Friday, March 28, 2008

Today is Friday

Running Time: 57 minutes
Genre: Documentary
On September 1, 2004, heavily armed extremists stormed into a school in Beslan, Russia. For three days, more than a thousand children and adults were held hostage in a sweltering gymnasium, denied food and water, and forced to keep their hands over their heads. The harrowing siege ended in violence that killed more than 350 people--half of them children. Through chilling footage and heartbreaking interviews with more than a dozen young survivors, this documentary explores the devastating aftermath of one of recent history's most heinous atrocities. (TV14) (AC,AL,V)

Today is Friday. And it is a day when I am supposed to spend my time tuning in to Holy Spirit and spending my day either doing a food fast or a mental one. I did neither. I mostly complained and procrastinated about my life. I made a to-do list, of which I don't think I have done even one thing. I day dreamed about the perfect life that I have been praying for for years. I skipped class and decided to sleep the afternoon away: I told myself that I had had a difficult week.

Then I watched a documentary on the CHILDREN OF BESLAN, the synopsis of which is posted above. I wept as listened to the children recount their experiences of that horrific day, their small voices desperately clinging to an innocence that will never be theirs to have again. I watched the chilling footage of mangled limbs and bloodied, naked children---- not only had the terrorists taken over their school, they had ordered the children stripped of what little clothing covered their tiny bodies.

I listened as one child described hesitantly how he saw his mother die. I saw the pictures of another girl, probably ten years of age but with the limbs of a six year old attempt to climb back into a burning classroom in search of her mother after the explosion from the terrorists' grenades flung her outside the building.

I listened as these children described what it felt like to thirst so much that they were forced to drink their own urine to make it through the three day siege. One child whose mother died has a little shrine of sorts for her at home where her picture is placed and in front of which a bar of chocolate is placed--her favourite--and a cup of water, so she will not thirst in the afterlife; as that had been her last desire before she was killed.

I generally do not comment on acts of hatred. I see it in some way as giving attention to those who sought it by commiting those acts in the first place. But I have to constantly wonder how humans can cross that line that seperates us from the rabid animal? I say rabid animal because in the animal kingdom, animals don't prey on each other for fun. They kill for food and to defend themselves. We are the only species of living things that would deliberately seek to cause one of our own pain. And the sick part of it is that we can in most cases justify our actions.

Some will use religion as their reason. Some will use monetary and material gain. Some will say that it is to right wrong commited against their person. Some will say that it is because those on the receiving end of their brutality were deserving of the cruelty.

I had prepared a post to share my exhaustion, frustration and confusion at some of the things going on in my life that I would so much prefer were not going the way that they are. At this moment right now, all that seems insignificant.

I might just be emotional. I might just be tired. Or I might even simply be equating the insignificance of my issues with the horror and pain that the Beslans experienced. Who knows?
What I do know is that, I am going to lie down and take a nap. Then I will wake later to have something to eat and do some of the work that I know I have to do.

And before I drift off, I will place my attention on my inner eye and think of all the great things that I do have going for me. Then I will speak to my spiritual guide and invite him to meet me in my dreams and speak with me. Because I simply want to say thank you.

Thank you for the fact that I have a bed that is warm. It is in a room of my own. It is filled with books, both educational and recreational that fill my days and nights with comfort. There is music in my room and a window that overlooks a generic looking parking lot. I make fun of that parking lot but today I am glad it is the way it is; not filled with dead bodies, screams of agony and fanatical individuals threatening to kill me or anyone else.

Thank you for my family that has sacrificed so much and though we are seperated by miles and a current lack of money to rectify that, we are there for each other.

Thank you for my life because it is filled with experience, opportunities and hope. And all those are cushioned by prayer.

Thank you simply that it is beacause of God's love that I exist.

And thank you that even though those terrorists tried very hard and some lost their lives, there were some that survived not just to tell their tale but to remind the rest of us to simply look at our lives and give thanks.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

i mean we have to be good for something....

There is this blogger I am looking for. She writes about Nigerian films and film productions. Was on her blog a while back and cannot remember her name or find where I wrote down the link...

