COIN……there are two sides to ever story by @obasatemitope (Episode VI)

coin

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“You miss road sergeant?” Sabo asked now.

“Do you know Musa well?” Kogberegbe said, choosing to ignore Sabo’s reference to him as a sergeant.

“My brother Musa be”

“Tell me what’s been happening between you two for the past two weeks”

“Haffen? Nothing haffen”

“Have you been drinking with Musa?”

“Yes sergeant, Musa not haffy. Me I helf him”

“You help him by getting him drunk while he was supposed to keep watch over someone’s house?”

Sabo gave a little laugh “ Musa drunk because he just starting. Later, he be like me, nothing, just okay”

“So, when you drink, you don’t get drunk?”

“Drunk, not me, except fle-enty” he described this, spreading his hands wide

“So, Sabo while your friend was drunk, what were you always doing?”

“Me let Musa sleef” Sabo said proudly “he sleep and he be okay. Me I watch the house and my oga own. When Musa he wake, me I come back, enter my house and work”

“While Musa was drunk and you watched over his house, did you ever hear sounds?”

“Sound? Sound what?”

“Noise, like someone breaking glass” This, Kogberegbe described by smashing an invisible bottle against concrete

“No o” Sabo’s lips slopped “no noise, no”

“Try to think about it Sabo, the killer didn’t do all the preparation to get in in one night. So my guess is that while Musa got drunk and slept, someone…”

“Sabo!” Someone called from inside the house and soon, the owner of the voice, who also happened to be the owner of the house appeared. Kogberegbe met Mr. Sangosina earlier and knew the man didn’t like detectives…or maybe he simply didn’t like Kogberegbe for whatever reason.

“Detective, you’re back so soon. Hope there’s no cause for alarm?” Mr. Sangosina said. He was one of the few men that went to work whenever they felt like. He swung his briefcase, looking immaculate in his well cut three piece suit. Mr. Sangosina was rather short, with a pot belly and a slightly balding head. Kogberegbe guessed he didn’t look too handsome even in his youth.

“I just had to ask your gateman some questions” Kogberegbe said

“You might have considered informing me?”

“My bad sir” Kogberegbe responded

“Bad indeed, because this doesn’t portray a good image of my house. How manymore gatemen in the neighbourhood have you interviewed in seclusion of their bosses?”

“Your gateman was…”

“Exactly, none!” Sangosina said, not waiting for Kogberegbe to make his point “I don’t want you to start giving my neighbours ideas like we house a murderer here”

“I wasn’t suggesting that sir”

“Good, cos you should be spending more time in the Okanlawons’ house before your trail gets cold”

“Pardon me sir?”

“Go ask him” Sangosina said, his eyes bulging “He can’t say he doesn’t know who hates him so much to kill his daughter”

“But you said earlier that Mr. Okanlawon can’t possibly have enemies”

“It shouldn’t be my business to tell you now, should it? Afterall, I’m not the one with a dead daughter and if the grieving father isn’t giving you all the information that should help your investigation, what should my business be in it?”

“What exactly are you suggesting sir?”

Mr. Sangosina raised his briefcase, signaling Sabo to take it to the car. “Since he got to this estate, our peace packed up and left with him. For Christ’s sake detective, he’s a politician! Politicians are bound to have enemies. In case it slipped his memory, ask him to tell you about the most recent uproar – at least the most recent one”

“Sir…”

“I’ve said more than  I should really, you see, Segun- er, Okanlawon is my friend and I shouldn’t go leaking his secrets”

“If you’re helping him unravel the mystery of his daughter’s murder, I wouldn’t think you’re doing him any evil sir”

“I’m running late detective, I hope I have been of help to you. You wont find your murderer here and I sincerely want you to find him but you’re wasting time” With this, Mr. Sangosina headed for his car, Sabo turned diligently beside him, heading for the gate. The driver picked the queue and started the car engine. Just then, Kogberegbe noticed Sabo’s heavily plastered left arm. Kogberegbe had a brief flash of the blood on the windowsill, to the left; they had guessed that the murderer cut himself on his way out. This wound might be consistent with the shape of the glass shard. Excitement flooded through Holme’s system as he asked boldly “How did you sustain that injury, Sabo?”

`

*****

Sabo stopped in his tracks, he looked shocked for a brief moment then followed Holme’s gaze on his left arm “ok,this- I one?”

Sangosina stepped out heavily out of his Toyota Camry 2008 series and said coldly “ Show him Sabo”

To this, Sabo removed his shirt to expose other parts of his body which was tattered and heavily bandaged as well. How could someone have so many injuries without being in an accident?

“Were you in an accident?”

“Sabo does more than gate- keeping in this house and happened to fall off a ladder while installing a pipe. There were lots of debris where he worked”

Kogberegbe peered at the wounds, unsure. Sabo could have sustained these wounds long before or after the murder, and there wasn’t enough evidence at the crime scene to account for so many wounds. Nevertheless, Kogberegbe thought he would have Sabo’s blood sample if only to clear his mind of doubt. He noticed Sangosina’s burning glare and said his apologies, then excused himself.

