of his house pulling a chair along, he is dressed in wrapper and white Singlet, and he sees Ogiri.

 

Uncle Joe: Ogiri! Na you? Let me bring out another Chair! It is so hot inside! No Light for the past three days! (He goes back inside and returns with a plastic Chair accompanied by his wife)

 

Ogiri: good evening Sir! Mama well done o!

 

Uncle Joe: how are you? This one wey you visit us today, hope all is well o?

 

Ogiri: uncle all is not well and you know it!

 

Mama Joe: Ogiri na wetin you go chop? Starch dey o! Make I warm banga Soup for you?

 

Ogiri: yes ma! I dey hungry, thank you! I(He pulls off his shirt leaving only white singlet on his jeans trousers and he attempts to fan his body with it) kai! This heat na wa o! See as every where dey hot!

 

Uncle Joe: ahan! You no use AC for your Car?

 

Ogiri: (Exclaims) AC? For this my condition? Na manage I manage the fuel to take me reach here because I know say any how e be, you go fuel my Car for me. Or how you see am?

 

Uncle Joe: To fuel your Car no be wahala Ogiri (Laughs) so how far with the job hunt? Any show yet? This one wey your Oga political Party no win elections, any hope for una so?

 

Ogiri: Uncle! I have put my fate in the hands of God o! I don loose hope for our Company. I am looking for any kind of job, even if it is security job I will do!

 

Uncle Joe:  don’t worry my dear, it shall be well. So how are the Kids and their School? Have you and your wife taken care of the fees?

 

Ogiri: Uncle they are okay and in school! I had to empty my bank account to settle their fees!

 

Uncle: so you mean Tombra did not pay their fees upon all the pleas?

 

Ogiri: for where? She did not pay o! (Two little Kids wearing only Pants runs to meet Ogiri for sweets, he gives them a piece each from his Pocket. They run off) all these grand Children! They should be about nine or ten now o!

 

Uncle Joe: no! Na only five of them be my grand Children o! Most of these Children wey you dey see so na born throway O! Their mama just come drop dem for village with their grand Parents, na different- different strange names dem dey bear! But all of dem like you sha, any time wey you come home you dey give dem sweets and biscuits! Well done.

 

(Mama Joe enters with small table and places it between the men, a teenage girl emerges with a large tray, she greets Ogiri and she place the Tray of food on the table while mama Joe dish out the food and leaves while the men wash their hands and begins to eat)

 

Ogiri: kai! (Mouth full with food) you too much! Home na home I beg!

 

Uncle Joe: Una dey see this kind food for Town at all?

 

Ogiri: How? Who want to cook am? These our modern women have been spoilt by civilization, they would rather patronize Genesis restaurant and Jevinik instead of to learn how to cook good food for their husbands! (Mouth full) and if their husband starts cheating on them and eating out at the residence of a mistress that cooks well, they will say the mistress have charmed their husband (Mama returns with a Keg of tombo) mama de mama! Na tombo be dat?

 

Mama Joe: yes nah! Original tombo from water side

 

Ogiri: kai! Mama de mama! You too much! In fact i am sleeping here tonight! I will retire back to live with you people in the Village (Laughs)

 

Mama Joe: you fit? When Mosquitoes and sun flies finish your body ehn! You go run go back to town! (She retires inside)

 

Ogiri: Uncle, some of my Friends are trying to arrange something for me, I hope to be back on my feet soonest!

 

Uncle Joe: good! But I hope you have learnt your lessons?

 

Ogiri: Ha! Uncle, dem dey tell man? Not with all that I have experienced with Tombra! I can never fall mugu to any woman again! To imagine that a Woman I paid her bride price and married! A woman that swore in the Church to go through thick and thin with me! A woman that has Children for me! I sacrificed my comfort to establish her in business! (Agitated) Uncle what did I get in return? (Exclaims) denial! Betrayal! Sabotage! And insults!

 

Uncle Joe: (Mouth full) she denied you like Peter denied Jesus Christ! Is she a Jew?

 

Ogiri: Uncle this one pass Jew o! She be witch!

 

Uncle Joe: she is wicked! Even unto her own Children! Imagine Tombra building a duplex for that her drunkard father! And imagine how her stupid father was talking rubbish at your house last time. Like father like daughter! Look, you better send that woman out of your house! She is not a wife!

 

Ogiri: no Uncle! She is the mother of my Children, my Children need her now and at least she feeds them in her Shop and she takes care of some other needs of theirs. It is me that is her enemy for no just cause.

