Posted in Prose, Stories

PUPPY LOVE (Poem)

 

 

I made sure my uniform was ever sparkling
My green khaki shorts well ironed
My light green shirt starched to still
Brown Cortina shoes polished to glow
With sparkling white stockings

I sure answered all asked questions in class
At the front row where I could be by you
Though I had all writing materials
I would rather borrow from you
I did not go out for break unless you did

I felt all your pains silently, when you were ill
Prayed fervently for your recovery
I wished to be sick so I could be with you
In the School Clinic on admission beds

I hated Mr. Akpan our math teacher
For difficult questions he asked you always
Questions that earned you his strokes
I hated any, who got you humiliated

Always present at evening preps
Because you did not miss evening preps
I lost focus when you missed prep
I lost concentration when you were present
I was consumed with so much of you
I smiled when I saw you laughing
Even though I knew not why you laughed
I beheld your innocent beauty
In your purple checkered day wear
Twice I fought Kennedy for calling you names

I wanted so much to be by your side
To be the only boy you played with
To share my provisions and snacks with
I wanted to tell you how I felt towards you
I wished you had read my short messages
Written at the back pages of your books I borrowed

My heart tore to a thousand pieces
When I sought you during prep class
Thought you were sick so you missed prep
But you were with Jude in his class
Side by side you sat chatting and flirting

It killed me to see Jude walking with you
During sporting activities it was Jude by you
During manual labour he was helping you out
All I wanted from you, you gave to Jude
I failed my examinations because you
You were the answer to all my examinations’ questions

Finally, you nailed the coffin on me
When at close of the third term
All were packed and ready to go home
I waited for you to leave before I left
I would leave but I had with Jude, scores to settle
But when your Daddy came to take you home
Jude put his luggage in your Daddy’s car and off you all drove.

Posted in Prose, Stories

UNTITLED CONTD

CHAPTER 5

 

 

At the age of fourteen, most of my age mates were in secondary school while some where learning various trades and skills. I was still living with Pharaoh without a future ambition. I get up daily and go hunting, perhaps I was a hunter, I do sell some of my spoils some times: I was not allowed to use a Dane gun by the hunters association because of my age so I use my snares and my dog as weapons supported by my machete.

 

The money I saw in mama’s box was still there, I do not really know what to do with it and because we were not friends before she died, I felt her spirit could haunt me if I misuse the money.

 

Five months after the incident at the house on the hill top, the children of Baba Oloro came to my house and killed Pharaoh. Pharaoh was sleeping peacefully under the cashew tree beside my house when the eldest son of Baba Oloro beheaded him with one swift; he put Pharaoh’s head in a bag and said it will be used to appease “Ogun” the god of iron. They accused Pharaoh of biting their father on his way to his farm and infected him with rabbis and tetanus; they threatened to kill me if I make further trouble.

 

It was like a dream, why is everyone close to me leaving me alone in this world?, my mum, my grandma and now my dog!, I was just tired. I could not do anything. I was an Orphan and a desolate one at that. I mourned the death of my dog the way I never mourned the death of anyone I ever knew, I felt so lonely in the house without Pharaoh.

 

I began to wonder why Baba Oloro had lied about the venue of his encounter with Pharaoh. Baba Oloro died two days after Pharaoh was killed, it was Modupe’s mother that ran to my house and dragged me to her house so that I could escape the wrath of Baba Oloro’s children, and she said the children were on their way to my house.

 

They went to my house but did not meet me so they left after destroying some part of my house. I was with Modupe’s mother in her late father’s house for fourteen days before I came back to my house. Modupe’s mother happened to be a childhood friend of my mother, her husband was killed during an inter community wrestling competition, his opponent killed him with bare hands by dealing repeated punches to his stomach, he was left gasping for breath till he died  on the pitch at the village square. Modupe’s mother did not remarry; she focused on her business and on training her three children. She took me in as a son and advised me on the way to go about my life, she was shocked to realize that I had no future ambition and I was shocked at her attitude because no one ever showed such care towards me.

 

Modupe was already in form three in a secondary school at Ibadan, she comes home during the holidays, she told me a lot about school and encouraged me to endeavor to go to school, it was while she was encouraging me to go to school that her mother interjected and reminded her that there was no money for anyone to send me to school. I remembered grandma’s money and I told her that I have a lot of money left by my grandma.