Kogberegbe sought out Musa “How close are you to Sabo?” He asked after exchanging pleasantries with the gateman.

“Kilose?” Musa  responded, confused by the grammar as usual

“Sabo is your friend right?” Kogberegbe simplified

“Priend yes”

“Good friend?”

“Ah, gaskiane, good priend, Sabo, pamily even. Ah, I like Sabo well well and he like me back”

“Is Sabo always injuring himself? He seems to have a lot of cut” Kogberegbe said, demonstrating

“No. no” Musa  said with a downturn of his lips “Sabo serung well well”

“I see, Sabo is very strong right? You don’t see him as a man that should go injuring himself” Kogberegbe interpreted Musa’s statement and Musa  just smiled, his eyes almost closed. “But did he tell you he fell”

“Sabo he pell? Ah me oga, I no know” Musa  said, turning his head from side to side. Just then, a sergeant arrived, Abu, going by the tag attached to his uniform.

“Morning sir” Abu saluted Kogberegbe who responded alike “Glad to catch you here. I was asked to drop this report with you”

“It’s alright. Thank you” Kogberegbe replied, collecting the sealed manila from Abu. Kogberegbe was working closely with the police department on the case and they promised to give all the support they could “I wonder if I could add to your task?”

“I don’t have much doing here really, just to question Doctor further. So if the task isn’t going to take much time sir, I could take it up”

“Please get a med to take a blood sample from the gateman next door, his name is Sabo. When you do, run a match with the sample taken from the windowpane at the crime scene” Kogberegbe hoped to God that Sabo, like many other Nigerians would not know his rights. Since Kogberegbe didn’t have any proof that could put Sabo on the crime scene, he didn’t have any reason to take his blood sample

“Is he a suspect sir?” Abu asked

“I can’t say for sure that…” he couldn’t finish his statement because Mr. Sangosina drove by just then, eyes cold as ice fixed on Kogberegbe. Kogberegbe wondered why the man wouldn’t understand that he was simply doing his job. Mr. Sangosina’s gaze left Kogberegbe and rested on Abu who bowed to the man. Mr Sangosina’s expression softened for a brief second before resting again on Kogberegbe and he drove off, winding up his tinted glass as he did so. Musa  just stood there, his teeth out, eyes squinted, and hands on his hips as his gaze went from one man to another like he was taking in the full details to gist his friends later, howbeit confusing.

****

“I’ll see you around then searg” Kogberegbe said, putting on his sunglasses and heading for his car. Kogberegbe’ next stop was Ronke’s boyfriend’s house. Dr. Okanlawon supplied a phone number, which belonged to Ronke’s closest friend who in turn gave him Dapo, Ronke’s boyfriend’s address. The boy’s neighbourhood depicted as much wealth as Dr. Okanlawon’s. This made Kogberegbe smile, the rich almost always want to be acquainted with the rich- a natural phenomenon. Kogberegbe tracked down Dapo’s house number and alighted from his car. At the sound of the door bell, a uniformed maid appeared, bending her knee a fraction, she greeted Kogberegbe politely.

“Good morning” Kogberegbe responded “Er, is Dapo in?” At this, the maid gave a confusing expression which was a blend of alarm, surprise and sadness so Kogberegbe introduced himself as a detective and said “May I see Dapo please? Or does he not live here?” Kogberegbe asked again when the woman still refused to talk

“Has another same thing happened?” she finally asked

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Some Women Cheat Like It’s a Sport….

HAIR

 Me I don’t do that kind of slow motion ooo. See these things are not that hard, you do what you have to do, clean up and go back home to cook for your husband. The thing no dey read meter my sister.”

****

The other day I was at a salon to make my hair and this woman came in all made up and pretty. She seemed to be a friend to the salon owner and it was apparent she didn’t come to make her hair as she had on a relatively new hairdo. I can’t remember how the conversation turned to cheating but the first thing that attracted my attention was;

“Iwo lo slack ooo….o smart rara. Me I don’t do that kind of slow motion ooo. See these things are not that hard, you do what you have to do, clean up and go back home to cook for your husband. The thing no dey read meter my sister.”

WHAT!!! I exclaimed inwardly at the “clean up and go back home to cook for your husband. The thing no dey read meter my sister.” I immediately paid rapt attention to the discussion.

“Hmm, ekun.” The owner of the salon hailed. “You know sey you get mind.”

“It’s not about mind. There is no big deal really. These men do these things too and who says we can’t get our own pleasures when we need to. All you need to do is be smart, ensure you are not caught. You are only guilty when you are caught.’’

“But me my reason for contemplating it is money ooo.”

“It’s not just about money. My dear. You know I don’t do it for money, it’s not like I don’t have more than I need but sometimes you need love more than money and most of these our men don’t know that. They rarely think of fulfilling our emotional needs so we have to be responsible for our happiness and grab it from wherever we can get it.’’

