Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dear Agama Lizard....How Can I Make It In Lagos?

Dear Agama Lizard,
My name is Odinchezoihechukwumerelembaodighinchezo Iheanacho. I hail from the deepest center of Anambra and I am planning to move to Lagos to pursue celebrity status, but I don't know how to begin my hustle. This plan must work! I have already shouted at my mother and told her that I am the next Genevieve, so I cannot go back to her house. I am in the cyber cafe by the Ekenedilichukwu depot, and I am waiting for your reply. Please eh, fear is catching me. You must advice me.

Dear Odin,
Don't be distressed. You came to the right place. I'm your woman...or should I say lizard (tee-hee-hee...I just tickled myself pink). No one is more qualified to give you advice on a life-changing decision than an intermittent blogger. Let me just give it to you straight. Lagos is not for the weak willed or lilly livered. You shouted at your mother, so evidently you have pluck and quick reflexes. Count yourself among a rare group of Nigerians that have talked back to their mothers and lived to tell the tale. Grab an empty bottle from the roadside, distill your effrontery, cap that sucker, get on the bus, and buckle your seat belt! Think on these things while you make your exodus into Lasgidi...

Fear ko, fear ni! Lagos girls don't have time for that trash! Next time "fear is catching you", catch that nonsense back!

Before you board the bus, find a petty trader and buy 50 naira salt. When you get inside the bus, take a generous pinch of that salt and rub it in your eyes. The first time you try it, it will almost kill you but you must persevere! Do it again and again until you have mastered the art of keeping your eyes open through the searing pain. If you cannot do that by the time you reach Lagos, please respect yourself and just go back to the village. Lagos is not for you.

If you want people to take you seriously, you have to shout at them! Oh, so you think that is harsh? ABEG SHUT UP MY FRIEND! People have been kidnapped in midday because they did not know how to shout! By the way, where is the salt I told you to buy? This girl, you are not serious oh!

Are you ready to reinvent yourself? See, I need to ask you this seriously because many girls like you have gone to Lagos and tried to be...authentic. I see them all the time wandering about with a wild, disillusioned look in their eyes, mourning the loss of yesterday's promises. You don't have time to play! Find the nearest mirror and take a long, hard look at yourself. Allow yourself a few sentimental moments, and then tell your reflection firmly, "Odinchezoihechukwumerelembaodighinchezo Iheanacho, it is time for you to disappear for the cause. Please don't disturb me anymore."

Yours Sincerely,
Agama Lizard

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear Sikira

Sunbash old friend, this is for you....

51B Ajibola Close
Surulere, Lagos

Sikira Omotosho
P.O. Box 2010
Queen Amina Hall,
University of Lagos

My Dear Sikira,

Your daddy and I are very proud of you. Unlike your useless brothers and sisters, you have entered UNILAG! When I told Iya Yinka about your admission, you should have seen her face. See jealousy! Her punishment has finally come. Do you know how many years she has taunted me about the failures of my children? Meanwhile that area boy she calls a son is jumping from one beer parlor to another and carrying ashewos. So let me just tell you now cannot fail oh! S'ogbo? My reputation in Surulere is riding on your success. My enemies are waiting for your life to scatter! Look at your sister Keji. We thought she would be the one to do big big things and marry a big man. Now she has thrown her life away because she wants to do super-model. Model ko, model ni! I have told her over and over again. Once she reaches twenty five, they will throw her away like chewing gum that is not sweet again. Who will marry her now that she has opened her whole body for the world to see? My dear daughter, you are pretty. Don't let these UNILAG boys reduce your bride price! Abi, you heard what happened to that your Igbo friend Nkemjika? We were all sitting there when the boy's people came to pour hot drink. As soon as the uncle saw her, he shouted "Tufiakwa" and dropped the bottle. That's how we heard story that Nkemjika was following rich men in Onitsha. Let me just warn you. All those your friends pushing you to do bad things, when you carry bele, all they will say is sorry. They will not back your baby for you. If you need money, tell us oh! Don't go and drink dirty water because your well is dry. We will come and visit you this weekend. I have already bought the ingredients to make jollof rice and chicken for you, just the way you like it.

Your dear Mummy.

P.S.Don't go and join secret cult oh!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Christmas Carol...Naija Style Part 2

Esupofo Sojinrin has arrived at his home in Ikeja. As usual he is in a foul mood. 

