Skip to main content

Places we call home

The sun had set earlier than every other day. Perhaps the truck driver was right.

"We now have shorter days and longer nights" He muffled out sounds from his bread filled mouth. At interval , his belly would jerk like he digested the bread as soon as he swallowed it. He often bought bread from my tray instead of that of the other boys in the group.

"Shey e soft?" He would mumble, squeezing the bread lightly between his fat thumb, index and middle finger.

His hoarse voice gave him away as a rough mean-looking man but I also pictured him sometimes as a man who would  have a family. Lots of children, maybe some who would have big sagged pants strapped to their tiny waist while they yell Daddy! Daddy! in excitement on his return back to his house at the close of the day.

My left leg raised its weak self, wobbled  in the air  then met the red earth again while my right leg dragged itself forward to meet the impatient left foot's pace. I increased my pace despite my rhythmic movement to catch up with the other boys.

"Are you coming with us tonight to watch football?" Ochuko asks

A faint smile draws up on my face. He knew my response would be negative. He does not persist to ask again.

We pass by a barbing salon. The sound speakers are blaring;

"Thirty billion for my account o"

"Its Davido's voice" Deji shrieked

"When I grow, I will be a rich footballer.

They are paid better than those yeye musicians" Ochuko says with an air of confidence.

"Foot wetin? Me I will be a musician. A superstar like Wizkid or probably Davido. Dem get money too" Deji countered.

I was exhausted from the miles we had walked hawking bread all day. I was not even sure there was something I could become. Every time I tried to I imagine myself, all I could hear Papa's thunderstorm voice yelling at me.

"You will never amount to anything. You, cripple!"

I had come to live with him ever since Maami died. He was my only known relation and father. I had seen him few times when he had come to see Maami and ask her of money.

Maami would often say, "Osahon, come and greet your father"

It was a title to me. Not a word that held any endearment. The first day I had set my eyes on him, I remember how his forehead rumpled and his lips twitched upwards in disgust on seeing me.

"Why is he like this? You never told me he was crippled?" He lashed at Maami.

Maami tried hard to hide her expression of anger but it was obvious.

"My son is not crippled. He only had polio" She defended.

Ever since that day I knew he would never see me as a worthy child. I felt sorry for being this way but as time progressed I developed hatred for him. Maami was exonerated. She did not cause it. His negligence caused it.
As we approached the junction that led to the 'face me- I slap you' compound where we lived. I bade the boys goodnight and walked home alone.

The entire house was in darkness. I picked up the lantern from under the long wooden table where he often kept his transistor radio on and lighted it. The red-orange flame from the lantern's globe suddenly lighted the one room that was our home.

It was nine o clock and he won't be back till eleven. It was his routine after he 'd have spent all my profits from the bread on playing draft. His breathe reeking with alcohol. He would stumble home and crash on the depressed foam that served as our bed like a pile of dirty clothes.

At sun-rise, I stretched like a tired puppy while rubbing my dry palms over my eyes. Papa was not in the room but I remembered catching glimpse of his drunken figure staggering towards the bed despite my sleepy state.

He sat in front of the courtyard. A dirty yellow ankara wrapper adorned with red stars  hangs loosely around his waist. A long chewing stick dangling on the left side of his mouth as he peers through some small pieces of ruffled papers.

"Nearly! Nearly! This game never falls in place" He mummured amidst sighs.
I knew what would happen next.

"Osahon! Osahon!"

"Yes papa"

"Where is the profit from yesterday sales?" His outstretched hands waiting for his request.

I dash into the room and emerge with a chunk of rolled up naira notes which I drop into his open palms. He stares at me, wet his fingers by dabbing them on his tongue and counts the notes.

"How much is here?"

"Five hundred and fourty naira"  I stammer.

" How manage?" His thunder-like voice jolting me.

"I was hungry and used some of it to buy food" My stuttering seeming to become worse.

A force overcame me as I felt him shove me off-balance. A deafening slap strikes my cheeks which send blood oozing from my dry nostrils. A hit after another hit coming from directions I will never discern.

"It was only food I ate, I swear" That was all I could scream. It was an explanation and not a good enough plea. Its been 3 years now and I just found out yesterday that pleading is meant for weak boys.
I remember him chasing me down the dusty road as he struggled to tie his wrapper firmly.

"Keep running, cripple. You will come and meet me at home" His nostalgic voice echoed in my head not just today but everyday. It was a echoing statement that had made my head its home.

I ran like a scared, humiliated rabbit to Powerline Garage then to the Mile Ten bridge.

He was wrong. He would wait forever but I never came back home.

I had found home.


Popular posts from this blog


Heads up, people! 

Walking into a shop to purchase an item does not look appealing to me anymore. This is one of my decisions for the new year being that if something is not worth it then there is no point buying it especially trying to impress another fellow. 

I have chosen to stick to buying experiences rather 'things.' One of my observation is that experiences cannot be stolen or compromised. They stick like your gum sap sticks to a tree. 

So maybe before you buy that expensive Emporio Armani wristwatch or Jimmy Choo shoes, it might be imperative to checkmate if there are experiences that same amout can buy you. Don't get me wrong, it is as clear as crystal that you need to shop for clothings, food, phones or luxury from time to time but bear in mind that your happiness can't be tied to any item. That vibe you get is nothing but a fleeting one . 

“One of the enemies of  happiness is adaptation,” Thomas Gilovich reveals. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. B…


Jim Rohn had his opinion that "If you don't like where you, change it. You are not a tree." Kingsley Agorua had looked around where he found himself and decided to change it to suit his taste through his lens.

My earliest contact with Kingsley should have been in 2012 when I was a student at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. I spotted him at an event on campus where he was taking photographs.

Little did I know that I would bump into him again at my faculty - The School of Health as a student. I was curious as to what a photographer was doing in my faculty during lecture period. Time will reveal that he was a student too who was madly in love with his camera. This was all before the advent of traditional or nearly compulsory bridal showers, baby showers and pre-wedding shoots in the Nigerian Creative Industry.

Kingsley Agorua is a cinematographer with years of experience from Oguta in Imo state. He studied Dental Technology at the Federal University of Techno…

Valentine for all times

"He just had to go", I yelled inside of me. Dele was too bossy and proud,the rest of the staff looked up to me to ensure he was fired. All I had to do was pull the manager into my seductive web and by morning, Dele would get his termination letter. Anyone who stood in my way always got burnt, I loved to revenge passionately and Dele was certainly not a sacred cow.

The subsequent monday was my birthday, I was hoping there would be a suprise cake or party for me but no soul even wished me a happy birthday. Work went on as every other normal day.
I bent to open my drawer then I saw a parcel with a note attached to it:

I boss you because I want you to be the boss
I have admired you since the day I knew you
Work has to get better but don't ever try to change you.
Lots of love

I wept like a baby, that was the only gift I got that day.
Dele was not sacked and they are now proud parents of three kids.

Don't you just love to love? #winks.
Love everyone, everyday!