Category Archives: Sabi Sabi


Damaging Director & Lanlord Wahala by Chuma Nwokolo

12 o’clock neva nack, but dat Lagos sun don reach to fry dodo already. Fausa dey sweat as she tanda for Oshodi dey wait danfo wey dey go Seven an’ Eight junction. She look her dress finish – from the ‘democracy gele’ wey she tie for head to the ‘atiku shoe’ wey she nack for leg – she come pity herself. Persin wey look her expensive fashion finish go dey jealous am, but she neva even pay one kobo ontop di new shoe wey okadaman don march doti put already. The gele wey spread wing like Arik aeroplane, na borrow she borrow am dat very morning. As for her lace blouse, e don reach eight months for her hand and Jemila don hala tire for sake of the gbese wey remain. Even the aso-ebi george wrapper wey she tie, Iya Mangoro’ papa (for sake of who dem buy am) fit don rotten kpatakpata for Atan Cemetery, but as for the gbese wey die put for that aso ebi, hmmm, to reshedul that one pass Okonjo-Iweala im power. Na for Christmas – when Fausa jam Iya Mangoro for CMS bus stop – wen she sabi say that her friend dey crase. Di fight wey dem fight that day? Na small remain make di wicked woman loose the george wrapper from Fausa’ waist for bus stop.

Fausa take hankachief clean the sweat wey wan spoil the pancake wey she rub for face.

‘My sister, you well so? How your hand dey shake like dis naa?’

Fausa look the bobo wey talk this one from head reach toe. The man’ dress doti like mechanic own – although Lagos mechanic nor dey gree persin sabi craseman again. Lagosians nor sabi mind dia own bizness sha. Wetin consign di bobo consign her hand wey dey shake, Fausa nor know, but e too early to quarrel, and she nor want bad luck for her journey dat morning. So she jus tight her face small, ‘Bo, na small malaria jare. Abi you be doctor?’

The bobo nor fit talk again.

Small time, danfo land for bus stop and Fausa jump inside, sidon. She sabi say nor bi malaria dey worry am. Na di quit notice wey her caretaker give am. Na as she go take beg her lanlord make im collect 6 months rent instead of the 12 months wey she suppose pay, naim dey give am hipatension. As she siddon for danfo na so di mechanic/ craseman just balance for her side like say dem be husband and wife! Di man jus dey smell like armpit, and on top the heat wey dey the bus, Fausa nor fit breathe again. Na her fault sha. After all, as managing director, na taxi she suppose dey enter. Fausa find the pure water wey dey her bag, come suck am one-time troway, like refugee from desert. The busybody mechanic/craseman impress, come hail am, ‘Mama ke!’

Fausa vex. Becos, weda na craseman abi na mechanic, jus becos dem jam for inside danfo, the bobo nor reach di kain persin wey Fausa suppose dey follow laugh. Jus becos water pass gari that morning and her taxi-moni come short, bobo-no-baffing tink say im and Fausa na mate. She just take quiet send am market, come comot her face from im side.

Small time, danfo reach Seven an’ Eight junction. Fausa drop, come begin find Tijani Street. Sun still dey harass Lagos like mamaput wey take vex dey fry akara, but Fausa nor care. She dey clean sweat dey waka dey find Tijani Street, becos di ting wey worse pass for Lagos na when caretaker pack your load comot for house. That disgrace fit kill persin sef, especially if that persin na managing director of Holy Fausat Import-Export International Enterprises. As she dey go, fear dey catch am small-small, becos her caretaker don warn am make she nor go lanlord house, say the lanlord go vex with am, but Fausa don tire to beg caretaker. She sabi say as she fine reach, no how wey she go prostrate beg lanlord, wey the man nor go pity am collect the six months wey dey her hand. Na Ma’Rafel, di tenant wey old pass for the compound wey give am address: ‘Ask for KiaKia Food wey dey Tijani Street junction, I hear say lanlord house na numba 198 Tijani Street.’