 

After spending two weeks with Modupe, I went home with her to see the extent of damages done by Baba Oloro’s children, it was superficial, we went straight to mama’s cash box, it was intact, I upturned it’s content so as to count the money, beneath the money was my picture as a child and a note written by my grandma that the money in the box was for my education. In case she passes on before I entered secondary school. That was the day I mourned my grandma, I cried like a baby, how could I have known grandma had such love and plans for me? In the midst of her sufferings and sickness she still had plans for me, in the midst of the hunger and wretchedness she kept her window’s mite for a better future for me.

 

Modupe tried to console me, she cried with me too as we counted the money. We counted until we got confused at the total amount. I went to Mama’s grave and begged for her forgiveness for all the pains I had dealt her in her life time, I begged her for everyday she had hungered and thirsted for my sake, I beg her to forgive all my pranks and wickedness I had meted on her. If grandma had not died, I would be in my third year in the secondary school. The money in the box could see me through five years in a standard boarding school!

 

Together with Modupe, we took the money to her mother and explained the note and the picture found beneath the box. She contributed her own portion of tears as she blessed the old soul of grandma five years after her death!

 

We decided that I go to my former school and collect my first school leaving certificate and testimonial. I went there at the resumption of school and some teachers were laughing at me when I told them I needed my credentials to further my education. Mr. Makinde even joked about my wanting to sell the certificate to a more ambitious person. I simply told him that it was my property and I needed it for keeps.

 

In my quiet time, I ruminated over the house on the hill top and the mystery surrounding it, most especially why Baba Oloro was there that night, a place dreaded by all, and why anything didn’t happen to me and Pharaoh having been that close to the house.

Alabi and his gang had all vanished into thin air mysteriously after a heist that they carried out at national Bank in Akure. The operation had brought armed police men and soldiers to our small village looking for Alabi and the gang. For six months the gang was living in the farm house of Baba Oloro deep in the forest, it was known to the villagers but no one could tell the police.

After six months, we started noticing Alabi’s presence in his house only at nights. On a fateful night, there were sporadic gun shots and screams coming from the house on the hill top, we thought the police had finally caught up with the gang. People that went to the scene the next day said there were shallow graves freshly dug and the motor bikes coupled with blood stains littering the compound. That was the last we heard of Alabi and his gang followed by the strange attacks on anyone that ventured into the house. We also noticed that the Motor bikes disappeared over the years and grasses took over the compound.

 

What most of the villagers did not notice was that Baba Oloro suddenly came into wealth over the years; he withdrew his children from the village school and sent them to school in the city. Even his first two sons were rumoured to be schooling in the white man’s country.

I now understand that only a juju man like Baba Oloro could manipulate malevolent spirits to attack people as had been happening in the house on the hill top so as to scare people from getting access to whatever was hidden therein.

Pharaoh attacked Baba Oloro because dogs could identify evil spirits.

That morning I told Modupe and her mother about my thoughts and we took my story to the police station at Ado Ekiti. After listening to my story, the police accompanied us with an escort pick up van to the house of late Alabi. After the search, huge sum of money in crisp naira notes were discovered locked up in one of the rooms, it ran into millions of naira bearing the band of the national bank Akure.

 

The bank rewarded me with a scholarship throughout my education and an awaiting job upon graduation from the university. The Ondo state government gave me a reward of two hundred thousand naira and promised to rebuild grandma’s house using cement block. I was also given two plots of land out of the reserved portion of the community land.

Suddenly I became a celebrity, I was loved by young and old and I had many friends.

 

I was almost sixteen years old when I left the village for the first time. I left for Ibadan to start from form one in the same boarding school Modupe attends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

I handed the cheque given to me to Modupe’s mother as I have taken her to be my Guardian, she would put the money into her business and train me and her children with it.

 

It was in 1985 that I was admitted into Apata Grammar School in Ibadan as a boarding student. I was sixteen years old and in form one, Modupe was fifteen years and in form four, she would graduate the next year. It was not easy trying to cope at school, my age mates were in form three and above, I had already sprouted a moustache, and my legs were hairy, this made me become a subject of discussion in the school, I clearly stood out amongst my classmates, and sometimes they mischievously refer to me as uncle Bolaji.

 

I was made the class prefect on the first day at school, it was on the assembly ground that the school principal spotted me lined up with form one students, he shouted on top of his voice at me, he said I should leave the line and go to join my mates, he was pointing at the senior students line. The whole assembly rocked with laughter until a teacher went and whispered something to the principal, he then waved the students to a silence and apologized to me publicly, he then asked me the alphabet of my class. Class one B sir I replied. Good! From today, you are the class monitor! He announced and there were shouts of uncle ‘B’ everywhere.

