Of Dirty Old Nigerian Men
Ok… before I start this story, I have to let you know that even I, in retrospect admit that I was playing with fire. In my defence, I was young. Extremely young. In my early 20s. So, judge me not. Remember what The Bible says about judging? Keep that in mind as you read this story. And if you are a Muslim, I am sure The Quran does not like people sitting in judgement. And if you are an ATR, person, I am sure too that the gods would not want you to be mean to naïve girls.
It was 1992 in Nigeria. I was a youth corper and my mum had died a few months before. I was at a crossroad of important decisions to make. My father and I had plans for me to go to the United Kingdom to study for my Post graduate. JOPA had had a BSc in Economics from the prestigious Cranfield Institute of Technology (CIT) which in his mind was the British equivalent of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). So, as his child, he did not expect you to stop at your first degree and my mum just wanted whatever my dad wanted for me. I wanted to come to the UK for school but I also loved the independence of working for my money. I’d just closed from work that day and was walking to the main road to get a taxi home when a small motorcade of about three cars drove by. They then did a U-turn and drove bank. Then did a U-turn again. Ok… confirmed that they were trying to scope me.
In the way that uncouth Nigerians call strangers, they started calling ‘me’. PSST! PSST! Shebi my name is Bunmi Ajai. Not PSST! So, of course, I did not answer them. Then, after they got tired of doing PSST, the driver of the front car got down, walked over to me and told me his oga wanted to see me. Lol. Oga ko, madam ni. Your oga has no legs to come down? Tell your oga I’m not coming. Na so he started begging me. That if I don’t go back with him, oga will sack him. That when I see oga, I can tell him that I am not interested, but he could not deliver that kind of message. So, I asked him who oga was. He then called one of the biggest fishes in Nigeria. A man revered in Nigeria and internationally. Feeling concerned that the driver should lose his job, and also curious to meet this big fish, I followed home to the car. It was indeed him. Chief Kokonsari is the name I will call him here. A kindly grandfather figure. He spoke kindly to me and asked me to come in the car. I told him I could not as I was going home. He told me his house was on the same street and that he would not keep me for long. So, out of curiosity, I got in. Hmm… You know what curiosity did to the cat? It killed it. It almost killed me that day too.
Na so i’diot Bunmi got in the car o, we drove a very short distance to his house. Please don’t ask me how many miles or kilometres. I no know Maths. I sha know the house was on the same street. In less than 5 minutes, we were at the house. He had introduced me to his elder brother in the car. While in the car, he asked me my name, what I did, what Uni I went to? He sounded so concerned for my wellbeing. He asked me if I would like to work in his bank when I finished my service year. Oh. My. Lord! I could not believe my ears. What?! So, it is true what Yorubas say that ‘oku olomo ki’i sun’? That a dead mother does not sleep, So, my mother had gone to heaven to make my paths straight and provide a job for me? I mentally sent a thank you to my mother – ‘abiyamo orun Adunni. My heavenly mother Adunni. By this time, we had gotten to his house. And of course I told him that I would be DELIGHTED to be offered employment at his bank.
We got down from the car. Me, him, his elder brother and his entourage. We got to the ante room and we all sat down while he told his steward to get me a drink. Soon, his elder brother left and the other people too. So, I got up to make my excuses too. Na so the kindly grandfather took off his grandfather took of his kindly mask. Hmmm… Na so Chief Kokonsari locked the door and told me not yet. I tried to keep calm and told him that I really needed to go. He started taking off’ his clothes. By this time, I had started crying. I was begging him to please let me go. That my mum had died recently and that she was looking down at him o. He told me to keep quiet na. That he no wan ‘fu:ck me na. That he no get kond’on. That he no dey ‘fu:ck without kondon. Then he brought out his ‘kokonsari’. That I should just put it in my mouth. By this time, I was hysterical. I started screaming YE! PLEASE SA! LET ME GO SA O! I BEG YOU SA! PLEASE HELP ME O! ANYBODY!.
Chief Kokonsari told me to shut up! That did I not want a job at the bank? NO O! I DON’T WANT ANYMORE SA O! THANK YOU O!. He was holding his kokonsari and telling me that he had no intentions of ‘fuc:king me as he had no kondon. Really? Anyway, for some reason, he put his kokonsari back where it belonged and went to open the door of the ante room. I rushed out only to see his elder brother outside the door. He spoke in his language to his elder brother and that one then said to me. ‘ my daughter, why na? Why you no gree shief do na? I could not believe my ears? Agbalabga? Old man? Rapping this s:hait? So, chief told his elder brother that it was because I did not school in Unilag (sorry Akokaite if you are reading this. No be me talk am. Na chief talk am). That we Unijos student too de do smesme. We no sharp. At this point, I was physically sick at the sight and sound of these two. But the sitting room was still locked. So, I started ban’gin:g on the door.
Anyway, chief told his elder brother to give me some money. I think maybe N5K. I can’t remember. He told me that if I had performed, I would have gotten N50K. In my mind, I thought ‘even if you give me N50m, I still will not touch you with a l’ong pole. Derti old man. Anyway, I did not accept the money. I kept ba:ngin’g on the door till his brother opened it. If you saw how I ran out of that compound on to the street ehn? You would think that the witches in my enemy’s village were in hot pursuit of me ni. Before he changed his mind and told them to hold me down. The first taxi I saw, I did not even bother ‘pricing’ it. I just jumped in. I t was when I got in that I told him my Apapa destination. And of course, he gave me a price of someone who had been desperate to start a taxi trip without pricing. Wo, just get me home safely please. E se sa. Thank you sir.
When I got home, I felt so dirty, so ‘violate:d, that I kept scrubbing and scrubbing myself in the shower that I had immediately I got in when I arrived home. I told Maami who was staying with us about the incidence and Maami just started crying. That shaybi I know she has lost her only child. That do I want her to lose a grandchild ni? That what if the man had kidnapped me and turned me into money making juju?
That is the story of how curiosity almost killed me o. All these derti influential old men in Nigeria. Funny thing is a couple of years ago, I saw this same Chief Kokonsari on the Bisi Olatilo show where everyone was almost kowtowing to him. All these derti influential rich old men in Nigeria.