02 February 2012
Prayer Ground, Thievery Sanctuary For some People
Last year, I was at Ebute Metta when my siblings telephoned. They were at the Redeem Camp Ground for the Holy Ghost Congress. They were badly cashlight. The money I had on me was at home in Ikorodu. How do I get money to them, now wey I dey shit like faucet wey don lose its grip? I asked myself. I know no wetin I chop wey dey I dey vist toilet like hell. The only cash I had with me at Ebute Metta was meant to make my hair, buy recharge card and a make a few trips round the city.
Howbeit, family means a lot to me. So I put a few clothes in my bag and set on my way to Ikorodu. First i branched at IK’s salon to make my hair. As usual there were crowds of beautiful ladies going and coming out of the shop. It’s a place even babes, wey no get sisi for pockets try form big girls with their lousy make-up and their cheap deodorants which smelt like corpse wey don decay.
One of the salon apprentices was doing cornrows on my head. Voices were colliding like traders in Yaba market before it was haltered. Normally this chatter coming from these different personalities would have made me laugh inwardly. Not on this day. Rather, their grating voices were exciting my system. You don find yourself, for that kind situation before? It dey messy. I prayed my phone won’t ring. I could not even open my mouth to speak one word.
Three hours don pass since I arrived the salon, the apprentice bobo still they make my hair. The poop excitement rushed down my anus, I kept sending it back. Then goose bumps didn’t stop forming on my arms. Small time, I opened my mouth in that my sexy, sensual, very noticeable way I speak English and talk say:
‘Sorry, show me to your rest room.’
The guy eye scanned me from head to toe. Hin dey check my status again, If i fit use the kind toilet wey dem get. ‘Do you want to pee?’
I said with a fashion flicking a strand of hair from my raven eye lash, upon my messy situation o! ‘No. I’m having running stomach.’ No pelson go eva believe say I dey shit upon my polish grammar, like say na only me go school. Mmmm.
The moment I said I was having running stomach, all eyes directed at me. I knew what was going on in their minds – So you too dey shit? And this kind shit self? Oh, Black Oyinbo, don fall for gutter o!
The apprentice boy looked from me to the ladies, but not gentlemen and back to me. ‘Sorry, you can’t use our toilet, it’s really bad.’ He said.
‘No problem,’ I said getting up hurriedly. ‘I will be back soon. I won’t take more than twenty minutes.’ Na so, I catwalk commot fo the salon o, even though the shit dey fire me for body. As I branched corner, wey none of them dey see me again, I begin run!
When I showed up at the salon street, back from my shitting excursion, all eyes were on me.
Our oyinbo, you don shit finish? Eh-ya, pele o! we no go forget this day wey you shit for our face.
I could swear it was what they were saying in their minds of me. After my hair do finish, I rushed down home. Got money from my save, clothes, and other necessities and headed for Redemption Camp Ground. The moment i alighted from the bus; I started calling my younger ones’ phones.
Holy crap! Their handsets were turned off. As enormous as the camp ground, where do I begin to look for these children? Despite that I was on holy ground, typical of me when I'm frustrated, I started to swear after thirty minutes of fruitless search. I couldn’t care much about my spiritual life just then. There is a bit of raciness in me which comes to surface sometimes. Times like this, wey pelson dey make me para.
Since morning, I haven’t had a meal. I was afraid if anything goes does my belly, it will help my shitting ministration. In my regal brown garment which was long past my feet, I walked to the market area of the camp ground. I stopped at a food marquee, paid for a plate of rice and fish and took my medication. My phone beeped. When I looked down at the screen, it had an empty battery icon.
Gawd! How could I've left the whole of Lagos State to come to a place like this in search of young men and women, I could not precisely say this is where to look for them, and now my phone was dying?
I left the food marquee. In my mind, the pouch which contained four flash-drives conveying transcripts from my college days, every intellectual pieces I’ve created from the time when I discovered my gifts, rare educational books. I couldn’t begin to mention lots of valuables the devices enclosed. Memory cards, solid card reader, driver’s license, ATM card, earrings, eyeliners, lipsticks etc, trust women now. More than Fifty Thousand Naira was as well in the pouch. I thought I was with this my treasured Gray pouch, stuck under my armpit as usual.
I had my phone and charger in both hands. Within ten minutes, I had reached where I wanted to charge my phone battery. I wanted to pay the lady charging phones, when I found that I was no longer with my pouch. I remembered, I left it on the table at the canteen. As fast as my legs could carry me, I walked back to the food tent. Behold people…. Ugh - my pouch was gone!
That night, my cry pass pikin wey dem just cut hin prick to become a man. I told everyone who cared to listen to help search for my pouch.
The Redeem Welfare Department could render no help in terms of search for my pouch. Isn’t that too bad for a church as big as Redeem Christina Church Of God? They wouldn’t even announce for me. The only thing I cared about that moment, was my flash-drives which contained my life, I would say.
One of the Chaplain Officers, a sweet looking young man, was helpful. He gave me Two Hundred Naira. I beg, make I no lie to you, I almost threw the money back at him. What does he think? That I am one of these latest beggars we have in the city, who will dress decently and still beg? Upon the gleaming iphone and the blackburry plus the jim, jim Jeep wey hin get, na two hundred naira he fit offer in this situation. Who ask him for money? I take my small eye rake am badly from head to toe. But, I no throw the money back at him sha o!
I no pray one single prayer as Baba Adeboye, dey fire from the altar. I no come pray, na money I come give my younger ones. I take that one console myself. And once I make up my mind on something, it’s hard for me to change. No praying. I screamed in my mind and began crying again. I thank God; my phone was in my hand. It would have gone with the pouch.
Before dawn, I finally reached my siblings. I gave one of them the two hundred naira to hold for me. Guess what he did with the money? He gave it up for offering! I felt like punching him in the face. Look at the multitude at the camp ground, my offering couldn’t have counted, was the statement my quick tongue made. Seriously, among these massive amount of worshipers that were present at the Holy Ghost Congress, God no fit recognize offering, especially that time wey i no dey happy .
In the late morning, after I don waka all the camp ground with small hope say I go find my pouch nevertheless. I dey go the main entrance to go meet my friend’s husband wey com carry me go home with his car – I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around. It was an irresistible young man who must be in his thirties. I hurriedly put up a smile on my scowling face.
‘Sorry, I think you should wrap your head tie about your waist.’ He said.
I turned and my eyes flickered to my back. Goodness God! My purple poker dots elastic pant was outside. Only God knows what chemical I sat on which dissolved the garment, and it tore it mercilessly that my entire butt was outside.
It was a battle day for me. I wasn’t only robbed; I was a big show for the lost souls. I didn’t say thank you to the guy. I simply turned and started walking away. Sooner before I reached the gate, my two slippers cut. Na hin i began waka barefooted, scarf tied about my waist like pepper seller!