 

She moved towards the Salon owner and whispered something in her ear. It was hard to hear but I strained my ear, I did not want to miss any part of the gist.

“You know Raji now, ehn Raji.” she repeated at the look of surprise that came over the stylist. “He is the current one.” She added going back to her chair and laughing at the shocked look on her friend’s face.

“But I thought he was history.’’ The Salon owner said

“Yeah, that was until we met at Silverbird two months ago after over five years. See I’m chopping life ooo. Mo’n jaye ori mi. I am a young woman now; you want me to start gathering cob webs?”

 She stood up and checked herself out in the salon mirror making a mock parade. She was beautiful really with shining dark skin, you couldn’t say she was fat and you could not say she was slim either.

“My sister first love is important in a woman’s life. Even if you have not been cheating on your husband before, the day you meet your first love again it all changes ooo. I tell you.”

“Hmm”, the Salon owner replied.

“So me, I am just having fun ooo. Oga does his own and I do my own too. God no go vex.”

“But just be careful oo, so he doesn’t know.”

“How will he know? He trusts me so much. Even if someone tells him, he won’t believe. I have never given him any reason to doubt me, so he can’t.”

“Hmmm, ore sha connect me ehn, help your sister. I need to upgrade my shop. Don’t you want to see air conditioners here?”

“Na you dey slack na, when you are ready let me know. Meanwhile I have to leave soon to prepare Oga’s dinner, besides the school bus would have also dropped the children by now.”

There were two other ladies in the room; a lady whose hair was being relaxed and the apprentice working on her hair. The lady would shake her head in disgust from time to time spilling relaxer crème all over the arm of her chair. The apprentice however seemed to be enjoying the conversation and would hail the woman intermittently. Mummy Dolapo!!! Eyato si won jare. You are special.

I left the salon in deep thought; several thoughts and questions on my mind.

            i.   So I have been so naïve to believe women don’t really cheat 

            ii.  How hard is it to cheat really?

            iii.  How can one prevent a partner from cheating?

 

 Hmmmm….it is well.

 

COIN…..there are two sides to every story by @obasatemitope (Episode V)

 

 

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Another aspect of the story he couldn’t shake was the double life the girl lived. That could be an important lead he was omitting.  What if she and not her father had made a strong enough enemy to get her killed?

Kogberegbe double checked his house security system and drove out of his garage. His car, like his favorite jeans, was well used.

As he sped along the deserted road, he leisured in the cool breeze and absence of traffic jam. The car stereo was blaring a rock song that helped to get him in the swing of things. Anyone who saw him at this time would not have the faintest idea he was a detective. This suited Kogberegbe fine, the more his true identity remained hidden, the better his chances of penetration during tough cases.

By the time Kogberegbe got to the Okanlawons’ estate, his mind was clear and set to analyze the task at hand. His first few stops were to the Okanlawons’ neighbours. He needed outsiders’ view of the family as there could be things Dr. Okanlawon wouldn’t want Kogberegbe to know, because of his reputation. When he got to the first house, he was glad he’d decided to set out early.

Making a living in Nigeria, especially in some densely populated cities, meant leaving the house before day break, and a surety of not making it back home till very late at night. Kogberegbe watched as the mom scolded the older of their two children to move fast as they were running late. It was just 5:45am. The father gave Kogberegbe a look that said he wasn’t welcome at this time at all. He shook hands with Kogberegbe reluctantly and his wife checked the time while the two children looked sleepy and cold. Kogberegbe assured the man he would only take a while.

“Sure” The neighbour, Mr. Adamson said.

“I assume you’re aware a murder was committed in this neighbourhood yesterday” Kogberegbe said

“Yeah, heard. It’s unfortunate but I’m sure if there’s a way we could be of help, we will”

“Did you hear or see anything out of the ordinary in the early hours of last night?” Kogberegbe asked

“Not at all. Judging by the number of hours I put into my work, you wouldn’t blame me for sleeping like a log, which is what I do. Moreover, the Okanlawon’s house is two houses away. There’s a low probability I hear an occurrence in my own house, much less theirs” Adamson said, smiling humorously.

“Understandable. Do you have a night guard?”

“No. we just moved in and still trying to get our own footing” Adamson said

Kogberegbe surveyed the building “How well do you know the Okanlawons?”

“I’m afraid, not much” Adamson sighed “Almost everyone in this estate work hard and barely notice one another. We’re all hardly ever at home- with the exception of some housewives. But from what I know, Dr. Okanlawon and his family are a polite bunch. They were really warm and welcoming when we moved in and though we don’t see much of one another, I know them to be a good family”

“Do you think Dr. Okanlawon might have some strong enemies?”

Adamson gave a weak smile “Don’t we all have enemies?  As for strong ones, you’ll have to ask him because I’ve not seen or heard about him getting on many people’s wrong side- not Dr.”

“What about Ronke, Dr Okanlawon’s daughter?”

