‘Guy make we go buy zobo(a reddish drink mixed with jolly juice) from mama Israel’ solomon said.
Zobo from mama Israel was like manna from heaven, it was so sweet that i did not mind spending all my money for it, zobo and ‘talia'(a hausa word for spaghetti) were my favourite break food and i always try not to miss all of them.
On that fateful day, talia was finished and we faced mama Israel house to go buy the block zobo before it finished.
We bought our zobo and we were licking our tongues out when i sighted something that froze my blood.
Some guys were smoking by the road side and i recognised one of them as the ex-student that i stoned.
‘Solomon, i don die’
‘So na zobo coldness nai wan kill you’ he said laughing.
‘Guy see those boys that are smoking na’
Then he recognised them, the solomon i taught could boost my moral quickly told me he forgot his change with mama Israel and he ran as fast as his long legs could take him.
‘If i run now this boys go follow me, so make i just bone pass maybe them no go recognise me’ i tot
‘My friend come here’ a big voice threatened.
I wanted running but i knew that would worsen the problem so i limped because my legs was not functioning well that moment and went to them.
‘So you saw your seniors fighting and you were claiming superman abi?’ the asked me.
‘Haba bros which day them fight, na today i just start school, my papa say fighting na sin sef’ i said with a tiny voice.
They gripped me by the shirt and raised me up, my two legs were dangling like to cable wire, tears from nowhere started dropping.
As one of them raised his hand to send my face to paradise, a voice which i would now call my saviour shouted.
‘If you touch that boy, all of you would sleep in cell today, i have mark all of you faces’.
Before i landed on the ground when they dropped me they had all disappeared.
The story of my fight had spread round to all the teachers and i was called up to the assembly ground and was congratulated, i could still remember some girls even from ss3 rubbing my big head which made me feel good anything they see me, any teacher that came to our class was always asking of me and finally i was made the class monitor which brought me even more trouble.
‘I hope they did not do to you anything’ aunty PHE said while raising me to her feet.
‘Yes ma’ i answered while i sighted solomon coming to our side like he truly went to collect his imaginary change.
‘Ok go to the class and if those boys ever harass you again just let me know’
‘Thank you ma’
She gave us a 5 naira note which i gladly receive and we ran to school because the bell was rung that moment.
‘Solomon why you leave me run na’
‘Na my money i forget na i no want mama Israel to carry my money’
I was not ready to argue so i kept mute and started thinking about aunty PHE and what she truly wanted from me which i got to find out later.
‘Oya today we are going to write our names, age, LGA, address etc in the register’ my form mistress said.
She started filling the information and she finally came to my turn the whole class were waiting to hear my age because the youngest person was about 12yrs so they were wondering if i was older than that to be able to be a distinctive trouble maker and also the most intelligent boy in the class.
‘What’s your parents name’
‘Pastor and Mrs peter *****
‘Chai’ the whole class shouted in surprised,
‘So na 9yrs old boy dey write my name for noise maker list’ a 16yr old boy fumed.
I smiled at myself and took a mental note to write that boy name if am told to put down names of noise makers.
‘LGA’ my aunty’s voice jolted me back to reality.
‘Obot-akara(though the akara is pronounced as ukara)’
The whole class busted into laughter at the mention of my LGA and even the form mistress smiled alittle. I was so mad at my mates because everyone started calling me akara LGA.
I grabbed a paper when the form mistress was through and waved it to the class that i was about writing the noise makers list.
‘My friend go siddon one place’ the 16yr old boy shouted at me and i quickly put his name as no.1 and added x2 beside it.
The rule then was that if your name was put x2 you would receive twice as much cane.
I went to solomon’s seat to gist about films and the girl that winked at me at the first day of school came and joined us, i later found out her name was Amaka.
I wrote anybody name that spoke a word except my friend and Amaka.
When the names were up to 20 by that time the boy’s name that i wrote 1st was x6, i went to the ss3 class and called the most wicked prefect i could find and gave him the name. He followed me and called out the name of the defaulters.
When they all came out he flogged them 3strokes each and you can imagine the number of cane the person i x5 his name collected.
When he was going back to his seat with heavy tears down his cheeks he pointed at me and said that we would meet after school.
