After the very clinical one by Dimeji, here’s the 1st Episode of NAIJA LOVE, a series I got from Esther who works as a Music Analyst and OAP fro Cool/Wazobia/Nigeria Info FM in Abuja. Reminds me of all the Telemundo Telenovelas. So in the Telemundo guy voice… FEEL THE PASSION! Follow Esther on twitter @Elsie247
As I stepped out of the plane at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja, I turned to see that a hunky Mulatto guy behind me had his eyes glued to my bum in a chiffon mini skirt. I mischievously twerked it and he gasped audibly. I glared at him disapprovingly and pulled my sun shades on. As my feet touched the tarmac, I felt a strange mixture of trepidation, anxiety and excitement. Today I would be meeting my biological mother again after 25 years. I walked towards the arrival lounge, I let the mild heat brush my face; yes this was my home.
My name is Cassandra Bisong and I am 32 years, this is the second time I’m coming to Nigeria. First time was when I was five years old and my parents were still happily married. My parents are both from Obubra in Cross River state. I am fair, petite but well proportioned in the way Calabar women are known to be. I chuckled to myself as I remembered how my Jamaican professor had described me when he was hitting on me back then in school. “Tiny waist fanning out in reckless abandon to juicy hips”.
I was born, and grew up in the quaint town of South Orange in New Jersey, 14 miles from Manhattan. After my high school, I went on to Seton Hall University where I studied International relations and majored in diplomacy. After graduation I worked in the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Washington DC for 6 years.
Well! My dream had been to become an Ambassador but I ended up there as a Public Relations officer, after shuffling papers and dealing with wide eyed, desperate, somewhat cunning Nigerians or Naija, as they called themselves. I can say I’m very fascinated by their confidence and notorious reputation. Enough to want to come to this very controversial but intriguing country to experience it firsthand. There is more to it anyway though, my father told me that my mother abandoned me and fled to Nigeria 25 years ago. This is puzzling because the Mum I remember is gentle, beautiful and loved me with her life. The story just didn’t fit and I had looked forward to hearing her out. Now I was actually going to do it.
At the arrival lounge I located my luggage and headed towards the exit. As I made to take a trolley for my luggage, a dark lanky youth with some sort of tribal marks lining his face appeared from nowhere and grabbed my hand. I felt like spiders were crawling down my back. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a snub or anything like that, but a stranger had never grabbed me like that before. Was he a sex offender?
“Fine Aunty, well done ooh, you want trolley? I go help you carry your bag, na only 100 naira”
I snatched my hand back in confusion; why was he renting the trolley to me? Was he trying to con me? I had been warned of opportunists in Nigeria and really I have never been to an airport where trolleys were rented out. I took a deep breath to fight panic and looked at him fiercely.
“Get your hands away from my luggage Mister! Before I get security.”
He left my bag but still held the trolley. What? I turned around and saw a man in security uniform and beckoned to him. He took his time before strolling lazily over, looking angry that I had called him.
“Na wetin dey happen here? Wat happen?” He said
“This man sexually harassed me and wants to rent the trolley to me, isn’t it for free?”
The security man snorted
“Which kind free? Ol’ boy wetin dey happen here” he turned to the guy to get the gist
“See this ashewo ooh, common 100 naira, wey I tell am say na for the trolley, she begin dey speak grammar.”
I knew that ashewo meant prostitute and couldn’t believe the insult and drama that was unfolding in front of me. I simply snatched my bags and without another word started rolling them along clumsily as I walked out. The security man raised his voice so that I could hear and abused me further.
“See her legs like free trolley, upon all the money wey she carry come from America, common 100 naira she no fit give for trolley. She dey find oshofri.”
He hissed loud and long.
I was stunned, Jezz!!! This was my country? Everyone was rushing, oblivious of the next person. As I walked towards the cabs lining the sidewalk, more hands grabbed my luggage
“Sweet sister, Aunty you dey find taxi?” one cooed
Someone else pulled me from behind.
“No mind am, my car get AC, come this side.”
Tears stung my eyes. I looked around and discovered I was not the only one mobbed. Cab drivers grabbed at passengers all around, jostling. I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder and turned. I was about to give the person a piece of my mind when I saw him. The same half caste guy that was checking me out while I was leaving the plane smiled at me. He told them that I was with him and they dispersed. He grabbed my bags and led me to a Toyota Camry 2009 model, parked some feet away. He put my bags in the boot and walked around to open the passenger’s door for me, I found my voice.
“Hey Mister! You don’t even know me.”
He laughed, his laughter was seductive and he looked me in the eye.
“Is this your first time in Nigeria?”
“Yeah except you count when I was five years.”
“From your accent, you are American.”
“No I am Nigerian–American, why are you helping me?”
He laughed. “I am just being nice Ma’am”
He laughed again and gestured towards the open car.
“At least, take a load off your feet, sit down; I promise I’m not driving off to kill ya. Here! Have the car keys but for Christ sakes just sit down. I promise I’m harmless.”
“I smiled and sat down, grateful to rest my tired legs.”
“So what’s your name fair lady.”
“My name is Cassandra and you?”
“I’m Muna, short for Munachi” He said
“Muna thanks for rescuing me back there but do you want something from me?”
“NO” he responded dramatically, slapping his forehead.
“You know people always want something” I said, pouting.
“In this case, trust me I want nothing, you looked ready to burst into tears back there. Could never resist a damsel in distress.”
He walked over to the driver’s seat and sat.
“Okay I forgive you for staring so hard in the plane.”
We both laughed and relaxed and he touched my arm slightly
“Where are you headed? To a hotel? Was someone coming to pick you?
“I have reservations at Chelsea Hotel.”
“So Chelsea Hotel It is.”
He tugged at some sheets of paper that I was sitting on.
“Babe let me just get these document, they are my client’s receipts”
I apologized profusely and lifted my hips for him to ease the document from under me.
He tilted towards me and in a bid to grab all the receipts, his palm got trapped under my bum. His touch was electric and I gasped as a delicious feeling washed over me.
“Mu… Muna, what…?”