Category Archives: True Life

Desiring Diseases

As I drove into the car park of the departmental store, I saw a young man squatting down by the driver’s corner of a Honda Accord. I looked closely and noticed he was administering a local pedicure to a “healthy” man. The first thing that came to my mind was HIV. I shook my head and hissed. The kids noticed and asked what the problem was.

“I don’t believe that that “big man” cannot afford to go for a proper pedicure.” I said to them. I explained to them about the risk of infection using unsterilized instruments.

I was still conversing with my kids when I saw a woman discussing on her mobile phone. I saw her walk up to the man in the car. The look on her face was that of shock. She stood close to the man while she finished with her call. After she ended the call, I saw her scold the man in the car as she shook her head in pity.

Did the man care? I have no idea as I couldn’t see his face but the local pedicurist continued with his duty.

The woman walked away leaving the man to his fate and I wondered if three thousand naira or less was too much for a man driving a Honda Accord. He may be uneducated, who knows? But even at that, is it that he has never heard of the risk of contacting HIV through unsterilized instruments? Or was his health so unimportant to him that he would rather expose himself to a life altering disease? Or was he one of those who had the “something must kill a man” mantra?

Hmmm….I rest my case.

——-

Photo Credit: http://www.wikivisually.com

Oshodi – For the brave-hearted only

During the era of the old Oshodi, I remember driving home from work one evening. It was about 7:30p.m. I had just driven out of Mafoluku area and turned into Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway when my car decided to die right at Bolade bus-stop on the fast lane.

Not now, I sighed. I knew what the problem was, I just needed to wait it out. My windows were always wound up almost to the top with a little space for air to come in; can’t be caught napping in Oshodi. All doors were always locked. If the central lock does not work, I take my time to lock all doors individually.

As I sat in the car, I looked into my rear view mirror intermittently and stayed conscious of my environment. Cars zoomed past as I waited for the engine to cool off. A few minutes into my wait, an area boy came towards the car and stood beside me. He tapped on my door. “Open the bonnet make I help you check am.” He said in his croaky voice.

“Thank you.” I replied through the wound-up window but I refused to pull the lever to open the bonnet. I ain’t letting any area boy touch my car at this time of the night; I said to myself (especially as I was sure of what the problem was).

Soon, another area boy appeared by my right. He tried to open the passenger door and realized it was locked. “Open the door, make we help you push am comot for road.” I looked to the left and to the right; an area boy on each side. I began to pray in my heart that the engine would cool off on time. There were no street lights and the only source of light was from cars passing by.

“Open this door, ah…ahn, abi you want make I break your side mirror?” The guy by the driver’s side said as he tried to open my door.

I turned the ignition and the engine roared to life all of a sudden. The guy beside me realizing what had just happened made an attempt to pull my side mirror. I swerved the car to his side, he jumped back and I immediately swerved to the right towards the other guy before zooming off. As the car screeched and raised some dust in the air, I drove off heaving a sigh of relief and saying a silent thank you to God.

Oshodi – A place in Lagos where your courage is tested.

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Photo Credit: https://www.adromeda.com.ng

Fufu war

The closing prayer was said. The Amen was followed by students ducking under the table. Wrapped mounds of fufu began to fly in all directions. The culprits would raise their heads, fire a mound of fufu like an arrow and duck immediately. Anyone standing or not crouched under the table received a striking stab of fufu. The fufus were usually cold and hard and the strikes from one was indeed painful. Other students who refused to be part of the chaos ran out of the dining hall crouching.

The dining hall was built like a huge warehouse with awning windows and louvers situated at about 20 feet high. In the ensuing chaos, a junior student who had just joined the school some months before ran out of the dining hall with his plate in his hands. A mound of fufu struck the louvers above him and glass pieces came crashing down. The broken louver struck the boy on his calf and blood gushed out like an open tap.

