Human being

You were sitting at the back seat of a bus headed for Orile from Yaba, the tiny ear buds blaring Karashika by Falz d bad guy into your ears from your phone and the bus seemed to swerve in rhythm with the song. Because the city is Lagos, you do not allow yourself to get immersed in the music because that would be stupid folly. You nod to the music and watch the road, the driver and your fellow passengers, especially the passengers so that you don’t cry over your phone or money at the end of the trip.

Just before Barracks bus stop, your senses tingle. They are the same senses that living in Lagos all your life have honed to perfection, how to see people going about their normal activities and still know that danger looms, how to interpret the sounds of silence and how to identify tear gas from a mile away and most importantly, how not to run at the shouts of thief… Even if you are the thief.

 

The stillness of the air, the scattered clusters of people who were all focused at a particular point in the middle of the bridge. Thoughts raced in your head, an accident? KAI officers arresting a hawker or police officers arresting anyone they like. You looked up and followed their gaze and you saw him, the earbuds seemed to fall from your ears.

 

He seemed tall, he was also dark-skinned- the colour of dark chocolate. He seemed fit but not hard muscled and he was also as naked as the day he was born. He stood at the culvert with his hands covering his groin as his eyes scanned the crowd like a child looking for its mother. His hair was cut low, his skin glowed with health and you knew he was not your regular Lagos lunatic, it was his eyes that haunted you, the confusion in them struck your heart like fresh whips.

 

The ragged sounds that fill your ear now are not the hip-hop beats of Karashika but the rhythm of your own breathing as you struggle not to cry. The young woman beside you begins to tell his story and the wetness on your cheek as she speaks tells you that you have lost that battle for control.

 

His story is familiar, it is of polygamy and jealousy. Just like countless of Nollywood films you have seen and the folktales you learnt at your mother’s feet and from the many African stories collections that your father had bought for you. His mother is dead now, killed by the agony of watching a son go through temporary insanity again and again. You see, he would strip himself of every garment, walk for great distances without a stitch and suddenly- like Adam; realise that he was naked.

 

The man on your left had grunted at each point of the telling of the story, you know his type- the alpha male who had an opinion on everything and his point of view was the only one that was relevant. Unfortunately he is familiar, he is that uncle who knows more about your life’s journey than you do, that brother that thinks you less because you have two X chromosomes and a vagina. The father that wouldn’t send you to university because you are female.

 

He tells you both how the boy’s condition was a result of allowing women inherit property and your jaw fell open. He continues by telling you how in “Igboland” where women do not inherit anything, a situation like the young man’s would not occur. It is because Yorubas allow women inherit land that the women would resort to diabolical means to get their brothers’ birthright. You want to tell him that the Supreme Court has allowed Igbo women inherit their father’s lands and houses. That he probably didn’t have a bicycle tyre to leave for his children and so shouldn’t speak about inheritance. But you keep quiet and cringe because if you spoke to him, you would burst into tears and he would think he had subdued you by the force of his incomprehensible logic.
He ranted about women for the remainder of the trip, until the lady on your right came down and until you came down too, he probably ranted until he got home. As you walk home, you are thinking of two tragedies, the first being a result of forces no one can understand and the other, the failure of a man and his tribe to think of women as human beings.

PS: The events in this post happened last Wednesday. Please see THIS POST by Eclectic Tope and Indignant by Chidi

Advertisements

19 Comments

  1. Okay. I’m sorry about the case of the man. And what has been done to him is terrible, no doubt. But now, how do we fix it?
    I’ll give you some advice, the same one i gave Chidi. In your head, prepare a Pointless conversation with silly people folder. File the arguments of the second person there. It will save you a lot of agitation.
    Btw, how is Esmeralda?

    Reply

    1. That’s the problem, he can’t afford the meds- they have serious side effects too. The lady who told us about him said she wasn’t particularly close to him now but they’d grown up together, I can’t even locate him now.
      As for the folder, will try to do that but I don’t know if I can suppress my compulsion to obsess over issues.

      Reply

    1. Khaled Hosseini put it best in one of his books “Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.” Even in this situation… You’re so correct, it was foolish and insensitive.