“She was a warm girl. Pity she got unlucky with fate, whoever did it must be insane. The girl would never hurt a soul. She was easy going, smiled radiantly and would greet from afar, even if you didn’t see her. We’ve heard people say they would want their children to have her kind of spirit. She mostly stayed indoors and if she had to go out, must get back home before eight pm. That’s about all I know of her, mostly gathered from what others say about her in the estate”

“Thanks, you’re been of great help” Kogberegbe lied.

“Glad I could” Adamson said, shaking Kogberegbe’ hand again before Kogberegbe passed him his complementary card

“Just in case anything comes to your mind which you have omitted, or you see anything unusual, please give me a call”

“Sure” Adamson said, walking Kogberegbe to the gate and opening it wide for his car’s passage

“Sorry I took your time. Bye” Kogberegbe said.

 

Kogberegbe interviewed some more families but didn’t get any new information. Everyone believed Ronke and her parents didn’t keep late nights. No one thought Dr. Okanlawon could have an enemy that would hate him so much as to hurt him. This left Kogberegbe retracing his steps to his starting point- Dr. Okanlawon’s gateman. Musa looked like his world had fallen apart. Kogberegbe doubted that he had his bath or even slept at all.

“Oga, that one, not froblem” Musa responded when Kogberegbe pointed it out to him “I no haffy”

“Well, you shouldn’t be. You were sloppy with your work and someone got killed” Kogberegbe said bluntly

“Thank you oga.” Musa replied with a smile, apparently without comprehension “Madam no well again. Oga carry  madam go hosfital por morning. Oga sep pit no stay again. To kill me right”

“You shouldn’t talk that way Musa” Kogberegbe said, trying to calm him down “You don’t deserve to be killed, even though you made some mistakes. What you can do now is to help me find the girl’s killer”

“Ah, oga, I want now!” Musa said as if he was offended that Kogberegbe thought he wouldn’t help “Me not haffy”

“So, let’s start from here” Kogberegbe said, leading Musa to a bench even though Musa was bent on punishing himself to death. “Musa, I want you to relax okay?”

“I okay” Musa said unconvincingly.

“Now Musa, I want you to think deeply” Kogberegbe said.

“yes sir” Musa replied

“Was there any time during the day that you left the house?”

“Lept?me I no lept the house anytime. Pood sep, na when pood seller come to me, I buy pood, chof am por oppice there” Musa said, pointing to the gatehouse that now housed a new gateman

“Okay, so tell me about yesterday, starting from the morning, what did you do all day?”

“I not do flinty. I not even chof” Musa said miserably.

“Then you must have heard when the glass was broken” Kogberegbe prodded and Musa looked even more miserable, silent and not catching Holme’s glance. Kogberegbe’ heart started beating faster. “There’s something you aren’t telling me right? “ At this, a tear rolled down Musa’s face “Talk to me Musa, help me find this killer, then at least Ronke can be avenged and you can find some peace”

“I drunk” Musa said in a small voice

“You got drunk?” Kogberegbe asked, to which Musa nodded. “Why and how? Tell me about it”

“I not know how to drunk bepore. My wipe por billage I want marry, they marry her to give another ferson” Musa stated feebly

“Okay, go on”

“I not haffy. My priend not like me not haffy and say to helf me”

“So, your friend helped you by getting you drunk?”

“It do good. I drunk and I sleef and I wake and only headache, I not thinking flinty about my wipe again because apter I wake, not long, oga or madam come and work start again”

“So, you got drunk and slept off all through the day till when your boss got back?” Kogberegbe said bewildered

“Yes oga”

“While you were drunk, do you realize anyone could have sneaked  in to lay all the pathway that made the murder easy?”

“Sir?”

“Never mind. How long have you been doing this…drinking to stupor I mean?”

“I not drunk to anywhere o oga, na just here por my oppice”

“Ok, how long have you been drinking? When did this start? Yesterday? Last week?”

“Not last week, another week”

“You mean week before the last?”

“Last last week?”Musa said nodding

“So, who’s this friend that introduced you to drinking?”

“Sabo, na Sabo. He gateman there” Musa said pointing at their neighour’s house, separated by bush “My priend, Sabo is. Me I bring Sabo prom home por North, tell oga there” He pointed again at the building “I gibe am gateman, Sabo good strong man prom my billage. He come and he become gateman, we good priend”

“I see. So you have a close relationship with this Sabo. Ok, on the night of the murder, where was Sabo?”

“Aah, me no know. Sabo always inside por night”

 

“Alright then. I guess I’ll have to talk to your friend. Musa, when was the last time you ate?” When Musa continued to look at him blankly, Kogberegbe added “food”

“Oh pood? Me no want pood. They hang me, kill me”

“No Musa, you don’t deserve to be hanged. I want you to find something to eat. You’re good to me alive than dead okay?”

