POSTED 04/11/2018 16:19:13
Today, market is scarce. They said everybody had gone to the stadium with their brooms to support the messianic candidate of the Avengers People Congress. They said his blood line is traceable to Israel and that he has Judaic blood in him; that he will water our houses and fire our homes, that his five thousand proposed monthly allowance for our unemployed youth will batten their depravity.
You never liked politics, the least you did was to stare curtly at the headlines of the newspapers, carried by feeble looking vendors who darted at different directions for customers once the traffic light said stop. Headlines shouting exasperating stories: ANIMAL ON THE LOSE AGAIN: Mysterious lion swallowed ballot boxes at the just concluded local government elections, could it be the fulfillment of George Orwell's prophesy?
HERDSMEN STRIKES AGAIN: we want our cattle colony or else. Read full story on page 12.
C. Ronaldo human or Alien? As the talismanic Portuguese keeps performing Incredulous feats. Story in page 4.
There were some days you just parked your keke and listened to raging voices of hungry looking men arguing at Plaza. Their voices loud and full of hate. They would go as far as touching the ground with their fingers, then touched their tongues pointing to the sky just to back up their arguments. There are some days in which the argument will spin around different areas. From religion to sports to politics. You would watch as a man is busy flipping frantically the pages of a dusty book that looks like a Bible. There's an argument whether apart from Malachi 3 vs 10, if there's any place in the Bible that talked about Tithing.
'Nigerian pastors na tiff! Inor!!'
'No de talk wetin you no Sabi oo make God no punish you oo. Mme tang do oo'.
'Una don hear say no be the real Buhari be dat ooo, Na clone him be oo'.
'You better close your mouth before dem come carri u for hate speech'.
'Ronaldo better pass Messi hundred times, dah usoh ado afon tutu'.
'Because him don manage score one mumu goal, you don de talk nonsense'.
They would jump from one topic to another with blaring and throaty voices.
But today is different, you've driven the whole of Nwaniba to no avail. The last passenger that stopped you at Four Lane bargained 30 Naira to Nsukara and you just tsked and drove off. On your way back to plaza for the tenth time, you're flagged down by a pregnant woman, Her face painted with riots of colors, red lipstick, yellow eye shadow, orange earrings and a purple gele, you were amazed at the color contrast. She looked wiry like an incensed spirit. And chewed gum with so much swagger, you wondered if it was her profession.
'Plaza' she yelled.
You turned on your radio to reduce the annoying sound of her gum and Wizkid came alive telling you to follow him and Manya Manya. You quickly tuned in to Comfort FM and you heard an adenoidal voice of a female presenter telling you about the ongoing campaign at the stadium and how there's a massive influx of people.
'Oga mbok change it to the other station' the pregnant woman muttered to show her irritation.
You ignored her and tuned into Planet FM and a male voice came on, raspy and breathy. He told you to stay tuned that your favorite program weekend groove will be back after the commercial break. There's a commercial for the new Maggi magic cubes and how it brings out the star in every woman. And there's a jingle for the new Indomie Chicken Pepper Soup and how the taste is the difference and the difference is in the taste.
The pregnant woman's phone rang. And you reduced the volume of your radio and listened as she laughed sporadically, telling her caller that she's at Ogoja now. And how it's raining cat and dog over here. You tsked, and shrugged intermittently watching the blue sky dulled into dark blue patches and the flat voice of the presenter telling you that it's 4:30 pm, and that by five there will be relay of the news.
At Udi Street, impatient kekes and cars dart through the unyielding traffic pumping dark clouds of smoke freely. Invectives poured out from different mouths like guerdon.
'Adiok Ano Uka'
'Ke park Ndesime mkpo ado unam'.
After the pregnant woman alighted, you negotiated your way out of the cacophonous traffic and headed straight to Ikot Ekpene Road. Close to the building smeared with yellow paints and the wonted inscription 'MTN' two girls who looked like a pair of mismatched twins, one short, the other taller. Their necks pointing high like ostriches echoed 'Idoro road' almost at the same time. You noticed smokes curled and spiraled into the air from the woman's hearth under an umbrella frying yam closed to the road, and a toddler who was smeared in Ndom was licking sand.
At the gridlock in Itam there's a grating voice blaring out of a speaker hooked at the top of a faded truck.
'Are you suffering from premature ejaculation? Do you have problem starting your manhood? Even those with irregular menstruation, Dr Iguedo Koko Cleanser is here for you'
After several ranting and no response, the faded truck drove off to save the lives of others.
The girls with the ostrich necks began to converse in hoarse voices. One is unhappy about the incessant demands of more money from the mercenary handling her test and exams. The other shouted
'Wan you imagine oo that old fool is making advances at me'
'My HOD of course'
They alighted at the front of a gigantic building in Idoro road emblazoned 'Mountain Of Fire And Miracle Ministry'. The short one handed you a torn hundred Naira note and you quickly inform her that you can't accept it.
'See this man ooo, Obongowo I resemble central bank Governor wer de print money?’
'Mbok if you no collect am give me abeg' the taller one added hissing frantically and walking away.
You had to learn so quickly, that the road was an unruly blacksmith it didn't care who you were, it twisted, reshaped and molded you into shapes pleasing to him. To elude him, you employed patience and shook off every insults like a drenched fowl. That is why when your Igbo wife named your daughter Ndidiamaka you never objected to it, because truly patience is a good thing.
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