 

Uncle Joe: that is why we tell our youth to always come back home to look for Wife! At least we know who is who in the Village. We know the good and the bad families in the Village here! But when you people get to Port Harcourt, you think our girls here are uncivilized and timid. See what a civilized woman has done to you! She has shown you civilization! When last did you even sleep with your wife or any woman at that?

 

Ogiri: hmm, Uncle please don’t go there o! I have been celibate for over seven months now!

 

Uncle Joe: (Shouts) No talk am! You mean am? A whole you?

 

Ogiri: Uncle I beg no shout! (Looks around) talk am small small make mama no hear I beg!

 

Uncle Joe: You mean say you never wire for the past seven months?

 

Ogiri: na so uncle!

 

Uncle Joe: and you dey sleep with Woman for house?

 

Ogiri: Na so! (Mouth full) with woman wey I marry o! Well, there is God!

 

Uncle: Leave God out of it o! How you dey do when your body move you? As in when you are in the mood, how do you manage?

 

Ogiri: (Laughs) The only time I can be in the mood is when I am at The Beer Parlour and after taking a bottle or two I start seeing beautiful things around me. But I can not do anything since I don’t have money. You know Uncle, had it been that I kept a mistress outside my marriage this issue wouldn’t have pained me this much because I would have had an alternative! I can never be in the mood when I am in the house because the atmosphere is too tense. The only reason I go home now is just to see my Kids and sleep. I don’t even sleep in the same bed with Tombra! If my body touches hers by mistake na wahala be that!

 

Uncle Joe: (Mouth full) for what? She dey craze? You no fit rape her?

 

Ogiri: Ha! Uncle! to rape Tombra? You want to kill me? Abi you no see her size? I beg o!

 

Uncle Joe: so what are your plans now?

 

Ogiri: I will keep on hustling and searching until some thing turns up, but I have learnt my lesson, not withstanding all of these, I will not divorce Tombra.

 

Uncle Joe: what? You dey craze? What do you need her for?

 

Ogiri: no! I will not divorce her for the Children’s sake but what I will do to her, will be worse that being divorced! She will beg for divorce but she will not get it! Except if I do no get back on my feet! But I am a Port Harcourt boy! I am gallant! If worse comes to worse I will enter the Creeks and join the movement! But I am a survivor!

 

Uncle Ogiri: (Fuming) that her stupid drunkard of a father! That man is so irresponsible! I never imagined he could be so shameless! Imagine all the rubbish he said that day! I wish he had laid his hands on me; I would have dealt with him mercilessly!

 

Ogiri: (Shocked) ehn! Dealt with whom? Old Soja?  You? Ha ha ha Uncle then you better thank your Stars that he did not touch you o!

 

Uncle Joe: He was lucky he did not!

 

Ogiri: no Uncle! I meant thank God for you!

 

Uncle Joe: how?

 

Ogiri: uncle, that man strong o! I sabi am well well, na one bone e get for hand! If he had touched you and you dared lay your hands on him in fight, hmm wahala for set o! No be wetin we dey talk now we for dey talk o! The man for beat you silly! I swear! The man for pluck your front teeth!

 

Uncle Joe: u dey craze? You don see me fight before?

 

Ogiri: uncle I do see you fight well well when I dey grow up! Dem dey always beat you! Na my Papa dey always protect you from Bullies! Uncle, are you not aware that Old Soja was a boxer in the Army? Didn’t you see his array of trophies in their house at the Village? I swear the man will beat you silly!

 

Uncle Joe: (Mouth full) na lie!

 

Ogiri: uncle, forget that thing o! (Mouth full) I know you well and I know Old Soja well. I have known him as a father in law for over twelve years now and I can not count how many times we have had reasons to go and pay hospital bills on people he beat up in the Village or to go and bail him out of Police station for assault! Uncle, no think am I beg! I just thank God say he no happen.

 

Ogiri: ehen! You mean am?

 

Ogiri: I mean am o! The man na strong man!

 

Uncle: na Stupid man! No wonder he dey do any how that day! Na God go punish am drastically! Thank God say he no touch me o! Na so I for go slap am come go put my self for trouble!

 

Ogiri: he for pluck you r teeth I swear!

 

Uncle: (embarrassed) why you just dey emphasize on his plucking my teeth! Na only teeth he dey blow? Or do you personally have issues with my teeth?

 

Ogiri: All the fights wey the man fight for Army, he had a reputation for plucking Peoples teeth! Two of Tombra’s elder brothers do no have front teeth! Even Mama Tombra does not have front teeth!