“Me no want pood” he insisted

“But I want you to okay? Please” Kogberegbe stood firm and Musa kept quiet, averting his face. Kogberegbe headed for the neighbour’s compound. He’d been there earlier that morning but didn’t learn anything different from what others had to say. Though Kogberegbe greatly doubted that the murderer lived in the neighbourhood, it was his job to explore all possibilities. The killer might have had some help which could be anyone in the neighbourhood. Or at the least, Sabo might have been awake and witnessed something while Musa was in drunken sleep.

Sabo didn’t look too pleased at the sight of Kogberegbe.

“You come bepore” Sabo said, in the same adulterated English with which Musa spoke, not masking his displeasure to see Kogberegbe.

“I know I have been here before. There’s been a recent development and I’m afraid I have to question you again if you don’t mind”

“Oga e not like disturb. He want to go out not long now…”

“Never mind, I’m not here to see your boss” Kogberegbe cut in, studying Sabo’s features while he spoke with him. Sabo was very dark skinned like the other gatemen in the neighbourhood, typical of northerners; but he didn’t look half as fragile as the other men. Sabo was averagely built and about 5’9. He also carried a cool expression that convinced Kogberegbe that Sabo drank regularly. From his facial features, he also smoked a great deal.

 

 

MUMBO-JUMBO – Osowe OluwaGbenga

mumbo

The inchoate thoughts in my cerebral facility

Are propelling me to a point of torpor and soporific profundity,

Wherein I become incapable of lucid, pristine and accurate rhetoric,

So I satiate this page with a plethora of prevaricated specious verbose inanity

Hoping that your sagacity would repudiate my innocuous luminous disparate

Not taking it as a meticulously pedantic expose or homiletically-inspired dissertation

 

If you are fraught with lassitude, lethargy, weariness and weakness either physical or mental

Kindly halt your perusal of this asinine expose lest I exacerbate your ill-health

And adulterate your thoughts with my erratically-written desultory and florid limerick

For I seek not to assuage, attenuate or ameliorate your bodily frailty but to aggravate it

Therefore be at liberty to halt your literary sojourn here

But if your medulla oblongata can be imperturbable to the verbiage expressed herein

And sifter the idea in my dissonant piece

You can emulate your favourite dilettante and proceed with me to the subsequent doggerel

As we warble and reverberate an elegy to the lord of the mumbo jumbos.

 

I hanker after fine victuals and vintage vermilion wine

Concocted from clementine and pomegranates plucked from well tendered chateaus and vineries

And if you possess any premonition that deprivation of nourishment is the pretext for my histrionics

Then thou hast struck the bullock’s eye and should be granted a memento

For use of tremendous intellect and luminosity in deciphering the dispatch hereto

And you should make a call to the physician to ascertain if you are okay

 

Now that I have written this article in gargantuan and superfluous grammar

Do you scrupulously comprehend and fathom the message being passed therein

Or dost thou require a lexicon, thesaurus and glossary to understand so that

It can be safely postulated and hypothesized that simple words communicate better than

An avalanche of mumbo jumbo

Disclaimer: No grammar was murdered in constructing this.

Interpretation:

Verse 1: Sleep dey worry me so my thoughts no dey organised

Verse 2: If you know say you dey tired, abeg, stop here! Otherwise, continue.

Verse 3: Hunger dey worry me and na im cause my ranting. If you understand am, goodluck to you.

Verse 4: Sebi I don prove say na simple English dey make sense pass? *winks*Hahahahaha

COIN…..there are two sides to every story by @obasatemitope (Episode IV)

shilling

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ PREVIOUS EPISODES

Back inside, Kogberegbe saw Dr. Okanlawon with more friends. His wife was no longer in the living room. Kogberegbe wouldn’t want to deal with her anyway. He asked Dr. Okanlawon to step into an empty room with him.

“I’ve searched the house, got the information I need and though I can’t promise the speed of work, I’ll hopefully have a break for you soon” Kogberegbe said.

“Playing fair” Dr. Okanlawon said in a dry tone

“I’ll like to clarify something however. You said your daughter never kept late nights?” Kogberegbe asked

Dr. Okanlawon sighed, fixing his gaze on an invisible patch on the rug “I cant explain her dressing; in fact, I was surprised to see such scanty clothes and heavy makeup on her. That’s not the child I knew”

“Are you often at home sir?”

“I’m a very busy man, detective” Dr. Okanlawon raised his eyes suddenly to meet Kogberegbe’ reproachfully

“And your wife sir?”

“If she isn’t ambitious, she wouldn’t be where she is today, would she? But if you’re questioning the upbringing of our child, I warn you to thread softly” Dr. Okanlawon said in an intimidating voice.

“Did you know sir that your daughter used to go clubbing?”

“What are you implying?”

“I’m simply stating facts sir. The true reason your daughter used to sleep late was that she spent the nights partying. According to your night guard, she started this from her last year in secondary school- which tallies with when you said she started waking up late”

Dr. Okanlawon’s jaws worked furiously, muscles in his forehead becoming visible “Musa!” he beckoned menacingly “Musa!!” Musa came scurrying in. If Kogberegbe thought Musa trembled when he saw him downstairs, he had another thought forming. Musa rattled so much he would have broken to pieces if he were to be china-ware.

