“Sister abeg…na wetin dem write for hia.” I said, pointing to the poster.
“Nanny for hire…” The girl said, her mouth never straying from the corn.
“Nanny! Wetin dat one come mean?”
“Pesin wey dey take kia of pikin…”
“Ohhh….okay… I fit do am na.”
“Why you never apply?”
“I…err…na now my eye draw reach am..”
“Okay…call the number wey dem write for the poster or go find the address.”
“Ehnn…I no get fone, even sef, I no get small money wey go carry me go the address.”
“Na number 10 Sanusi close, e no far na… you go take leg waka go front, de corner for second bending, den de bend for last turn, na for dia you go see the street.”
“God bless you…you don try for me.” I say as I hastily hoist my well-worn bag over my shoulders and leave for the place.
The place was farther than I had thought, the more I walked, the hungrier I became and the crave for garri and groundnut was too hard to ignore. I reached the house and knocked at the gate, a dog barked somewhere close and I cringed in fear. ‘what if these people were no better than the Don and his men?” I asked myself. The gateman materialized from his post and walked up to me.
“We no get food to give today, come tomorrow.” He said nonchalantly.
“Food? I no come for food, na work carry me come.”
“Work? You no be beggar?” He asked.
I looked at him then mentally assessed myself, he was right, I looked nothing less than a beggar, my slippers were dark with mud and the mud stains clung to my feet like second skin. I could perceive my foul breath from miles away, my eyes were red rimmed and my clothes smelt like something dead and rotten.
“Why you call me beggar? Na ya papa be beggar!” I hurl insults at him.
“See pesin wey dey yan yawa for my papa head…abeg sharrap, wetin you dey find?”
“You deaf? I wan work…”
“Which kain work you dey find?”
“I wan do nanny…”
The gateman’s laughter couldn’t have upset me more.
“You…nanny…hehehe…wonders shall never cease… dorty woman like you, see as you wan dorty pesin pikin.”
The words I would have hurled back at him hung in my mouth as soon as a woman emerged from within.
“Madam…abeg I wan apply for nanny.” I say to the woman who had walked close to the gate.
The woman looked at me puzzled.
“You?” She asked me looking baffled.
“Yes ma! I fit carry pikin well, I fit back dem, even baff dem join.”
“No sane parent will let your kind near their child especially in your state. Where are you from? Did you just escape an asylum?.”
“Sane? Asyliii? Wetin be dat? Madam I wan work…”
“Sorry dear, this is not the place for you.”
I fell to my kneels in tears and begged desparately.
“Madam, look me well, I be hard worker, abeg I wan be nanny. I be no dorty before, na Janet chase me commot from her house for two days now. I never chop, I never even baff… na for front of shop I dey sleep.”
The woman seemed to look at me in compassion and took pity on me.
“It’s okay…I am only taking you in because we are short on staff right now and we have had a lot of women asking for maids and nannies for their children.”
“God bless you ma…you no go see poverty lai lai.”
“You must however take your bath and change your clothes…don’t you understand how to speak good English?”
“No be English I dey speak so?”
“No…didn’t you go to school?” The woman inquired further
“Madam, I never see wia dem dey use school work to take kia of pikin. My mama no see school for her life but na she teach me everything wey I know…” I reply.
The woman shook her head in disbelief and ushered me in as she decided to take me in, I followed her into a small office which housed to computers and two men. I sat down and from the look on their faces, they obviously thought I stunk. I looked at my slippers and shook my head in despair, this was not what I had bargained for.
The woman, who I later learnt was Iyabo, told one of the men to buy me a soap and sponge and when he returned with the items, I was led into a bathroom at the back of the house where I had my bath. The bathroom was by far, better than any other I had been privileged to bath in. the soap smelt so good, I almost ate the bar and the water seemed so refreshing and I could swear that I had never felt this refreshed in my entire life.
As soon as I had had my bath and changed into the clothes from my bag, I stepped out into the office and sat down in my former position. I had hardly sat when a woman walked in with her husband and their baby, they seemed to be in a hurry and desperately in need of a nanny for their child. There and then, Iyabo signed a contract releasing me to them.
I arrived at the couple’s house one hour later and I must say I was quite impressed with their home. I had no idea of the job of a nanny but I needed a place to stay and food to eat, so I couldn't complain more besides I was to be a live- in nanny with a monthly salary of ten thousand naira alongside feeding. I couldn't be more grateful, that night, as I slept I knew deep down that I couldn’t have found a better home.
My new household was conducive, my employers were not poor and they had all the basic necessities they ever wanted. I was well fed and after taking care of their fifteen month old son, all I did was sleep, sleep and sleep some more. I couldn't help laying curses on Janet whenever thoughts of her flashed across my mind. I had not yet had male admirers as I was still surveying the area but I knew the right man will tag along at his own right time.
Two weeks later my madam travelled and I was faced with biggest dilemma of my life, my Oga did something that I never imagined possible. It was a Tuesday afternoon and I had just dropped off their baby at the daycare, I returned to the house to see my Oga's car parked unusually in the compound.
"Wetin happen na?" I ask myself.
I hurry into the house in haste and shock couldn't have registered on my face as I saw my Oga standing in the sitting room in his birthday suit...he was stark naked. My mouth opened in shock as I stared at the gorgeousness of the male specimen before me. He didn't see me because his back was turned to me and he was taking out a bottle of wine from the mini bar. Excitement couldn't have had me more prepared, my Oga wanted me, he had planned to be with me as soon as his wife traveled, those were my thoughts. Quickly taking a cue, I smiled to myself as I quickly shed my clothes; if Oga was ready to tangle, who was I to resist such temptation? This man was richer than all the other men who were privileged to have crossed my path, as far as I am concerned, I am ready to do the grabbing.
I had just stripped down to my underwear when I heard a gasp behind me, I turned abruptly to stare into the baffled face of a lady who was obviously not my madam. I screamed in shock and turned to stare at my Oga who had also turned to look at me in surprise.
"Who is this girl?" The lady asked.
"Who is this girl?" The lady asked.
"Err...my baby's nanny." My Oga looked at me in sheer disgust.
"Are you having an affair with your nanny.?" The lady asked looking very hurt.
"No baby...I'm not...never! I can't sleep with this dirty girl." He said.
"Then what is she doing here, half naked?" The lady asked with hands on her hips.
"I don't understand what the dirty pig is doing here either." Oga continued.
I bit my tongue, 'me, Senorita! Dorty, this man never see shit!" I thought to myself.
"Will you get out of my sight? I wonder what you are doing in your underwear." Oga barked at me.
"Ah ah...no be you cause am? I see you as you don pull cloth so, I come tink say, you ready for action." i say quite bodly.
"Get out of my sight this instant and I don't need to warn that not a word of this should get to my wife. Can you imagine this thing?" Oga said angrily.
"I told you that we should get a hotel, I am not comfortable staying in your matrimonial home." The lady said.
As I stared at the couple, I mutter under my breath.
" This big fish wey I catch so wan take kurukere dodge comot for my eye, lai lai. Which gial fine pass Senorita for Lasgidi? No body! I go show dem say, Okro sweet pass Ogbono...dem wan try?"