Sarafina 3

Layi was a very sound student in school and this qualified him as a tutorial teacher both in school and at home. He taught his mates and juniors in school whenever he had spare time, then at home on Saturdays; he taught a boy and girl who were preparing for WAEC.
This made him have less and less time for his favourite niece- Demilade. He was seldom around in the afternoons when she got back from school and this left her no choice but to either stay alone in her room or go to her Uncle’s room and beg Bayo (if he was also around) to play her favourite songs on the gramophone for her.

After Demilade had watched Sarafina the umpteenth time, she finally gained the courage to stand up to her bullies.
On that fateful day after the bell was rung for break, she and her friend Omolara remained sitted on their wooden chairs in the class. Benita and Nneka were also in their seats at the far end of the class, talking and laughing loudly.
After a few minutes, Benita shouted, “Do we have to remind you to come and get our lunch?”
Demilade and Omolara heard quite alright but did not even flinch. They kept on with their quiet discussion.
There were other girls in the class but everyone minded their business. No one wanted trouble with the ultimate bully. Some of the girls who knew what Benita was capable of doing were already scared for Demilade and Omolara- it was going to be a hell of a day for the both of them if they played the mute game.
“See me see insult o,” Nneka started. “Or am I in the wrong class? Am I not seeing well? Are those not the two little brats that ought to be getting my lunch now?”
Demilade did not want to be too forward with her plan so she just continued talking with her friend who was visibly scared now.
The silent treatment was worse for Benita that she marched forward towards the two girls who were still seated. As she pressed forward, Omolara could see one girl at the other corner motioning for them to run. All at once Demilade stood up as soon as Benita reached them and was about to hit Omolara with her outstretched palms.
“If you dare!”
The class was silent.
Someone was definitely going to die or almost die.
Benita’s hand hung mid-air and shock mixed with surprise was splashed all over her face. The little rat just dared her. The rat just spoke ill at her. The rat just fizzled the slap that would have turned things back to the way it used to be…before their near rebel.
Nneka strolled to where Demilade stood. She looked at the little girl barely reaching Benita’s shoulders in height and smiled- a very wicked smile.
“Benita let me handle this,” she said. “Little girl, get me lunch. And today I am not giving you ANY money.”
Demilade pulled her friend up by her hand and said, not facing anyone in particular, “You get your lunch by yourself.”
There was a collective gasp that resounded from everyone in the classroom, including Omolara who immediately took two steps backward while pulling Demilade along.
Demilade was scared for only one thing as a result of her rebel and that was the probability that the bigger girls could call for a fight on the school field. She feared mostly for her scared friend whose mother was a million times the disciplinarian that her own mother was. Suspension from school for two weeks was the penalty for been caught fighting and it was too certain that those two weeks would be filled with regrets and wishes for Demilade.
As if on cue, Benita who was bedazzled by the whole act began jumping and behaving weird as she tapped the closest locker beside her.
“If they born you well, you this rat, come and meet me on the field”, she yelled. Her eyes were blazing red and spit flew out of her mouth with each word she barked.
Omolara looked at her friend with very scared eyes. This was not good at all. It was what they had both hoped would not happen, but here it was. She quickly scanned her head for a way to divert Benita’s mind from the fight. She did not want to be suspended.
Then a thought popped into her head.
“Instead of fighting, let us run.”
Benita was taken aback more by the person who spoke than by the statement. “So you can talk? I thought this one was the boss,” she said, pointing at Demilade.
Two weeks before, when all the girls in the school were divided into four different houses for their forthcoming inter-house sports competition, Benita and Omolara were put in the same house- blue house while Demilade was in red house and Nneka was in yellow house. Omolara had been known to be small but swift, so she decided to join the athlete team. Because Benita thought winning in athletics was about how big one was, she also joined.
Now, Omolara was giving Benita the chance to show her running skills and she took the bait.


Demilade hurried into the house that afternoon with the hope of meeting her uncle in his room. She wanted to tell him what happened at school; how Omolara had won the race because Benita was over- confident and stupid enough to give her a few seconds head start. The shame that befell the loser was unexplainable, especially because there were so many girls that had moved to the field to watch and because before she reached the finish line, Benita fell. The fall crowned her defeat, for she had to borrow some other girl’s cardigan to cover her white-turned-brown school shirt.
The excited girl flung her bag on the floor and sped to her uncle’s room. The door was wide open and the curtain was raised to hang on the door. She looked inside and was disappointed as she saw only Bayo in there, trying to read.
“Ah, how are you, Demi?”
“Good afternoon Uncle Bayo. What of Uncle Layi?” She remained at the entrance of the room.
“School,” was all Bayo said and continued reading.
Downcast, Demilade began to walk away from the room.
“When NEPA brings light you can come let me play your songs for you. You hear? So you will not be bored.”
She did not respond. She did not like it when she had to go listen to her songs with only Bayo in the room. Though out of boredom and having no choice she had gone about three times in the past week, since it seemed Layi was not going to be around except at nights and her mom was not going to let her go.
As soon as she stepped into her room, she put off her uniform and changed into the gown she had favourited ever since she watched Sarafina- it was similar to the actress’ own.
She quickly did her homework.
“Up NEPA!” came different voices from different directions.
The anthem was raised. Electricity had been restored.
Demilade ignored that fact and picked her English textbook. She read the passage they had done in class and tried to figure out why she had missed two out of the ten questions asked.
After a while she could not take it anymore. She felt like crying. The boredom was much, she found out she missed the two questions because of a mere misunderstanding and she wished her uncle or dad was around so she could talk to them.
She marched straight to her uncle’s room. She entered.
Bayo was already dozing. She tapped him.
“Please play Reincarnation for me.”
Bayo stood up and operated the gramophone and soon enough, the song started playing.
The girl who was previously close to tears let a few drops slide down her cheek. She quickly wiped them off. But not fast enough, because Bayo saw it.
“What is wrong?”
He asked her a few more times and at a point she stopped answering.
Then he said, “Come and sit on the bed so that you will be more comfortable.”
Like a zombie she went and sat at the far end of the bed. She rested her back on the wall and closed her eyes, drowning in the melody of the music.
“How old are you?”
She opened her eyes and nearly jumped out of her skin. She did not know how long she had stayed in that position, lost in herself that she had not heard Bayo move to sit beside her.
“How old are you?” he repeated.
She was angry. “Why are you asking me that kind of question?”
Bayo laughed. “You and your big mouth. What’s the big deal about the question?”
Demilade was not in the mood for chit chat so she made to stand up from the bed. He pulled her back down.
“You this small girl. How come you are already growing breasts?”
She was shocked. But even in her shock she knew better than to abuse him or do anything that would make him angry at that moment.
“I’m ten years old.”
“Really? Let me see your breast? Is it very big? Do you wear a bra yet?”
Her head was spinning. He still held her in a sitting position and …and the music was still playing.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tobiju
    May 07, 2014 @ 22:21:35

    wat???!!!! Wats apening??? Bayo ooooo



  2. Akinmejiwa
    May 08, 2014 @ 11:15:29

    The idle hand tho…How old are?
    Do u wear a bra yet? *questions for the gods*



  3. Temitayo
    May 09, 2014 @ 09:33:59

    Haaa!!! Brother Bayo! Didn’t see that coming… interesting read.



Your comments count

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

You are commenting using your 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

%d bloggers like this: