Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I can’t describe every single detail and all that happened to me after I saw Awero slump to the ground in the silence of death. All I could think of was a quick way to leave the scene, I wanted to flee but had no clue what part of Lagos I was. I kept asking myself,  'who is this woman who stood powerfully before me? A woman who commanded respected with every fiber of her being. As soon as I looked up at the face of the woman who stood before me, I felt fear and dread snake up my spine, this woman, I thought, had no time for child’s play.
“What is your name?” The woman asked me quietly. Her voice sounded like a deathly whisper.
I just kept starring at her as my stomach growled angrily in protest as it heaved up another bout of coke from it’s depth and threatened to spill it out.
“Don’t you dare throw up again! What are you? A child?” The woman warned me.
I stared at her in fear and the vomit which was formerly at the tip of my throat found its way back into my stomach.
“What is your name?” The woman asked again.
“Se… my name na Senorita…” I heard a hoarse voice say, which I recognized as mine.
“Don’t you speak good English?” The woman asked.
“I…dey try.” I replied meekly.
The woman muttered irritably under her breath, pulling out the bell from the pocket of jeans trouser she rung it. The girl who opened the door for me and the 'now' late Awero stepped out from one of the rooms.
“Do you think she’s potential?” The woman asked.
“Every girl is potential, Madame.” The girl answered meekly.
“She can’t speak good English and I am tired of training girls who after they are trained do not impress me. I spend lots of money training them and after that, what do I get? Wasted time, money and efforts. This girl can’t utter a sentence in good English.”
“I remember that my English was really bad when I came but you helped brush me up.” The girl told the woman.
“Hmm…” The woman murmured absent mindedly and kept staring at me.
I looked at the two of them, the woman dressed like a modern day queen and the younger girl dressed like someone I recognized from the short time I spent in front of the television set.
“You will take her to the room and help her get something decent to wear. If she wasn't this pretty, I might have been tempted to send her down the same path as her late friend.” The woman spoke quietly.

My eyes widened in shock, I didn’t want to believe that she just threatened to have had me killed.
The girl nodded and beckoned to me to follow her but I was having none of that, I shook my head vehemently and took a few steps backwards.
“I nor dey follow you go anywhere lai lai….since Oga landlord hause na so so waka waka I dey do. Abeg find transport give me make I dey go my own.” I said to them.
The woman stared at me in shock, the girl looked at me in warning but I decided to be stubborn.
“Please follow me…” The girl said.
“Who dey follow you enter dia? You wan kee me abi? I nor fit die like Awero ooo…I nor kukuma collect any money from una hand. Abeg free me make I dey go joor.” I said sounding bolder.
“Call one of the men to take her in…and lest I forget, I am not receiving any visitors today, please tell anyone that’s looking for me to see me tomorrow.” The woman said.
“Wetin she dey yarn? Madam or wetin dem dey call you…abeg find transport give me, I dey go.” I continue.
“What did she just call me? How dare you?” The woman raised her voice at me. She was obviously baffled at my outburst.
“I don talk am say una nor serious for dis place…if una nor get change for transport, talk am now. I sure say one pesin get one thousand naira for hand, una fit give me, make I go find change.” I said.
The woman stared at me sharply and in a high-pitched voice she called out a name. The door opened in heavy thuds and two men hurried towards me.
“See wahala oo…if pesin nor wan stay for place, na by force?” I asked in wonder.
The two men lifted me up like a sack of weightless grain, I struggled and fought hard but the men were really strong. They took me towards the room that was at the far side of the sitting room, I screamed and lunged for one of the men’s ears. Clamping my teeth hard on it, I sunk in on the flesh with all my strength and pulled off skin. To my surprise, the man didn’t flinch. My mouth was filled with his blood and I stared incredulously at the iron men who held me captive in their arms. They had a far-away look in their eyes, a look that was some-what abnormal. There and then, I knew that I was in deep trouble. Throwing my head back, I screamed and said.