Does anyone know a blogger by that description?

update: i found her oooooooooooooooooooo (abi it is a 'him' sef....)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sister mine

I had not seen her in a long while. That was to be expected. Her flight from town had been sudden but not secret. It had been paramount that she leave when she did and any delays at that point would have spelled disaster.

She wore her hair long now. I wondered if it was really hers. She had always had short hair, cut low like a mini afro. Framing her face, her hair glowed in the light of the room like it would if you were looking through a glass of coca cola. It elongated her jaw. It made her look very feminine. Her beauty was almost a shock not because she had been particularly unpleasant to look at before but because it came with a calmness and elegance that I had never seen or possibly that I had not been able to discern at eighteen.

"I cannot believe you are getting married." she laughed, her voice singing out to me. My stomach tightened. She saw my discomfort and chuckled reaching for her drink.

"Don't worry Lola, you don't have to invite me. I will never cause you any embarassment."

Those words, simple and unembellished cut through me like a sharp knife and it was a few seconds before the pain began to spiral out. I looked away as I felt my eyes fill with tears.

"Lola, please don't." her voice had changed. It was not just that the laughter was gone and her tone held a tinge of cold warning. I had just never heard her sound like that. Is this what nine years could do? Suddenly I was very exhausted. I could not simply sit there and make small talk, skirting around the issues whilst we endured for as long as we could in each other's public company and then flee to the familiarity of my world.

"I would be glad if you can come to the wedding." I told her simply.

Her eyes went cold. "I do not need your sympathy." she spat her words at me like my invitation was decorated with feaces. I ignored her. There was no going back.

"It would be great if I can have all my sisters with me on my wedding day."

A slow smile spread across her face. It was not a good one. It was mocking and unkind. I deserved it.
"So, now I am your sister? Pray tell, how could that be? I thought I ceased to be that nine years ago, you know, when the old man forbade every single one of you contact with me."

I winced, " Sis Dupe, can we not move past that? I know what we did was not right but I am here now, trying to make things right."

She shook her head, "you cannot make right by yourself a decision that took a group to make wrong." she sat forward and I saw that her eyes were misty and filled with pain, "do you know what that felt like, fleeing my country like a thief in the night with nothing to my name but citizenship and yet no one not even mom bothered?" she gave me a once over with her eyes and it felt like I had been wiped down with a rag.

This was not going to be easy. I did not expect it to be. We had all turned our backs on her. All she had asked was a chance to be herself. It was because she loved us, she had said at the time, that she wanted to make sure that she was not living a lie and that we knew who she was and what she was doing. Of all the things that I could have conjurred, no where did it occur to me that my older sister could have been involved in a torrid affair with another woman. My mother fainted when the words left Dupe's mouth and my father did not speak for three days. When he would utter sounds next, it was to publicly declare his disownment. No one was to have anything to do with Dupe ever again.

Things had begun to escalate even before she came clean. Sandra, with whom Dupe had been carrying on was married to an older man who was a colonel in the Nigerian army. Only God knows how he found out. All we know is that somehow there was struggle, a gun and a dead man. Sandra fled and Dupe her lover, receiving no sanctuary from her family even though she had not been present or involved with the shooting, fled with her. The man's family still came calling and made sure the whole world knew that one of Chief Kayode's daughters was involved in "unnatural practices". It had been a little over nine years and still the whispers had not died down.

And I was about to resurrect them. No one in the family knew that I had actively sought her out and that I had come with the sole purpose of inviting her and Sandra to the wedding. It was going to be held in London anyway and everyone was coming over. I wanted my family there, complete and unabridged.

"She is my sister and I want her there." I had told Ima.
"Do you also want the ensuing drama of that decision?" he had asked. He did not like the idea.
I was just tired. How do I tell my children about all their aunties and uncles and leave out Dupe?

Dupe and her love for mangoes. Dupe and her off key serenading. Dupe and her piano playing. Dupe and her sarcasm. Dupe who would lie just as our eldest sister, Subi had instructed about who broke the coffee table and then under further cross examination also inform on the culprit. Dupe who had written two books that had made the best seller lists and got her a literary award. Dupe who was a gay rights activist. Dupe who had survived attempts on her life for her work. Dupe who was a lawyer and had travelled to every single continent. Dupe who was so funny that she always escaped dadddy's spanking by giving her own side of the story in such a way that the man could not hold back his laughter. Dupe who braided my hair and my scalp erupted in boils. Dupe who tried to teach herself to drive and killed the cashew trees in the compound. Dupe who would sit in silence for hours and then rush off to pen her thoughts. Dupe who could not dance to save her life. Dupe who would hug me even though I pretended not to like it. Dupe, my big sister.

There was so much that was her that that by which she was now known was such an insignificant part. She was a good person. I loved her. She was my sister.

"Deepee sis" I called the name I had used for years because in the beginning that was what my toddler lips could form, "I could not come to you then because I was very young and confused. I am about to start my life on my own terms and it would make me proud if you can please come and celebrate the beginning with me."

She looked at me. I held her gaze. And then she laughed.
"Men, daddy is going to piiiiiiiiiiiiissssssed."

Soul exists because God loves it.
-The Shariyat-ki-Sugmad bk 1.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I see it in their eyes when they look at me. The silent judgement. The mockery behind their greetings. The snickers barely masked in their laughter. I don't care. It is the hypocrisy of their world. It is the hyporcrisy of our world that allows them to come to me when they need me or my connections and yet turn around and speak out of the side of their mouths down at me and who I am.

Who am I? I am not sure anymore. I have not been too sure for quite a while. I mean, I have not changed that much. I am still short. I am still dark. My hair still cannot be tied in a bun and my tummy is not quite as flat as I desire it to be. I still like the same foods and to most extents, dream the same dreams. Then what has changed? How can my answer be "all and nothing"? Odd, I say. Most odd.

Like this one chattering away at my side. He has been at my side for twenty minutes, bending my air in his borrowed foreign accent to- I can only imagine- impress upon me his breeding so that I can impress upon him that I will do as he desires. I don't even know what he is talking about. And I would so love to leave. What he has had to drink oozes out and assaults my senses. It is definitely not wine. Probably beer. Upperclass indeed. I feign a sighting, make a wave at the "person" and move briskly away. Would the night ever end?

"How was the party?" he would ask me later as I pour him his brandy, his voice as warm and as thick as the liquid he is about to indulge in. I would hand him his drink without an answer and he would take it, both of us careful in the way we lightly allow our finger tips to touch. In everything we do we are careful. Careful. Careful. Careful.

It's not that no one must know. They already do. It's just that for the two of us, the parts we play are new to us and it is as if we are discovering the roles as we go along. He and I. He and I. How did we become "he and I"? I am not even sure. If I ask him too, I doubt he can say. But that we have become and the moment we crossed that threshold, there was no going back.

Not that I want to. I like it as it is. No, I love it. I love it. I love this new house on the Lagos waterfront, raised on a raft foundation and fortified against the water's reclaim of the land. I love my new car. I love the trips I take and the places I go. I love the fact that I no longer have to rise in haste in the morning rushing to make my living amongst the surviving horde that is the populace of our metropolis. Now, if I don't want to, I don't awake before ten am. Spoiled, I have become. And then above all, I love him and he loves me.

I mean, what else am I to do? I have really no where to go. No one to talk to. Nothing major to do. My father has decreed that none of his name shall have anything to do with me. And sadly, they have all agreed. Even mother. Bah! That woman.
I wonder what I have done that is so bad. Why is he such a hypocrite. I am the same age as her, the one that he keeps in a house in Abeokuta. Is it not funny how it is acceptable for him to do to another person's daughter what he cannot allow for his.

And he should not be upset. Unlike him and her, he and I are married. Yes, they were once best friends. Not anymore. The birth of "he and I" destroyed all that. I wonder what will happen in six months when there is another birth.

*sigh* here comes beer breath. Will this night ever end?

Monday, March 17, 2008

As the world turns...

Mr. O, I have reviewed your application and I must say that I am very impressed.

Thank you ma. It's the grace of God that we have been doing this this long

I would surely hope so. I am sure you know that I have taken my time bringing you in for an interview. It's not about me being difficult. Alot is riding on this project and I need to know that whoever is given this portion will execute as demanded.

Ah, madam, that is all we are asking for, a chance to show you that we can do it. Give us even a small portion as a test and see for yourself. This is what we do. This is what we know how to do.

I already have.

I am sorry, ma, I don't follow...

Don't worry. I have already put you through a test and you did okay. This "ma, ma" issue, I would like to stop. I am younger than you are. You can call me Ms E if it helps but "madam" can be reserved for my mother.

As you wish ma...sorry. It is all out of respect.

Thank you very much.

Ah, it is nothing ma....sorry Ms E

*smiling and shaking head* I see it is going to take you a while to get it. Anyways, there is one little thing that I want to ask your help. You being older, I need to employ your wisdom.

Ah, it is God that is the wise one. But if it is anything that is within my power, ma ,I will do it.

Thank you. I just need your advice. I have asked other people too but I also got the nudge to ask you. After all, if you wish to work with me, we should be able to communicate.

Yes *nodding* I agree

See, there is this situation that I have found myself in. And it is not a pleasant one at all

God forbid ma, what is it?

To this u have to apply your utmost discretion.

Of course, or course....

Now, what do I do? One of the girls working here has come to tell me that one of our vendors that is applying for the show sexually assaulted her in the past and now, after such a horrible experience, she has to come here and face the person. Now, this man has the best credentials ofthe group and yet there is this. ehn? sir, what do you say?

Haba! I say, how do you know she is telling the truth?

Thank you! I knew you have a brilliance to you

Thank you

No, no, it is true. Yes, I asked myself that too. So I sent a young girl to him to ask for a job as this employee of mine said happened and low and behold, this man told her that the only way she can get a job with him is if she plays ball.

As per?

Ah-aaaah, Mr.O, what else can a man be asking for?

Aaah! That is bad o.

Yes o. That is my dilema because based on his qualifications and all, I know he and his outfit will do the job like we want but how can I allow such a man like that near my person?

I think you should not. I mean, you are surrounded by so many young girls that you have to keep safe. These are people's daughters. I have two of my own.

E so be ee...and since then, I have met about three girls who have said the same thing and one who used to work for him and said that he used to try and corner her in the office when others were not around.



This is serious o. I will say that you call him and explain your findings so that he can know that his wrong ways have caught up with him.

Thank you. I have decided that as well. *reaching for the phone* please excuse me, let me quickly set up a meeting.

Oh, please no problem

*into the phone* Mary, please come in with Tega. *to the man* I know you said earlier that you would not have anything, are you sure?

Oh no, no, ma, I am fine.

No problem. well, now that I have that sorted out, do you have your quote ready for me to review?

Oh yes, *reaching into bag and pulling out a folder* here it is...and we even introduced a discount, being our first time working with you and all.

oh, thanks alot. let me just go through the logistics of it.

(door opens and two women walk in)
Mary: Good afternoon sir. Ms E?


Ms E: Mr. O, do you recognise either of these ladies?

I see, so between yesterday and today you have forgotten the "sweet yellow girl"? *pointing at Tega*

I don't know what you are talking about. I don't understand

Oh, I see *pulling out a tape recorder and pressing play. the man's face contorts as his voice fills the room* so you see, I did put you through a test. and you did as I expected.

Ma, ma...


Ah, ah, aaaaaah, it was a set up.

was it? was it a set up when it was my time?

your time? i never....

How will you remember? Fool. You need to really have God in your life. You forget when you do the shit you do that one day, the roles might be reversed. You have been doing this job for the ten, fifteen years since we met and yet you have not risen above where I last met you. Now, look at you now, I have in front of me the documents to help you cross that boundary and you don't even remember how when you had the same power in your hands to help me, you gave me the option of sleeping with you. Thank God, I walked away so that now I can show you this aso inule rada rada, ikeji aja, that I did it all with his grace despite the devil's instruments like yourself placed in my path.


I will slap you o. I am going to make sure that you never do business in this town again because as long as you do business, you will have money and you will think u are above the law


I see you cannot even argue. You have messed yourself up so much that you don't even remember. tsk tsk tsk. oya, tell me what do I do? One call and not only will this door be closed but every door in this country and best believe me, I can do it. Mr O, what do you want me to do ?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thanks to all who were concerned...Mobolowowon

I have survived.....We thank God.