 

Uncle: na lie! The woman teeth complete!

 

Ogiri: na artificial teeth dey there! Na me do am for her! And we don change that artificial teeth a dozen times.

 

Uncle Joe: shuo! That man na beast o! He dey take blow pluck that woman teeth too? How come you go marry that kain man daughter nah? The father na drunken boxer and the daughter na giant!

 

Ogiri: the fact say Tombra giant no mean say I no fit beat her o! But na woman nah! There are several ways to deal with them.

 

Uncle: (Laughing) Ogiri! Ogiri! Don’t ever think of fighting that woman o! It is either she strangles you to death while you are asleep at night or she invites her father to come and deal with you.

 

Ogiri: I know nah! I dey craze before?

 

(They finish their food and wash their hands, Uncle Joe calls on mama to clear the dishes while they face the keg of tombo.)

Fade

Posted in Prose, Stories

Asunder! Acts 3-4

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

 

Posted in Prose, Stories

Asunder Scenes 1-2

ACT 1 SCENE 1

(Mr. Ogiri has just lost his job, the contract being executed by his Company where he is a site Manager is completed and the Government has paid them off. No further contract in the company’s kitty and as such has to close down business until further notice.

Ogiri a.k.a Lanky because of his stature enters his house and undresses lazily, he toss his Shirt and Singlet carelessly on the Chairs in the sitting room, he goes to the wine shelf and pours himself a shot of Brandy, he gulps down a shot and squeezes his face in reaction to the effect of the brandy in his mouth, he then pours in another shot and retires to sit of the three seater couch in the Parlour, he picks up the TV remote control and flips through channels until he settles for one.)

Ogiri: (hissing as he soliloquizes) Na wa o! (Sips some brandy and squeezes his face) Where man wan start from now? (Hisses) Only God knows when they will call us back! With the elections around the corner, surely no hope for us until after the elections and too bad for us if the incumbent does not win (Hisses) kai! Na wao! This is the first time I will be out of Job in fourteen years! I did not see this coming at all! (Hisses a long one and sips his drink) Water go pass Garri if my Oga Party no win this election o! (He gulps down the content of the glass, squeezes his face and belches out loud, he pulls off his Shoes and lays comfortably on the couch and sleeps off)

ACT 1 SCENE 2

(Enters Mrs. Tombra Ogiri and their Kids. Joshua is twelve and Daniella is seven. The Kids are still dressed in their School Uniforms, they rush to greet their daddy but sees him sleeping thy run into their room to change their clothes, Tombra comes around and looks her sleeping husband over, she picks up the empty glass cup and smells it, she picks up the Clothes Ogiri had dropped carelessly on the Chairs then she sees the folded envelope on the centre table, she picks it up and reads the retrenchment letter of her husband: Ogiri turns over on the couch, utters some incoherent words, he hisses a long one and continues to snore )

Tombra: (Murmurs) Jesus! Jesus Christ! (She drops the letter and runs into the room tilting over a side stool, Ogiri jumps awake abruptly)

Ogiri: Who goes there! (Wide eyed) I say who goes there! (He stands up and looks around the sitting room; he notices the movement of the adjoining Curtain to the bedroom, he moves care fully towards the bedroom and shouts) I say who goes there! (The Kids now in different clothes rush out to greet him, hugging him, he was taken aback) oh dear me! It’s you Guys! Who brought you home?

Joshua:  its Mummy sir!

Ogiri: Your Mum came home this early? What for?

Daniella: Today is Thursday nah! Mummy will go to Church for fellowship

Ogiri: Oh! Oh! I forgot!

Joshua: But Daddy, why are you home so early? Are you going to Church too?

Ogiri: em, em, no! Not really, something happened at work and we closed early

Daniella: What happened at work Daddy?

Ogiri: em, em, we are on recess for now! We have finished the project we were handling at Elekahia and we do not have any other one at hand so I won’t be going to work for sometime until we get another Contract. Where is your Mum? Is she inside?

Daniella: yes daddy! She is inside! (The Kids leave their Dad and proceeds to the dinning table with their books to start working on their home works) Daddy! Come and help me out with my home work.

Ogiri: I am coming my dear! Give it to Josh to help you out; if he cannot do it, then I will do it!

Joshua: Daddy what about if you cannot do it! (Sneering)

Ogiri: Then we will consult the internet! (He enters the room only to re emerge trailing his wife) sweet heart I was coming to meet you in the room, the Kids say you are preparing for Church!