“Chai…Senorita your tori nor get part two!”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Serious Business!

The water splashed squarely on my face and I jumped.
“See am…e still dey sleep…abeg gerrup joor, the fire don off.” Screamed on of the women.
I stood on my feet and tried running out of the building but the whole place was packed with people, both onlookers and the police. There wer still signs of smoke and people still held buckets in their hands.
“Wia you dey go you dis anyhow gial? You think say dis na playground?” Asked one of the policemen.
“I wan go my house…ooo” I cried loudly as I tried letting myself out of the compound but was held back by some people.
“Abeg make una carry am go hospital…e fit be say, de fire don affect her brain.” Said one of the onlookers.
“Which kain hospital…it is now confirmed that this place is a brothel aka ashewo joint so every lady who resides in this house must be arrested. Atleast the fire has been doused so everyone can now return to their homes.” Said one of the policemen.
The man who held me in his grasp let me go and I fell to the ground, all of a sudden, everywhere emptied as everyone left the scene including Awero and the other ladies.
“Ah! Where dem dey?” Asked one of the policemen.
“Dey run comot? Chai…dis for be how we for take catch dese women ooo.” Another policeman said.
“Na only dis gial remain…wetin we go tell D.P.O?” Asked another policeman.
“We fit tell am say, all de ashewo don comot for night paroles and na only dis one remain for house.” Said the first.
“Good idea…oya, Akin, handcuff am, make we dey go station.”
Immediately I sensed that I was about to be arrested, I began to scream.
“Heeeeehhhh…I nor dey ooo…na today I waka come ooo.” I cry.
“Na you and who, waka come?” Asked a policeman.
“Na only me.” I replied, tears staining my cheeks.
“You nor suppose talk anything till you reach station so shut up!” Said one of the policemen.
“Chai…if I know, I for just lie down for ground, faint dey goo…” I cried.
The policemen dragged me outside and threw me into their van. As we left the scene, I saw Awero peep from the side of one of the houses and before I could scream and alert the police to her, she had disappeared.
I was left at the cell for three days, no one asked of me and no one cared for me, all I was given to eat was some food and water. On the third day, one of the policemen walked up to my cell and whispered.
“Pesin don pay for ya release…just cooperate…nor do like say I don tell you anything or oga fit suspect. By eight for night, I go open dis gate, make you comot.” Said the policeman.
“Ahhh…oga…taink you…God bless you sir.” I said, as I knelt down in thanks.
The woman that I shared the prison cell with, didn’t even flinch, she just sat down like a stone and kept staring at the wall. I heard that her husband locked her up because he caught her with another man but lied to the police that she stole his international passport. The lady wasn't much of a talker but whenever her family members came to pay her a visit, her lips moved fast as she told her story, over and over again.
The police officer left the cell and walked back to his duty post.
“You get wia you go fit go?” Asked the woman.
I was shocked, I turned to look at her and was more surprised because she was staring intently at me.
“I hear ya case for police mouth I even hear when you dey shout say, you nor be ashewo.” The woman said to me.
“God go bless you one chance I enter for dem Ashewo hand ooo.” I said, sounding relieved.
“Go number 17 Ajia street…you go see my pikin Rita, tell am say na her mama friend you be. Young girl like you nor fit waka anyhow for nite... atleast, make you slip till morning reach.”
I fall on my knee before her and thank her.
"Auntie e go better for ya generation...all ya pikin go prosper..." I continued showering blessings on her.
The woman nodded quietly and kept staring at the wall.

