The closest I have come to hell

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Memoirs
Tags: , , , , , ,

On his last trip to the UK, Ferdy got me a pant trouser. Nice guy, you think? Not nice.

Truth is Ferdy only buys me books when he travels to obodo oyinbo. So I had to ‘take’ this pant from him when he returned recently. Now, take-over complete, I encountered a problem; this pant was a couple of inches too long. I spent many a fretful night wondering what to do-wear a slightly longer pant and risk looking like a Kogi man (Oh! I’m one) or give my treasure to a tailor for adjustment and risk getting it ruined. You, like me, know how destructive our artisans can be.

Finally, on Monday I trudged to Jakande and gave an obioma the trouser.

‘Oga, cut am to 41’

‘Mhmm’, he grunted. And whipped out a pair of evil looking scissors secatuers

‘Emm, Oga just fold am, come sew am. No need to cut am,’ I said

‘Mhhmmm’. He folded it and the lovely black inner material showed.

Kai! Now I was scared. Is this the end? Is this how my lovely pants would be ruined.

‘Oga, abeg make am dey neat o! No make e show say I adjust am…Wait, wait, you sure say as you fold am e don be 41?…Which colour thread you wan use?…Ehn-ehn, no make the tacking show o!’

At that moment, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was one of the obiomas who had been watching the exchange.

‘Make e do am. Na im work, e sabi am’.

I sighed audibly this time. Yeah, let him just get on with it without me hovering around him with endless cautions. I walked towards the apple sellers. I could not bear to watch my pants get destroyed adjusted.

I got back moments later and the adjustments were completed. The pant looked healthy enough. I happily tipped him twenty naira (N20) extra.

I made a few more purchases and meandered around the market. I love the market; the bustle, energy, plenty food and small kids who already know how to sell market. Finally, the sun got unbearably hot and I adjusted my messenger bag and walked back home.

Immediately, I got to my area, I felt so thirsty. I went to the first kiosque.

‘I want to buy pure water’

She shook her head.

Further down the road was a red cooler, probably a Coca Cola cooler. Hmm, victory at last!

I walked there.

‘Senu de rana’. I speak Hausa when I’m pumped

He smiled back gaily. I was wearing shorts,shades and a BRIGHT coloured T-shirt. To say the least, I looked like an aboki. Only the transistor radio part was missing.

‘Ba ruwa’ he replied after my inquiries

Chei! Now my throat was parchment dry. At the end of the road, was a shop. I placed my mind on other matters and schlepped  to that last bastion of hope.

Finally, I get to the shop. There she is, a young girl in a football jersey.

‘Hello, d’you have cold pure water?’


‘Gimme two sachets

She continues attending to other customers

‘Err, I said I want two sachets’

She finally waddles in and starts to fondle the freezer. At that point, a chubby boy appears-hardly eighteen months old from the look of things. He totters to me, climbs the steps and touches my shades, my nose. You know that funny way babies have of touching things they want to discover. I laugh and wink at him

‘Carry me’ he says grinning

I, like you, cannot deny a baby’s request so I carry him high into the air. He squeals in delight and I drop him down. Immediately he gets down, he raises his chubby hands and says ‘Carry me’. I oblige (and keep obliging).

She finally comes out and hands me two pure water sachets. I look at her for one moment before replying in an exasperated voice ‘Put it in nylon please’

She does that and I hand her the money.

‘No o, I can’t collect it. This money has fade’

I calmly open my wallet and give her another note, a higher denomination

‘I don’t have change’ she says with one glance

Now, I think she’s just been an idiot. ‘Money has faded’, ‘you don’t have change’, Phew! Meanwhile our little man is wearing me out with his constant ‘Carry Me’. My biceps are sore, I can’t even throw him so high in the air again.

I am tempted for a moment to tell her, can’t you even give me free water for this service I have rendered to your younger brother or love child.

After few laborious minutes in which I experience thirst in a new dimension, we come to an amicable agreement. But for those perilous moments it lasted-treading the street, enduring a sale’s girls antics-I experienced THIRST-like the type in Hell.

  1. “Secateurs…” I think I last heard or used that word when I was in Mrs Omotola’s home economics class while in primary school, thanks for recalling some memories, your title seems exaggerated though…lol

    • osisiye says:

      I know right, the title makes one expect a ‘I read a chapter in Revelation before I retired that night. I felt myself been elevated from the bed and saw the pearly gates…’ kinda story. Its just a gimmick to get some traffic o 😉
      Funny enough, I got that word from an agricultural science class; something about gardening tools I think. Thanks for stopping by

  2. Ferdy Adimefe says:

    Brilliant! Quite an interesting read for a bedtime story. This story is quite unfinished oh…or am I alone on this?

  3. edu boi says:

    Nice…like d memoir. Wat thrills me is d originality of the story & d core traditional roots of words such as pure water, obioma, obodo oyinbo etc. Now dis shows our diverse culture b it ibo, hausa or odawise. Nice bruv.

  4. john oni says:

    hmmmmm, nice… Really nice. Beautiful work

  5. malick st. john says:

    Nicely done, greatness under the surface!

  6. Fantasia says:

    OMG, U knw wen I saw d title I jst didn’t imagine this would b d interestin angle. keep up the good work.It’s cool 4 me to say ‘ku ise’ rait? All dat carry me matter ehn, playin it in my head and I’m *lmao*. Next time dnt wait til u r dehydrated sha o

  7. Phoenixrebel says:

    Very Interesting day! I hope the butcher did a good work with the pants? Your “Near death” experience with thirst should have been worth it then! Cheers!

  8. toosin says:

    nice narration …very funny
    …we all experience such days …I hope ur frnd buys u book(that won’t need an obioma) next time

  9. toosin says:

    nice narration …very funny
    …we all experience such days …I hope ur frnd buys u a book(that won’t need an obioma) next time

  10. lily says:

    very good Tafa. i absolutely loved it, pls more!

    btw….id like to see how the trozees turned out eventually, lol

  11. Keren-happuch says:

    Haha! Not what I expected with that title though… Cool one.
    Does The ‘Kogi Man’ wear his pair of trousers like that… Lol

  12. @Codeine_Junkiee says:

    A funny piece, my cheek bone begs…u never disappoint.

  13. toosin says:

    lol..dats borrow pose for books 🙂
    no,I dont mean pants…I mean books won’t need an obioma 🙂

  14. Ayob Alariwo says:

    Sighs* just wen i thought i was goin to read plenty action or sometin adventureous….u shld b arrested 4 using such a catchy title….enjoyd d story telling small sha 🙂

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