The screams and cries of the hurt boy and other students who were escaping the dining chaos broke the fufu war immediately. Students rushed to carry the boy back into the dining while some went into first-aid mode immediately. A white T-shirt was torn and the boy’s leg was bound to stop the bleeding before he was rushed to the hospital by the principal.

 

The boy’s mother was contacted. She hurriedly went to see her injured son at the hospital and came to the school in anger. As she saw one of the housemaster’s, she rushed towards him and grabbed him by his shirt’s collar.

“Do you know how many months I carried this boy in my womb? Ë fé p’ömö fún mi?” (You want to kill my child). She screamed at the housemaster who was struggling to free himself from the woman’s hold.

“I carried him for thirty months. Do you know what I went through?” She continued in her rant.

The woman was held back by other housemasters who intervened and calmed her down. Two things however happened after; the fufu war came to an end and the junior student received a nickname “Omópénú”.

——

Photo Credit: https://www.cdkitchen.com

Lagos madness

It was a Friday. A family event was taking place that evening. I asked for permission to close an hour earlier to be able to participate in the event. 5:00pm, I drove out of my office on Awolowo road, Ikoyi. I should be home in two hours, I said to myself.

The traffic on third mainland bridge snaked all the way from the beginning to the tail end and I began to wonder if I would still make the journey in two hours. 7:00pm, I arrived at Bolade in Oshodi. I did a mental calculation. In an hour, I should get to Iyana-Ipaja.

8:00pm, I was still at Bolade. 9:00pm came and met me right on the same spot at Bolade, Oshodi. It had rained earlier that day and for those who understand Lagos; rain and Lagos roads are like sworn enemies. I was extremely tired and my feet were hurting. Driving a manual car in traffic a’int attractive. Movement was at snail speed and I kept switching off and switching on the engine to ease the stress on my feet.

In my tired state and my feet on the brake pedal, I lost traction and bumped into the car ahead of me. Oh Lord, not now; I thought. A man stepped out of the car. He looked at me and bent to look at his bumper. I tried to signal an apology to him but the man just turned and went back to sit in his car. I guess he was too tired to get into an argument. I immediately switched off the engine to avoid a recurrence.

“Hello ma’am, you look extremely tired. Can I join you and keep you company?” A guy who had been standing at the bus-stop with other passengers as they awaited a bus asked. I looked at him; a total stranger but at that point I needed company to stay awake.

I unlocked the passenger door and he eased into the car. He introduced himself and started talking about the traffic situation and various issues. I listened and his conversation kept me awake.

At about 10:30pm, some army men emerged from God knows where and decided to help our situation. They began to pass traffic and as we moved forward, we realized that some cars going towards Oshodi had decided to face oncoming traffic; thereby causing the total lock down.

As usual in Lagos traffic, immediately the army men passed their vehicle out of the traffic, they zoomed off leaving the rest of us to our fate. Moving ahead became a survival of the fittest game. Thankfully, I scaled through without a scratch. I got to the GRA Ikeja junction and we saw traffic still ahead of us. At this time of the night, I thought as I shook my head. I wondered if I should go ahead or make a detour. My new found friend asked what my intention was. After 3 hours on one spot, I was not ready for another long wait.

I turned into GRA Ikeja and manuveured my way through to Oba Akran through Mobolaji Bank Anthony way. It was a smooth drive and I was glad I took that decision. Driving out of Oba Akran, I decided to pass the inner Dopemu road parallel to the Lagos-Abeokuta express way. As we went on, we could see the tail lights of cars in slow movement on the express way. I smiled as I congratulated myself on the smart move. I dropped off my new found friend at his bus-stop which was on my way home and he was full of thanks. I was more thankful because his conversation actually helped me stay awake on the steering.

I arrived home at a quarter to midnight. The celebrator for whom I had closed from the office one hour earlier was already sleeping peacefully in bed.

——

Photo Credit: http://www.ABC7.com

Forest living

I attended a secondary school that was surrounded by thick forests on three sides with no fences. The fourth side which was the school gate had farmlands opposite the school . The school was a natural habitat for rats, snakes (mambas and pythons), scorpions, beetles, crickets, millipedes, centipedes, soldier ants and termites.

