NAME: Olorun-Femi Jones
ADDRESS: No. Adara Street Romi New Extension Kaduna
BIO: If I am to label myself, there may never be one brand to fit. So in a world of trends and labels, I attempt to remain classic. If I wasn’t able to write, I may have wished to be a musician. Writers are musicians who never made it on stage. I crave tea, not coffee. I like hot sipping tea. Writing without tea, is like been on cramps. Why do I write then? I write because I can’t help it. It is a form of therapy, and one that pays. I write to share my feelings, to engage my readers.
GOD SPEAKS PIDGIN [THE ARRIVAL]
God appears in various forms blessed is the man who can tell him in his many disguises. – Zobba the Greek
In heaven, a pandemonium broke out, the heavenly alarms were blaring, intrusive on the serenity of paradise. God’s still voice asked – what be it. An angel ran through the golden doors
‘My Lord it is the Nigerians, their prayer requests keep piling up.’
‘Michael, I am sending you to Nigeria’
‘Yes Master. I am not familiar with the landscape’
‘Neither does me my Lord. Uriel knows, but he is in Ethiopia.
‘I’ll go down MYSELF. I the L0RD will go answer my people.’
On earth, somewhere at a bus stop reeking with the familiar air of desperation and filled with the cacophony of voices. Drivers and their conductors shout their destinations, Traders and hawkers publicizing their goods, Men dressed in suits, women on perfect heels, school children happy to be out of school, oldies brooding on the partiality of time, and oddities some of which look like they came but to pickpocket. It was the least of places for God to arrive at.
A little boy kept nudging on his mother’s arms. ‘Ahaa! what is it?’
The little boy said ‘God’. She said, ‘What?’ now slightly stupefied.
‘Look at God’ the boy said. ‘Where?’
With raised arm, he pointed ‘there’.
If your neighbor’s roof catch fire and you sit down dey look, your own house go follow catch fire.
This was how Arinze chased our teacher out of the class. We told him Arinze, don’t do it. Don’t do it. Arinze did it.
It’s revision week, today I was in class teaching JS2 boys linear inequalities; greater than, less than. Then something moved in the ceiling. I ignored it. We moved to greater than or equal to, less than or equal to, then something moved again in the ceiling. And I said boys how far, what is moving in your ceiling? Some of the boys looked up, and said it’s probably the rats. And I said why should rats be moving in the ceiling in daytime. They laughed it off.
Something quite similar happened, but in different dimensions in the year 2005 on a Monday morning. You see, we were stubborn souls, misfits, X-zibits. We were always on the run from the prowls of seniors whose grievances we’ve beckoned. On Sunday night we scaled to watch Diego and Paloma, a Mexican soap opera that was impossible to miss. Even GOT fans weren’t as maniac. We couldn’t go back to the hostels, which was a deathtrap. So we went to the class, gisting, laughing, making little kids joke. Then Jude Nyam runs into the class and goes, guy, guy senior Idowu they look for you ooh. You want to run out of the class in the dark? You don’t know where you running to, or whom you running into. And so the crazy idea came up. We hid in the ceiling.
First subject on Monday is Integrated Science, taught by this male youth corper who acted all macho, macho. I guess we called him commando. The first period was over, Arinze had begun to tap us, how far how far, dem wan write test ooh. And we were like test. We had slept in our own class, in the ceiling for a whole period. What man gonna do. We wrote our test, peeping like toms from the ceiling. Arinze passed four sheets of paper to another of our less acclimated acquaintance Osareti Osaremen, but a brother in arms nonetheless.
When commando collected the test script, it weighed more than the number of pupils in the class. If you’ve been to a boarding school, it teaches you pack mentality. So you may never be physically around but academically present. Shits gets done through and for you. The teacher was having none of that, he hated that young nefarious midgets wanted to play smarts with him. This paper is more than the number of students in this class. Who and who wrote for someone, raise up your hands. Who would? So he starts calling out names on the test scripts. And that’s when things fall apart.
It got to our circle; Abdulrazaq Bashir. ‘Lakunle Adeoye. Arinze Obiano. Jude Nyam. So these test papers now belong to ghosts. All of them should consider themselves repeating next year. What a threaten! Repeating was the worst thing you could place on us. We really never bothered what our guardians will say, but there’s an attached stigma with been in class with beings who once upon a time, were your juniors. No way.
Arinze popped out of the ceiling in grand style, no remorse, no shame, and Mr. Macho ran out of the class like a rat poured hot water. Some of our classmates ran out also. Soon they were all laughing, when they realized it was just Arinze. Teacher comes back into the class, laughing also. And he goes Auzubillah, how many of you are in there.
Then Jude comes out, Razaq followed, the whole class kept laughing. Students from the other classes came to view the spectacle and join in the laughter. I didn’t come out. Esther was my cousin’s school daughter, doubling as my classmate. I didn’t want her to see me so rough and dirty, I had a crush on her and it seemed to be leading somewhere meaningful. I remained in the blackness of the ceiling moving inward, viewing from the holes, relishing in my silent laughter’s.
Nigeria had a sense of brotherhood, now we are deteriorating into an abysmal and cataclysmic wipeout. We make gains out of people’s pain, a spinning circle of cruelty. We’ve grown adapting to nonsense. We move on. Another tragedy strikes. We move on again. The dilemma is, we’re moving on to the very end of us with only hope and lukewarm handedness. We may cry, pray but we take no definite action in the shutting out of violence, because since e no reach my side wetin concern me.