Whilst i dust my brain functions and come up with my posts for the week, here are some pictures from the Fashion Show at my school....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Countdown to Pin up

5.31 pm. Wednesday,March 12th.
Total hours of sleep since Friday: seven.
Acne levels: six and counting. seven is warming up
Waist line: Now a soda line
Wardrobe: hun?
Hair: hun?
Diet: in what category does tostitos fall into?

Project checklist
Site Plan: 0%
Floor plans : 50%
Sections: 30%
Full rendered elevations: 0%
Partial elevations on special features: 0%
Structural plans: 0%
Section through Auditorium: 0%
Model: hun?
Pin up date: Friday, March 14th @ 1.00pm

Stay tuned for updates....

3.56 am, Thursday March 14th
Total hours of sleep: 0
acne levels: those bagas can go and die for all I care...
Waist line: now a "Dole Pineapple slices/ Chinese fried rice and croaker fish line
Wardrobe: same as the one of yesterday
Hair: still there
diet: answered above

Project Checklist
Site Plan: 0%
Floor plans: 75%
Sections: 45%
Elevations: 0%
structural plans: 0%
section through auditorium:0%
Boards completed: 1 of 4
Total: 45% complete
Starting plans of auditorium do you orient the stupid thing sef? to the water or not?
let me peep at my friend's and just copy his design. he has many, he can spare one.


Total hrs of sleep: 5. ( bad idea. It was supposed to be 2 and I just went over board and now i am do panicked, I cannot see straight)

Acne levels: n/a

waist line: halal chicken and fajita bread line

wardrobe: t-shirt and trouser. have showered.

hair: hun?

diet: answered above


Site plan: 40 %

Floor plans: 90%

Sections: something has gone wrong and I have to fix it. Don't panic. don't panic. I will still say 45%. May the Blessings Be

Elevations: 40%

structural plans: 0%

section through auditorium: 30%

Model: n/a. I am not building a model. will go with a 3d rendering, touched up by hand.

Total: 65%

Sunday, March 09, 2008

My morning and Nayo arrives.....

I jumped up from bed and realised I had overslept my two hour time limit by forty five minutes. Disoriented and hazy, I showered, got dressed and realised as I made my way hastily to the studio that the reason I was limping was because I had put on the legs of two different boots. Though both were black, one was heeled and the other was least unlike yesterday, I remembered to put on a bra. Thank God my girls are still standing proud.

The life of an architecture student....
And the much aniticipated album arrives:

The Album 'African Girl' will be available everywhere in the UK -**MARCH 10, 2008** Its can be pre-ordered at any of the following links below.

In addition, we'll be hosting a live **Secret Village Show** atthe Soho Revue Bar in London - March 13th to celebrate the album release.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's been a while

It's been a while since the heat of skin warms me through my sleep

It's been a while since the sound of life matches mine in beat

It's been a while since my thighs have throbbed from rhythms

That only the dance of want can bring

It's been a while since the length of my spine
Has curved an odd little "C"
It's been a while since a hand has cupped the essence of me
It's been a while since there has been a "you and me"

When you are ready, when it's time

Come to me , in my arms recline

Whisper my name, in that tone of yours

That resembles liqour poured

Move with me

any pace

It's our time

there's no race

Come to me and bring to an end

This lengthy drought

Water where it is needed

Command my garden to bloom

Take it how you want it

Shatter my earth, make it move

*sigh* These musings of mine

Is what you get when it's been a while

When it's been a while since

soft screams have escaped these lips......

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Inspired by Dicken's Oliver Twist and edited....

Chapter 2
"I am very sorry for the way I spoke to you. It was just..." Danumego's voice trailed off, his embrassment merging with mortification as he attempted to profer his apologies. Mojere was not about to make it easy for him. She just stared, waiting for him to finish his sentence. Amazed at how little he felt, even though he towered at least a foot and a half over her, he cleared his throat and forged ahead.

"Mrs. Sulaiman, I am sorry for my behaviour. If you can find it in your heart to excuse it and forgive. It was not a good day and then you brought him in and...I am sorry."

Mojere gave him five full seconds of silence before sheer exhaustion won and she sighed.