I remember the day I was almost bitten by a scorpion. I was walking towards the back of the hostel after dinner with my friends to go shot-put. It was dark and I was carrying a lantern with me. As we were gisting and heading towards our mission, for some strange reason, I decided to take a step back. I turned the lantern towards the ground and right in front of me, where I was just about to place my feet was a scorpion with its sting facing up. I was terrified.

A black snake also fell on my shoulder in another incident. I even remember a student doing his morning duty of sweeping the administrative block when he felt a huge stone fall on his head. He assumed a friend was playing pranks and looked up but saw no one. Another look at the ground revealed that a snake had been the culprit.

A room mate packed her clothes which she had dried on the grass outside the hostel and carried a snake with the clothes. If I ever had any intention of drying my clothes on the grass; which I never did because of beetles and crickets, the incident that evening in my room ended such thought.

A senior boy once killed a large python and carried it on his shoulders like it was an award. A green snake which I assumed was a mamba slithered out of the field right in front of my friends and I when we were going for an afternoon prep.

Rats had a party running around in my hostel and also eating students feet. This happened mostly to students who went to bed with dirty feet. Students took joy in killing them but they gave the rodents a slow and tortuous death. The rats were caught and their tails were burnt in a lantern. Next, students put their whiskers into the lantern. It was funny hearing the cries of a rat. Trust me, their cries warned all other rats to stay away and for the next few weeks, we saw no rats in the hostel.

At night, after lights out, we often heard the cries of foxes in the forest. Their barks and cries were so loud on some days that we almost felt like they were right behind our room.

Different students had encounters with soldier ants and termites as they walked into their long armies. I learnt early to always look on the ground while walking to avoid becoming a victim.

A classmate had a weird liking for millipedes and she picked them up every time she saw one and caressed them like a baby……ewwww.

I look back today and I still wonder; how did we survive living in the midst of all these?

——
Photo Credit: http://www.canstock.com

Security JD

The Pastor stopped the choir and said; “Why are you doing Jerusalem Jericho dance?” He asked as he shuffled his feet from left to right. “If you are glad that the resurrection of your Lord and Saviour has given you victory, then give him a shout and dance like David danced.” The congregation lifted up their voices to heaven and the pastor raised a song for the choir. Everyone in church began to shake their bodies as they danced. Some lifted up their hands as they praised God while some threw their hands and legs in different directions.

While this was happening, I noticed the security team members standing still. They were watching us as we all danced; and I began to wonder. I definitely cannot be a member of the security team in church, because once I hear music especially high praises, I go forget say my job description na to look.

Secondly, I wonder how they are all able to keep straight faces even when the pastor says something funny. It’s almost as if they have been coached not to laugh. Me, I go don laugh forget say I be security.

Thirdly, I wonder if a criteria for joining the team is that your face must always dey strong. For some reasons yet unknown, their faces all seem to be hard. Or shey na me never see the one wey get soft face?

To all the security team in all churches doing a fantastic job out there, I doff my hat and say thank you and well done. The job sure seems thankless.

——
Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com

Insane Driving

The road was a cross junction and I waited for the grey Toyota Corolla in front of me to drive into the street ahead. There was another car; a white Honda Civic in front of him. The driver in the Honda Civic noticed that there was a road block down the street caused by a religious gathering. He hesitated for a few seconds probably considering his options of an alternative route.

Cars behind me began to honk and I ignored them. If the driver of the white Honda did not make up his mind, we were all stuck. Suddenly, he began to reverse. I watched in horror as the driver in the grey Toyota Corolla honked continuously but the driver in front of him reversed all the way and bumped into him.

The driver in the white Honda Civic got down from his car and walked up to the other driver. “Kí ló selè nau?” (What happened?) He asked the driver of the car he just bumped into.

“What do you mean by that? You hit my car and you are asking me stupid question.” The other driver said.

