Didn’t know how loved Baba Risi is until I asked on twitter if people would love to read another episode and the answer was an overwhelming emphatic YES! So, here’s your loved Baba Risi. As usual, I laughed as I wrote this.
Rosco calmed the crowd down. He knew better than to call Baba Risi, as he had seen him going to Kakadu Hotel with Angela the hairdresser. Until the man finished his business there, the crowd would have to wait. Today’s crowd was something else, but majorly made up of young girls and young guys. These ones, he had been able to collect hundred Naira for sitting and fifty for standing from, but he would report the usual fees to Baba Risi. The man was stingy jor, and whenever he could, he would swindle the old man. If not for the strong juju the man had, he would have attempted to take over. But he remembered Sir T, Baba Risi’s former lieutenant who was now practically an imbecile. That one had thought it was muscle that Baba Risi used to keep everyone in line and tried a coup by muscle. He, Rosco would not be that foolish.
The shouts of “Baba o, baba o” from the boys made him look up and he saw his white kaftan wearing principal approaching. He stomped one foot on the ground and saluted “twaile baba,” he shouted.
Baba Risi ignored the boy and went into the full courtroom. He needed to replace that boy soon, Spartacus, his spy amongst the boys had told him that Rosco had been running his mouth recently. Not that he couldn’t handle Rosco if he tried anything, but he wasn’t interested in any fighting now.
He brought his mind into the court.
“Order, order!” the clerk shouted as soon as Baba Risi was seated and the room became quiet. He wanted to get this done with quickly and return to Angela. That girl was bad, the one she gave him today en, she said it was monkey style – Iya Risi no sabi that one o.
“Who dey here today?” he asked in a loud, no nonsense voice.
“The case na between Little Lagos Boys and Rolling Blender,” the clerk shouted.
With that, two boys came forward. One was wearing a kaftan, and Baba Risi’s trained eyes say that under the kaftan, he had a pistol tucked into his trouser. How could Rosco have allowed someone with a gun into his courtroom? He adjusted the ifunpa juju that would make sure his ayeta (bullet deflecting juju) was working and mouthed a few incantations.
“is it you against you?” he asked, pointing from one to the other.
“we are one baba, this is Saliu, King of Boiz of Little Lagos, and me I be Cha-cha” the other one wearing jeans said.
“So where is this Rolling Blender?” Baba Risi shouted.
From the back of the courtroom, a tall guy with a huge Mohawk haircut swaggered forward, with three babes accompanying him and most of the girls in the crowd hailing him. He eyed the two guys already in front and moved to the other side of them.
“Wetin be una case?” Baba Risi asked, wondering which of the two guys he disliked the most, especially considering what their case had interrupted him from doing.
Cha-cha, the obvious spokesman began “we wan do street jam for Little Lagos, and we been dey find musician wey go perform. So we call this nonsense Rolling Blender…”
With that, shout from the female side of the room rent the air in protest, and Rolling Blender faced then and did a two finger in the air gesture to them and many of them followed suit. Their protests stopped without the clerk shouting. Baba Risi was amused by it all, in spite of himself.
Cha-cha shot Rolling Blender a killer look, while Saliu looked on with some indifference. The former continued “we gree for performance fee of 20K, say we go give am ten before the day, and we go balance am after the show. Na him we no see am the show day. We find am go house, he no dey. Na after we hear say he go perform for the carnival of Up Nepa Boiz. He just fall our hand. When we come wan deal with am, those Up Nepa dey protect am, dey hide am. We just gree to come here because we no want ware ni, otherwise, we for don waste people go.”
“Oya, Rolling Blender, make we hear you,” Baba Risi said, ignoring the disrespect the boy had shown by insinuating they would have gone to do justice in his domain without him.
“Rasta Blasta Gangsta Masta Coaster Roaster,” Rolling Blender rolled off his tongue, then turned, facing the crowd and he bent forward, leaning into the crowd with a hand cupping his ear, he shouted “Commot your wetin?”
Girls all over the courtroom shrieked in response “Off your pata, off your pant.”
Baba Risi could almost not help laughing at the spectacle before him, and a chuckle escaped him before he summoned the steel into his voice and rebuked the boisterous performer in front of him
“Oga, you think say na your stage be this? If you try this rubbish again, how that girl take sing am? En en, ifoti to gbona lo ma je ti o ba misbehave” Baba Risi too gave his own musical rendition of Goldie.
“Baba no vex. These people, dem come say make celeb like me come perform for their carnival, come dey offer twenty grand. That na insult to star like me now. The Up Nepa Boiz, na Hundred thooooooousand, na him dem bring. Na those wey sabi say I be celeb wey be about to blow be that.”
Baba Risi saw the logic in what he was saying and he would have done the same. “so why you no tell them before their street jam say you no go fit show?”
“Baba, dem downgrade me ni, I say make I…” Rolling Blender was saying when a gasp alerted him to what he had been suspecting. Nimble as a rabbit, he jumped behind Baba Risi. Saliu had pulled his gun.
The clerk ducked under his table and the people in the courtroom began to shout.
Saliu turned around and shout “keep quiet!” and they all instantly became quiet. A gun is very compelling.
“Wetin be this? You don dey mad?” Baba Risi stood up and shouted, his large body in the path between Saliu’s pointed gun and a cowering Rolling Blender.
“Na because we no wan cause plenty bloodshed commot am with force from those Up Nepa na him we gree to come your yeye court o, you this old man, no think say we for come here otherwise. And we no dey look Uche face o, me I go waste you if you no commot for road now now. Na three I go count. One!”
Baba Risi did not move and everyone in the courtroom held their breath.
“Two!” Saliu’s voice rang out clear and sharp. Still Baba Risi did not move.
Saliu did not bother to count to three. He just said “I no send your papa o” and release the shot! The sound reverberated in the courtroom but the people still sat, the fear of becoming the target of the next shot holding them down. When the smoke cleared, Saliu expected to see a fallen Baba Risi and prepared to finish off Rolling Blender.
Instead, there was Baba Risi, unscathed, with a wicked smile upon his face. “U don finish?” he asked, jeeringly.
Saliu’s fingers were now shaking, but he pulled the trigger again. Again, nothing the sound filled the room, and again, Baba Risi asked, “e remain?”
Then, moving swiftly for his age, he was before Saliu. “omode o mo ogun, o npe l’efo (the child does not know juju, he’s calling it vegetables).”
He carried Saliu by himself and placed the struggling young man on the table, relieving him of his gun. Only then did Rosco and the other boys come to his aid, holding down Saliu by his limbs. Two other guys held Cha-cha.
“Oya, remove this foolish boy shokoto,” he ordered.
Rosco removed his trouser and boxers shorts, exposing Saliu’s bare bottom.
Baba Risi produced a bulala from under the table.
Looking directly at Rosco, Baba Risi said “all of una small children wey no get respect, make una dey look o,” and he dealt the first blow to Saliu’s bare bottom. The skin cut and Saliu screamed.