      Reply

  2. You know yeah Otunne of Destiny! I wihh not even come and goan Lie on hiaa.. Whenever I open your Blog and see the Super F Sign ehnn.. hehehehe fear wihh just start Catching me heheheheh.. You wihh haf to Adjust that kini oh! Sometimes put a Super Unixes Sign.. Because you cannot be Oppressing us.. hehe #TeamFeminist ba?! Issorait!

    You know yeah.. **Feigns Elderly man… Adaeze my daughter.. Our People say that… Okay! Forget! My people diNNor say Anything.. I dont even know road to where my people are very well.. 😦 But its sad .. the entire narration above.. But what is more sad is how 1 wrong decision done in secret is possible of destroying a Future. May GOD help us all not to Ruin our Lives..

    About the UnCCuull that was Blabbing.. **clears Throat.. I wihh just sit here and eat Popcorn as I watch your Commenters of Africa Tear him apart.. heheheh How is my Otunne Doing?! Nne. lemme give you Expo of Destiny.. I’m looovvviiingg your Posts more and more.. The Narratives are easy to relate with.. Weldone Otunne.

    I know this is Totally ofpoint.. But if all of us were ON POINT on Blogger.. Here for dey too serious.. So Yyyaaayy!! I saw a Photo of @AdaezeWrites Lori Instagram.. chisos! She is beautiful faa! **Drops on Knees and starts Scabshing Session.. fadalawddd.. Send me a Boo Mbok 🙂 iKid.. But i just had to Appreciate her beauty.. It had me in a Trance on IG.. It is one of a kind.. Inshort 2 of a kind sevv xx

    Reply

    1. Adaeze is fine gan! If I were a guy, I would have written application letter on my blog, she’s so smart too. All I could do that day was just look at her and Ugo as they talked unto say I no smart like them 😉
      Lol @ F sign, I might take it down soon. I want to redesign my blog. How is Coventry? I miss ya sooo much.

      Reply

      1. This adaeze you guys are describing, can I pass my CV to her through you guys? Help a brother 😁😁😁😁

      2. hehehehe Mbok! Take The Super “F” sign down ehh.. and put my face there instead Biko.. 🙂 As per Model SomeboRRy nah! 🙂 and yeah.. She is realllyy Pretty! I mean i Triippp sotey.. I fall sef 🙂

        Coventry is fine eh! We thank GOD. You alright yeah?! cause I miss you too Nne.

  3. Some people level of reasoning can be off the chart on the scale off the mental instability. How could someone spew out such insensitive and erroneous words put of his medulla oblongata.
    I feel so much for the guy you described above, well he needs help plus I don’t believe it has a diabolical connotation to it and even if there he should be taken for deliverance.

    As for that chicken anus infested thing yapping away, to whom whom brain is given, sense is expected but his has been replaced with that of chicken

    Reply

  4. This write up, hmmm….wasn’t written in first person narrative and neither is it in second person narrative…am I correct?
    I feel so sad for the guy and I wish that there are some kinds of measures put in place for people like these. And as for the touchy subject of females inheriting or not inheriting in Igbo land, I shake my head when I hear of subjects like that. Well, I haff pointed out to my father, the land he should give me in the villa and he’s been giving me side-eyes.
    I have made up my mind, I will buy properties in my name for my daughter(s) so, while their father is procuring for his sons, my daughter(s) would have their inheritance too.
    How is Esmeralda? Hope she’s getting better.
    I read Duru’s comment, awwww….thank you dear, I am surprised that people see me as beautiful because I’ve never looked at myself that way but since you guys say it, then I must believe it,
    I’d better start checking my DM’s just incase I need to seize the bae for 2016.
    God bless you guys for your compliments.

    Reply

  5. Adaeze, words are like putty in your hands! You managed to pull many thought-provoking topics into a warm embrace with this well-written post.

    Words pregnant with emotions put me on that same bus to Orile. I’ve often wondered about the back stories of lunatics roaming the streets, some say drug abuse, some say curses.

    It is the ones who have nothing to leave for their own children that will pull the weight of an outdated tradition to cheat a woman of her birthright. Funny how poverty breeds “long throat” mentality.

    Reply

  6. ‘As you walk home, you are thinking of two tragedies, the first being a result of forces no one can understand and the other, the failure of a man and his tribe to think of women as human beings.’

    Brilliant summary of a nation and people in need of help.
    Lord have mercy.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s