My Zaria Chronicles

I was in Zaria on Friday.

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Zaria, the city I have grown to love, the object of my newest fascination and fantasy. The place where the wind is dry, where cold is at its coldest, where the sun shines in full splendour, where birds chirp in proud fashion, where dabino(dates) and banana holds sway.

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The city that makes me turn my entire wardrobe upside down in search of long gown or skirt. I was not even proud to take my own picture because of the Ankara extra long skirt and blouse I wore. One of the clothes I had long confined into the far corner of my dark wardrobe. I didn’t like myself one bit.

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Just so you know, I have Zaria outfits. They are special long dresses I made because of my constant waka to the school.
The first thing I did when I entered the town was to quickly scan around for roasted corn. I didn’t see any. I took a keke to the Samaru Campus of the Ahmadu Bello University.

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I came down at the second gate. After being turned back at that gate once because of my knee-length dress and jacket, I still find myself going through this gate every time. Only that now, I am more conscious of my outfits.

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And now, I even adorn my neck with a shawl, lest they say the exposure of my collarbone would not permit me to enter. It was my legs that was exposed the other time. They ordered me to go and buy leggings across the road before I could enter. You can find the story on the blog.

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When I stepped feet into the Zuba park when leaving Abuja earlier, I was hailed by two guys who are used to my face at the park(and I felt on top of the world. I am vain like that- of course, I know). Those guys that call passengers into the vehicle.

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“Customer, long time now. How things?”
They knew they didn’t have to cajole me. I know their cars. I walked straight there. Only that this time, it was a mistake. After being fooled that it was only one passenger left, I got there only to see that it was a fairly full vehicle.

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We had not gone for 10km when someone at the back indicated he wanted to pee.
“So I still entered the same bus with these kind of people again?” I thought amusingly.
You know there are people who must pee on a public journey even if the journey is just 3hours or lesser.

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For those of us conversant with Ibadan/Lagos to Abuja road, of course, peeing is a must. But the driver has places where he must stop and everyone knows. But peeing “indiscriminately” on a mere Abuja-Zaria journey was something else.
So the driver stopped. And what did I see?

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Other guys also came down and went in the same direction to pee. Because it was a filling station, they carried water jugs, bent down and washed the unimaginable after peeing. In fact, I got confused initially. I checked my watch but it wasn’t time for their prayers yet. Until I saw them scrouch on the floor with the water jug……you can imagine the rest.

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Anyways, the journey continued with several stops. The stops were annoying. Just so you know, I was the only female in the entire vehicle. If it was in the southwest, my mind would have been screaming “rituals, gbomogbomothings#” but in the North, especially Zaria route and with my friends at the park, no shaking.

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When I eventually got down at Samaru, I raced across the road into the campus. It was a Friday. ABU is almost totally shut down on Fridays because of Jumat. All lecturers would be out of their offices and some offices would be locked. It was few minutes to 12pm.

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I was in luck. I saw the HOD, a fine handsome man like that who was checking Facebook on his phone(yeah). He was very receptive. And one thing that makes ABU prestigious amongst others is the fact that the lecturers don’t behave like gods. Unlike in my old uni somewhere in the southwest that was recently opened after being shut down for ages, the lecturers, NASU and other workers there are demi-gods. You have to worship them. They can abuse you in that bad ogbomoso accent they are known with. The time you will know them is during your final year clearance.

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Long story short, the journey back was tiring. It was very uncomfortable. I had become very weak from hunger. When we got close to Niger state, the car stopped all of a sudden.

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“Abeg wetin happen?” I asked
“We wan pray”
So, off they went. Several cars were parked across the road on both sides with even children running with their mats to catch up.
Once when I was on this road at night after a tiring exam in school, the car got to that same spot and stopped in the dark(women and children were in the car), the men and driver got down to pray.

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Finally, I got back to Abuja at 5.30pm
Meanwhile, I was so tired and famished. I still had to put on my generator to do the painful job that Jonathan Eze had given me. I had bought earphones at the Zuba park just for the job.

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The painful job of transcribing the entire interview we had at a development company in Garki. Because I had forgotten my laptop at the office on Thursday, I had to first write it out, then type on my phone. I couldn’t finish.

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I had to continue the next day. It took my entire weekend away. The weekend was dry because i also forgot my jeviniks/Biobak kitchen fresh stew in the freezer at the office. The devil is a liar. I will carry my stew today.

Author

nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com
She has won many awards in writing and poetry amongst which are CLO essay competition (1st Prize Southwest) NDIC essay competition(5th Prize in the southwest) and a World Bank Essay Certificate of Participation She has worked with woman.ng as a content editor and a host of sites as a ghost writer. She has written great inspirational content for fashion brands/blogs. She has been featured on radio and recently added public speaking to her portfolio. You can hire her to write a professional/business profile for you, online content editing, book editing, guest blogging, ghostwriting, content creation or if you need copies of her book, contact her via nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com Facebook.com/Yetunde Olasiyan instagram.com/Yetunde Olasiyan Follow her business page on Instagram @officialladywriter

Comments

Olatide Olorunnisola
October 9, 2017 at 6:14 pm

O boy! Alma mater and village got yabbed in one piece!



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