Gateman: Oga sir, welcome.

Esupofo: Why are you talking to me? Do I look like I want to talk?!

Gateman: Sorry sir. Abeg sir, light no dey. Make we on generator?

Esupofo: See your face like ewa agoyin....are you the one buying diesel?

Gateman: Sorry sir..

Esupofo is so cheap that he would rather sit in the dark and heat than touch his supply of diesel. After lighting a kerosene lamp, he goes to his room, sits on his bed,  and begins to carefully count the money he hides under the mattress.

Esupofo: (Muttering) If any of this money is missing, I will behead that house girl.....

SHIUUUM!The room suddenly turns cold. The spirit of Esupofo's old business partner Mobolaji appears in the room.

Esupofo: OLORUN MA JE! I bind you in the name of.....

Mobolaji: ESUPOFOOOOOOOO! Where you not the one that was cursing God last night? Now you want to use his name to rebuke me? Ode ni e.

Esupofo: GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! LEAVE ME ALONE! (He runs to the door, but Mobolaji appears in front of him. Esupofo falls to the ground shaking)

Mobolaji: You will listen to me by force.

Esupofo: Oya talk!

Mobolaji: I am here to tell you that you what is about to happen to you. Since you have refused to change, three spirits will visit you.

Esupofo: Abeg please....(near tears) I don't want to see anymore spirits. Please ehn...I will change. In fact, I will give Bolu extra ten naira every month ehn...please.

Mobolaji: (Laughing) Ten you are still like this? Prepare yourself.

Esupofo: PLEASE NOW! PLEASE! After all we were  business partners.

Mobolaji: I am here for your own good. If you don't change, you will share my miserable fate. Look at me! I am paying for all the 419 and mago-mago we used to do. You still have a chance. PREPARE FOR THE SPIRITS! (Disappears)

Esupofo: AHHHHHHHH.......! I AM FINISHED.........KEJI!!

House girl runs in.

Keji: Yes sir....

Esupofo: Did you hear anything?

Keji: (Confused) I did not hear anything sir.

Esupofo: IF I DESCEND ON YOU! you brought the witches from your village to come and torment me abi?!

Keji: (Crying) Please sir, I did not do anything......

Esupofo: GET OUT OF MY SIGHT! Go and pack your rags!

Keji: Please sir...where will I go....

Esupofo: Go back to the iroko tree where your fellow witches are doing their meeting....GET OUT! No wonder you sleep like a malaria patient!

Keji flees. Esupofo runs to the kitchen, grabs a bottle of water, a big loaf of bread and a tin of sardines and runs back to his room. He locks the door and drags the chest of drawers in front of it. He climbs into bed shaking. Poor Esupofo. Abi you no sabi say spirit no dey see door?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Christmas Carol...Naija Style Part 1

In honor of my favorite author Charles Dickens, this is a rendition of the misfortunes and redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge...or in this case Esupofo Sojinrin.

Esupofo Sojinrin is sitting in his office at Sojinrin Savings and Loans, Ojota, Lagos. His assistant Bolu, a skinny young man with a perpetually worried expression, is counting money in the corner and sweating like a Christmas goat. Every few minutes, Esupofo gives him a dirty look. 

Esupofo: Bolu!

Bolu: Yes sir.

Esupofo: You have been counting that money now for almost thirty minutes. Didn't you pass your common entrance examination, or have you suddenly become an imbecile?!

Bolu: sir. I made a mistake

Esupofo: It is your life that is a mistake! That money had better be in the safe in the next ten minutes.

Bolu: Yes sir.

Bolu gets up to turn on the ceiling fan.

Esupofo:  If you touch that switch, I will touch you like a pestle touches a mortar! Do you give me money for electricity?

Bolu: Sorry sir.

A hurt and confused Bolu walks to the other end of the room to open the window.....

Esupofo: WILL YOU CLOSE THAT WINDOW! Do you want mosquitoes to finish us in here?!

Bolu: Sorry sir.

Esupofo: Before I know it, you will be opening your dirty mouth to say that you have malaria and you cannot work. You see how you people are?....YOU SEE HOW YOU PEOPLE ARE?!

Rabiu: Sorry sir.

Esupofo: You should be sorry for your miserable self. Now finish counting my money!

