I did a post on sprikoko things on my wall and a friend of mine read it and called to tell me of how she had to stop doing spirikoko and jazzing things. I am telling her story with her permission. She is in her late 30s now, with a good job, has a Master’s degree, and is single. Let us call her … Susan. Susan’s dad died when she was very young and she has very little recollection of him, Her mum did not remarry so, it has been she and her mum. They are like 5 and 6 the two of them. Very close. Her mum lives for Susan. When Susan turned 25, her mum started hinting at marriage but Susan was not perturbed, Her mum was not really worried then but she would sha pray for Susan to get married soon. Susan had boyfriends but they were nothing serious and she was not really worried as she was having a fun time going on dates anyway. Then she turned 29. GBAM! Her mum suddenly felt that there was a race against the clock to get Susan married off before the big three o.
Susan’s mum started consulting spiritualists. They are a Baptist family, they still attended the Baptist church on Sundays but Susan’s mum was now going from one white garment church to a Babalawo to an alfa, all in the desperate bid to get Susan married before she turned 30. Susan turned 30 and no one had put a ring on it for her and her Mum became frantic. From now on, she had to get Susan married before the next birthday. 31, then 32, then 33… Susan was not really comfortable with these spiritual traipsings but she loved her mum and did not know how to make her stop. Susan apparently had bad luck so, she had to go and wash the bad luck away by ‘washing her head’ in a flowing river. She was stark naked while the prophet stared at her washing her head. Won’t you at least have the decency to look away she fumed under her breath as she washed her hair with Kankan -local sponge.
Then another prophet said that she had a spirit husband so, they had to appease the spirit husband. She was told to bring her most coveted outfit and her mum insisted that she gave the spiritualist her most expensive suit. That one pained her ehn?! She was going to give up something from Zara or Asos but her mum insisted on the special Kimbuba she made sure that Sisi Ade her tailor painstakingly make from Deola Sagoe’s original design she saw on the Deola Sagoe website. Why oh why did they have to insist on her most expensive outfit. Ehn? And her Loubou flats as well! So, she wore those her bottom drawer outfit, they did the midnight prayer, she took off her bottom drawer outfit, had a bath and then Olusho said she should give the bottom drawer outfits away. According to him, the spirit husband would now go and be loving the woman who collected those clothes. Olusho! Olusho! Is that not wickedness? She told him she could not do that, could not knowingly give her friend spirit husband. He told her he would dispose them for her. Still she did not get married.
Then her mum upped the ante and went hardcore traditional. She took her to some places were they did all sorts of incantations for her. And every Sunday, they would still go to Church o. Prim and proper Baptist family. So, on this day, her mum took her to Baba ‘kigbati’- Baba who never fails. He gave her a special perfume to use. Apparently, someone had made her to not appear as a lovely woman to men so, the perfume was to uncover the shroud of manliness placed on her so that the men could see her true beauty. Or maybe it was to entice men to her… (a bit like the sirens of ancient Greek mythology I thought to myself when she was gisting me.) This was when the wahala started o. The first day she wore that perfume, Waidi, her trusted driver complimented her. Anti mi, e fain gan laroyi ke. My aunty, you are fine this morning. O se She said. Thanks. Before Waidi dropped her off at work that morning, he had glanced at her a few times and she thought she saw a smile that was at once shy and at the same time lascivious. What? Ki lon sele? When he came to pick her up, same smile was playing on his lips.
The second day,Waidi kuku la mole. He kuku throw down. Anti Susan, se e mo wipe e sweet? Do you know you are sweet? She was gobsmarked and honestly, did not know what to say. Waidi took her silence for consent and went into full blown toasting. Anti Susan, ma’a toju yin. I will take care of you. E dan mi wo. Taste me. Mi da lomo okunrin. I am a capable as a man. E ma fi oju draifa wo mi o. Don’t use driver eyes to look at me. Etshehteram, et sheh te ram.
And that was when the penny dropped. The perfume!!! The perfume!!! She stopped using it but Waidi was now verging on nuisance. She told her mum but her mum did not believe her. Really mother? You don’t think the perfume works? Then why did you make me go through all those things that you made me go through? Reluctantly, her mum started bringing herself to accepting that maybe, just maybe, Waidi might be under the spell. They had to sack Waidi and give him 2 months’ salary in lieu. And this is where it got weirder. Waidi stated visiting her at home after he was sacked. Her mother wanted them to go back to Baba Kigbati to reverse the influence on Waidi and instead make it attract rich men. She had to wake her mum at midnight one day and beg to please stop all these things. And since then, her mum seems to have ‘gba kamu’ – resigned herself to the situation.
Waidi still tries to come and see her.