Small time she see KiaKia Food, where aircondition dey begin from doormouth dey blow persin. By this time hungry don dey maja Fausa who nor even see road chop that morning, but she sabi say di wahala wey she carry for headpan pass the one wey aircondition meatpie fit solve. She look the street well-well, but Governor Fashola neva put signboard for that side. She come see one beggar wey tranga for inside wheelbarrow wey dem park for junction. Two legs wey thin like toothpick poke comot from one cheap adire nika wey im wear. Even im hand sef dey like small pickin hand. Na only im face wey normal small, come round sef like persin wey dey chop beta life. Fausa look up and down, but e nor see beta persin ask. ‘Na Tijani Street be this?’

‘Madam good morning, o. How family?’

Shame come catch Fausa, as the beggar polite reach. ‘Good morning my brother, nor vex o. How your own family?’

‘Dem well, thank you.’

Abeg my brother, I dey find Tijani Street.’

‘Na im be this Madam. Go well o.’

Becos of all the beggar’ prayer and im hometraining, shame nor gree Fausa leave im side like that. Becos no matter as wahala full persin head im suppose mercy for cripple wey im condition worse pass. She come put hand for hanbag comot the ten naira las’ card wey dey im purse, come give the beggar. As she drop the moni for the man hand fear catch am sef say the man fit troway the moni, come abuse am on top, becos e don reach five years since Lasgidi Beggar Association talk am hoha say to give beggar 20 naira na insult, but di man look the moni finish, come ask Fausa weda na pure water or sweet wey she wan buy. Fausa come open eye, come see say di small kiosk wey dey for junction na bobo-wheelbarrow bin dey sell am! Fausa begin sweat more-more, im come take shame buy matches wey im nor need, with las card wey im nor suppose spend. (Na water wey hungry am pass, but shame catch am, becos na bottle-water wey fit am and managing director nor suppose buy pure water anyhow for public.) But as she waka enter Tijani Street she see as other people dey buy tings wey dem nor need, for sake of say dem dey pity bobo-wheelbarrow. In fact, if to say nor bi only her bus moni and six months rent wey remain for her hanbag she sef for buy shelltox!

By the time she reach numba 198, she don weak finish. One small Toyota Corolla park for front but she knock tire, nobody comot. She come tanda, look up, look down, come dey tink weda na the small tithe wey she chop wey make God dey block am like this. She don ready to buy pure water sef – but na sweat persin go take buy am? Small time, one houseboy wey carry yam and oyel for headpan waka reach the house. As im begin open door, Fausa greet am, ‘Na Oga Lanlord I dey find o.’

‘He went to his place of gainful employment, madam.’

Fausa (who bin go teacher-training for a good two years) look the common houseboy wey dey blow grammar for am finish, come shake head. Life wor-wor nor bi small! Fausa remember those good-old-days when she dey import hair product, when she dey jump Lagos-London aeroplane as other people dey jump Oshodi-Obalende molue, before President StepAside scatter economy with im structural crase-crase programme. She sef daze the houseboy with her own fo-ne: ‘I see, but whish time does he coming back?’

‘He will soon come back, madam, very soon.’

The nyanga houseboy enter house, lock door. Idiot wey tink say na only am sabi English. Fausa siddon for fence near the Toyota Corolla. She begin wait. Small time correct ogbono soup begin dey smell. Small time again she hear as bobo-houseboy begin dey pound yam for kitchen. The smell wire Fausa sotay the hungry wey she bin dey hungry when she pass KiaKia Food come double. She come wonder as houseboy wey dey nack grammar like oyibo dey fit cook like correct mamaput. One hour pass, then the houseboy carry small cooler comot for house, waka go.