 

Life in boarding school was totally different for me. I had being a free bird all my life, I had lived without bounds or rules and regulations, it was a different ball game here as I was made to wake up at 5.30pm every morning. I was forced to observe afternoon rest daily at 3pm; I was to go to Sunday church service at the school chapel. I had never attended a church or mosque in my sixteen years of existence. We were given portions of food without caring if the ration will satisfy you or not and you cannot ask for more food if you are not satisfied else they tag you ‘Oliver twist’

 

Another challenge I had was that I was too crude and uncivilized, my ways were strange to my fellow students, I was a raw village boy who not speak good English and when I try to speak English my accent made it sound as if I was speaking Jamaican ‘patua’, people laugh whenever I open my mouth to speak and I always had reasons to speak because I was the class monitor.

 

Mr. Adegoke was my English teacher and he took special interest in my reformation, he does not laugh when I commit blunders while speaking, he was quick to correct my errors and made me to correct my self by repeating the words correctly, he personally gave me a book titled”Common errors in English” and gave me home work on it daily. Once he called me into his office and encouraged me to be focused and positive, he said I was catching up fast and I should not take any of the aspersions being cast on me seriously. He said he believed in me. He was the first human being to challenge me and dared me to succeed if I can, he told me that age was just a number and that once I am out of secondary school I will realized that age means nothing at the university or the larger world, he asked after my parent and I told him my story. He then told me that I could rewrite my story if I try, he said he was an orphan too. His words of encouragement moved me and I secretly vowed to succeed in life by becoming more serious and determined

 

Kareem was nine years old and in the same class with me, he calls me ‘egbon’ meaning ‘elder one’. I told him severally to stop calling egbon but he refused. He said he could not bring himself to calling me by my first name because I happen to be the same age with his eldest brother, his father’s first born who was a first year student at the University of Ife, his brother is older than three other persons before him and he reveres his eldest brother. He finally agreed to be calling me ‘Uncle B’ since that has been like a nick name.

 

He was the smallest and smartest in the class and he helped me a lot and in return I protected him from bullies. Every potential bully in the school left him alone the day I slapped Joseph for beating up Kareem at the school farm during Agric practical.

Joseph returned to school the next day with a swollen face and people thought it was because of the slap I had used to send him out of the school farm the previous day. The students had formed a circle with Joseph and Kareem at the centre while they cheered the duo to fight. Kareem was never a match for Joseph or anyone in the class. Kareem was lanky and feeble by stature while Joseph was an Igbo boy that eats fufu three times daily without drinking much water! He was very stout with a barrel like chest. He was sitting on Kareem’s stomach and stuffing dried grass into the poor boys mouth when I came into the farm. I broke the chain formed by the students, lifted Joseph off Kareem and dealt him a blinding slap over his eyes, it was someone else that shouted in pain instead of Joseph himself for he ran blindly out of the farm stumbling and shouting ‘anya m o! (My eyes)

The Joseph incident increased my fame in the school and another ‘alias’ was added to my name ‘Ifoti to gbona’ (hot slap) so the senior students called me ‘ifoti’ while my mates called me ‘Uncle B’ and all these happened in the first term of my first year in school.

At the end of the second term in form one my grade was better than the first term. My total average score went up from 53 to 76 percent. I got a ‘C’ in English language and an ‘A’ in mathematics.

 

Kareem was a wiz kid! His average was 98 percent; he got an A in all subjects but Yoruba language where he got a ‘B’. I got a ‘C’; in Yoruba language even though I spoke the thickest Yoruba in class and knew every adage in the language even more than my teacher.

 

We went for the long vacation of 1986. Modupe and I rarely saw at school because I did not like to be in her company due to inferiority complex. I could not bring myself to call Modupe ‘senior Dupe’ as every junior does. We were from the same Village and I was older than her.

The few times we encountered at the school sports arena, she had tormented me by speaking to me in good English instead of using the ekiti dialect that we were both brought up with, of course she got the good laugh she wanted when I attempted to speak with her in good English also. She even had the audacity to refer to me as her school son once. I warned her in a language only the two of us understood and walked out on her.

 

Our relationship at school affected our closeness when we went home on holiday. I did not return to her house. I went to my grandma’s house and cleaned it up. I went and met Modupe’s mother to give me some of my money for my upkeep, she refused, and she said I should e coming to her house to eat daily. I was about seventeen years old and a boy of my age needs some change in his pocket. She said she had put all of my money in a fixed deposit account at the bank and was not due for withdrawal. I was happy.