Tombra: yes I was!

Ogiri: You were? You changed your mind?

Tomra: Yes!

Ogiri: Wetin happen? Why the change of mind? Did you just change your mind on your way home? (Picks up the letter his wife dropped on the floor) or you changed you mind when you got home and read this letter?

Tombra: Daddy Joshua what is it nah? Haba!

Ogiri: Ahn han! Why are you so agitated? Did something happen to you too?

Tombra: (Snaps her fingers over her head) Tufiakwa! God forbid! Nothing will happen to me in Jesus name!

Ogiri: (Nods his head knowingly, he hands over the letter to her) Sweet heart, please read this!

Tombra: Read what? Will my reading it change its content? Please don’t give me any ad news letter to read o!

Ogiri: Which means you have read it already while i was sleeping, that is why you are acting this way and that is why you are no longer going to the Church, but you did not even show any sign of concern towards me! You did not even ask me what happened! You are supposed to me my pacifier instead you are being hostile and aggressive! What kind of attitude are you giving me so?

Tombra: You lost your job and instead of going about to look for another job you came home to drink, sleep and snore!

Ogiri: How? Is it not today that I lost the Job? Did I see it coming? No! Won’t I come home first and think of the next step to take? I have been working consistently for fourteen years non stop!  I don’t even know where my credentials are any longer except I begin to search, I don’t have an updated CV! All these I have to come home and arrange before going out to look for another job!

Tombra: You did not come home to think! You came home to drink! (Points to the empty glass cup on the centre table. The Children leaves the sitting room with their books slowly)

Ogiri: see how you are disgracing me before my Children? Tombra what is wrong with you? You are getting me scared! You have never talked to me like this in our twelve years of marriage!

Tombra: you have never been jobless in our twelve years of marriage!

Ogiri: But you swore to stand by me for better for worse! Just my first day out of job and you are acting up this way! Darling, I hope you will not make me regret this marriage because as it stands now I need your support more than ever! I see no reason for this attitude you are putting up after all we are not yet desperate! Your Shop can sustain us until I get something to do or until they call us back to work!

 

Tombra: (Furious) Did You hear your self now? You hear yourself?

 

Ogiri: What did I say wrong?

 

Tombra:  So you are going to wait until they call you back? And when will that be?

 

Ogiri: Hopefully, after the elections!

 

Tombra: (Claps her hands laughing  sarcastically) ha ha ha!  You make me laugh! That is four months from now! And what will you be doing until then? Drinking and sleeping?

 

Ogiri: I cannot be hungry till then, I have some savings that can carry us for the next six month.

 

Tombra:  Including payment of the Children’s School fees when it falls due?

 

Ogiri: Can’t you take care of the fees for me? Your shop can take care of that nah! After all I have never asked you to give account of your shop income to me! I gave you free hand right from its inception. But now, I need your assistance.

 

Tombra: Bros I can’t o! I can’t at all, at all! I have other concerns I need money for!

 

Ogiri: (Angry) other concerns? For where? In this house of else where? Are you okay? Look here woman! It is for better for worse o! When it was rosy you were there to enjoy good life! Just today, today! That I lost my job you are already showing me attitude! You could not even persevere for a month of two before you start to complain. Just one day! One day! Tombra, you fall my hand!

 

Tombra: was it not you that said you want to wait until eternity before you start looking for another job? How did you expect me to react? You are scaring me with your nonchalant attitude!

 

Ogiri: Oh! Me! Nonchalant attitude? A whole me? I have maintained a steady job for fourteen years with a nonchalant attitude! I built this house from my savings with a nonchalant attitude! I bought you two Cars and set you up in business with my nonchalant attitude abi? Kai! Kai! Kai! My Gawd! Now I understand why it is not good to marry a girl you met when you have arrived! They will never know how to manage you when you go down because they are used to having everything at their disposal. Tombra! You are a gold digger! I made a mistake in marrying you! I think I will have to convene a family meeting so that we can revisit this charade you and I called marriage!

