I am sure you all know by now that if I am not minding my own business, I would be nose deep in yours.
Our house is situated among the worst people you would ever find on the planet of the earth. We have call girls, school dropouts, paraga and agbo sellers as neighbours. Directly behind our house is the abode for the omo wobeys in our street. They are the walking chimneys who puff from morning till evening. When they take a break from their puffing and huffing, it is to take a sip from the concoction and kainkain gotten from Iya Basira’s shop.
One of the omo wobeys happened to be friendly with everyone on the street, his name is Sakiru, legend has it that Sakiru returned back home when Fashola washed Lagos ‘clean’ of omo oniles and the motorcycle riders. I don’t know how true the story is, but I also heard he was really successful in his motorcycle business until things went awry during Fashola’s ‘cleaning.’
They said he returned home with nothing but the ‘mo de mo de’ lagosian accent and a Ghana-must-go sack.
Sakiru is easy going, when he is drunk and you happen to collide with him on the streets. He dips his hand into his pocket and gives you wads of naira notes. Sometimes he leaves the place where all of them assemble to drink, smoke and merry to sit at the junction and talk to himself. Even though he was nicknamed Sango among his cohorts due to the way he smokes with reckless abandon, he is very wise. Once in a while he utters inspiring things that leaves people speechless.
Boda Sakiru had a babe in Lagos before he was sent back home. He visits her from time to time. This Sallah however, it was different, she visited instead. When Boda Sakiru’s babe arrived, it was my little brother that ran inside in his torn brown pants shouting on top of his voice as his thin shoulders tremble.
‘Aunty Christie! Aunty Christie! She is outside oooo.’
‘Wura ni, Boda Sakiru’s gehfren jor’ he replied scratching his buttocks.
‘Ehn? What is now my own business? Abeg get out of here and go and continue your nonsense games in the streets’ I nudged him away as he sniffed the hands he dug into his buttocks before running away.
‘Dirty boy’ I said to myself as I entered the kitchen, I carefully opened the windows slightly and waited patiently. They would pass through this side soon. They did, I saw Sakiru carrying a leather box while a surprisingly gorgeous lady keeps up with his pace.
Sakiru? Dirty, razz, local, thuggish, nonsense looking Sakiru with mouth odour? I stretched my neck to have a better view. My eyes were not deceiving me, she is drop dead gorgeous! Surely, love is blind.
The next morning, as if to put my doubts to rest, they both wore the same cloth to the Eid praying ground. When they were returning, I was waiting for them as I pretended to wash clothes.
‘Boda Sakiru, welcome back o. I am expecting my Sallah meat’ I greeted cheerfully.
‘haha, Christie you should know I am not slaughtering ram nah. It is fish and egg I am slaughtering this year’ he said in his croaked voice.
‘I must sha collect my Sallah meat.’ I continued looking for a way to make him introduce her to me. ‘Is this our wife?’ I turned and faced the lady.
‘Yes, that is Aminat, my bebi’ he exposed his brown teeth as he smiled.
Lord, how does she cope?
I smiled and exchanged polite greetings with the lady. When they left, I spat and continued washing my clothes. How can a lady that looks that neat be in a relationship with someone like that? I spat again. Baba Ijebu and one of his wives were beating each other up in front of their face-me-I-face you apartment, that drew my attention away from my thoughts.
* * * * * * * * *
‘Yeeeeeeeeeeh!!!!! He wants to kill me ooo, he wants to kill me!’ a high pitched feminine voice woke us up around 12am. My father was the first to bolt out of the house, not for the sake of chivalry but my father is a well known gossip. He would go and survey first before he comes back to give my mother feedback, then they would both go together to gather news which they would distribute to everyone in the street later.
‘Christie’ my mother called as she gather her wrappers in preparation to follow my father. ‘Go and give your father his trouser, he went out in his boxers’ she yawned and began to dress up.
I sprinted towards the disturbance and saw my father with his hands behind his back. I handed him his trouser and dived into the crowd of people in front of Sakiru’s apartment.
The gorgeous lady I saw with Boda Sakiru earlier was holding on to his singlet and daring him to beat her.
‘Somebody should hold this crazy ashawo before I ruin her life o’ Sakiru bellowed.
The lady went berserk at the mention of ashawo and began to hit him on his chest. Two of Sakiru’s friends pretended to hold her off as they caressed her breasts, still screaming she narrated how she used the ashawo money to set up Sakiru, how she sends him money from time to time and how she had been responsible for her family’s welfare with the ashawo money.
‘But what caused this midnight fight exactly?’ that was my mother’s voice, my dad has obviously gone to call her.
‘Thank you o madam’ the lady answered ‘Sakiru wants to use ‘ it’ to kill me ni ooo’ she added.
‘Use what to kill you?’ mocking voices asked.
‘Ehn ehn ehn is it not a normal thing for me to sleep with her? Is she not my gehfren?’ he asked before she could answer. I looked at him with scorn and spat. His bony frame and bulging eyes made me spat some more.
‘So? That means you should kill me with ‘it’! Oloshi oloriburuku’
‘Haaaaaaaaaaa. Sakiru ngbo is it true?’ my father asked from where he stood. There was also a mocking smile on his face and he wore his trousers inside out.
‘Ehn, sebi it was because of Iya Basira’s agbo jedi. I had to show her I am a man nah’ Sakiru said, saliva gathered at the corners of his mouth and he wiped it off with his hands. Eyama
‘God will punish you and that Iya Basira together, Oloshi. Everybody come and see how red the place is. He wants to kill me and he won’t succeed!!!’ She charged towards Sakiru again but the boys held her back with her breast.
Everyone pleaded with Sakiru not to kill her with ‘it’ and let her rest. Sakiru agreed but the lady refused to enter the room with him. Sakiru’s friends offered her their room but she turned them down one by one. My father was about to offer our house when my mother shut him up with a killing stare. They all went back and forth until the community leader came around with police officers. Sakiru was bundled into a waiting vehicle for disturbing the peace of the community while the community leader offered the lady a bed and good company till she returns back to Lagos.
We all dispersed when it looked as if the issue has been resolved. My brother who also left the house with us was pulled by the ears till we got back home.
The last time I heard. They said the lady is pregnant with twins for our community leader. And Boda Sakiru? Oh well he is still a chimney.