 

Modupe has a boy friend. The boy was already in the university, he is from our village and my age mate. He is the son of the ‘Balogun’ a high chief of our village.

Akindele drives his father’s Peugeot 504 Salon Car whenever he is at home and he comes to take Modupe out daily.

I used the holiday period to develop the two plots of land given to me by the community. I planted maize. I was on my way home from the farm one evening when Akindele drove by and stopped to give me a lift home as the farm was about one hour trekking distance from the Village. Modupe was in the car with him and she prevented me from entering the car, she said I was sweating and smelling. She said I was half way home already and would be better I continued trekking. She told Akindele to drive on. I saw the look of confusion on the face of Akindele but I thanked him for his gesture and I continue to walk home with my hoe on the shoulder and my Cutlass swinging in my hands. She was right! I was sweating and smelling, and I was actually half way home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Prose, Stories

UNTITLED

CHAPTER 4

 

After the death of grandma, I was left alone in the world. No one really cared if I existed and my elusive mother was yet to come home. Uncle Ladi a bus driver that shuttles between Ekiti and Lagos told me when he saw me scavenging at the motor park that he saw my mother at ‘eko Idumota’ and told her that her mother was dead and buried, he said my mother had screamed and feigned to be touched and she vowed to be in the village the next day. That was four years ago, she is yet to come home. Uncle Ladi says he still sees her in different parts of Lagos city but she avoids him as much as she could so he now pretends not to see her whenever their paths crossed. No one knows what she does in Lagos, but we know she is alive.

 

I continued schooling, I continued hunting and I continued to scavenge to survive until I finished my primary education. There was no plan for furthering my education, I was contented with the fact that I could read and write at least.

 

My only friend was Pharaoh the dog! We became friends the day we were both involved in a brawl at the butchers end in the market. Our prayer was answered when a butcher carelessly threw away a chunk of red meat instead of the bone in his hands, I had beaten Pharaoh to pick up the meat and tucked inside my pouch but the dog would not accept defeat as he grabbed my khaki pouch with his teeth and we began to struggle for possession. The dog was snarling revealing dirty brown incisors dripping with sticky saliva. I held unto the pouch with both hands as I used my legs to kick at the dog, I was shouting at him to let go and accept defeat because I beat him to it. As if the dog understood, he let go and I took to my heels homeward.

 

I had run for about four minutes and I stopped to trek when I heard the sound of panting Pharaoh by me side wagging his tail and jumping to reach my pouch, I took to my heels again and Pharaoh followed me home. We ate together that evening after I had cooked egusi soup with eba. I dished his portion into an old plastic plate I found in the kitchen. He ate up, lapped up some water from the bucket full of rain water outside the house then he lay down and slept at my door.

That was how Pharaoh became my friend and companion and together we went hunting and scavenging. We were a formidable team when we got the butchers stand, whatever Pharaoh picks, he brings to me and we put our spoils together and go home to enjoy a sumptuous meal. We also went hunting at nights and early mornings as well as check on my snares and traps, we sold our catch to the Villagers operating local restaurants called ‘Buka’. We buy food stuff with the proceeds. I had no future ambition so I took each day as it came.

 

On a Sunday, I decided to turn the house inside out and upside down, it was my house and I needed to know all the contents. The rubbish in the house was more than the valuables therein; I was gradually turning into a mad man without realizing it. It was a three room apartment without a toilet or bathroom. I grew up taking my bath at the back yard and I do my toilet straight in the bush where the villagers dump their refuse. That is where the pigs of the village get their break fast and maintained their robust stature. As early as 6.AM it was common to see many youths and adults positioned at different angles of the bush doing their thing, the pigs are grunting and patiently waiting for us to stand up so they could lick up the pebbled we have dropped. Some impatient pigs would actually eat up the pebbles from the butt of a little boy before it dropped to the ground. It is from these pigs that we all contact Chiggers that eat up the skin beneath our toes or between the toes. When ever one is scratching between toes furiously, it was common knowledge that that one has contacted chigger. The parasite burrow deep into the skin and live on our blood, growing bigger by the day.

 

I enjoyed and actually looked forward to being pressed in the mornings so I could go to the bush and hope some girls my age could come to the bush at same hour so I could catch a glimpse of their round bum. I used to marvel at the roundness and smoothness of their bum and wondered why that of the boys seems so hard and battered with craw-craw and scabies. Woe betides any girl that her bum was discovered to be like that of the boys, her reputation in the village would be ruined.

