I am down with malaria fever
But I won’t be going to the hospital again to get tested for pregnancy
Or Covid 19😀
I had a visitor today
Someone whose book I’m working on
She’s the only visitor I’ve had consistently
Because I’m working on her soon to be released/published book
And I’m going to help her with a live Twitter chat this week(she’s a public personality)
She’s got malaria too. So she promised to send her brother who drives her to bring me drugs tomorrow.
Whenever she parks her Corolla in front of my gate and I go out to meet her, my male neighbors are stretching their necks to catch a glimpse of their mysterious neighbor.
I wink at them and say good afternoon. They all reply in unison.
Today, she opened her car door and brought out a pack of INDOMIE
And bread. How did she know I’ve been craving toast bread for the past two days?
My account has been on lockdown that I cannot afford to buy either bread or drugs.
The day that Mr N came to my house, it was late evening. Mr N works in my office and he was my dad’s assistant. I had to still enter his car to show him out of my street.
My neighbors saw him too, with his car parked in front of my gate. The new one he just added to his fleet. He greeted them. They responded.
They now know they will see me outside in this Coro period only when there’s a car in front of my gate.😀
It brought back a memory to me. Of my landlady in Lagos who told me after I paid the rent
“I don’t want to be seeing cars in front of my gate. The day I notice that different cars are coming to drop or pick you, I will refund your money😁.”
House wey no even get parking space😁😂
That was pretty insultive. I told mum. Mum told Dad. He was livid.
“The house that you’ve not even moved into and they are giving you conditions like that? It’s not a good house in my opinion. You should look for another one”
“Dad, I don’t have much time. I’ve paid already. I can’t look for another house. I will stay there”
My uncle whose office was at Ibafo had driven me to Arepo-Journalist’s Estate to find a house. We checked two places and it was terrible. The last place we checked, it was a face me I slap you kinda house. I was to pay them to fix it. It was just one room without any flooring. The bathroom and toilet were outside. Bathroom had no door. You had to use your wrapper as a door.
Uncle said he liked the house. It was 70k. He told me to pay(or tell my dad kinda). In my mind, I said tufiakwa. Thank God for stronghead. I have one gift-I can get away with murder😁😁😁.
You can be talking in the rubbish and in the nonsense and in the thing that’s not making sense and I will be looking at you so calmly you’d think you’ve scored a point. You’d even mistake me for an obedient shaild. I do not pick guns to fight my battles. I only fight in my head and with my decisions.
So, I looked like I was going to take the house, but I got back to work the next day, wore my corper uniform, went to the very beautiful Opic estate at Warewa and got myself a very decent newly built self con where I was the first occupant. I paid 100k. Dad only helped with 30k out of it.
I was well aware that my landlady was a very tough woman. But I was very confident that I’d never get into trouble with her. She’d never even see me.
I visited my uncle at Ibafo Police Station and told him I got a better apartment. Mum had called to tell him what the landlady said. Or maybe I told him myself. I can’t remember clearly now.
What uncle did next surprised me
He laughed so loudly that he almost fell off his chair
“You???? A landlady said that to you??? They don’t even know the kind of tenant they’ve just gotten. They will NEVER even set eyes on you. You that they will never see. They won’t even be sure that a human being is living in their house”
You know, you cant give a dog a bad name. One thing I’m grateful to God for, is that my family knows what I can do. There are certain things you will go home and report me for and they will laugh you to scorn. They will beat their chest and say “she can never do this”. If you say I abused you, they can believe you. But that I will live in a house and have issues like men(or even women) coming to see me(which isn’t a bad thing), playing loud music, picking fights? Nah. They will remove their boxers and defend me😀
Have you even seen me in my father’s house? Sometimes when my uncle visits his sister my mother, he would have arrived for an hour gisting with her before she would inform her I’m in my room as usual. My uncle lived with us as a single. He knows my habits. He knows I don’t go out. He knows I love staying indoors. He knows I hide from the world.
We were not the best of friends at that time so he wasn’t trying to be patronizing. My family understands my nature. I don’t mix, I don’t talk and I don’t put my nose into people’s business.
By the way, dude is one step from becoming a commissioner of police. He got his recent promotion last December.
Two weeks after I moved in,
Landlady went to knock my neighbor’s door(we were just two)
“Have you seen Nike? Does she sleep in this house? We’ve not set eyes on her since she moved in.”
My neighbor said
“She sleeps at home ma. I don’t see her too but I hear her movement in the mornings and evenings”
The next day, neighbor knocked my door
“Landlady asked of you. She said you should see her whenever you are around”.
So I went to their big apartment and knocked. Take note that I worked 8-6pm so I used to leave home 7.20am, take a leisurely walk out of the estate gate, go through an underground bridge and cross to my office. I was getting home 6.30pm. I had only one friend in the estate. Oris. Oris Fagbenle. A corper too and a colleague at work. She lived at the estate gate while I lived at the far end. I could stand and gist with her by the road before heading to my apartment.