Fausa laugh, shake head. Lagos! Weda na girlfriend sef wey houseboy dey cook for, she nor sabi! Fausa mark that one put for side. She nor dey like do tatafo, but maybe if she expose di houseboy, lanlord fit pity am, collect six months rent for her hand…

Ten minutes pass. Di houseboy come back, enter house, lock door. Fausa siddon dey wait lanlord. 12 o’clock nack. She dey wait lanlord. 1 o’clock nack. Sleep join hand put for inside hungry. Fausa close eyes small, open eye. 2 o’clock nack. Even sef, 3 o’clock nack. She begin vex again. Wish kain painful enjoyment lanlord dey enjoy for hot sun like this, wey nor dey finish. Di day Fausa go build house for Lagos, her own enjoyment nor go pass to siddon for house dey collect rent, dey chop fresh fish peppersoup.

4 o’clock nack. Around 4.30, she don dey dizzy small-small. Two or three houseboys comot from di house come waka go boys quarters. As them dey go, Fausa count them again, come see say na only one them be sef. She come see say her hungry don reach the type wey fit make responsible woman faint fall for gutter without no any booze. She see say di kain sun wey dey burn that day na di type wey dey find persin wey im go chop as sacrifice. She come caculate say e beta make she take five months’ rent beg lanlord, instead of to pay six months rent, make hungry come kill am for road.

So, she hurry go Kiakia Food. She been pass one mamaput near Seven an’ Eight junction, but nor bi after she don tie expensive democracy gele wey she go bend down dey enter mamaput. The ting wey fit managing director na nice aircondition place like Kiakia food. As she pass bobo-wheelbarrow she see say the agbero wey go push the poor man’ wheelbarrow go im under-flyover house don come, come dey tear bread for im side. The bobo-wheelbarrow greet her well-well, like say them be old friend, but Fausa nor vex, becos to greet cripple different from to overjoke with mechanic wey nor get home training. She come balance for di restaurant, order two wrap of amala with draw soup. The ogbono nor come smell like di houseboy own, but how for do? She order roundabout with kpomo and snail and den balance the whole ting with small odeku. When she finish she buy two pure water. She drink one, to gauge well-well, come put the spare part for hanbag. As she put toothpick for mouth she come remember bobo-wheelbarrow wey im leg dey like toothpick – now wey she don begin chop the one month rent moni, if to say the amala nor too cost she for just buy one takeaway give am… but as she tink that one finish, shame come catch am again, sake of say cripple wey polite like that suppose chop correct amala. After all, how many pure water im fit sell for one day? Na so she take moni wey nor be her own carry go buy amala go give bobo-wheelbarrow wey nor beg am for food.
… We go continue with round two after!

Uncle nor be Un-cle by Chika Nwakanma

My people,una sabi say English nor be our papa language. Na why e be say, we wey to speak english be like hot ogbono for mouth, we dey fit yarn, dey gist for pidgin.  As na pidgin we dey use, our own people don do some kain remix for di meaning of some kain english word dem.  Abi how we wan take yarn as dis girls don remix di meaning of uncle and ‘un-cle’?

Na as i dey waka jeje one day, naim i hear as 2 babes dey talk. As tatafo wey i be, i say make i put ear for ground. Dis na wetin dem dey yarn.
Cynthia: ‘Stella, chei! See plenty money. Wey u get all dis money from? Abi u don hammer?’

Stella: ‘omo meeen. Na so I see am o. I don hammer sha. Na my un-cle give me na’.

Cynthia: ‘babe u get luck sha. Una wen get uncle. Me no get. Na popsy I been ask for money, but im say im no get’.

Stella:’Who tell you say na uncle I ask? Abi you no hear me? I say na un-cle’.

Cynthia:’shoo! Which one come be un-cle na? Uncle and un-cle, nor be di same thing?’.
Stella: ‘dodo. Omo you dey dull o. Dey there dey sleep on top okada. Uncle nor be the same ting with un-cle’.

Cytnthia:’ But how na?’
Stella: ‘See na di same spelling but diffrent meaning.’

By dis time my tatafo antenna come increase im coverage. Becos me sef wan sabi di difference. I think say uncle na the same thing with un-cle, until dis Stella come bring remix, abi na merix?.

Stella: ‘see, uncle na your papa or mama broda. Un-cle na aristo. Those  old men wey get pot-belle with plenty money’.

