Tag Archives: true life experiences

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

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

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

DisAbility

“Please can you assist me in getting a bus to Okoko.” A male voice spoke from the back.

The two friends were seated in a danfo bus and had been discussing with each other. They looked back to acknowledge the person with the voice. He was quite young; probably in his late 20s and he was wearing sunshades which were not so dark. The friends shared a look. He was visually impaired.

“Okay.” They responded as the bus inched slowly towards the final bus-stop. Every other passenger had disembarked and the three of them were left in the bus; besides the driver and the conductor.

“Conductor, you have not given me my change.” The guy said to the conductor. The conductor handed him a fifty naira note and the two friends watched him as he felt the naira note.

“How much did you give me?” He asked the conductor.

“Fifty naira.” The conductor responded.

He put the money in his pocket as he said a thank you to the conductor.

The bus arrived the final destination and the three of them disembarked. The friends held his hands; one on the right and the other on the left as they led him to where he was going to get a bus to Okoko.

“So how do you know the amount you are giving to the conductor?” One of the friends asked him.

“I arrange my money accordingly before leaving home.” The guy replied.

“But what if the conductor does not give you the correct change?” She asked again.

“Well.” He replied as he shrugged. “I only hope they will.”

“And how would you find your way home?” She asked him; still confused.

“I know my way around.” The visually impaired guy concluded.

The friends ensured that he was seated in a bus going towards his destination before they proceeded on their own mission.

They however wondered about how he coped daily with no guide to take him around.

 

 

A few weeks later, one of the friends was standing at a bus-stop when she saw a woman get off a tricycle. She seemed to be partial visually impaired. She had neither a guide nor a white cane. She looked disoriented for a few seconds after getting off the tricycle as she blinked many times; maybe in an effort to get her eyes accustomed to the environment.

Only one question was in the mind of the lady as she watched the visually impaired woman. How do the visually impaired survive in a country like Nigeria? A country where adequate provisions are not made for people living with disabilities.

——

Photo Credit: http://www.disabilitypride.org

Deliver us from evil

It was about 6.30p.m. The weather was calm and the sun was just beginning its descent. I longed to get home as soon as I could. It had been a long day at work and I was tired. I turned the curve at the roundabout to climb up the bridge. The bridge was a dual carriage one which allowed motorists to drive facing the same direction on both sides of the bridge from 4.30p.m.

As I began my ascent, I noticed a man riding an okada and coming my way at full speed. I was wondering if he was new in the environment and did not realize that at this time of the day, I had right of way. Or maybe he missed the signage stating the timing at the foot of the bridge.

The okada man kept coming, not breaking his speed and I had to step on my brakes. The peak of the bridge could only take one car and I doubted the space left between my car and the railings of the bridge would take the bike speeding my way. If he was on a suicide mission, I did not want to help him achieve it.

Okada man

My mind told me he would divert just as he was about to get to me. Everything happened like a movie and I saw the okada hit my car right in front; the rider and his motorcycle falling to the ground in a split second. My jaw dropped as I wondered what had just happened.

The man quickly recovered. He stood up and came to my side trying to open my door. I have learnt to lock all doors and roll up all windows almost to the top (even in a car without an AC) especially in traffic. He struggled with the door and started banging on it as he asked me to open up.

As I sat in the car pondering what to do, some men who were driving behind me and also on the other side of the bridge parked their cars and came out. They ran towards my car as they started pushing the rider away from me. “Madam, don’t step out of that car.” One of the men shouted.

One of the men lifted up the okada from the ground and moved it to the side of the bridge. They told the rider that if he wasn’t careful, they would beat him up as they were all witnesses to all that happened. He was asked to get on his okada and drive off as the men also asked me to go.

Till date, I wonder what actually happened. Was he sleeping? Was his mind faraway? Only the rider can answer that question.

——-

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

Wedding Chronicles – Dress code

Preparations for their wedding was in top gear. The venue of the reception had been paid for, the caterers were ready, family and friends were excited. However, one thing was left. The wedding gown had not been shown to the church.