“What’s this I hear about Ronke?” Dr. Okanlawon demanded

“Oga sir, not…she…when-“

“How could you?” Dr Okanlawon said, looking like he would like nothing more than to draw Musa’s blood.

“If you’ll excuse me sir” Kogberegbe cut in “You’ll have to settle domestic problems later because I would like to carry on with my investigation. Contrary to your better judgment though, I will implore you to allow Musa stick around until the investigation is through. I want his mind to be clear and accessible for questioning”

“He’s not staying anywhere around me! If not for my wife’s intervention, he would rot in prison, and would have started hours ago” Dr. Okanlawon said vehemently

“I would like him to stay around if you please. Things may come to his mind with time, that has escaped him now”

“He can do his thinking in a cell!” Dr. Okanlawon said

“You want us to find the murderer, Doctor!” Kogberegbe said firmly.

“You’ll have your reputation ruined if you don’t” Dr Okanlawon said, turned briskly and walked away. Kogberegbe sighed, rubbing his eyes and walked past the confused guard, knowing his day just started and it was going to be a long one.

The sun had gone down by the time Kogberegbe stepped out of the Okanlawon’s house, and the breeze was stiff and warm. He had one last scan of the layout before getting in his car and driving off.

In his office, Kogberegbe placed calls to media houses plus some other links he had and pulled as much information on the Okanlawons as he could. He waited long enough in the office to download the information that had been sent to him via the internet. He picked his chart board and headed home.

*****

There were bits of nasty information, as was expected of any political figure; the media in Nigeria caught their fun mostly off politicians. But mostly, Dr. Okanlawon had a clean slate. Next, Kogberegbe picked his chart board and plotted his findings. When he was through, his head ached madly. He made for the kitchen, his eye catching the kitchen clock. He had skipped lunch in the excitement of the day. He halted at the thought of lunch; his hand froze on the refrigerator door.

Oh no! he was going to lose Morenikeji as well. Why was he a scum when it got to women? He’d stood Morenikeji up three times in a row now and he knew there’d be trouble soon. Kogberegbe counted himself experienced after a failed marriage, five failed relationships before that and three after. His ex-wife was in Ghana, long remarried and had a son with the new man. Kogberegbe didn’t blame her; as she’d accused him, his priorities were misplaced.  But he loved his job and had loved it before loving her. Not that he intended to but he always got carried away with the flow of work. Kogberegbe was married to Serena for four years and started noticing strains in the relationship by the second year. Serena wanted a baby and though Kogberegbe wasn’t impotent, they just never made babies. Their Doctor unfortunately suggested that Kogberegbe slow things down a bit as that could be a limiting factor – but Kogberegbe couldn’t. Finally, Serena blamed him for not doing his bit in making a baby, things deteriorated until she eventually preferred spending nights with friends and relatives. She served him the divorce letter on the night of their fourth anniversary.

Kogberegbe was half Nigerian and half Ghanaian, born and schooled in Nigeria. He however went to England to study Criminology and further trained as a detecttive, where he met his wife. His mother died of cancer and his father, who was old even before he married Kogberegbe’ mother, died peacefully in his sleep at a ripe age while Kogberegbe was back in Britain. Once in a while, Kogberegbe visited his uncles and aunts in Ghana.

Kogberegbe brought out a container of half used corned beef from the fridge and three packs of noodles from a drawer. That was the fastest thing he could make and he was starving! While the food cooked, he picked up his phone and dialed Morenikeji’s phone number. As he expected, she didn’t pick up. Why were women all the same? He wondered. Not one of those he dated managed to act differently. They knew his busy lifestyle before agreeing to go out with him, still they wouldn’t understand. He met Morenikeji during a hospital investigation where a woman complained her child was swapped for a dead one after delivery. She claimed there was a mark on her baby’s arm when she delivered and the dead one, after a long battle with the Doctor to produce the dead body, she noticed the baby didn’t have the mark. Investigation proved she was simply delusional.

Morenikeji was one of the nurses in the hospital, they stuck up a personal conversation almost immediately and they’d been close ever since. It was hitting two years now, the longest since his divorce. Kogberegbe liked and respected her but he didn’t want to deceive himself about loving a woman as he had discovered it was a difficult task for him, considering his job. Morenikeji was his perfect picture of a lady, close to his ex-wife’s profile. She was tall, dark and fleshy though he wouldn’t call her fat. Most importantly, she was smart. They had a bond and though Kogberegbe would fight to keep it intact, he didn’t know to what extent he’d go. Kogberegbe poured himself the hot meal and gulped it down without bothering to assess the taste.

*****

Kogberegbe woke up feeling like he’d been through the mill. He realized he slept off on the sofa. He yawned, found himself an aspirin and fixed a hot bath. He was going to need a break soon and for the fifth time that year, he promised himself he would.