“You no see me? You no see say I dey reverse?” The Honda Civic driver asked.

My jaw dropped as I watched the exchange. Was this guy for real? I thought. By now, there was a spill back of traffic and I tried to see if I could pass through as my final destination was before the road block.

The driver in the Toyota Corolla got out of his car in anger. “Ó dàbí pé o stupid? (I think you are stupid). Ojú è fó ni? (Are you blind?)

“Ojú tì ë ló fó?” (You are the one that is blind). The Honda Civic driver responded; spoiling for a fight.

I maneuvered my way through and as I got close to both men, I rolled down my window. “Oga, how can you reverse without looking back?” I asked the driver of the Honda Civic. “And you can apologize because you are wrong.” I continued.

“Can you imagine? He hit my car and he is claiming right again.” The driver of the Toyota Corolla said to me.

“Madam, mind your business. Wetin be your own?” The Honda Civic driver said to me.

“Haba! Who reverses without looking back?” I asked.

“Abeg, carry your car comot here.” The Honda Civic driver shouted at me.

I looked at the Toyota Corolla to see the damage done. There were a few scratches but no lights were broken. “Sorry.” I said to the driver of the Toyota Corolla. “I doubt the guy is okay.” I continued.

The Toyota Corolla driver hissed as he also looked at the damage done to his car.

I shook my head as I drove off thinking;

What would it cost the Honda Civic driver to apologize for his obvious wrong? Why do most people behave insane once they are behind the wheels?

I just wonder.

——-
Photo Credit: http://www.spareaze.com

Blood on his hands

Ikenna ran after his elder brother and pulled the trigger. “Pa pa pa.” He shouted as he pumped the bullets into him.

Blood gushed out as the bullets hit Chidi in the head. Chidi slumped and the sight of blood shocked Ikenna.
He looked at the pistol in his hand and immediately flung it away. Even though he had seen blood gush out in the movies, he hadn’t expected to see the same happen right before him.

They had played this same game many times and blood had never gushed out of his elder brother. The gun they had played with was exactly the same as the one he held a moment ago but it had never caused a flow of blood.

Confused at what was going on, he began to cry. “Mummy, mummy.” He screamed.

******

Adaeze was jolted out of her sleep. She had taken a brief afternoon nap and had just had a bad dream. For some reasons, she felt something was amiss. She had no idea what it was but she knew she needed to get up and attend to her sons. She was heavily pregnant for her third child and the scan had shown that she was carrying a girl. She was happy as she had decided that after this, she was done with child bearing.

The birth of her sons; Ikenna and Chidi who were four and six respectively had been traumatizing for her. She had both of them through a caesarean operation and the doctor had advised her after the birth of Ikenna to give child bearing a wide berth. When she confided in the doctor that she wanted to have one more child and try for a girl, the doctor had wondered why. But she had been adamant and told the doctor; just one last time.

Her son’s scream echoed round the house and she immediately jumped up and ran up the stairs to see what was going on. As she entered into the room, the sight before her made her knees buckle and she went down.

“Mummy.” Ikenna ran to meet his mother and fell into her arms.

Adaeze looked at her younger son and burst into tears. She crawled to where Chidi lay in a pool of blood and pulled him close. She gave a cry of anguish as she hugged her son who lay still in her arms.

How many times had she warned Nnanna about keeping a loaded gun in his room? How many times had she pleaded with him to get rid of the gun? How many times had she told him to get a safe and lock up the deadly weapon if he had to keep it in his room? How many times? How many times?

As she cried out and held her first son’s still body, the only thing on her mind was hurt, regret and sorrow.

——
Photo Credit: http://www.veteranstoday.com

 

Shine your eyes!

The popular market was busy. Passersby, buyers and sellers all struggled to walk past or have business transactions on the already crowded street. People and vehicles jostled for space as cars honked to get their attention. The sun beat hard and various bodies glistened with sweat. A conductor hung precariously on a yellow J5 bus as he shouted his destination at the top of his croaky voice. Passengers shoved each other to get into the bus.