As Esupofo rants, a tall, handsome young man walks in smiling, carrying a Christmas hamper complete with Nasco Cornflakes, Five Alive, Digestive Biscuits and of course a glass bottle of groundnuts . It is Esupofo's nephew Feyi.

Feyi: Uncle Popo, whats up?

Esupofo: How many times have I told you to stop calling me that nonsense? Don't you have respect?! So because your wife went to University in America, you don't know how to greet again?

Feyi: Em...sorry Uncle...I didn't mean to offend you. This is for you (handing him the hamper)

Esupofo: I don't need your charity. You know I don't eat all these aje-bota rubbish. Moi-moi, eko and efo are enough for me.You have really, really become something else since you married that girl. So because you brought me American orange juice, I am supposed to start worshiping you....
Feyi: (Looks a bit hurt) You know what, its fine. You don't have to take it.What are you doing for Christmas?

Esupofo: Christmas ko, Christmas want me to come to your house so that your jelenke wife can be giving me American salad and looking at me in my eyes as if she doesn't have home training.....

Feyi: Uncle please...don't insult my wife.

Esupofo: Who is insulting her? WHO IS INSULTING HER! You see? I just told you that you have changed. Any small thing, you start crying like a town crier. All I am telling you is that she does not have manners and she has forgotten her Nigerian upbringing. Anyway, forget it. I am not coming. Christmas is an excuse for people to come and eat your rice and go home.

Feyi: Well...if you change your mind, you know where we are...

Esupofo: I will not change it.

Feyi doesn't bother to reply. He turns around and walks away. He is about to leave when he notices Bolu hurriedly counting in the corner.

Feyi: Hey Bolu! I did not see you. Merry Christmas.

Bolu: Merry Christmas oga.

Feyi: (Whispering) I hope my Uncle is allowing you to travel home for Christmas.

Bolu: Yes oga, but I have to be back the next day.

Feyi: The next day!

Bolu: It is alright oga. We need the money.

Feyi: How is Titi?

Bolu: (With a sad look) We are praying and hoping...

Feyi: (Giving him the hamper and some money) Take this and manage it ehn. If I knew you were here, I would have brought more for the children.

Bolu: (Close to tears) It is okay oga...God will bless you. 

Feyi: Greet your wife for me. I need to run. I don't want to get you in trouble.

Bolu: Merry Christmas oga.

Esupofo: BOLU! Is that you hissing like a snake? Have you finished counting that money?!

Feyi flees and Bolu hurriedly throws the money into an iron box and rushes to the safe. Esupofo is muttering something vile. He is oblivious to the horrors that await him. What surprises lurk at the turn of Christmas day? As the little children sing on the streets of Lagos, "Egungun Calabar, Iyoyo Iyoyo...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chief Inspector Nduka Daniels: WHODUNIT? Part 3

Chief Inspector Daniels and his sidekick Officer Smart have been hanging on a wall for about two hours. Their bound ankles and hands are numb. The room is becoming hotter every minute and the smell of seared flesh is getting stronger. What will become of our heroes?


Chief Inspector: CALM DOWN POLTROON! (Whispers) You are going to ruin my plan.

OS: What plan? WHAT PLAN? You brought me here to die! I am never going to see Onome again....

CI: SHUT UP! That affectatious strumpet doesn't love you.

OS: you mean by that?

CI: You blind salamander. Have you not seen her simpering and switching around the police commissioner? See, this is why you will never be like me.

OS: I don't believe it!

CI: Believe what you will loggerhead. Besides I have no desire to spend what might be the last moments of my illustrious career discussing that minx.

OS: What do you mean last moments? I thought you had a plan?

CI: (Smiling mysteriously) a few moments Smart, you will see the work of a mastermind.

OS: What do you want me to do sir?

CI: Just keep your trap shut. My genius requires no assistance.

There is a shriek in the distance and the sound of drums. The skinny man returns with the chicken seller who is now dressed in a bright red wrapper with chalk markings all over her arms and face. The skinny man is mumbling incantations and sweating profusely.

Chicken Seller: (To the skinny man...) ABEG SHUT UP! The spirits are tired of hearing you mumble. (Disgusted) You have sweated off your ritual markings. Get out of my sight and tell Dibia Obia that the chickens are ready for plucking.

Skinny Man: Forgive me dark princess. (Shuffles out)

Chicken Seller: (To our heroes) You should have stayed out of my way BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Pause) BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !

Officer Smart looks like he is about to faint. Chief Daniels is staring into the heavens with an enigmatic expression on his face. The drums become louder and a flock of young women in red wrappers flood out of an inner room dancing wildly. After a few exhausting minutes, a stocky, light skinned man (think Pete Edochie) struts out dramatically.


Dibia Obia: (Coldly) You better not have failed me again witch. Is the sacrifice ready?

Chicken Seller:  (Trembling) Yes great one.

Dibia Obia: Then let us begin.......KOROKOROBUNDUKOROBORO!


Officer Smart wets himself. Chief Daniels looks at him in disgust. Dibia Obia removes a huge knife from a sheath around his waist.

Dibia Obia: Chickens! PREPARE TO DIE!

CI: (With an American accent) C'mon dude! Aren't you being just a little bit dramatic?

Dibia Obia: Ehn.....?

CI: This is just make belief right? At least that's what the travel agent told me. All these drums "n" stuff! Take a chill pill will ya!

Dibia Obia: WITCH! Why is the sacrifice talking...AND WITH THE WHITE MAN'S TONGUE!

Chicken Seller: They are lying great one! They are lying!

CI: Get a grip lady....I mean seriously.....? This has been fun and all that, but I seriously have to catch a movie in an hour people.

Dibia Obia: This is an outrage!

CI: Okay, I'm like totally buggin' right now. I was totally cool with this African experience thing, but these ropes are beginning to like seriously chafe.

Dibia Obia: This is the second time you have failed me witch. GIRLS! Untie these men and throw them out of here at once! As for you........(Walks towards the chicken seller menacingly with the knife)

The dancing girls untie our heroes and push them roughly out of the hut. They collapse to the ground, their limbs numb from being tied. 

OS: (Rubbing his wrists) did you know to do that sir? How did you know that would work?

CI: I know you repeated primary six three times, but do I have to spell it out to you?

OS: Uhm....yes. 

CI: Didn't you learn anything from your witch of a grandmother? Juju is a highly racist and discriminatory art. That is why the ritual sacrifice could not be performed on our dear expatriate. 

OS: Really? I had no idea.

CI: Of course you didn't maggot pie. Get up, we must go. 

OS: What about Dibia Obia and that horrible woman. They cannot be allowed to get away with this. 

CI: (Smiling mysteriously) Some things are better left unsaid. Trust me. Dibia Obia is not going anywhere.

 Several days later, Dibia Obia and the Chicken Seller were found under an iroko tree in the forest terribly scarred. 

Mortuary Worker: Are you done with those bodies madam?

Medical Examiner: Yes oh Rufus. This has been my most difficult case.

Mortuary Worker: If you don't mind me asking, what was the cause of death?

Medical Examiner: (Grimacing) It was horrible. Their stomachs were full of chicken feathers, and this sounds crazy but....I am almost certain that they were...ehm....

Mortuary Worker: Spit it out madam


Mortuary Worker: ABOMINATION!

...and so boys and girls, Chief Inspector Daniels has done it again in that characteristically Nigerian way that leaves us with more questions than answers. Till we meet again, I bid you a confused adieu.................................cluck

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chief Inspector Nduka Daniels: WHODUNIT? Part 2

Following the scent of dead chickens, Chief Inspector Nduka Daniels and his assistant Officer Smart find themselves in Okoranyawu Central Meat Market. They head straight for the chicken stalls......

Chief Inspector: (Crisply) Officer!

Officer Smart: Yes Inspector?

Chief Inspector: I need you to interrogate all these chicken vendors within the hour.

Officer Smart: But sir, there are at least fifty of them......

Chief Inspector: SHUT UP! I will have you flogged for indolence sloth!

Officer Smart: (Penitent) Sorry sir.....

Chief Inspector: Where is the air freshener?

Officer Smart: In my bag sir.

Chief Inspector: Create a vortex of freshness around my body at once! I do not want the effluvia of fowl and the lower classes to rest on my person.

Officer Smart:Yes sir.

Chief Inspector: (Sharply) YOU DISCONNECTED COCKROACH! Is that what you call a vortex?
Officer Smart: I....I....

Chief Inspector: Be quiet before I pluck out your bovine eyes with this chicken foot!

Officer Smart: Yes inspector.

Chief Inspector: (Suddenly pointing) Do you see that?