As Kogberegbe pulled on a well worn pair of jeans, he mused over his findings. The story made no sense. The first and so far, the only motive was political but Dr. Okanlawon didn’t seem to have made any extraordinary enemy that could resolve to kill his only child as a form of revenge. Or did he?

Kogberegbe suddenly wondered if Dr. Okanlawon told him everything he knew. It often happened that important information be withheld during questioning. Kogberegbe made a mental note to re-question the deceased’s father. That part of his job suck but he was used to not just facing people’s grief but digging deeper into it if need be. Another aspect of the story he couldn’t shake was the double life the girl lived. That could be an important lead he was omitting.  What if she, and not her father had made a strong enough enemy to get her killed?

He double checked his house security system and drove out of his garage. His car, like his favorite jeans, was well used.

RE- Thirty Two, Jobless, Single and Yes Frustrated (A twenty something year old’s response)

This is a response to yesterday’s post. see here

pity party

Self pity, that’s what you are soaking in. I read through your rants with my eyebrows raised as far as they could go. Yes Nigeria was bad; Nigeria is still bad and bla bla bla. But are you the only one that was born into unfavourable conditions? Are you the only one who went to school in a country where teachers and doctors go on strike every other month? Are you the only one who is unmarried and jobless at 32? Babe quit being sorry for yourself and sit up. Check within you, there must be something you can do.

So you think us twenty something year olds with human hair glued to our stupid scalps have it easy? LOL. You are quite naïve sister. What assurance do we have that we won’t get to be thirty, single and like you, dried up and bitter. Of course we don’t have such assurance so every day some of us wake up and put our backs into whatever it is that we do praying for God’s blessings on it. I know twenty something and thirty something year olds who bake cakes on Kerosene stoves, some run laundry outfits with their mother’s old washing machine, others do event decorations, some run gossip blogs and others just do whatever comes to mind. The options out there are endless. Ma’am get innovative!

 

Let’s face it, no upwardly mobile organization is going to hire an inexperienced thirty something year old. No, they all want twenty seven year olds and below. Live with that!

Also I really wish I could tell you how to look for a man but I simply don’t know. At least we don’t expect you to put yourself on some kind of parade do we? However I will like to suggest that you trash ugly and frumpy clothes if you are the type that wears such. Trust me most guys wouldn’t look at an aging lady in frocks.

 

Also, that stuff about needing a man above a job, well you might want to have a rethink. Do you honestly think the men out there want to marry a thirty plus woman with no job? You are not only getting old, you are also a liability… tsk tsk tsk ….that might just not work. I will say you get your hands going on something first and who knows in the process that man might just come. He is not going to come and meet you in your brother’s sitting room where you sit moping all day.

 

P.S Madam, stop giving your bro and his wife attitude, you are lucky you have someone to house you in the first place. Go ask the guys and ladies that sleep, bath and brush their teeth under Obalende Bridge.

I think you should also read some of the comments on your rant. They had so much to offer.

 

Thirty-Two, Jobless, Single and Yes Frustrated

 

saw

Things are just so crazy. I mean really crazy. I am old I have suddenly realized, very old. These days I wake up to find my hands pressing on my crotch, I still don’t know why that happens but it must be that my body is trying to tell me something. Probably saying ‘‘Tope it’s time you stop sleeping alone.’’

 

I am old. MKO and June 12 suddenly reminded me of that. I mean I was old enough to know all the songs that were sung in 1993, old enough to know whether June 12 1993 was a cloudy or rainy day.

 

Twenty years ago I was old enough to know people voted for Abiola en masse. I was old enough to join others in singing “I am tired of this country na so so palaver…..” Even though back then I didn’t know what it was about the country that I was tired of. I didn’t know there were places where electricity never goes off, I did not know that it was possible for anyone to eat food with meat at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I didn’t know that some people cook with cooking gas. I didn’t know there were places where water flows in pipes. So I wasn’t really tired because I didn’t know what to be tired of.

 

 

Twenty years ago and now, not much has changed except now I know what to be tired of; I know my life and that of the average Nigerian could have been better and should be better. Really, not much has changed about Nigeria and I. Granted, I am a graduate and even managed to do NYSC before crossing 30 years but hey I’m still jobless and unmarried. Twenty years ago my mother was like me aging and jobless but at least she had a man. Those were the days when everyone I knew was so poor that we knew the usefulness of sawdust more than we knew what planks were used for.

 

Sawdust. It has a particularly fresh smell. You almost want to bury your nose in it but you just know that was too dangerous a venture and so you resist the temptation.

 

How can one forget those days? We would pick sacks in the afternoon my cousins and I and head for the saw mill.  One side of its fence was directly in front of Grandma’s Kiosk. (Shop will be too grand a word) and in the afternoons the workers will climb the fence and ask for one milk tin of Gaari and one ball of Kuli Kuli Oloribi. The type of groundnut cake that was shaped as a fist and hard as a rock. It was sold for 50 kobo and you had to get a stone to break it into fragments. They would ask for this and grandma would pour the Gaari inside a white nylon and then open the wooden box with a show glass where she displayed the Kuli Oloribi and drop one of them inside the nylon. She would then take it to the men on the fence.