Cynthia:’Okaaay. So na wetin you mean? Hmm, na wa o. Oya na, how you go take connect me na? Abeg i need to meet dis your unnn-clees.

Stella:’No lelle. You know say you be my person. E get one wey dey pipeline now. Make I give you im number. Di guy dey pay wella. No mess up o. Make you treat am well o.

Cynthia:’ ah, ah, you trust na. any how wey im want am; I full ground remain. Im fit come dey live with me for skool sef’.

Na so dem two come dey laff those winch laff. Okpe! So na aristos wey dis small girls dey call un-cle. I come dey remember say sometimes, my babe go say im wan visit im un-cle, me think say na uncle. Omo today today she must confess. And I hear say d is uncle sef dey come drop am for hostel. As I say make I change direction, I begin hear katakata. Woman sef, dem nor fit talk, close mouth. I come tune my antenna make I for hear dia latest amebo.

“Wait, wait, wait o. Stella, na my papa number be dis na. So na my papa don turn your un-cle now abi? Chei! And I ask am money im no give me. Na thunder go hammer two of una!”.

Na so Stella come answer  “Abeg, abeg, abeg, nor come spoil show for me o. Nor be person papa you sef for follow flex?”
Hmm, my people, dem say if you follow di hole wey sandfly dig for wall, you fit commot for spirit land. I nor even wait hear how dia matter end, I just waka. But make una remember say uncle nor be un-cle.

Marriage be everlasting punishment?

E get some tings wen be say if I jus hear am or see am like dis, pepper body go catch me sotay my brain fit scatter if I nor talk am.

Jus last week, I read one tory for dat oyinbo whinch-parrot  wey dey sonch us  amebo from every corner for Naija and oversea; una go sabi am na; twirra. So as correct akproko babe, I carry myself enter twirra, naim I see one kain wonderment for my twirra corridor. One amebo guy yarn say 16years old Morroco babe delete herself sake of say one judge say make she marry di bobo wen by-force am last year. Arab country wey woman dey cover body reach ear, wetin come attract bobo sotay im rape di girl? Na di first ting wey enter my mind be dat.

For my mind I dey tink am say dem suppose wallop dat nonsense and konkobilityjudge wey give dat kain sentence! If dat kain one be reverend fada, e go yarn di bobo say if im wan make Baba God forgive dis ogbonge sin, e get to do penance( na wetin Catholics dey call any prayer or runs wey persin need to do make dem forgive am im sin – Na so!) only say di everlasting penance for be  marriage.

Dis matter don show say some men wey dey make law (woman nor fit follow make dat kain law), their brain dey inside their blokkus! If true true to marry di girl na punishment  for di guy, which bad ting wey di girl do, wey dem go force am to marry, dey di same house with badosky wey rape am? Which kain Islamic law be dat? Dem wey dey stone woman kpai if she sleep with anoda man, e come be man wey do bad now, dem dey dash am wife as punishment. Thunder go fire dem!

Why dem dey do woman like dat? Who write dat kain law sef? Na dis kain ting my papa dey take ask  persin; ‘una dey craze from yansh?’ if dat judge nor get girl pikin, e must get sister or mama. Im fit do im own blood dat kain ting?

If me be badt guy for Morroco ehn, dat kain law na carry go! You go dey by-force woman as you like na. Patapata, you go yarn dem say u wan marry di babe, gbam! And dem go see you as better man; bicos say as you marry di babe so, you don cover her shame. Chei! Dis kain amebo dey make me wan break sonting for persin head.

E come remind me, one Prof like dat wey from US come house for my village. Na so im enter gbege wen village council query am ontop how im by-force one small 15years old girl wen dey sell fufu for village. See medical professor wey get big degree for politic science! Bros jus bone face like say im dey teach for class; no shakement.

Wen e reach im turn to answer query, in yarn dem say im do di ting, but nor be wicked wey im wan wicked am, na marry wey im wan marry di babe. Guys, hide face for ground! Una nor dey shame? Some men nor dey fit cross leg, warn their ting well well!

