When I was about 7 or 9, there was
this popular hairstyle called Tyson
from the Boxer, Iron Mike Tyson.
That about the time Mr. Deinde the
local barber upgraded to an electronic
clipper from the old one.
We had two barbers then - Mr. Deinde
AY was younger and had the electronic
clipper while Mr. Deinde was stuck in
1960 when Nigeria had independence
with that ugly mechanical clipper.
The man could talk!
He would always mutter and speak
Yoruba at you and force you to put your
head in one place because he was...
...always in a foul mood.
Perhaps he wasn't getting any or his
fingers ached due to the nature of
some hair he barbed.
I recall how hard Chukwuma Obiokolo's
head was...like coconut wrapped with
Anyway, when we heard AY was barbing
hair... in five minutes, we all rushed to him.
Mr. Deinde was slow and could take one
hour and by then you will have died of
boredom as his TV was always on NTA
Channel 7; (black and white for that matter)
which was only in Yoruba.
I had pleaded with my mum to allow me
barb Tyson for months.
Everyone was spotting the hairstyle include
my arch-rival - John Coker who was eyeing
my beloved - Kofo. My enchanted!
Suddenly, she agreed! Perhaps, because it
was days to my birthday.
Words could not begin to describe my
excitement that Sunday afternoon when
Normally go for a haircut.
I literally dragged my elder brother Amaechi
that Sunday after lunch and even walked
ahead of him.
Why should he even follow me?
I was a big boy and about to join the league
of Tyson Boys.
We got there and after waiting like there
was fuel scarcity ...it was my turn.
My first hairstyle other than Gorimapa I
was so excited, I was sure I told AY the
style I wanted was Tyson but when my
brother saw he was about to start without
a brush, he quickly told him it was not
"Gorris" but Tyson.
So this was why he needed to follow me.
The truth was that I had a bad stutter when
I was younger.
I spoke too fast and stuttered when I was
excited so I believe I muttered the words
under my breath so I won't end up saying
AY was fast.
Fiam! I was a good-looking kid.
Life was good.
I could drink Crush in the sunlight of
the day and feel on top of the world.
I could finally talk to Kofo (My Tandy Guarana)
and push away that chubby small boy called
John Coker who sat beside Kofo while I
sat in the last seat in my class.
Teacher Onyene, it’s God that will judge her.
Always calling them a couple while calling
Love called and whispered my name.
Until I got home.
Children of God, please say after me:
I WILL NOT LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF
A STRANGER!!! Now PRAY!!!
Now, since I didn't talk much except at
home, I had a knack for listening to things.
I could mimic voice and sounds.
I was fascinated with sounds hence I
learned to make the sound of anything
There is this particular sound the electronic
clipper makes... Like a humming sound or
"zaaaam" when the clipper starts from the
back to the front.
That term, while in French class, we learned
a new word that sounded like "Mon Fere".
No, I don’t know what it means to date.
However, I heard a voice while I was alone
upstairs, admiring myself in the mirror in
my Dad's bathroom.
The voice was telling me to pick up my Dad's
BIC shaving stick.
"Pick it. Pick it"... the evil voice whispered.
Now say after me "Mon Fere and then use
the shaving stick...
To make the sound you heard on your head."
I listened to the lull of the voice
"Make yourself finer for Kofo", just a few cuts
as you make that sound.
Now say "Mon Fere".
I listened to this voice and in joy, I executed
the action and strutted down the stairs like
a happy-go-lucky boy.
I went downstairs like a proud child not
knowing I was dwelling in foolishness and
kept saying "Mon Fere".
It was Amaechi that saw it first and burst
into fits of laughter and then the others
Foolishly, I was still smiling.
Even my father whom we called Akpi
(scorpion) saw it and cracked a smile and
then I knew I was finished.
I ran upstairs and looked at the same mirror
and saw 3 deep patches on my head from
the shaving stick I used after listening to
the strange voice of folly!
Mon Fere became "You must cut the hair
The joy was over.
How would I celebrate my birthday again?
That was not even the question I should
have asked myself for I asked it too soon.
You see, I even thought there was hope
and the worst case scenario, they would
lower the haircut but as the enemy would
have it that day, AY had closed and
Mr. Deinde was the only barber whose
shop was open.
No electronic clipper.
It became worse...
This evil man didn't even think of a better
way, he just scrapped the remaining hair
with his local clipper.
Mr. Deinde, I will forever remember you as
the man who took joy in destroying the
hope of an innocent child that listened
to the voice of a stranger.
"How would I win over Kofo's love?" became
the salient question.
The question throbbed but alas the next day
Kids are cruel but none was as cruel as
I leave the rest to your imagination.
Ps: This is indeed a deviation from my normal
writings but I believe the laughter will go a
long way in healing certain pains in the midst
of bad reports!
I release the Spirit of Joy by the power of
the Holy Spirit in Jesus name!