Adeboro Odunlami: (Not) born with a silver knife [NEW VOICES]

by Adeboro Odunlami

I’m sitting at the corner of my bed in the school hostel typing away on my laptop when she comes into my room. I look up for just a second and continue typing but I’m wondering why she is in my room. All my 3 roommates got selected for some International Moot Competition organised by the school. They had written aptitude tests the week before and had all scaled through. They were dressing up for the induction program when she walked in.

“Hey, Onose” I hear one of my roommates say.

“Hey,” she replies. “Where are all of you going?”

“For the Induction programme,” my other roommate says.

“Oh?” I feel Onose’s gaze shift to me. “You, they did not pick you?”

I look up and into her eyes, “I didn’t do the test.”

“Oh…” she says.

Then, as if her knife tongue was hungry for blood and had to slice someone’s esteem urgently, she turns back to my dressing roommates and says. ‘I think they selected everybody that wrote the aptitude test sha. Abi, do you guys know anyone who did not pass?’

I didn’t know when I snapped and said, ‘How is that important, Onose?’


I’m sitting across two friends in a clinic waiting room. They seem to be waiting for someone else to be done with her own clinic business. They are chatting away excitedly about boys; one of the girls more vocal than the other.

From the vocal girl, I learn that:

One boy is so foolish, he bought her two packs of 5Alive yesterday. Does he think 5Alive would blind her from seeing how ugly he is?

(The less vocal girl laughs.)

One boy is foolish, but his girlfriend is even more of an idiot. How can they have been together for 4 years and on her birthday yesterday, he simply took her to KFC. Does she not know that KFC stands for King of Fake Cares.

(The less vocal girls laugh a little less enthusiastically. Me? I think the joke is tasteless.)

One other boy is mad. In fact, she had to tell him that he’s mad because mad people are not aware of their predicament.

‘Why is he mad?’ the less vocal girl asks.

‘Because he said he wants to marry me. Him. Me.’ she says.

The less vocal girl smiles a fake smile. She changes the topic and says ‘Oh… Did I tell you who I’m considering to date?’

‘Who’ the louder one says.

The less vocal girl unlocks her phone and shows the louder one a picture.

‘He asked you out?’ the louder one says, clearly shocked.

‘Yup.’ The less vocal one says

‘Even if you say ‘yes’,’ the louder one says with her knife tongue, ‘the relationship will not last. This boy is waaay finer that you! Haba, you sef think, how can he be with be with you?’

The less vocal girl frowns.


‘No offence but…’ is the most offensive preamble to an even more offensive statement’ my friend says.

‘Can you imagine what my boss said to me at the Friday meeting?’ she asked me.

No. I could not imagine, I replied.

‘Of course! Because it’s unimaginable’ she retorts. ‘The man stands up in front of everyone – my colleagues, senior colleagues, interns, admin staff, everyone – and says ‘Danielle, no offence but everyone knows that you have the slowest brain in the office. Ask them, they all talk about how you need to update your software!’

I gasped.

‘Yes! And they all laughed. Everyone. He then came to meet me after and said, ‘Hey, hope you’re not angry o. You know you are also our smartest brain. You just take some time to, you know…boot’

She rolled the tears back into her eyes.

‘Stupid man. He made me feel so useless’


‘The day after my first child was born, my husband’s sister took one good look at my precious daughter, looked me in the eye and said, “This your child looks like a lizard.”

Adeboro is a graduate of Law, a photographer and a collector of experiences. You probably, most likely, already know her.

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