by ‘Seun Salami
Last week was an incredibly busy week.
No, it’s not that old cliché. I mean it. Or have I ever started an article with that sentence before? Oh o, so you should know that it was indeed a very busy week, made worse by the fact that I had to make do with hopping from bike to bike, the ones we call okada, trying to fulfil the incredible demands of the week.
Well, in the midst of my frenzied biking across unbelievably long distances – some of which I can’t afford to tell you or you might stop reading out of shock – I was about to have an interesting conversation with one of the gazillion okada riders in this boisterous city.
He picked me up from one of the streets in yaba, probably his home zone, as he kept greeting everyone we met on our way before we hit the major roads. And it was one of those people we saw along the way that would be the subject of our conversation over the distance.
I could tell by the way he screeched to a halt that something was wrong. Then he turned to look behind him as though his ipad2 or something of that nature had just fallen off. I became even more confused when the only person in sight was a young girl in school uniform, walking away idly. She couldn’t have been more than seventeen.
He stared at her for a while, still almost oblivious of my presence and then finally spoke to me.
“That girl don born o,” he informed me.
Of course I didn’t answer. Then he continued. “Na J.S.S 2 she dey o.”
I had a good mind of asking him what my business was with all of that, partly because I was in a very big hurry, the reason I was on his bike in the first case.
As if sensing my indifference, he decided to continue our journey but he didn’t stop talking about this girl. He told me that he knew her very well. He told me that her name was Idiat, and that she was a very promiscuous young girl until she got pregnant. He told me a lot of other things I didn’t listen to because I really wasn’t interested. I just prayed and hoped he was actually concentrating as he manoeuvred through traffic at some irritating speed.
But when he started insulting the young girl for her promiscuity and wondering how she would now be coping with schooling and breastfeeding with a breast she really didn’t have, I had to answer him.
“So, did the girl impregnate herself?” I asked, a bit surprised about my defence of Idiat.
He seemed to think about my words for a while and then spoke. “Na true sha, na man go give am the belle na. All these men sha. How dey go see young girl like that go dey (sleep with) her?” I thought he was saying too much now, too loosely.
“Abeg watch oh!” I screamed. “Na only irresponsible foolish men dey do that kain thing,” I judged.
He fell silent and I didn’t hear him say anything else except intermittently shaking his head probably occasioned by his thoughts.
Then as he dropped me and collected his money, he said to me, “Make I no lie, me sef I follow do there.”
I shook my head.