Barka De Sallah to all Muslim tlsplacers. All kindly let me know how I get my Sallah meat. Of course, I couldn’t let Sallah Pass without a special. Enjoy and take the poll at the end. Please tune in to Naija FM 102.7 today at 8:45am to hear me talk writing in pidgin. Interesting Stuff. Enjoy…
This is the most confusing and difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. Should I keep this baby or shouldn’t I? now, I can guess what you are thinking “how is that such a tough decision”. But listen to the story and then take the poll when you are done.
My name is Ngozi Oleh but everyone calls me Omalicha. I went to serve with Batch A corpers, before there were more than two batches per year. Before service year, I had never been outside the east. I grew up in Aba and schooled in Aba, Federal Government Girls College Owerri for Secondary School and then ESUTH for University. So when I was posted to Yobe, I was excited, though my parents who had lived through the civil war were less so.
Anyway, service year started as a blast, and after being posted to Damaturu, we learnt to create our own corper fun and partied hard. Now, on the way to my place of primary assignment, we had to pass through a gathering of some dirty Kanuri men who were gathered in front of the house of a wealthy one, waiting for free food and drink. They stank to the high heavens. Now, my friends said because I was fine, I was snotty. What they didn’t understand was that each of us has varying degrees of sensitivity to smell. If there’s a scale of one to ten for sensitivity to smell, I would be an eleven. I am that sensitive to it. So unlike all of them who could hide how they felt about the smelly Kanuri people, I couldn’t. I would wrinkle my nose and face and cover my nose with my hands as I passed to keep the smell out. Sometimes though, I vocalized my displeasure. I wished there was some other route but unfortunately there wasn’t, so I daily went through this distasteful experience.
But gestures are universal and the men understood my actions for what it meant. My friends warned me to be less obvious but I said “whatever!” and carried on with an obvious display of how I felt about their smelliness.
One of them got angry enough one day and went to a marabout. He was away for two days and when he returned, he waited for me to pass and wrinkle my nose. He walked up to me and touched me. I cannot remember much beyond that. My friends filled me in.
I followed him and sat in their midst. I began to spend all my time with them, eating amongst them, practically living like them. They tried all they could to get me to snap out of it but I was adamant and fought every single one of them.
Then we passed out and it was time to leave. It was when I refused to leave those people and go home that one of them found out how to reach my parents and told them what had happened. My parents sped down to Yobe and tried to get me to go home with them. I was adamant “I love him and cannot leave here to live without him” I said, pointing to the one who had hit me that day and who was now my man amongst them.
It was then that my father wisely saw that this was not “ordinary eye” and he went to report to the NYSC state coordinator.
“Ah! That is a serious matter.” He exclaimed after hearing their story and then took them to the traditional ruler to relay their tale again. One the Emir heard him out, he sent his officials to summon the rich man that fed those Kanuri people and that one in turn summoned the man I was living with and I. The emir recognized what was involved and chastised the man and commanded him to undo the juju he had done. He reluctantly mentioned the marabout he had used and that one was equally summoned. The juju was eventually undone and my eyes cleared. I realized what had happened. I just wanted to die. On the state coordinator’s advice, I was taken to a hospital for test. It was there it was discovered that I was five months pregnant.
So in my shoes, would you keep the child and would you ever be able to love that child?