That night I was released and as soon as the night air kissed my face, I felt hands grab me. I yelped and struggled but was hushed by a familiar voice.
‘Shhh….na me Awero.” Said the woman.
“What? Awero…ahhh…Awero…wetin una do me nor good ooo…” I begin to cry.
“Abeg shat ya mouth.” Awero snapped. “Follow me, I wan carry you go my friend house.”
‘Ahh…I get place wia I dey goo…I wan go number 17….” I started but was cut short by a slap.
“You wan craze? Who pay for ya release? Na number 17?” Awero demanded.
I shook my head in fear. She tugged at my hand and I hurriedly followed her.
It was very late when we reached Awero’s friend’s house, we had to board a bus, take a bike and walk quite a mile because the bike rider refused to go further into the rough street. By the time we reached the house, I was fagged out. Awero knocked at the door and a very beautiful young lady opened the door for us, her dress was clingy and her lashes where so long it took me a lot of effort to see her eyes.
“What’s the password.” The girl asked Awero.
“Thunder and Fire.” Awero whispered.
We were ushered into a small sitting room and offered drinks. Immediately I saw the bottles of drinks on the stool the hunger I felt from the prison surfaced and I quickly grabbed one bottle of coke and corking it with my teeth, I spat out the cork and tipped the contents down my throat. By the time I finished the third bottle, I was belching louder than a pig. Awero ignored me throughout and was instead looking at the door leading to the inside of the house.
Suddenly the door opened and a very slim woman walked into the sitting room.
“Hmmm…you were the one sent by Jasmine right?” The lady asked Awero in a light voice.
“Yes ma…na me be Jasmine friend…she talk say…” Awero continued but the woman held up her hand.
“Is this the girl? Is she the one?”
“Yes na she…look am well, na fine girl I carry come so…”
“Who is she to you?” The woman asked.
“Na one girl wey come our place for ashewo joint, she be wan join us but I tell am say, dat place nor fit am at all.” Awero said.
I stared at Awero incredulously as she spoke.
“Hmmm…how much do you want?” The woman asked Awero.
“Madam…” Awero hailed, flashing her teeth, two of her teeth had broken, I hadn't noticed. “Na small money…scratch my back, I scratch ya own…give me two hundred…na virgin I bring come ya dormot ooo.”
“I’ll give you one hundred…” The woman said.
Awero shook her head. “Madam lai lai…I nor fit remove one kobo…na cost price we dey.”
“Are you new to this business?” The woman asked.
“Yes…na my first time but I fit bring you correct girls….dis one wey dey here don too suffer if not ehn, I fit no even sell am to you for five hundred thousand.” Awero boasted.
“I’ll give you one twenty…”
Awero stood up to leave. “Madam…talk like pesin abeg…see ya fine house…abi you nor want make I build my own? Scratch my back make I scratch ya own…I nor fit comot kobo from cost price.”
The woman rang a bell and a lady came out of the room, she whispered something to her and the lady went back into the room and came out again carrying a bundle of notes. She handed it to Awero who greedily grabbed the money and wetting the tip of her fingers with spittle, she proceeded to count.
Awero smiled as soon as she finished counting the money and turned to leave.
“Tank you ma…I go dey bring you plenty correct gials…” Awero said as she headed towards the door.
The woman rung the bell again and one hefty man walked out of the room and turning to the woman, he nodded while the woman tilted her head side ward
Awero smiled and happily made her way to the door but gasped as the man walked up to her, grabbed her by the neck till he strangled her. I stood and stared in shock as a limp Awero fell to the ground and the two hundred thousand naira was retrieved from her palms and taken away by the young lady. The man swung a lifeless Awero over his shoulder and stormed out of the house.

I opened my mouth and threw up all the contents of the coke which I had drunk earlier on.