 

At a stage in our lives, the girls stopped coming to the bush. They resorted to using the ‘short put’ method. They defecate into nylon bags or newspaper and throw into the bush in the morning or at night. So it was common to wake up in the morning and see nylon bag at your back yard or news paper that has been scattered by pigs while eating up its content leaving the green fleas to mop up the rest and deposit maggots on the paper. Such discovery is followed by loud raining of curses on the perpetrator and his lineage born and unborn. It was mostly girls that dropped these parcels in front of peoples house’s probably because they cannot go close to the bush at such unholy hour or because they saw a male who has been wooing them, they quickly dropped the parcel wherever to avoid embarrassment.

 

You could also be unfortunate in the early hours of the day while doing your thing in the bush; a flying wrapped newspaper of nylon bag could land on your head spilling its content all over you! Your day is ruined as there was no way you could leave the bush without meeting one or two persons.

 

I remember the night I heard an unusual sound in front of my house. A twelve year old girl Modupe had squatted in front of my house to do her thing, unfortunately she did not expect to meet Pharaoh. Pharaoh had sneaked up to her and yawned, waiting for her to finish so he could clean up the mess. She was frightened and she screamed and stood up holding up her gown with her pants still down and the pebbles on the ground. She stood rooted at the spot for fear of being attacked by Pharaoh.

 

I came out with my palm oil lamp and beheld a half unclad girl shitting in front of my house; I looked her over with the lamp: Modupe! What are you doing? I asked.

I am sorry! She said shaking amidst tears and staring at Pharaoh who was agitated with anxiety to mop up the ground before another dog or a pig comes around.

 

I took the lamp downwards and beheld her nakedness, I went further to see the shit she had already dropped on the floor and I laughed. I laughed out loud enjoying my catch. This is a girl that acts as if she is from the city simply because she sometimes follows her mother to Ibadan to buy wares for her shop. Some evil thoughts crossed my mind that night because she was at my mercy, but I was like an orphan in the village, I knew my limits. I let her go. I told her to clean up her self and leave and never repeat such again. She did not clean up even though she had paper in her hand for that purpose. She hastily pulled up her pants, stepped over her shit and as Pharaoh took charge of the pebbles, she fled crying more out of shame of indignity.

 

 

 

Grandma had a lot of junk in her room, I did not know what she really owned because we were not best of friends, I always saw myself as a burden to her. Another strange fact was that grandma never cursed me; she would rather curse my mother.

I brought out five heavy metal boxes from her room. The room had been closed for four years and had become very stuffy with dust and cob webs. I opened the boxes and beheld beautiful clothes I never saw her wear, one box contained twenty bundles of unsown fabrics. These would definitely worth some good money so I kept them back.

The fifth and smallest of the boxes was locked with a key so I had to use my cutlass to hack it open. I held my breath when I opened the box. It was full to the brim with crispy naira notes, in a trinket box embedded between the notes is assortment of gold jewelries. I closed the box and ran out to bolt the front door from within, even though I hardly entertained visitors or friends, my instinct just made me to close the door.

I went back into grandma’s room again and opened the box, the money and jewelries were still there. At that instance, I lost every desire to proceed with the clean up exercise I had embarked on. I simply pushed back every box into place and went out for a stroll with my dog

 

 

We strolled aimlessly for about forty minutes before we came to the track road opposite the house of Alabi, the house on the hill top, the sacred house. I stood there staring at the hunted house and the desire to wander into the house overwhelmed me. I was with Pharaoh my only friend in the world. The feeling to reach to the lone building was so palpable that I imagined I was in there already so I started to advance towards the house a step at a time like a Zombie. Under the cover of the night I bent down and crawled towards the house. Pharaoh did like wise and together we approached the house a step at a time.

 

My Heart beat was pounding furiously that I felt sharp pains in my chest, I was breathing with difficulty while Pharaoh seemed excited panting and wagging his tail as we crawl stealthily forward.

 

After about fifteen minutes of crawling in the bush, I got to ten yards from the front door. The door seemed close. The door had always seemed opened and inviting from afar. It was rumoured that the door was always open and inviting to preys. I waited. The wind blew and rustled dried leaves all around me, I was scared, I was sweating in the cold night. Something moved fast in front of the house, it was an animal and before I could stop him, Pharaoh was in pursuit. He ran out of my sight as he chased the animal into the night barking.