Dis Prof wey you hear so, don hammer tey tey. E hol pepper wella and as amebo dey fly enter my ear, di guy get heavy long ting! (Nor kobalize me o, nor be me talk am, na those wey don reach dia bifor). Dem say im nor dey like adult babes, sake of say those ones go wan make im settle dem (Professor aka gum!).

Dis rape matter come make me remember book wen I read, wey yarn say nor be wetin babe wear or do dey make man byforce am, sometimes na sake of say di man get small kolo  wey dey make am wan show di babe say im fit take am, and noting wen she fit do. Na di kain mind wey dey make man do sonting to prove to imself and di other persin say im get power pass am; di way wen some students dey like wicked other student for school. Abi how una see am?

Feature- Things dey happun behind we back

Wen day break like dis, I dey fear wetin I go read for Naija newspapers. If we nor read say for Minna, one 17 years old girl, Blessing, sell her two week old pikin give one Mrs John for twenty thousand naira. You fit read say one fake doctor, Dr. Collins Okafor, been work for Calabar General Hospital for only one year before dem find out say im nor be doctor at all. Di one wey enter me for bone pass na dis one: Atagha, for inside Ibesikpo for Akwa Ibom state carry im friend eight years old pikin commot for evening; im do am bad tings, den last last, im delete di poor pikin!

So today I just wan ask us: wetin happen to di times wen we be our broda keeper for dis Naija? Dat time wey you go sabi say even if you leave your pikin for house commot, bad ting nor fit do am once your neighbor dey near? Dat kain time wen we dey yarn say nor be one persin dey train pikin, na di whole village dey join hand train pikin.

Some people go still tell you say for small girl to throway baby, nor be new ting. Infact madam Grace yarn me say as dat girl, Blessing carry her pikin give Mrs John, nor be bad ting. Yes, bicos when she (Madam Grace) see her last born, di mama don throway am for inside bush. Dat time, di baby still red, so you go sabi say dem just born am. I see di baby wey she dey yarn me so, fine pikin o, she don reach one year now. So, make we nor too blame di small girl.

Meanwhile Esine, mama of two pikins provoke well-well on top dis matter. She say dem suppose arrest dat Mrs John, stone am! Say if na Mrs John get 17 years old pikin wey born pikin, whether she for gree make her daughter throway di pikin for twenty thousand naira? Well dat na better point too.

Esine still ask me say how e go dey possible for fake doctor to work inside big hospital like calabar general hospital? Na there wey she say she born her two pikins. She say how di guy take enter pay roll to collect allowee? Because like say im nor see allowee abi na salary collect, im for no continue di work. Di woman make sense o, how una reason am?

I sure say any body wey get pikin go shout di first time wey im hear say Atagha rape and kill im friend 8 years old pikin. Abeg, una tink say na ordinary? Im well so? Wetin dey sweet old man for small pikin body – eight years old pikin! Na di breast wey never commot, talk less of say e don ripe to pluck? Abi na di wetin call wey never even fit contain di man… Thunder fire am for anywhere wey im dey now! Like say e no dey enough say im do di small pikin like dat, e come kill am join! If I dey there wen dem catch, I go say make dem tie am for blokkus, drag am for ground, go far place every day, for like three months as punishment before im go face pepper for court.

Abeg my people, dis na di time to hol una pikin well well o. warn dem make dem nor collect sweet, chewing gum, biscuit, chocolate or ice-cream from any uncle or aunty (anyting fit happun), unless mama or papa dey dia, gree say make di pikin collect am.

Di pikin wey we dey yarn about now, na im friend pikin o. so make we know say even our friends, brothers, sisters, all of dem nor dey safe to leave our pikins with again. Abeg, yarn us, wetin una tink say we suppose do pass like dis, make dis kain ting nor happun again?