Officer Smart: What sir....?

Chief Inspector: You have the observational skills of an aging camel. Look at the vendor over there! Do you see the cloth she is using to bind the chickens?

Officer Smart: Ah! It is the same cloth we found on the crime scene. So what do we do sir?

Chief Inspector: Watch and learn termite. (Walks over to a stall where a hefty woman is plucking the feathers out of a chicken)

Chicken Lady: Oga Sir! Merry Christmas. Which one now? Dis one fat pass!

Chief Inspector: I am not interested in your inferior, gallinaceous merchandise witch!

Chicken Lady: (Breaks into a sweat) bolts)

Chief Inspector: After her Smart!

Officer Smart and the Chief Inspector run after the woman. There is an abundance of overturned tables and cries of '"God punish you". She runs into the bushes and disappears into an uncompleted building. Officer Smart hesitates....

Chief Inspector: What are you waiting for you half-witted ostrich?!

Officer Smart: I don't think we should go in there. Something doesn't look right. Did you see how unnaturally fast she is?

Chief Inspector: (Looks as if he wants to punch Officer Smart) You are not to blame for your cowardice. Your mother bathed you till you were twelve and fought your battles for too long. GET OUT YOUR GUN POLTROON! ON

They kick in the door and barge in with outstretched guns.

Chief Inspector: COME OUT YOU SHE-DEVIL!

All of a sudden, their guns become boiling hot and they drop them gasping in pain and clutching their burnt hands. An evil laugh echoes in the building and someone begins to beat a drum.

Officer Smart: I told you sir....I told you.....THEY ARE GOING TO USE US FOR BLOOD MONEY!


Suddenly, a dark, skinny man clad in goat skins comes out of the shadows holding a strange flute and dancing wildly.

Chief Inspector: Who is this odd fellow? Stop this foolishness at once!

Bellowing a hideous incantation, the man blows a strange powder out of the flute into their faces and they fall to the ground unconscious. When they come to, they are shirtless and tied to a filthy wall.

Officer Smart: (Hysterical) What are we going to do sir?!

Chief Inspector: Don't get your trousers into a twist! (An enigmatic smile plays on his lips). I have a plan....I always have a plan. (Looking to the north) Get ready for a Christmas miracle.

Till next time.....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chief Inspector Nduka Daniels: WHODUNIT?

It is three days before Christmas and Chief Inspector Nduka Daniels has just been called to the scene of an unusual crime. Mr. Nelson, a British expatriate has been found alive but unconscious in the middle of the bush, shirtless and marked with red and white chalk. Many are under the impression that it is a ritual ceremony gone wrong. There are red, black and white markings on the trees and ground....

Chief Inspector: (Crisply) Fill me in officer.

Officer Smart: He was found by a palm wine tapper at five this morning.

Chief Inspector: Then why are we just hearing about this? Is this the man?


Chief Inspector: Calm down man. I should arrest you. Why didn't you attempt to help the man?

Palm Wine Tapper: GOD FORBID! You won make dis eh people to eh use me for eh bloodu money?!

Chief Inspector: (Irritated) Take this man away. His hysteria is exhausting.

Officer Smart: Thank God we found Mr Nelson. He is well respected in the community...does a lot of charitable work.

Chief Inspector: (In grave tones) Is his manhood intact?

Officer Smart: Yes sir. I don't think that is what they were after.

Chief Inspector: (Sharply) They? Who is "they"? Do you think there were multiple perpetrators?

Officer Smart: I....I....

Chief Inspector: SHUT UP YOUR MOUTH! Don't cloud my brilliant investigative mind with your ignorant and unfounded assumptions. (Under his breath, to himself) Think Nduka...think! (Suddenly sniffs the air violently.....) Officer Smart!

Officer Smart: Yes inspector?

Chief Inspector: Do you smell that?

Officer Smart: What sir....?


Officer Smart: (Confused) Ah...ah....which one is gallu.....


Officer Smart: (Sniffing) I cannot smell anything sir.

Chief Inspector: (Looks like he wants to slap the officer) I don't blame you. Your senses have been dulled by ogogoro and Indian hemp. Where is the nearest meat market?

Officer Smart: (Still confused): Fifteen minutes away sir.

Chief Inspector: Bring the car around!There is mischief afoot and I must sniff it out before the scent fades.

The plot thickens.......