 

Tombra: (Clapping and booing) nonchalant man! Lazy man! Go and get a job! You want to turn me into a man over night! What is mine is mine! You will not see a kobo from my shop! You gave me money for business, and so what? Am I not your wife? Is it not your responsibility to make me comfortable? So why are you bragging as if you have done what Napoleon could not do?  Go to Town and see what Men like you are doing for their wives! Common three million naira that you invested in my Shop we no go hear word again! (The Children emerges from the room standing side by side they stare at their Parents ranting till fade)

 

 

ACT 2 SCENE 1

Dandy’s Bar: Mid day, cool jazz music is playing at the back ground on a low tone, some Bar Staff are sitting and sleeping on the Tables, Akpan is busy moving to and fro with a mop stick in his hand. Dandy is relaxing with a bottle of Chilled Heineken lager as he reads from a chapter of Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’.

Enters Ogiri, a.k.a Lanky, he strolls in looking for some one, eventually he finds Dandy. He stands by the door smiling down at Dandy until Dandy looks up from his book.

Dandy: (Jumps up happily) old boy! Longest time! (They hug) whither now? Lanky! Lanky! (Looks him up and down) look at you! In fact, I don’t what to say!

Lanky: Guy! Don’t just say anything yet! Just take me as you see me (They both sit down) Guy! Your Man dey roast baad!

 

Dandy: ehen! I for say nah! I wanted to ask if all is well with you but I did not want to pre-empt your condition, which was why I said I didn’t know what to say when you came in (calls out Akpan)

So what’s up with you? Na wetin dey happen? He don tey o! You just disappear like smoke only to reappear with complaints of roasting! (Akpan appears) Akpan get a bottle of Star lager for my Friend! (Akpan dashes off)

Lanky: Old boy! Old boy! Come back! Forget the beer thing first I beg! (Akpan runs off)

Dandy: why? Don’t you drink any longer?

Lanky: to drink beer into an empty stomach is a dangerous game! It could be counter productive!

Dandy: oh! You never chop?

Lanky: I never chop!

Dandy: shuo! Okay, no wahala nah! Dem go arrange food for you! You no be stranger for here. So how is your family nah? Madam and the Kids?

Lanky: That is my problem now Dandy! Madam is my major head ache now!

Dandy: How do you mean?

 

Lanky: Dan! I have been out of Job since January, immediately we completed the Elekahia road project, our Company had no other job on ground so we were all paid off pending when another contract will be awarded. But so far no project is forth coming due to the campaigns and election postponements going on in the Country. Until a new Government is installed, no Contract is being awarded to ant Company.

Dandy: yes! Yes! Na so e dey be nah!

Lanky: good! I have been hoping something would turn up to no avail; I have spent up all my savings! My Wife has practically become the bread winner from the proceeds of her Shop at Rumuola.

Dandy: The Shop you opened for her sometimes last year?

Lanky: God bless you! That is the Shop! I was paid my housing allowance up front to the tune of 2.5 million naira! I invested all of it in her Shop! I eventually spent over three million naira for the rental, renovation and stocking of the Shop! I further collected a soft loan from the cooperative society and bought her a Toyota Hi-ace Panel Van to assist with the Business; I then bought her a Corolla for her personal use. Guy! I no try reach?

Dandy: You try pass! You try pass! I remember telling you it was the wisest thing to do! Once you equip your Wife, it takes a whole lot of load off your neck!

Lanky: Fa fa fa Fao!

Dandy: Why do you say so?

Lanky: my case is different! It was the most foolish thing I did in my life! Only if I had known that Tombra would turn around and betray my trust in her, my condition would not have been this bad! Can you imagine that I have fallen so low that my Wife came back from her Shop last night and challenged me foe taking a piece of meat from the soup?

Dandy: what? (Drinks straight from the bottle) wetin you talk again? I no hear you well!

Lanky: I prepared white rice to eat in the evening, I scooped and warmed a little stew from the one she keeps in the freezer and naturally I took a piece of meat instead of my normal two pieces when the going was good. My Wife returned home just as I was doing the dishes and she went straight to the freezer, she asked if I had eaten, I said yes! I said I prepared Rice and Stew! She asked if I took meat and I answered that I took just a piece since we are managing! My Guy, she told me the story of my life! She insulted and embarrassed me in the presence of my Children! Dandy! I went and locked my self in the toilet and cried like the fool I am! I slept off in the toilet that night for fear of coming out to face her wrath again.

Dandy: (Surprise) over a piece of meat? Your Wife? A whole you? Haba! Hey! Where is this Stupid boy? Akpan! (Akpan appears with the bottle of Star Lager and a glass cup)

Akpan: Oga no vex! I bin dey wash the Tumbler!

Dandy: shut up your mouth liar! Which Tumbler you dey wash for afternoon? All the ones you people washed in the morning, who has used them? Stupid forgetful boy!

