Shedding Weight

He had no say in who he got married to
He was born at a time when arrangements 
were made long before the bride and the 
groom were born
He was born at a time when couples 
stuck to it and cope
He was born at a time when it is unheard 
of that a couple got a divorce
His own mother 
was a difficult woman
His father tried as much as possible to cope
When his mother's difficult nature got 
too much for his father
His father married a second wife
That was how men dealt with difficult 
wives in those days
Divorce was unheard of but polygamy 
was tacitly encouraged 
His father was a nominal Christian
He was very fervent before he got 
married to the wife chosen for him 
by his parents
When his wife began to give him all 
sorts of troubles and sleepless nights
He stopped going to church
His wife didn't see it as a sign of things to come
She continued to trouble him until his mother 
and other relatives came visiting one 
early morning with the second wife in tow
She suddenly realized she had pushed 
too far with her antics
She ran to the church
She went to see the highly respected 
Reverend Atoyebi, she asked him to 
The Reverend followed her to the meeting
The Reverend sat and listened as her 
husband and neighbors and even her 
friends confirmed that she was 
not a joy to be with
The reverend asked her if she had a 
She sat there crying
The Reverend asked her husband for one 
more chance
They were all in the village
Her husband was a farmer
She was a trader
They had eight children between them
Her husband took the five male 
children to the farm
She took the three female children 
to the market
Their life was supposed to be simple 
but she would never do 
the basic wifely duty
She would go off to the market from 
6 AM to return late in the night
She was more comfortable with her trade
Her husband fends for himself in terms 
of cooking and companionship and he 
dare not complain
Whenever he opens his mouth to 
demand some of her time 
she would go for the jugular
It is not in her nature to tolerate 
correction or criticism
Her mouth was quite fast and her 
hands were faster
Her children saw her full-blown 
madness when their father took them 
to a local bukateria to eat on their way 
home from church one Sunday
did this because she does not cook 
and the children would languish in 
hunger for several hours before one of 
her trade apprentices cooks for them
When they got home, her last child told 
her how their father took them to eat on 
their way home from church
She got angry immediately 
She said their father did it deliberately 
so that people in the village will start 
calling her a bad mother
She said it was "Isolenu"
The next thing she did was go to the 
square where her husband and some 
other men of his age grade sat together to 
play games and read newspapers 
She made sure she dragged the children along
When she got to her husband, she took a 
cane and started flogging the children one 
by one
She said she would keep at it until they 
vomited what they ate
One by one, the children inserted their 
fingers in their throats and vomited the 
pounded yam and Egunsi soup
Her husband could barely restrain his tears
When her husband brought home a second 
wife, even her children felt it was justified
That was the world he was born into
If he had his way, he would never get married
His mother's mad antics was enough to 
keep a young man's eyes off skirts for life
The wife chosen for him was from a 
reputable family
Her mother was a kola nut trader
She was brought home to him the 
year he clocked 20
She was 16
Of all his mother's children, he was 
the only one who tried to show his 
mother some level 
of understanding and care
His older ones ran to Lagos or Ibadan or 
Kaduna or Oshogbo to live with relatives 
as soon as they turned 15
Because his father had taken a second 
wife by this time (His father gave his 
mother a second chance as requested 
by the reverend but his mother 
screwed it up within a month)
Everybody felt it would be unhealthy for 
him to leave the house too
Of all the children, he was the kindest 
and he got his mother to control her 
impulses most times
So he stayed to be with her and this 
brought his wife under his mother's wings
It was 
a mistake
He married a happy young lady
His mother said "I will teach her everything 
i know so that i can hand over my 
business to her when i die"
He was grateful and joyfully encouraged 
his wife to learn his mother's trade
His mother took his wife to all her 
suppliers and also 
introduced her to her business associates 
and thrift collection organizations
His mother and his wife bonded
His mother died and his wife took 
over the business
Within a week, his wife had changed
It was as if she was possessed by 
the spirit of his mother
She did everything the 
way his mother did them
He started experiencing the same thing 
his father experienced
He ran to the same Reverend Atoyebi that 
intervened in his mother's marriage
He told the reverend everythin
The reverend told him it was witchcraft
It was the first time he ever heard his mother 
being referred to as a witch
The reverend told him that after he 
intervened in the marriage while his 
mother was alive
He suddenly found himself being 
attacked and afflicted in his sleep by 
some dark powers
The Reverend said he had to do 40 days 
fasting and prayer before he could 
come out of that experience
The reverend said "I hope you didn't tell 
your wife you were coming to see me? 
Please don't tell her you came here"
He could feel the Reverend's fear
He was twenty-six years old at the time
His wife was yet to get pregnant
After his discussion with the 
reverend, he gave himself a week to 
think things through
On a Monday morning in January 1982
He got on his bicycle as if he was 
going to the farm
He had sold his father's farm and had 
all the money on him
He rode to the motor park and left 
his village for the city
He didn't go to 
to any relative
He went to start over in Port-Harcourt, 
a city so far away he knew he wouldn't 
meet anyone from his village
He got a shop and started selling car 
He said the more he looked at his life 
with her, the more he saw a repeat of 
his father's life
His father died as a broken, miserable 
and wretched man
The two wives his father married tore 
his legacy to pieces
He was resolved not to head in that 
direction simply because he was given 
a wife he didn't choose to be with
He joined a church and claimed to 
be a new convert
Nobody knew he 
was married before then
He joined the adult education class of 
the church and even though he could 
read and write (his father taught him) 
the education was very good for his business
He met a lady in the church choir
By this time the Reverend of the church 
has taken him as a son 
because he treated the church as home 
and was always eager to support the 
He got married to the lady he met in 
church and the marriage prospered
His business also prospered
He didn't go back to the village until 2005
By this time, his first wife had gotten 
married to a driver with an agricultural 
company in their village
She had two children for the man but the 
man ran away in their seventh year of 
He ran away with a lady from Saki and 
abandoned her and the children
He didn't see her when he went to 
the village
She didn't see him too 


Pranking Right

I can never prank my mother... 
She is too anointed 
One time, she told my elder sister 
jokingly "I saw your friend down 
the street, the way she is walking
 she won't be here till 6pm" 
(A distance of approx. 2000 meters) 
My sister's friend didn't get to our 
house till 6pm... 
She said she met one of their friends 
on the road and slept off in that 
friend's house Meanwhile, she and 
my older sister were supposed to go 
and watch a movie in the Cultural
 Center that day 
They were even wearing matching 
outfits that they saved up to sow 
That day was ruined for my sister 
I have seen her words come literally 
alive as soon as she said them 
When i watch the pranks on Twitter 
and how mothers react before their 
children told them it is a prank 
I laugh but i cannot risk my mother 
saying one wrong word to me 
Not with that anointing 
No way!