 

Those afternoons with empty sacks held firmly, we would walk to the front gate of the mill and walk towards the machine that cuts the planks. We were fearless despite the hideous look of the blades and the way it cut through huge Iroko trees laid horizontally on a bar. It would be cut through them in a short motion that reminded one of peeling the skin off a Banana leaving planks and saw dust flying around.

 sawing

Looking back now it seems almost like a sweet memory, it seems like something we enjoyed. Waiting for the machine to finish its movement and dropping flat on the floor, we would gather the saw dust armed with a stainless plate that was no longer in use. We would use this to scrape the dust into the sack. We would ignore the shouts of “ e kuro, machine nbo” ‘‘leave the machine is coming’’ and scrape until the machine was almost close, this was when we would then run back in a wild dash giggling happily.  We would go home usually after an hour or after an older cousin climbs the saw mill fence from the other side and yell our names.

 

Preparing a saw dust cooker was another competition we reveled in. The cooker was made by blacksmiths from whatever scrap of iron they could get. It was shaped like a bucket with a small square shaped hole at the lower end. It was usually made in various sizes. Ours was shorter, the height of a small paint bucket but wider. Bode the son of my Mom’s younger sister was adjudged to be the best in preparing this stove but we all took turns in trying anyway. Usually we would prepare it and the dust would cave in and Bode will have to repair it but still we won’t give up trying.

 

Grandma would always insist that the process was simple but till today I still don’t think so. You would have to look for the centre of the stove and place a beer bottle there, then you begin to fill the stove with sawdust avoiding the beer bottle, you would do this until it was full and the sides of the beer bottle were completely filled with saw dust, you then began to use your knuckles to push the saw dust down and as you do this add more saw dust, when you are certain the saw dust is firm enough you then carefully remove the beer bottle leaving a neat hole in the middle. This was where I always had issues, the saw dust would cave in once I remove the beer bottle, I never could do it perfectly.

 

Those days we knew Kerosene stoves existed but there was rarely any kerosene to pour inside. On the rare occasions that there was, we would have to place a small bowl inside the stove and pour the kerosene inside this before putting the burner in the small bowl. There just was never enough Kerosene to fill the container designed for the stove. Those were the days that the few fathers that had cars would park them for days in filling stations.

 

And then 1993 came and what they called HOPE 1993 came with it. Mom said there was going to be Jobs, Kerosene, Petrol and money. All that sounded so good even though I felt sad at the thought of not having to go to the saw mill. Then June 12 1993 came and Hope died a painful death. The whole country mourned. Grandma closed the doors of the house and didn’t open her Kiosk for several days after.

 

‘‘The streets are in mourning, it’s dangerous out there’’ she said. But soon we forget and life as we knew it went on. Today it’s twenty years and yet not much has changed. We no longer use saw dust to cook, we now use Gas or put correctly my brother’s wife uses gas (you know I am not married now) but I still know several houses and university hostels where people still have a small container inside their Kerosene stoves.

 

But right now it’s not even Nigeria’s problem that worries me so much, it is the thought of being unmarried at thirty two that makes me walk around with a cloud on my face. I couldn’t help wonder why, should I blame that on Nigeria or myself? I think I would rather blame Nigeria.

 

 At least if we hadn’t gone on those numerous strikes I would probably have finished University in my twenties. Perhaps if the public primary and secondary schools were good enough I would have passed WAEC and JAMB at a sitting and not having numerous re-sits because of my poor educational foundation. (To borrow my aunt’s words- the saucy one with the “I better pass you attitude” just because she managed to win one of the numerous American visa lottery programs) Perhaps I would have finished University at 21 like my friend – the one that is the daughter of one of the politicians that ruined this country (May God punish them everywhere they go). Perhaps I would have gotten a man to marry me and not have to live on my brother and his wife’s charity. (Gosh! Thinking of that really hurts).

 

They say I am moody and don’t relate as I used to. Imagine! Of course they are not thirty two years, jobless and single. Why won’t they say I am moody when I have been a buffoon to be laughing and playing like I wasn’t getting closer to my menopause each passing day? 

 

I mean what does it take to get a job these days or a man for that matter. I will definitely take a man over a job right now and yes I’m that desperate.

He doesn’t have to be tall, dark, fair or handsome. Let him sha be a man. That’s all I ask. But everything and everyone seem to conspire against girls like me. The men out there are close to forty but looking for girls less than twenty Seven years old with a six digit salary and long glittering human hair firmly glued to their stupid scalps. The few companies recruiting too insist that you have to be less than 26 years old to be eligible to apply.

What the heck! Do I have to commit suicide and leave a note before someone realizes there is a big problem here and none of it is really my fault?

 

 photo credit: google images

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