A threat i laughed at……..
When bell for closing was rung an unusual fear came upon me, maybe due to the fear of the big boy who collected beatings x5 and threatened me.
‘Solo abeg escort me go house make i dey tell you one action film i watch yestaday’
‘I no wan follow long cut, my mama go quarrel me’
Everybody was avoiding me as the school closed because they were all afraid of the big boy threat.
I waited till everybody and left thinking the boy had also gone home, i started strolling home and then i sighted him running to my direction and i took to my heels.
He was using speed of ferrari sport car while i was using speed of 504car, my intention was to run to my phe aunty’s place but he caught up with me and gave me a slap that got my ears vibrating on jingle bells rhythm.
I then change my approach to diplomatic method.
‘Bros why you slap me na’
‘ow you think that you can make senior too flog me and go free’
‘but you say you like cane na thats why i was testing you’
‘you dey mad, so na me dey like cane abi, or you sef no like cane’
‘Ok sorry abeg na play i been the play, ok wetin you want make i do now’ i pleaded
‘You go dey call me baba from now on’
‘As if he was not baba’ i said in my mind. Ok you be baba from now on, i shouted.
So he left me and i got home, ate and quickly ran outside to play my football with chokolo and co. My dad rule then was never allow 6pm to meet you outside and you must bath after coming back from the field.
When i got home that evening, i saw a bowl of nunu(that milky substance fulani women carry on their head around, its made from cow milk) on the table. I wanted to go but one mind said test am small na.
‘No don’t test am, no be your own’
‘Abeg johr who dey house, just drink small’
‘If you drink am and them catch you, you go chop koboko today’
‘Just taste am, nobody go know’, i followed the second voice.
What i did not know was that my mother younger sister was watching me in a hidden corner, i quickly drank two spoon and ran away, she came out and drank it till it was almost finished and also covered it without me knowing.
When my dad came back he told me to go and bring the bowl so that he can drink, the second voice was saying you see if say you no drink nobody for give you.
The bowl seem lighter but i did care, when i dropped it and opened it lo and behold the nunu had automatically reduced itself drastically.
‘Who drank this nunu?, my father shouted.
I started thinking if as i was drinking i had a second mouth which was drinking from the other end.
‘I drank only two spoon daddy’ i stood shaking.
‘So who was with you at home when you drank the two spoons’
‘Na devil o,’ i screamed blaming that innocent spirit.
‘So you have started walking with the devil eh, i would beat that devil from your side’
He pounced on me while i tried running and jumping chairs, i wanted asking him if i was the devil because he was beating me instead of the devil.
‘koko that nunu sweet o’ i hid behind the door hearing everything my aunty was telling my elder sister.
‘You bad o, you come make daddy too dey beat uduak anyhow’.
‘So this people think say them fit deceive my brain abi, so them make me to collect beatings for nothing’ i taught.
There was no way i could go and report them because i already took their beatings but i knew the right thing to do to them in my own small mind.
I went into my aunty’s room and packed all her clothes and took it to the kitchen, i was not seeing where i was going i just kept walking and when i my leg hit a rubber of water i dumped the cloths inside and went my way smiling, part one accomplished.
I then prepare a garri solution and stored two big pepper inside and went outside as if i wanted to drink it.
‘Who send you to put garri’ my aunty asked.
‘Nobody’ i replied like a better pikin.
‘Oya bring it here and go and sleep’.
I brought it to them with my heart rejoicing that my plan was going according to plan. I left and ran to my room window to watch the super show.
The first spoon my aunty took came out with a red substance, but before my sister tried to show her it was already too late and she started chewing it like a horse. Then her eyes widen with horror as she felt the hot taste of the pepper and screamed.
I was busy laughing in my room at the sight of my handiwork, and she ran into the kitchen to quench the hotness in her mouth and the words she shouted shocked me.
‘Uduak you are dead, so you put my clothes inside drinking water’
‘Jesus i haff die, so na inside drinking water i go put her cloth’.
I did not wait for the devil to advice me again, i quickly took to my heels out of the house and met chokolo going for a fishing trip, so i followed him.
A trip that almost took my life.