“You will go to hell for wearing trouser and attachment as a woman” a hoarse voice whined from the megaphone that woke her up this morning. She put a pillow over her head and hoped to return to oblivion city while he continued to render his message of judgment and condemnation on the street below.
She could see him in her mind’s eye, he was wearing a green jacket with “The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement” printed in a reddish circle at the back. He’d be slim and wrinkled and very likely no taller than 5”4 or at least 6”2, they were rarely of average height. His shoes would have given up on holding onto life while his trousers and shirt looked like they had been around when Buhari was military president.
She turned again without losing grip of her pillow, his message continued to storm her head with malevolent intensity while she renewed her supplications to Morpheus to have mercy on her and take her on his wings. She had a tumultuous relationship with sleep- tumultuous isn’t the right word though, her body clock is set to sleep at 2am and wake up just after 10am or 11am if she was very tired. Unfortunately all her life, things had always come between her and sleep nirvana- from school to work and her current life as a mother of two. She couldn’t sleep during the day- unless she was sick and if anything cut short her sleep after 5am, she was doomed to lie awake counting sheep with futility as her reward.
Today was supposed to be the exception, a glorious day the lord had made in which she could sleep until noon, the children were on holiday and had travelled to Benin-city to spend the week with her parents, her husband was in Ghana for a course and she didn’t need to be at work because the new issue of their magazine was two days old and she didn’t need to start threatening her writers for thir stories until next week. The man outside had begun to repeat things he’d already said, recapping stupidity with confidence.
“Wrap up you idiot!” she shouted as she threw the pillow to the window. The cold floor shocked her into full alertness when she stood up from the bed in search of what to throw at his head from her balcony. She had never hated anyone with this kind of intensity, she was suddenly grateful for living in a country where getting a gun was difficult. It was too dark to make out his features from her balcony, she couldn’t even have hit his coconut head from there so she contented herself with imagining she was a sniper with night vision goggles and she would use a tranquilizer bullet to knock him out so he would leave her alone. That image made her smile, that smile lasted until she took out toothpaste from the fridge, her beloved husband had squeezed from the middle again, her longing for a gun intensified.
As she pushed the brush against her teeth in back and forth rhythm, an idea for a story formed in her head. A group of traditional worshippers with members in different states of the country decide to start morning cry, taking the gospel of the worship of the same gods their ancestors had revered. The eastern region group calling people to return to the Amadioha shrines with pictures of rams for them to kiss in reverence to the god of thunder, to offer libations to Ani before they tilled the earth for food and to observe the Eke day of rest as their people had done in the past. With their megaphones and ogenes, they would walk the streets of eastern Nigeria
The members of the southwest chapter would shout incantations in praise of Sango and tell people to come and experience Sango’s goodness and mercies, some women would sing praise songs to Yemoja while others would hit metal gongs in praise of Ogun. In her beloved Benin-city, Ayelala worshippers would drown bottles of ogogoro to get into the spirit before preaching to the heathen, converting them by force to their mode of worship. And in the North, the…
She giggled for a minute and burst into full scale, stomach shaking laughter, the foam from her toothpaste ran down her chin to leave white spots on her purple nightshirt.
“Ain’t nobody playing suicide game in the north with that kind of behaviour.” She muttered and winked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She briskly finished her ablutions, whistling Jamaica farewell as she picked up her phone to call her mother and settle yet another inevitable argument between her children. She wondered why they loved to argue so much and yet fight anyone who threatened the other.
“Hello mummy” they chorused into her left ear when they picked the call
“How are you my angels” she said.
Their words jumbled as they described the adventures they were having in the ancient city, she smiled and reached for her iPad, they were still chattering while she calmly booked a seat on the next flight to Benin-city.