 

I buried my face into the ground as the stupidity of the mission dawned on me. I have just discovered some money and jewelries in my house and here I am on a suicide mission! What if I die this night? Well no one would really miss me, I thought. And Pharaoh can always get another master.

 

Pharaoh dashed past the front of the house again barking at snarling at the Animal just within his grasp, they ran out of sight then something happened.

The door to the house opened it opened slowly that I almost did not notice it until I saw a ray of light from a burning lamp inside the house. The door closed before I could decipher if what I saw was a figment of my imagination or reality. It was time for me to bolt, but I stood rooted at the spot where I laid. I closed my eyes tight and opened it again squinting so I could focus properly at the door. Someone was there! He or she stood silhouetted against the wall but I could figure out the human form from the clothes he or she wore.

 

I could hear the sound of myself breathing, I wanted to stand up and run but my legs became vegetables, it was like without bones, I could not move a muscle. I simply laid there and waited of death.

 

Pharaoh was coming back to me with his kill in his jaws, he was half way between me and the house when he dropped the animal in his mouth and started moving towards the house snarling, his mane raised and tail tucked between his hind legs. Pharaoh charged and leapt into the air upon the person in the shadows, there were movements and screams. Pharaoh was biting and tearing, his victim was screaming in pains, swearing and chanting incantations. The man in the shadow got up and ran in two circles pulling Pharaoh along with him before he ran back into the open door of the house closing the door and Pharaoh behind him.

 

I saw him, it was Baba Oloro! The famous native Doctor and friend of Alabi.

I picked up the warm Antelope Pharaoh had killed and together we ran madly out of the bush that night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Prose, Stories

ABA MY ABA

My beloved home land and abode
The ancient City of my Fore Fathers

The City of the great Ngwa Race

The land of the great Elephants
The Land of merchants and Business moguls
The Land of agile  sports men and Women
The land rich in food and waters
Ariaria, Foulks road, Ogbor hill, Azikiwe road, Umungasi, ikot ekpene road.
The Streets and roads that make Aba what it is

The land of great women
History will never forget your exploit of 1929
but what happened to you?
Your beauty, your pride where are they?
Where are the gallant Elephants?
Where are those Industries that made you thick?
Where are your youths?
All like Sheep’s have gone astray
Every one to his Tent like the Israelis
Your youths are scattered about

Like scoundrels they fight for survival
All man for himself, survival of the fittest
Your Streets are littered with dirt’s
Your Air is filled with Stench of pollution
Your Streets and Roads are now dumping ground for refuse and sewage

Mosquitoes sing lullaby in our ears all night
We sleep with one eye open and Ears drawn
Your Youths have become Lazy
They all seek the easiest way out
They resort to crime and vices as means of survival

They lost confidence in their selves, and then the state
The number of Youth Lunacy increase by the day.
Your Maidens pervade the streets at Night
I fear my Shadow at Nights…No one is safe
Fear of Hoodlums, the Police, Army, Bakassi boys

You used to be known for your versatility
now you are tagged king of fake products
you used to be a delight to Investors and Tourist
Now you are desolate, left to die in the pool of your blood
The great Elephant!! Now you trod with head bowed in shame

How are the mighty fallen? Your eyes are beclouded in tears
your skin patched with bruises and scars from your struggles
Aba my Aba, who will bring back your Glory??
You have been lied to for too long

Those you so trusted have always betrayed you
They are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
Vampires! They have sucked your Children dry
Like the breast of an old, the water has run dry
They tax your Children with numerous levies
They do not care for your Children

They eat alone, they and their Children yet unborn
They use the Sweat of your Children and build castles in foreign lands
They loot you to enrich other lands
Unrepentant fools they are! They do not hear the wailing of the people.

But I have a dream!
That one day, the Elephant will bounce back
That posterity will catch up with the evil doers
That we shall be free from “our own” that has held us captive
That the length of Port Harcourt road and Aba Owerri road
Shall be liken to the streets of Paris

That investors, Tourist, foreigners shall be struggling to come to our land
That our youths shall make sports and entertainment lucrative
That our children shall become professionals of various endeavors
I foresee a wind of Change
A hurricane, a cyclone that will sweep the land of all ills

And usher in a haven of peace and tranquility
I see the rebirth of my home land for good
Then shall we all gather at the Great Eyimba Stadium
And sing with one voice “Nzogbu! Nzogbu!! Enyii mba Enyii!!!
The dawn of a new era.
By Awoleye Ayokunle.