"One, it is Ms Sulaiman. Secondly, I will suggest that you always ask before you jump to conclusions. I would never do that to a any human being."

He nodded, his bald head shining under the flourescent light.

"Please forgive. I am not that ill mannered an individual."

Mojere raised an eyebrow,

"So you are somewhat ill mannered?"

He shrugged and gave her a full smile, one that she had noticed all the females doing sommersaults over. It did not affect her...that much.

He sobered and reached up to rub his eyes. She noticed that he was wearing the same shirt as he had been the day before and that his eyes, though cheerful were extremely tired.

"He is ready for discharge. Do you know what you are going to do?"

Mojere shook her head wearily,

"No, but he is coming home with me. His parents are dead, that much I know and I don't know about his relatives because when I tried to ask him, he went into fits. Whether that was because he was sick or because he was panicked, I don't know. He will come home with me. I can't go back on him now."

Danumego regarded the tiny woman before him and wondered how he could have been so mistaken in his initial appraisal of her. When he had been called on the intercom to come down to emergency, he had burst through the door to be greeted by two bloodied women and a child, the latter of which lay unmoving on the bed. The stench of gasoline had been almost unbearable.

"Market...little boy...I carried car..." the shorter and more worried of the two women babbled out to him incoherently.

He assumed that she had hit him with a car. When he reached the boy, he realised that it was not a car that had done the boy in. He had been beaten and judging by the garrish scars on his back and legs, it was not the first time. In fact, the last time he had seen skin so marred with keloids had been on a poorly treated burn victim.

He had noticed when he sighted the women that underneath the blood and petrol, they were attired in clothing that was not cheap. The ring on the finger of the one who had spoken gleamed. He guessed that he knew who they were. Wealthy women who most likely in a fit of rage had beaten up their male servant.

"Is he going to be okay?" The shorter woman asked. Danumego was disgusted.

"Get out!" he spat.

'Excuse me?..." she began, stunned.

"I said get out." he continued, without looking up. "Let me see if I can save this boy for you to kill another day. Or would you like to finish him up right now and save us some time?"

That had been a wrong assumption to make. He did not find out the details until later when they had miraculously found blood and intravenous medicine to keep the boy hanging on by a thread for his life. By evening, an infection had set in and Danumego was not sure he would make it to the next morning, but he did. And the next one and the next.

Three days later, when the boy was stable, Danumego found himself in the director's office. There in the presence if his boss, Mojere Sulaiman stripped him naked verbally and walked out.

"What were you thinking?" Director Nnamani asked. "Do you not know who she is?"

Danumego did not. He had not been in the country long. He knew almost no one.

"Be careful, There are some people we do not need to be worried about."

"Yes dad." he replied before he left.

He had been trying to apologise for the past six weeks.

Till he conered her in the parking lot.

"It cannot be easy for you. You have tried alot. I have not seen your friend for a while." he continued referring to Labake who had accompanied her in the beginning when Oliver was first brought in to the hospital.

Mojere avoided his eyes. She did not know how to tell him that as she was standing there before him , the grey skies threatening a heavy july rain moving swiftly past above their heads, that she was alone in the world. Alone with her decisions considering Oliver. She and Labake had not spoken since the day of their heated and bitter exchange over her involvement with Oliver.

Oliver needed clothes. When she brought him in to the hospital, all she had had to cover his small frame had been Labake's scarf that she had snatched off her friend's shoulders and the jacket of her suit. It had been a week and a half, Oliver seemed destined to beat death a second time and was hanging on pathetically to his existence. There were no men's clothing for her to borrow for him at the house.

Thus, she dragged her ever available friend and companion shopping. Oliver needed clothes and she was going to buy some for the boy. Labake was no longer amused by the play that Mojere was enacting starring the vagrant street child.

"Mojere, what on earth do you think you are doing?" Mojere winced. Labake's voice, cutting above the hum of the store's air conditioning and background Celine Dion music was loud and grating on her nerves.

"What does it look like I am doing?" she bit back before turning to the sales girl, "do you not have something smaller? He is a very tiny boy." She turned back to her friend, lifting the shirt in her hand. "Or Labs, what do you think?"

