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story : The Nigerian Graduate - Episode 8



The Nigerian Graduate - Episode 8


My mom was up already when I got home, she was scared to see me, she left her goods and rushed to me.

“‘Mòmi, ké è shey o o?” (My child, what happened to you?)She asked in our native dialect. I dropped my bags and hugged her, she was my mother.. She loved me, I remembered those times I was young when she would do everything possible to cater for me. My parents loved Me, I was the apple of their eyes. Even though, I was the only girl and last child, I never lacked anything, I was the only graduate and both of them suffered to see me through. I blamed myself for abandoning them, it was over six month I saw them. I wept as I hugged my mum, I knew she was confused and worried.

“Shey wo loyun ni, ‘mòmi?” (Are you pregnant? My child?) I could not respond, I kept crying. I cried for minutes but I took time narrating my past to my Mother. I apologised for denying her, she cried so much that my heart seized, I knewi was bad, I was trained well but material things took over my heart. My mum urged me to go back to Ado but I told her I wanted to start a new life. She told me people would make best of me if they knew I was back to Ilawe. I told her I would stay for a few weeks before I look for somewhere to relocate to.

I turned a new leaf, I moved closer to God. I brought a new sim and the only contact I saved was that of my parents,siblings, Fiwa and Shina. I woke up everyday with the thought of calling Shina and Fiwa but I believed they were in my past, Fiwa knew my parents’ house in Ilawe and she had not come to see me since I left Ado Ekiti even though my line was not reachable. 

Three weeks into my stay in Ilawe, my father came one afternoon and summoned a meeting, my eldest brother, Emanu was there. Emaanu(Emmanuel) was my parents’ first son, he was a semiliterate like my dad because he dropped out of secondary school. He worked as a gateman in FUOYE, Oye Ekiti.

“‘Mòmi, what do you want to do? You can’t continue sitting in this town like this, everyone is making jest of you and us. Will you because a man jilted you ruin your life? You should know by now he doesn’t love you.” I kept quiet. It was true the villagers were making fun of me. I remembered how Akin, my exboyfriend who deflowered me made fun of my predicament.

Akin was the first guy I dated when I was thirteen. I was in JSS3 and he was in SS2 in one of the secondary schools in my village. Akin was Baba Olowo’s son. Baba Olowo was one of the richest cocoa merchant in our village, every cocoa season, Baba Olowo would marry another woman. Akin was his favourite, he was his eldest wife’s last son and he lacked nothing. I was so lucky dating him because he was so proud and hardly made friends with our mates. Anytime I came home for Midterm or holiday break, we would stroll around the village holding hands and we were termed ‘tokotaya'(couples). He deflowered me on my fourteen under a mango tree. Akin dropped out of school that year to look after his father’s business because the man was growing old. I stopped dating him when I gained admission into UNILAG. How would an undergraduate date a dropout? I disgraced him and also embarrassed his mother the day he claimed he came to pay my dowry, who does that? And since then, we had become sworn enemies. I was coming from the market the day he and his mother disgraced me. I was passing through his gate when his mother summoned me to come see her. I entered through the gate. I met Akin and his mother.

“Okun mòmi” his mum greeted,she asked me what I was doing in the village and I told her I came to spend sometime with my parents.

“You think we didn’t hear what happened to you in Ado? Unilag queen” Akin threw at me. I kept quiet

“You refused to marry me because you are a graduate, abi? In jare, ibo lin jasi?(please, what was the outcome)
“WO o, Akin ti n’iyawo o. Oburin merin li gbesule” (see,akin is married, he married four wives”

“Will you be my fifth wife, I’ll take care of you o… You will be in charge of this house, my work and farm” I was quiet, I started weeping, I felt humiliated. They started laughing.

“Wo fe GBE alákadàlá sule.” (You want to marry a fake lifer) I left the compound crying, I cried all the way home.

“Àbuù mi,you can’t continue staying under our parents. You are the glory of this family and I know you won’t put us to shame. Mòoòmi said you are into makeups”

“Baba gave me money to rent a shop for you in Oye Ekiti which I did, I’ve furnished it a little. Come with me to Oye and make money.” He said.

“No, I don’t want to be a makeup artist.” I replied quietly and started sobbing. Shina paid my Makeup tuition and going into makeups would bring back old times. I followed my brother down to Oye Ekiti where I was to start my new phase of life after persuasion from my mother. My studio was situated in the student area and I was able to make lots of customers and had few apprentices
Kzee, my male apprentice was a 300l Sissy, he walked ,talked and behaved like a female. After makeups sessions or on our free times, we would gist and snap selfies with other apprentices. I wanted to download Jenifa’s diary through his phone one cool afternoon when a call came in. The name that appeared on the screen was “Bro”, it was an international number. I was shocked to see Shina’s picture, I kept staring at the picture till Kzee collected the phone and picked his call. I was starring at him for over ten minutes before he ended the call.

“Riri, abeg why you dey look me that way?” I kept quiet. “Abi you don fall for my brother? See,my brother don marry o” he said grinning, I was shocked,heartbroken and scared, Shina was married. I knew I was close to tears so I picked my bag and went home. Kzee was confused so were others. I cried myself to bed that night. It was a bad day.
July 12th was my birthday, and 12th of July, 2016 was the best of my years, it was the day my destiny changed,my sadness faded away and a day history
was made. Mo, one of my students who was into cakes and pastries made me a makeup cake, Ruth decorated the studio with my pics and theirs, Kzee brought me a dress earlier and he said I must wear it for my birthday, I felt happy being around them and my sorrow faded away.
Around 3pm, a white SUV halted in front of my studio and my parents and brother Emaanu alighted from it. I moved closer to them because I went to visit them that weekend, I was afraid something bad happened and confused because the vehicle was strange. Who was the stranger who brought my parents?

A talk, dark skinned man appeared from the vehicle smiling at me, I fainted!


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