Friday, June 13, 2014


It was the screams that woke me up, I quickly hustled out of bed and ran to the door of the room which I was staying. The air was humid and the night was dark, what had happened? I kept asking myself. As I struggled to break open the door which was ofcourse, locked, I couldn’t help but wonder at how I had found myself in yet another mess.
“Senorita…na so so troubu dey find you…” I whispered to myself as I shoved the door with all my might yet it wouldn’t budge.
“Den don pour fire for our dormot ooo…” Screamed on of the ladies.
“Agatha! Kemi! Oya quick…run go iyabo house, carry water come.” Awero issued orders.
I flattened my palms on the door of the room, getting out was quite impossible and I could feel the smoke filter into the room from the space underneath the door.
“Helep me ooo….na Senorita dey for inside ooo…” I cried in plea.
No one seemed to hear me, all I could hear was the noises coming from the ladies as they hustled their belongings out of their rooms.
“Chei…my phone ooo…na blackberry bold 5 be dat ooo…” Screamed one of the ladies.
“I dey go my house…abeg una helep me find my shirt? I nor fit enter house with only singlet.” Said a male voice which I have not heard before.
“Serious? So na dis kain talk you fit talk shebi? Na after our house don burn finish…na den you go see ya shirt. Abeg comot for hia jare…stupid man. Ashewo!” Said one of the ladies to him.
“Na my fault say una house dey burn? Nor be to do I come do? Na to helep una pour water for house?” Screamed the man.
“Abeg who carry dis yeye man come? From today, if you wan totori with woman, abeg carry yaself dey go ya house…abi you get wife.” Said another lady.
At this point, I was already choking, my eyes could hardly open because of the burning smoke which had found its way into my eyes.
“Helep me!” I cried.
Suddenly, I felt the wave of nostalgia as I saw in my mind’s eye, my hometown, my mother and my brothers. It seemed as though time had played a huge trick on me because I was suddenly a young child again, running and playing carefree around my mother’s hut.
I heard my name…my native name and I knew my mother was calling out to me. I tried to run to her but was held back by firm hands, it was the hands of my greedy neighbor Callistus who couldn’t get his hands off me.
“I wan go…” I tried to free myself from his grasp.
“Make I touch you once more and after dat one, you fit comot.” He whispered raspy as he clung onto my young body.
“No…I nor want make my mama know say I dey do dis kain thing…she don even dey ask me if I don know man.”

“And wetin you come tell am?” He asked me.
“I tell am say…I never know man at all.”
“You be good girl…I know say ehn…when you grow, you go fine sortee I no go fit reach you na why I begin to dey touch you since you knack seven years. I happy say I be ya first lover.” He whispered.
“Abegi make I go answer my mama… I go see you for night.” I said.
I felt as though I was floating and again, like magic I saw myself beside the village stream, Callistus and Bone Joe, were wrestling at the stream but I was unable to stop dem.
“Na my gial she be…na me introduce am to totori man…” Callistus said through gritted teeth.
“Old man like you…dem suppose lock you for prision.” Bone Joe spat.
I closed my eyes in horror as I watched fist break teeth and blood splatters on the ground as they kept wrestling.
Even now as I sank to the ground, I welcomed the strong smell of the smoke and enjoyed the blurry sight of soft fire which had engulfed the ratchet looking curtains on the wall. I heard the loud voices from the ladies outside and the heavy bang on the door as someone struggled to push it open.
“I nor know say pesin dey dia again ooo…chei…na dat small girl wey waka come hia yesterday ooo…” Moaned Awero faintly.

At that point I wasn’t feeling the parts of my body anymore and quietly I slipped into unconsciousness.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Baby Oku Spot!