The couple went to the dressmaker who had been contracted to make the wedding gown. She had called the bride earlier to inform her that her gown was ready for pick up. The groom was excited as he looked forward to having a peep of how his bride would look on their most important day. As the dressmaker unveiled the gown, they both gasped. It was beautiful. The bride glided her fingers on the pearls that sparkled brightly on the dress. The dressmaker asked her to put on the gown so that proper fittings could be made. The bride nodded as she went into an inner room with the dressmaker behind her.

As the bride stepped into the room where her fiancé was waiting, a smile played on his lips. He thanked the dressmaker acknowledging the good job she had done. The gown dazzled throwing beams of light on the bride’s face as she smiled. The dressmaker stood before the bride as she used pins to adjust the dress at points which she felt needed to be worked on to give the dress a perfect fit. The bride went back into the changing room, took off the gown and handed it over to the dressmaker.

As the dressmaker got to work on the dress, the couple discussed preparations for the oncoming wedding, as they dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. They talked about their honeymoon and the groom said he had purchased some pairs of jeans pants and looked forward to seeing his wife in them. His fiancée looked at him with confusion. “You know I don’t wear trousers, so why would you buy them?”

“Your church does not allow you to wear them. Once you are married, you will attend my church. We don’t have anything against women in trousers and I want to see you in them.”

The bride shook her head. “No, I will not wear trousers.”

“Sweetie, you will wear whatever I buy for you.” He responded with a tone of finality.

The bride pouted her mouth in anger as she crossed her arms.

In a few minutes, the dressmaker was done and the dress was put into a garment bag and handed over to them. It was to be shown to the church the next day.

 

The next weekend, the couple was back at the dressmaker’s. A quick glance at the groom’s face and the dressmaker knew something was amiss.

“What is the problem sir?” She asked.

The groom looked at his bride who had an expression of resignation on her face.

“Please can you take off all the pearls and make the gown ankle length?” The bride said.

The dressmaker’s jaw dropped as she stared at the bride and then the groom.

The groom shrugged. “Her church said pearls are not allowed. They are also against flowing wedding gowns.”

The dressmaker sighed deeply as she collected the garment bag containing the wedding gown from them.

If only the church had outlined a dress code for wedding gowns to prospective brides during the marriage counselling sessions, maybe the dressmaker would have been saved the trouble and the couple would have managed their expectations.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

Wedding Chronicles – Red Rain

The church wedding had been concluded successfully. The bride and the groom had been joined together as man and wife. There was a massive hall adjoining the church which had been decorated in the colours of the day. Musicians were already dishing out music from a corner of the hall. Guests, family and friends trooped into the hall as they awaited the arrival of the couple.

Close friends of the bride and groom hung around waiting for the couple so they could accompany them into the hall in grand style for the wedding reception. All of a sudden, a close friend of the groom pulled another friend of theirs to a corner. “Do you have a pad with you?” He asked both confused and embarrassed.

“Pad ke? What do you need one for?” She queried.

“Erm….erm…her period just started and he said I should ask you.” He stuttered.

“Who? I don’t understand.” She asked looking confused.

He looked at her wondering why she failed to understand. “The bride nau.”

“Wo-hoo!!!” She exclaimed, understanding his dilemma. “I don’t have one. I doubt anyone will carry one in her purse. We may need to go outside the church to buy.”

The two friends got someone conversant with the area to quickly get a pack of sanitary towels, thereby saving the day for the bride.

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

Wedding Chronicles – The Promise

She had gotten the new job in the same month in which her wedding had been fixed. She thought about deferring her resumption date till after the wedding but she realized she needed the extra cash. Besides, instead of a long break prior and after the wedding, she was advised to make it short so as not to seem insensitive. The company was solely run by her boss and she had been recruited to assist her. A junior colleague who previously worked her job put her through everything she needed to know about the company.

A week after resumption, she informed her boss that she was getting married at the end of the month and would appreciate if she could be given a five-day break (one day before the wedding and four days after the wedding).

Her boss had been happy for her; or so she seemed. She congratulated her and wished her a happy married life. Her boss asked her what she would love as a wedding gift and she became confused. She hadn’t thought about it. Her boss noticed her confusion and told her not to bother; she promised to get her a microwave.

Even though she was happy about the offer, she made up her mind to hold on to it with a pinch of salt. She was aware that people made promises but fulfilling them was always a different story. She was granted her request and she made sure she put in her best on the last day in the office prior to her wedding. She stayed back to work long hours ensuring that nothing was pending.