Labake eyed both her friend and the grey and blue t-shirt. "What do I think? What do I think? Are you listening at all to what I think? I have been asking you what you think you are doing; do you intend to bring him to come and live with you? Where do you know that he is from? Why did he run away from home? Did you even bother to ask? Mojere...Mojere..."

Mojere had moved on to the next rack, completely ignoring her friend.

"Mojere I am talking to you." Labake's voice held a warning. Mojere was suddenly fed up.

"Labake, what do you want me to do?"

"What you should have done from the very beginning. His case belongs with the government. You should have handed over to the police from the very beginning." Labake was indignant, her nostrils flaring with the strength of her emotions. She had since ignored the fact that they were in public and was oblivious to the fact that not only the sales girl but the six other customers in the store were eavesdropping unabashedly on her conversation with Mojere. Infact, one man who had accompanied his girl friend had since discarded his look of misery at being dragged from store to store and was staring unflinchingly at the two women, his ears wide and receiving.

"Is it the same police that almost did not show up before Oliver was almost burnt alive?..."

"Oliver..."Labake hissed, "Oliver, you are calling him Oliver? Hey-ey, you are getting attached to that area boy."

Mojere was suddenly disgusted. Labake of all people was not someone who ought to say such things as her education had been paid for by her mother's trading at the bus park. And yet, just because she had become the mistress/third wife to a wealthy politician chief, all who did not exist in her economic circle where beneath her. Mojere fixed her friend with her legendary icy stare.

"Labake, I asked you here because you have twin boys and so you could help me figure out what a boy ought to have. If you don't want to help me out, you can go back to your shop and do whatever you were doing that area boys were not involved in. I have alot of things I need to get before I go to the hospital."

Labake shook her head as if something was very sad. "The boy is not your son. And he never will be."

The pain that sliced through Mojere was such that a gasp escaped her mouth without her knowledge. Infact, it was so heavy that she clutched at her side as if Labake's words had become a knife that had gone through her side. Labake sensing she had gone too far, opened her mouth to speak.

"If it had been anyone else but you Labake, I would have slapped them for what you just said. No,he is not my son. So, if I do not go and open my legs for the first potbellied randy goat that thows money at me and carry his seed, I do not know how to be a mother? Abi, iru osi oro wo lo n jade lenu e, ehn Labake? (What kind of nonsense are you saying?")

Labake was taken aback. "Excuse me...?"

Mojere sneered, "Excuse you? you are excused. Please leave me. Yes, I have found this area boy and until I can find someone else who can do a better job, I will take care of him so that I am not driving down one day and see that people like you have set fire to a little boy of eleven!"

'Mojere! Are you crazy? What has gotten into you?"

Mojere hissed, "I don't know o. I don't know. Maybe when he gets better, I will just carry him and dump him at the exact place I found him and pray that this time, the mango seller will not chase after him when he steals because he is hungry. You disgust me!"

Labake's eyes widened. "I disgust you? Hey-ey, Mojere, are you listening to yourself?"

"Not really," Mojere replied, "but I am sick and tired of pretentious superior attitude when we all know that if Chief was not busy with his cronies spending the country's wealth on you and all his other mistresses in the universities, maybe we would not have that many Olivers."

Mojere had hit home and hit home hard. The issue of Labake's standing as Chief Rotimi's wife/mistress was a really touchy one. She had only recently been allowed to refer to herself as Mrs. Rotimi even after producing twin boys for the man. And she knew after more than fifteen years of being with him starting when she was still a Jambite in the university, that she was only one of many women on his roll call. The latest softsell edition had pictures of Chief and his latest mistress at a social function. Like Labake, when she too had come into his life, the girl was just twenty two.

Her mouth parted and she too backed away much like Mojere had done a few minutes before. Without saying a word, she reached for her huge purse that lay at her feet, picked it up and walked out.

They had not spoken since then. And now the doctor was asking after her.
Mojere looked at the doctor, "She is fine. She has been busy." That at least was true. She knew Labake had been busy.

Danumego nodded. He did not press further. So, instead he said to her, "If you come with me, I will hurry up the paperwork and you can take him home."

She smiled. Slow and wide. Danumego tried not to stare.

"Home." she looked at the hospital building and nodded as if to herself, "Yes, he will come home today."