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

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 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

THORNS IN MY BOOTS

CHAPTER 12

I sat in solitude as I smoked a wrap of Indian hemp; we called it Kpoli in Abakaliki Prison. I was outside the Cell at night but within the confines of the Prison Yard. I needed to think out the way forward in my life, I had been doing this for the past six days.

First of all, I do not have a Father, I do not have any sibling, and I do not have any known Cousin, Uncle or Aunt. I grew alone with my Mother, we hardly received Visitors except for those that seek to buy domestic Animals on non-market days that would come and ask my mother if she knew anyone that has to sell.

I did not visit anyone socially, even on boxing days when Children visit relations in the spirit of Christmas; I never participated for once in my life. My mother brought me up the hard way, she was scared of losing me, and I was always within her sight.

Eventually when I came of age I ventured to leave the Village to carve out my destiny and all these calamities are befalling me. Okay! Let’s say life is not a bed of roses, let’s say everyone has his or her own issues in life! I agree. They say the Rose flower also has thorns, but mine are merely thorns! All the flowers are withered. They say it is him that wears the shoe that knows where it pinches; I decided not to wear just a shoe but a Boot! But my Boot is full of thorns! It pinches me all over!

Joining the Army was not an easy feat to endure but I survived depot without a visit from any one for the whole nine months. Instead of staying in the Army and reap the fruit of my labour, here I am in Prison; borne out of my negligence! I have wasted almost four years of my life waiting for an elusive freedom. I do not know how much longer I would stay here.

Now, my Mother, my only relation, she was the reason I left home for Zaria, I wanted to prove my Village People wrong, I wanted to change the name of my family for good, I wanted to redeem our lost glory, I wanted Mama to be able to walk tall in the Village, I wanted to help change her life in the City so that when she returned home, tongues will wag and people will marvel at the transformation in her life. I wanted the constant frown that has left permanent lines on her forehead to be wiped off! I wanted her dimple to return to her face by putting a constant smile on her lips. I had it all planed out right from the day I entered the Army. Even though I was not an Army Officer, my earnings would have been enough for me and my mother. I had rented a Shop for her already and I had money set aside for her to start a business with, my trip to the village had started the magic of restoring our family’s dignity, I had plans to enroll in school and get a degree so as to apply for commissioning to the Officer cadre, or better still I resign and get a civil job, I had it all planned out!

My Mother has gone mad; some stupid Soldiers had lied to her and broken her heart.  She was called “iya oloju kan” in the Village, the Woman with a lone eye, I was the lone eye and now the supposed lone eye is plucked out! How would she see? She has gone blind! Her world has been plunged into pitch darkness completely! She now sees nothingness! Barrister Amaka said my Mother gazed at her but did not see her, I know my mother, she is just waiting for death to take her, if not for the fear of God, she would have gone to drown herself at the Osun River. She had always talked of committing suicide but for the consequence when she gets to heaven, she would have killed the two of us whenever things got so tight and we went without food for days.

Only if I could do something from here! My God! Why have thou forsaken me? Why is my own so different? Please God help my Mother, save her! If she dies, what becomes of me? What is the essence of all my aspirations? I will be likened to the lunatic on the street who has no family to be identified with. Even his biological relations point at him from a distance and shake their heads in shame at his plight.

I needed to see my Mother! If she sees me she will regain her senses, I was positive about that. I only need to cuddle her and keep her close to me and gradually she will be well, it may not be instantly, but she will eventually recover if we stay together, I know what to say to her, I know her favourite songs, I will sing them to her, I know she loved to watch me dance, I will always dance for her, I will sit her down and plait her hair, I used to plait her hair, I know the foods she loved, I will prepare them for her and feed her like my baby. Oh mama mi.

But I am in prison, even if she is brought here to see me, I can only embrace her, I would not be able to keep her close, wont her condition become worse if she is brought here and taken away? The moment she sets her eyes on me, would she let go? She would go berserk if she comes here to see me and after ten minutes I am ushered back to my cell, away from her. Whatever string that is still holding her between sanity and total insanity would snap!

The other person that seems to affect me somehow now is Barrister Amaka. I do not really understand how or where to place her. She is supposed to be a paid legal consultant to me but she has gone beyond that! The way and manner she is taking my case called for concern because she had not even requested that I paid for all the cost she had incurred so far. She had dug up much about Mr. Chike, she had gone to my home town to see my mother, and she had visited the Army Barracks to collect my Cheque book. All these moves cost money yet I have only paid her for the initial consulting fee. I hope I would be able to pay up when she eventually gives me her bill. I have a lot of money saved up now though lately I have stopped saving after the news of my mother’s health got to me.