Akpan: Oga no vex sir! (Drops the beer and proceeds to open it)

Lanky: Stop!

Dandy: If you open that beer, I will open your ear with a slap! Mumu! Is that how you open beer for Customers? Are you not supposed to get his consent to open it?

Akpan: oh! Oga sorry sir! Make I open am?

Dandy: mumu! No open am yet! Go and tell them at the kitchen to hurriedly prepare a plate of Fufu with native soup and Cow leg, tell them say na for V.I.P o!

Akpan: Okay sir! Make dem prepare Akpu with ogbono soup and V.I.P goat head for you?

Lanky: (Bursts out laughing)

Dandy:  (Excuses himself) Lanky I dey come I beg, make I place the order my self! (He pushes Akpan out of the way) gerrout from here! (He returns few minutes later, Lanky was flipping through his novel)

Lanky: Oh you are back! I have seen the movie of this book! Never knew it has a book!

Dandy: yeah! The book was actually adapted into the movie, you need to read the book, it is much more detailed than the movie. So! Back to you! What are your plans now?

Lanky:  my Guy, I do not have any plans other than to continue scouting for a Job. The Wife I normally would have planned with has become a complete Stranger simply because she makes more money than me now! Come! If i tell you say for five months now I never touch woman, you go believe?

Dandy: haba nah! Wetin be dis nah? Which kain talk be dis nah? A whole you? Your Wife nko?

Lanky: My brother! My liver dey fail me to ask her o! Every night when she returns from her Shop, it is complaint of one body ache or the other! And I know those are just excuses to give me the red signal so I normally keep my space. The last time I made an attempt and touched her in the middle of the night do you know what she did?

Dandy: you tell me!

Lanky: (Shakes head sadly) That was five months ago that I made an advance at her, my Wife wakes up abruptly and switched on the lights, she looked at me in the eyes coldly and said ‘wetin dey worry you’? I asked her ‘how’? She asked ‘na wetin you wan do? Na why you dey touch my body? I asked her ‘how’? She then said’ Mr. Man! If you do any how, you go see any how this night o’! (Dandy interrupts rolling on the floor in laughter) Old boy! I no fit talk! I just open mouth dey look her until she turned back to sleep! I simply carried a pillow and went to the sitting room to sleep.

Dandy: wait! Wait! Lanky! I beg no talk again (reeling with laughter) no vex o!

Lanky: Old Boy! Why you dey laugh nah? This thing no be laughing matter o!

Dandy: wait lanky! (Suppressing laughter) but why you no fit tell her the thing wey you want do? Which one e ‘how’? ‘How’? wey you dey ask her? No be your wife?

Lanky: Guy i was shocked! The look on her face was like that of an angry Lion! She has never acted that way before. Normally once I touch my wife for action, na carry go nah!

(A neatly dressed waitress brings a Tray of food, Fufu, native soup with Cow leg. As she sets the food before Lanky, Lanky wash his hands and immediately descended on the food even as the waitress was still setting the dishes)

Dandy: Old boy take am easy! No body they share the food with you! (Waitress leaves laughing)

Lanky: True? (Relaxes) old boy he don tey wey I eat correct meal like this o! I don drink Garri so tey I dey smell like Cassava! (He opens the bottle of star with his teeth and gulps from the bottle) agh! Chai! Star na correct beer o! See as he sweet like, like em (Dandy Interrupts)

Dandy: Lanky! Wetin dey worry you?

Lanky: Old boy (Mouth full) no vex! I don dey mis- yarn abi?

Dandy: yes nah! Which time Star begin to dey sweet?

Lanky: you know say he don tey wey I drink beer nah! I don almost forget the taste! But this chilled beer wey dey my front so, he sweet!(He gulps some more)

Dandy: see as you dey disgrace your self in front of my Waitress!

Lanky: how?

Dandy: oh! How? You still dey ask how abi? Na so your wife asks you simple question you dey reply her with ‘how’? ‘How’?

(Both Men laughs till FADE)

Posted in Prose, Stories

Do not put Asunder

The clause above is generally ascribed to third parties.But a case where one of the parties wittingly and unwittingly puts asunder in his or her own marriage is the case of our friend Ogiri and his wife,the mother of his kids in whom he had invested a great deal.

He lost his job and had expected the wife to bring her shoulder for him to lean on as he struggles to find his feet again. what he experienced is far from what he expected.

We shall be sharing this story this month August. Please keep a date with us on this page and your reviews will be greatly appreciatedbookcoverimage-asunder.