Her wedding went smoothly and five days after as agreed, she resumed back at work. She however, got a rude shock when at the end of the month; she received her salary less five days. She smiled as she read the letter which had been typed by her boss stating that her salary had been prorated. No explanations were given and she did not bother to seek for one.

Her salary was barely enough and now, she was getting a pay cut. She remembered the microwave that she had been promised but knew that getting one from her boss would only happen in her dreams.

She shrugged as she counted her salary. Tomorrow was another day and it definitely held promise.

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

Wedding Chronicles – Time to bless the Church

The three wedding ceremonies (the engagement, the church wedding and the reception) had been scheduled for the same day. The engagement started early in order to cater for the other ceremonies. In two and a half hours, the engagement was done with the early guests served finger foods and drinks. The church service was to start in about an hour and this gave ample time for the bride and the groom to get dressed.

Some guests proceeded to the church while some who were not present for the engagement ceremony arrived the church and sat down as they listened to the soft praise music oozing out of the church speakers.

The church service had been slated for two hours and the wedding proceedings started right on time. Vows were made, rings exchanged and the wedding register was signed. The couple, their family and their friends were excited.

As the church danced to the music dished out by the choir, the minister stated it was time for thanksgiving. He called mothers who wished to see such celebration in the life of the daughters or sons to come out for a “special” thanksgiving. The mothers danced rhythmically shaking their hips and bums with most headgears raised high as they moved to the front of the church to drop their offerings.

Next, the minister called the fathers to also share in the joy and proceed to the front of the church for their own “special” thanksgiving. A song was raised for the fathers and they all walked to the front even though they were meant to move their bodies to the music.

As the fathers walked back to their seats, the minister called all single ladies in the church who wished to get married someday to dance to the front of the church for their own “special” thanksgiving. Next, he called the single men to follow suit.

The service had gone for over two hours but the minister wasn’t done. He called the friends of the bride to follow suit in their own “special” thanksgiving and reminded the friends of the groom that it would be their turn soon. Different categories of people were called out for “special” thanksgiving; friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances etc before the whole church was asked to come out for a “special” thanksgiving. It was impossible for anyone present not to fall into a category. In fact, it was possible that some people fell into two or three categories.

A service that was meant to be done in two hours eventually spanned over three hours. By the time the service was over, some guests were tired and hungry. Those willing to attend the reception drove to the venue, while a few others just eased into their cars and drove home or stopped by at an eatery to have lunch.

There was no point going to the reception and eagerly awaiting item 7 which would probably take a while to be served. Those guests needed to bless their tummies just like the minister had made them bless the church.

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

Wedding Chronicles – Thou shall be prepared

The wedding ceremony in church lasted just an hour. Three members of the choir were getting married and the choir director advised that there should be representation in the receptions of each of the members. The choir members in attendance were split into three and advised on which reception to attend.

The choir members began trooping out of the church; easing into their cars, attaching themselves to those who had cars or simply finding their way to the reception they had been assigned to attend. I found myself among the latter category. My friend and I decided to take a walk. The reception venue was a distance from the church but as we gisted, we realized we were soon at the venue.

We took our seats and waited for the commencement of the reception proper. The reception commenced with the arrival of the couple. Hours later, the guests began to look out for item 7. It was not forthcoming and the guests began to murmur. The family and friends of the couple noticing the look on the faces of the guests decided to bring out the bags of bowls which contained the food and began to share.

The hall had been arranged in a church setting and all guests faced the high table where the couple were seated. Soon, the friends of the bride took over the sharing of the food. For each row of guests they passed by, they looked at the faces of the guests before handing the food to whoever they deemed fit.

My friend and I watched as food and drinks passed by us. After a while, when all the “very important” people had been served. The bride’s friends went round and served the “less important” people. We were handed a small bowl of food which was just enough to feed a child.

I told my friend we had fulfilled all righteousness by attending the reception and asked that we leave. She agreed. I stood up to leave with a great lesson learned. I was reminded about how my parents ensured that we ate just before leaving for children’s parties’ years ago. And that lesson resonated that day.

Always be prepared!

——-

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com