To tell myself the truth, I secretly wished this Barrister was not so high in status! Imagine the daughter of a senior advocate of the federal republic of Nigeria! The daughter of a magistrate Court Judge, handling my case! How on earth could I have come in contact with her in normal life? But she is so unassuming and down to earth. She does not treat me with disrespect and there is no iota of pride or arrogance in her. She even had to shed tears with me the other day when I was crying and begging her to help me because of my poor mother; she also lost the spark in her eyes when she wanted to tell me about my mother’s present state of health. She knew it would break my heart and she was not happy being the harbinger of such news to me. She has got a good heart.

I was on the third wrap of kpoli when Oga Inside came to join me; he sat quietly starring at me as I dragged on my kpoli, I was in another realm and my brain cells were charged and running errands. I looked at him and offered him the Indian hemp, he collected it and took two long drags, he allowed the smoke to run errands in his system before exhaling thick smoke which he directed to my face, we were communicating, I got the message; we laughed out loud together.

We finished smoking the parcel together in silence before Oga Inside broke the silence.

Ojo I want to talk to you! He had said.

Oga mi, talk! I dey listen. I said.

This Indian hemp wey you don start to dey smoke everyday now no good o! I sabi say you be Soja before you come here and Kpoli no be new thing for a Soja, but I no sabi say you dey smoke am well -well like this nah!

Oga inside! I interrupted; life don tire me I beg! I just tire for everything!

Hmm,I understand your situation Ojo, he said; this na my twenty three years for this Prisons work and I don serve for eight different Prisons all over Nigeria so my eyes don see plenty! Your case no be the worst o! At all, at all! In fact your case better pass plenty People own. No be People dey for CC cell? Thank your God say you still get hope of leaving here someday. Thank God say you get sound health, you dey fit to eat and drink, you dey even smoke Kpoli! Old boy! I don see cases wey worse pass your own well -well! You wey dey inside Prison and you still dey do business, you dey complain!

Oga Inside! I interrupted; wetin be the importance of the money wey I dey make when my Mama, the only Person wey I get for life don kolo? What is the use? I asked.

The use be say, you still fit use that money to cure her and take care of her! He said; but if you use your money to smoke Kpoli finish, how you go take carter for your mama medical needs? How you go take settle your Lawyer? Even me wey I dey here with you, you think say na because I like you? I go run from you I swear!

You mean am? I asked him.

Before nko? He asked; no be quarrel me and you dey always quarrel before? Abi you don forget? The reason I dey close to you na because you dey settle me o! If not, wetin go make Warder and Prisoner sidon together dey share Kpoli smoke? Look! You better wise up o! Stop this yeye habit wey you want to start now before you ruin yourself! Kpoli dey very expensive inside Prison and at the rate you are going, you go smoke your money finish then your eyes go clear! By that time, your case go bad pass your mama own sef!

And that Barrister of yours! He said; he be like say she like you! The way she dey carry your matter put for head dey make me to wonder whether no be me connect her to you again!

Wetin you mean Oga? I asked

Just be careful not to hurt her or disappoint her by misbehaving or giving up all hope, let her continue to see the drive and desire to survive in you. Stop burning your money on Kpoli! Don’t emulate these Politicians here! These Guys have chains of businesses churning out money for them outside the walls of these Prisons and abroad. The only source of income you have now is the illegal trade you are indulged in here, and remember that no be everybody like you! Some people dey jealous you already if you must know! But no be everything I go dey tell you! The fact that you are doing business in the Prison does not mean that it is legal and allowed! It is illegal! But we just look the other way, and for your information, the day our Oga or external inspectors will come here and they happen to find out, all of us including me will deny you three times before the Cock crows! So make your money while you can and stop squandering it, because nothing lasts forever!

Before we parted ways that night, we agreed that he contact my Lawyer and together they should see that my Mother is brought to a Psychiatric Hospital in Abakaliki. From then we shall know the way forward.

I will forever be grateful to Oga Inside for our discussion that night.

Oga Inside did not embezzle my money, he had used up some of it for family issues but he promised to pay back. The balance of eight thousand naira with him he had deposited into my Bank account, he brought back the deposit slip to me for keepsIMG_20180312_222652