“Who is it”
They unbolted the door with immediate alacrity.
“Haa Nike, bawo ni. We’ve not been seeing you. I hope you are enjoying our estate. I asked your neighbor to tell you to see me so that I’ll know how you are faring”
“Thank you ma. I’m enjoying the estate. I go to work early and return late that’s why we’ve not been seeing. And I spend my weekends at ibadan. I travel with my dad every Friday and return to work on Mondays”
“Oooh ookay. Your dad is in Lagos too?”
“Yeah, he works at ikoyi”
After some small chit chat, I went back to my small apartment and locked my door. I grinned. Landlady 0, me 100.
They watched me carefully throughout the time I spent there. And when they were convinced I was a good girl who doesn’t give a damn, they had to like me.
Landlady was a caterer and she used to kill big fat cows and cook different meals in the compound. You could just get home and see olopo in the compound.
So they started knocking my door to bring free food
“Nike, bring your plate and come o”
Then I’d take a small plate from my kitchen.
She’d frown. ” Don’t you have a bigger plate?”
“No ma”. I was a very picky eater in those days.
“Is it ofada you want or jollof or white or basmati? Or you want iyan/amala/semo?”
“Jollof is fine ma”
Then she’d put moin moin on top, Cole slaw, big meats etc
One year later, I was ready to leave their house. I went to tell them
“Why are you leaving now? I thought you already started working at Compass. And you told me you’ve gained admission to study for your masters at unilag”
“UK is calling my name ma. I’m going to ibadan to await my destiny ma😂😁😂
“Oh that’s very good”
Dad came early on Saturday morning with kidbrother to pack my things
They were seeing dad for the very first time.
Come and see my report card-I overheard him congratulating dad for raising a good shaild(after having bad thoughts about me initially-olosho things probably). Landlord was having a tete-a-tete with my dad while I was packing load. They exchanged numbers.
Landlord came and prayed for me. They waved at me as we drove out.
All their boys came out to bid me farewell.
After I left, landlady called mum. “How is Nike? She hasn’t been calling us o. Hope she’s fine”😂😂
We became Chum Chum.
Dad got home, saw uncle and began to raise his shoulders. He never discussed what landlord told him with me. I just saw that he was buying me plenty things on the road and was very happy. He’d say “Yetunde, would you like to eat corn? Should I stop and buy you corn?”😂😂
He told uncle like this
“I went to pack Yetunde’s things from Lagos today. Infact, if you hear what the landlord told me about her, I was impressed. He said she surpassed their expectations. No male visitor(😂😂😂for her mind), no wahala, very peaceful geh, easygoing, properly raised, good hometraining….as in, my report card was so impressive that my daddy’s head was swelling.
My dad had a lot of head swelling moments because of me many times. That’s one of the things I’m grateful to God for. That’s why the one moment I fucked up, he stood by me. He helped me to own the shit. He didn’t even reprimand me. We went through the shit together. Mr Banji of life. God punish that girl that was cooking Indomie for him, osiso.
I stayed with a girl in my 500l in school. She had a boyfriend who smoked Igbo and drank spirit. This babe too was dramatic and weird.
Hostel manager came one day and said
“You are the one living with this girl? Double twale for you”
Some hostel mates would draw me back and say in bewilderment
“You are this girl’s roommate? How you dey do am?”
Truly, apart from babe’s weirdness, her boyfriend used to come and knock our door by 11pm or 12am after getting drunk. He’d threaten to break it if we refuse to open.
A friend who had graduated and was visiting was with me when this happened. She nearly lost her mind. It was as if the door would break. I had to call for help. Thank God for phones. I guess I called the manager.
I lived with that babe for one year successfully. I’m weird too. People were scared to live with me because I’d not talk, i’d be moody sometimes etc but that’s where mine ends.
That babe sent me a friend request on Facebook last year. I screamed when I saw her. She said she read me on bellanaija and traced me to Facebook. We are Facebook friends today.
I can live with any kind of person. So far, they know how to keep their shits together. The people I can’t live with, are the ones like my former neighbor, who has two kids for different men and can’t stop getting restless because I’m living a gedifok-out-of-my-business kind of life😂😂😂. That woman must put her life into my business. That’s what I hate.
With all the cars parking in front of my gate now, thank God I’m the sole administrator and garrison commander of this compound. How will I explain how someone who speaks on AIT and Aso Radio comes with her car to my house or how a boss who’s like a brother, a security officer in my office came to visit. How I wan explain am to a landlady or landlord ntori oloun?
One day, I will write about these things. On a larger platform. These discriminations. This- every- female- living- a -good -life -is- an- olosho mentality.