I walk down the street determined to put the past solidly behind me. I felt betrayed, ‘how could doctor Gerald do this to me? And oga landlord, after his promises of marriage?’ I asked myself as I saunter down the street. I had walked for over two hours when from nowhere, heavy drops of rain began to fall, I quickly took shelter at a nearby stall and from the looks of the heavy dressed women in the stall, I knew I quickly needed to take permission.
Pushing the light curtain which barricaded the interior of the stall from view, I peeked into the stall.
“Good aftun sisters…abeg I fit stand hia till rain stop?” I asked one of the ladies, whose make-up almost ran down her face.
“You see any pesin wey dey stand for dis stall? Abi na you build am?” The lady asked me as she stepped out of the stall till she was standing close to me.
I carefully look around me and notice that I was the only one taking shade at the stall, all the other pedestrians stood far away from the stall.
“Who be dis chick?” Asked a light skinned lady who came out to join her.
The two ladies were very skimpy dressed and had strong scents of perfume on them. 
“I nor know de kain rat wey enter our stall ooo…abi na maggi we dey sell?” Another busty lady emerged from the stall and towered over me.
I fall to my kneels in a plea.
‘Sister…madam abeg nor vex…I go comot…abeg nor vex…”
“Kneel down for dia…born fool.” Shouted the busty lady.
“Na wia you from come? Wia you dey go?” Asked the first lady I encountered.
“Na my husband pursue me from house…” I say quietly.
“Hehhehehe…im catch you for on top man?” Another lady asked.
“No…ahhh… I nor be ashewo ooo.” I say.
“Wetin you talk? You nor be wetin?” Screamed the busty lady.
“I talk say…I nor be ashewo…” I continue but was cut short by a slap.
“See dis mumu ooo…na wia you dey? Na wetin dem dey call dis joint?” The fair lady asked.
“Dis na ‘Baby Oku spot’ alias ashewo joint…abi you nor dey dis area?” Asked another lady who had emerged from the stall and whose hips seemed to stretch on forever.
“Ahhhh….” I scream and clamp my mouth shut.

“Why you dey shout? You be JJC? Na wia you from come?” Asked the busty lady.
“I be Senorita…” I said with a shaky voice.
“You be wetin? Senorat?” Asked the busty lady.
“Senorita!” I echo.
“See fine name wey dis gial give herself. Come…come first, na ya mama give you dat name?” Asked the fair lady.
I nod and get a slap on the head, my ears were already ringing.
“Ahhh…Awero, Olopa dey come ooo…abeg make we sharp hustle dis gial inside…” Said the first woman I spoke to.
I was dragged into the stall with scattered tables and chairs, I walked over to sit on one chair when the chair was dragged away and I was forced to kneel on the ground. One of the women collected my small bag and sniffed through its contents.
“Idiat…who send you come? Talk now or we go dash you give police.” Said the fair lady.
“Auntie I beg.” I sob.
“Shat up…I resemble ya mama sister? Or na for yellow levels? Abeg hold ya own dia.” The fair lady spat.
“We fit use dis gial do our small waka ooo…dat man wey get biar biar wey me and am do for yesterday nor give me shi shi. I fit send dis gial make she go collect my money from am.” Said one of the ladies.
“We must first see say, dis gial nor be spy…because if she be spy ehn…our own don finish for Lagos ooo.” Said the busty lady.
“Madam,…I nor be spy…I swear.” I said as I touched the ground with the tip of my finger and touched my tongue.
“Who give you permission to speak? Hold ya lips!” Shouted the busty lady whose name I learnt was Awero and who obviously headed their leader.
I held my lips and stared at them with pleading eyes.
“You be virgin?” Asked the busty woman.
I nodded and then after second thoughts, I shook my head.
“Which one you be, virgin or not?” Asked the busty woman again.
“I be virgin…ma.” I reply.
“So man never touch you.” The busty lady added.
“Ha…I don get plenty man friend…dem dey touch me na…I for marry…” I was cut short with a quick slap.
“I ask you question if you be virgin or not, you talk say you be virgin. Now you come dey yarn rubbish.”
“I think say virgin na wen person don mature finish…” I reply.
The women fell down in heaps of laughter.
“Born fool.”
They all rained insults at me. Suddenly, everywhere fell silent as through the thin curtain at the entrance of the stall, we could see the policeman walk towards us.
“Quick! Hustle am go inside…make I settle olopa.” Whispered Awero.

I was quickly taken to the back of the stall where I saw that there were a scattering of rooms. Immediately I got in, the door was shut behind me and latched, I was left there alone. Quietly I walked to the bed in the room and lay down till sleep claimed me.