“Na five five oh. Madam, dress. I say na five five.” The conductor shouted at a woman in the bus.

Within a few minutes, the bus was filled and the conductor tapped the roof of the bus to signal to the driver that they were ready to move.

A woman who was seated by the window at the back seat of the bus called a pure water vendor. She collected a satchet from the young boy and paid for it. As she bit the bag with her teeth to tear open a small portion, she dipped her head out of the bus and started to wash her face with the water. I was seated next to the woman and I noticed that as she put her head back into the bus, there was an expression of surprise and regret on the face of the bus conductor.

A hand appeared from outside and was on the woman’s neck. The woman held on to the gold chain on her neck but the guy who later showed his face was faster. As he pulled the gold chain, the man who sat beside me stretched his hand over me and tried to stop the thief. His outstretched hand came face to face with a shining metal and he withdrew his hand immediately. He did not want to get stabbed. Everything happened in the twinkling of an eye.

As the bus moved forward, the conductor said to the woman. “Madam, shine your eyes oh. You no dey do that kain thing for inside market. If you wear gold, you go comot am once you enter market.”

The man scolded the conductor. “Didn’t you see him when he was coming? You no fit tell her?”

“Oga, she don put her head outside already nau and dem don see the chain. If I talk, dem go know say na me tell her.

As the journey proceeded, the woman mourned the loss of her chain. While some passengers sympathized with her, others began to tell various incidents of robbery in the market.

——

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com

The Baby Thief

It was a Vigil and the pastor asked everyone to stand up and pray. While some closed their eyes for full attention on their heart desires and to avoid distractions; some prayed with their eyes open. The prayers were going on for a few minutes when suddenly noise emanated from outside the church auditorium. Many who had their eyes closed opened their eyes to find out the source of the distraction.

A woman was carrying a baby, who was about six months old. The baby was sleeping peacefully, unaware of the commotion around her. A young girl who would probably pass for an eight year old was standing beside the woman. Another woman, clearly agitated held on to the woman carrying the baby. She was screaming at the top of her voice as she refused to let the woman go.

“Give me my baby.” She cried.

Her screams attracted stares from the congregation who sat at the far end of the hall and the church security operatives swung into action. Prayers were still ongoing; so they moved both women, the young girl and the baby away from the prying eyes of the congregation.

“Give me my baby. She’s a thief.” The woman kept shouting at the top of her voice as she attracted more stares.

“Madam, is this your child?” The security operatives asked the woman carrying the baby.

“No, she is not. I saw this girl carrying her and I was wondering where she was taking the baby to; so I accosted her and collected the baby from her. I was going to meet the security when this woman started calling me a thief.”

“It is a lie.” The second woman shouted as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I put my baby on the floor beside me while I was praying. By the time I opened my eyes, my baby was no longer there. I searched everywhere to know maybe she woke up and crawled away. It was when I looked outside the hall that I saw this woman with my baby. She stole my baby.”

“I did not steal your baby.” The first woman said.

The security operatives looked from one woman to the other; unsure of the true situation of things. “Do you know this girl?” One of the men asked the second woman.

“No, I don’t know her. I have never seen her before.”

The security operatives turned to the first woman. “We are just outside the auditorium. Which other security operatives were you going to meet?” They asked her.

While they questioned her, one of the security operatives took the young girl aside to interrogate her. He knew that if she worked with the woman, she would probably refuse to say anything while the woman was beside her.

 

A few minutes later, the mother walked into the church auditorium holding tightly to her baby. She knelt down; her baby on her left shoulder and her right hand lifted up in thanksgiving. Members of the congregation who had witnessed a bit of the drama tried to stretch their necks to see how the security operatives would handle the woman and the young girl; but they had been taken away from prying eyes.

The incident gave the biblical injunction “Watch and Pray” another meaning.

——-

Photo Credit: http://www.shuttershock.com