Subsidy- na me e pain pass

Say gofment do magic commot petrol subsidy, nor be new ting again for Naija, if you dey here since January 1, u go sabi say na different kain pepper body naim dey do our people as dem wake up hear we presido yarn say fuel don be N141 per litre. Na all of us wear dis petrol subsidy shoe, but as e be say some of us dey wear court shoe, others dey wear sandals, others sef dey nack canvas,then on top dat one, everybody get different shoe size, we nor dey sure whether e dey pain everybody true true.

As dem finally commot small of di subsidy, e come be like say na heavy mess wey Naija don mess so, naim we say make we see as e dey smell reach for Lagos. We say make we torchlight some kain people see as dem take arrange body inside dis subsidy and strike gbege.

I first jam Eka Ubong; she say na her name be dat, unless you wan call am Madam Brownson- dat na her husband name. Her last born Joshua, dey crawl for ground. Small time e go pull di mama wrapper with hand wey im don rub for dorty finish. Her first born Ubong, dey for corner, dey grind Egusi for customer inside machine.

Eka Ubong yarn me say as she come market nor be say e pay am o; she don tire to siddon for house, dey sleep, wake, chop, sleep again. Small time food nor go dey make children chop.

Since wey fuel put money, na she sabi as she dey take hol body. Even when di strike tie wrapper, she get to follow other market people commot house before 5 nack, make she fit  reach Iddo, buy market, return before seven nack.

Di strike gbege? Well, she nor like as dem close market sake of strike- na only for afternoon naim dem dey gree dem sell market for Adaranijo market- but she sabi say di strike runs na better runs sake of say if e finish, life go better for am too. She dey ready to suffer now, make tomorrow for get head small

She say since dis year enter, na only suffer head wey e carry come. ‘Bus wey we dey enter hundred naira go Oyingbo, now na beg we dey beg dem make dem collect two hundred naira. Every ting jus cost for market.

She say na di twenty-twenty naira wey she go make on top the market naim  she go take sabi how far.  Like say children don start school as dem suppose start di day wey strike shele, she nor sabi how she for take pay bus money for the three wey dey go school.

I come carry eye look her first born, Ubong, wey don grind sontin finish, di boy dey ask my name make im friend me for facebook. I wonder how many of im mama twenty twenty naira im go don fap to carry load internet for di small phone wey dey im hand.

My next bus stop na Deniyi. Deniyi be like bobo wey sabi whats up. Im be accountant wey dey do correct IT work for one auditing company for Lekki. Im yarn me say when im chook head for Falomo wen dem dey do strike gbege, nor be because say im nor fit buy fuel N141, na sake of say e don too much for dis gofment. Im ask me wether I sabi say dat na like 117% wey dem take increase petrol price? Di guy provoke; say how dem go carry we head rub for poto poto like dat, say dem nor try at all! Water; na him dey pump am for im house, light, na him sabi how im dey burn fuel every day sake of say NEPA abi na PHCN only sabi to dey send persin nonsense bill even as dem nor dey give light. Im car (di machine make brain nor be small) don hear am well well, bicos no better road for persin to drive with free mind. The one road wey for make small sense, state gofment say make we dey pay heavy toll on top am.

Deniyi yarn say to make tings set for Naija nor be say e too hard, but say some people wey feel say dem get two head don kak on top dis we country money, now dem  say make ordinary people dey suffer to swallow di rubbish upon nonsense mess wey dem with their ‘cabal’ don turn Naija to. Deniyi believe say now wey dem don nearly commot all di subsidy wey nor gree dem do correct tings for us, we go see wetin  go be scapegoat wey go chop all di blame for their wayo.

Like say na only fuel wey cost; maybe im for nor too vex. Say even now wey dem don change price go N97, to cut hair for im correct barber don add money. For house, im get to add chop money for im girlfriend. Im say small time now she go yarn say dem don put money for salon price to do hair, even for di Brazilian weave wey she dey wear for head! Di guy na original accountant, one kobo nor fit loss for im hand o.

Well, me I nor sabi how your side be, whether you hol pepper or you nor too hol pepper. Boys dey vex, babes nor dey smile. Me, I go like tink say Naija subsidy wahala take style pain every body sha. Abi e nor pain you?