Long live Nigeria

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Shame to the evil ones

Hello Good People.
Happy new Month.
Happy peaceful elections.
Congratulations to the winning parties and their representatives.
I hope that this change of power brings positivity to our dear Country and good things to us the masses.
Long live Nigeria.
Long live our leaders.
Long live you and I.
Happy violence-free elections once again!

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Sarafina 2

…inspired by true life events…

Everyone knew there was nothing Nneka could do to the girls. If she even tried to raise a finger on them, it could as well be the end of her study in the school. The school was quite strict about fighting, regardless of who started it or who was at fault; both parties would be dealt with properly.
“Anyway, take this money and here is the list of the things you are to buy for me and Benita.”
Demilade was in a rebellious state, so she did not move an inch, but just kept looking at Nneka and Benita with disgust on her face. To think that her mother had handed her over to the two girls when she first came into the school was quite hilarious. Her mother had been concerned about the big physical state of the girls in her class that she quickly materialised two guardians for her precious, small-statured daughter. Nneka and Benita had been a few notes richer that day.
“See how this one is looking at me!” Benita shouted, pointing at Demilade with her right index finger, while the left hand rested akimbo on her hip.
Omolara quickly collected the money and the list and pulled her friend’s hand as they walked to the cafeteria. She then scanned the list. It was the usual junk they bought- ice cream, snacks and more ice cream, or rather, lolly.
“Have you watched Sarafina?” Omolara asked, trying to make conversation with her angry friend.
“You are like the one-millionth person that will ask me that question. What’s the big deal about the movie?”
“I don’t know.”
Demilade gave her friend a questioning look.
“I’ve not watched it either ,” Omolara said.
They both laughed and ran to join the queue of people at the snacks’ stand. Then they noticed that the money was not complete- it wouldn’t have been enough for all the items on the list.
After arguing a bit, the two friends agreed to balance the money out of their own lunch money. Omolara believed it was a mistake and that it would not happen again.
But she was wrong. It happened again and again- every week day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since Bayo had met his distant cousin – Layi, the week before, he had been staying with them. Funny enough, he had not even recognised Layi, it was Layi who did. Poor Layi however had to go through a bit of family history and some very long time memories about when they were all kids and played in the gigantic family house in the village, for Bayo to remember. Then Bayo narrated his story to his older cousin who was more than happy to share his room with him.
He had met the very lovely family and had loved the way he was immediately accepted into the family. One would think he had been staying with them as long as possible. He liked the fact that Demilade and her siblings were pleasant kids who seemed to obey their mother’s every word. They even understood their mother’s body language- she did not need to say anything for the kids to know when to keep quiet or politely reject an offer.
He was curious however to know why they were not allowed to go out of the house to play with other kids, except once in a blue moon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Demilade’s mother wanted the best for her children in all ways. She did not like the environment they lived as it was not the kind of place she had dreamed of raising her children. But as fate had it, that was where her husband could shelter them in the meantime. So she tried not to let them mingle too much with the other kids, especially those she knew had a bad reputation.
She knew she had good children, but her aim was to make them better. Better than she was when she was their age and better in all aspects than their peers. That was anyway every mother’s dream.
She feared the most for her daughter, Demilade who seemed to be a quietly different child. She was clever and was quicker to listen than speak. This made it difficult to know what was on her mind or what she felt about an issue.
On one Saturday her mother checked in her children’s school bag and she saw a wristwatch in Demilade’s bag. Throughout that weekend the little girl did not hear anything more than how one needed to be contented with what they had and that she must return the item back to the owner first thing on Monday morning (despite her telling her mom it was Omolara’s watch and that she forgot it in her bag when they were all practising for their forthcoming inter-house sports competition).
So the next time someone forgot her mathematical set in Demilade’s bag, she hid it before entering into the house and picked it on her way to school where she kept it the next morning. Better to risk it been stolen where she kept it and save herself from the ‘contentment’ sermon.
And this was exactly one of the reasons her mother feared for the girl. She just hoped that her cleverness would not put her into big trouble one day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Demilade did not like Bayo but she did not show it. She was excellent at hiding her feelings whenever she so desired.
She was however forced to see his face almost every day- after all they lived under the same roof. She did not allow her dislike for him interfere with her love for music and this was the only thing that kept her going to her Uncle Layi’s room- but only when her uncle was around.
“Uncle see everybody is talking about one film like this…erm… maybe safarina or something…” she was saying when her uncle cut her short with his laughter.
She frowned. “What is funny now, enh?”
“It is Sarafina dear, not safarina.”
She twisted her mouth in a funny way.
Layi had just returned from school and had not even changed his clothes when Demilade barged in. He sat on the table in his room and stretched out his left leg.
“Now that you are here, make yourself useful.”
Demilade looked at the outstretched leg and twisted her face even more. She was unfortunate to be the one to untie his shoe lace and help him pull off the shoes- that was her younger brother’s favourite pastime.
While on the second shoe she said, “This suffering is too much Uncle Layi. Your shoe stinks and I’m about to faint.”
Feigning pity her uncle replied, “Oh, sorry dear. If you faint how will you be able to watch the movie I just bought?”
“Which movie?”
“Sarafina!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since Demilade saw the movie on their VHS player, she had grown even smarter. She believed that if Sarafina could have been of great help to her country and was able to fight for freedom, then she was also able to fight her bullies- not with physical weapons but intellectual ones. She therefore sufficed a plan which she told her best friend and co-victim. Omolara was not cut out for trouble. She was willing to continue running their errands and even using her money for lunch to balance up the incomplete errand money.
“What will happen the day our lunch money cannot make up for the balance Omolara?”
“I don’t know. I have never thought about it.”
“Well we are now. And I am going to do exactly as I planned. Are you with me or not?”
Omolara looked down and shut her eyes. Then she nodded.
“Good. You take Nneka while I take Benita.”
The bell was rung then.
It was break time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bayo’s luck was getting better and better. Since he insisted on getting a part time job, Demilade’s father got him one at a nearby company. He worked in the evenings as a casual worker and the benefits there was even more than the pay. Their pay was daily and it was given to them immediately after the day’s job.They were usually paid 50 Naira per day. And as at early 1999, #50 was the highest currency denomination in Nigeria.

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