Mr Wale Niniola

I was still wrapping my head around the conductor who stood bent over the door like a croissant when I caught a glimpse of what she was doing on her phone. She had just received a message from a Wale Niniola. I was going to stop looking but the text caught my attention. “I can’t stop being lonely without you by my side” with which she unromantically replied “don’t be lonely”.

I was going to keep reading but the ring on her fourth finger caught my attention. She was married. The unfriendly lady sitting by my side was married.. what was more surprising was the fact that Wale Niniola was not her husband. I don’t think she would have saved his number as that. It was too formal. There was obviously more to her than meets the eye.
Who would have thought that the lady who wore a frown like it was her glory, who wore flared bottom pants and a chiffon blouse with dark eye liner and too thin brows was married and having an affair with Mr Wale Niniola. I was going to peruse on the matter longer when I caught myself judging her. I really shouldn’t be, especially when I was my way to see the man I am sleeping with. 

No, he is not my husband. 


Her hips were wide, like she was the goddess of fertility

Her smile, enchanting,

As the words fell from her lips,  every man chanted

Bose Bose

Yellow like the sun

Her skin, fresh like ripe tomatoes from Jos

Skin fresh like grapes straight from the farmers Vine yard

It was rumored that God took special time to create her


Bose was not just a woman

Bose was an enchantress

She would sway her hips

Smile with her lips

Reaching cheek to cheek

Red lipsticks

Men lip stain

They would stare

At her command they would bow

Bose Bose

She was tall, towering over other woman

She knew they couldn’t compete

Her ego, big

Bigger than the voice of Susan Boyd

That there were other women was no factor

They were more like ex factors

Her legs were long

No man in no position hadn’t she explored

Her parents were right to name her Dora

Bose Dora Animashaun

She loved the attention doted on her

Bose Bose

The cheer was deafening

The applause unrelenting

Bose Bose

Today I saw Bose

Rags on her hips, dreads on her head

She smiled, like the world was her friend 

Like the knots on her head hadn’t gone loose a while ago

What they said was true

The attention drove her crazy


I passed that place every day on my way to work. She was beautiful and her ewa goin was like no other. 

The queue was endless so I waited with everyone for my turn and while n served I chipped in a word or two. 

Last week her shop was empty, she had not started selling and it was already 8 O’ clock. 

‘Evy’ I called to her. Her name was Evelyn, beautiful as she was, but everyone called her ‘Evy, Evy baby, Evy the geh’ whatever would make her smile. Today she wasn’t. 

‘Oga shop no open today, we no dey sell’ 

‘Wetin happen na?’ Looking at my wrist watch, wondering how much time I had to chat with the lady. ‘You no want man to chop today?’ 

‘Oga I say we no dey sell’ 

She obviously wasn’t in the mood to sell didn’t even look like she prepared anything. 

‘No vex na’ I sheepishly smiled at her as I turned to head for the door

‘I no vex, no mind me, she said retying the wrapper in her waist. ‘No mind me, Na this yeye people wey wan drive me commit my shop say I never pay rent’ she came out from behind the table, ‘the thing don tire me.’ 

I walked towards her and began talking to her. We talked for a little while before someone else walked into the canteen. He seemed familiar, but I couldn’t remember where I had seen or even met him. We both greeted him as he silently walked by us to one of the tables by the window. 

Evelyn quickly said to him, ‘oga we no sell today oh’ as if she didn’t want him feeling comfortable there. 

He took his hat off and turned to the window not paying attention to what she just said. 

‘oga I say we no sell’ she repeated to him. He didn’t even turn his head. 

She began walking to his table when he turned to her. There was something about the way he turned. The way he stared at her.he had something in his eyes, dark. His gaze held secrets, his countenance was iffy. 

She continued walking towards him, she didn’t seem to be intimidated. 

She was very close to his table now. She was about to touch him when he lifted his head towards her and silently said, Don’t ‘

That was all the warning she needed to stop her in her tracks. 

I don’t know what happened after that because I left the store, my train had come. I sure hope she is OK because the next time I came for my Ewa goin, the doors had been locked with a large camel padlock. 

There was a lot of rumor going around that she moved to another shop and no one knew where,  but a big part of me knew that man had everything to do with where she was, if she was still breathing. 


 I got to the club a little after eleven, I’m always late so it wasn’t  a wonder I was there two hours after it started. It was my first club experience, I wanted to look right, act right and eat just enough to make sure I wouldn’t get too drunk; I learned never to drink on an empty stomach. .

Walking through the gate of the club, I met an empty open space (okay maybe saying empty might be an exaggeration, but there were less people than I expected there). Most people were trying to get high, only a few people danced at the corner.

I was at the table with a couple of friends, everybody was sitting and drinking but I told myself, not now, I need to dance first. I was excited, I just freaking graduated… I should live a little, more often than not, I’ve been told to loosen up, may be this was that night. I even stopped by a store to get birth control pills. I think I was ready for the night to go crazy.

I stepped few inches away from my friends an started to dance alone, a guy came closer to me and we started to dance, I wasn’t sure who he was and I didn’t care, or I tried not to care. Things got uncomfortable when another guy tried to join the dance; he had been following us all the while we were on the dance floor. I knew it was time to go when he came closer and tried to touch hold my waist almost pulling my skirt higher than it should ever go in public. I was too uncomfortable so I left almost immediately.

I went to the back of the club to get something to eat; my stomach gave me signals suggesting the food I termed ‘just enough” wasn’t going to cut it. I hadn’t had shawarma in a while so I thought, ‘what the heck’ might as well just get that… after all, the night wasn’t turning out to be as good as I planned.

I was at the shawarma stand when I saw him; again.  I’ve always seen him, I mean, who wouldn’t. Have you seen his face? He was the closest description to perfection, the most beautiful arrangement of imperfection; the way his beards were perfectly arranged. The way his lips were shaped. His eyes, the way they would stare intently but yet with almost no concentration. He would walk into a place filled with thousands and still be noticed.

I remember the first time I saw him, October 1st, 2011; my first year in university. He wore a red shirt and walked in through the kindness entrance of the university chapel. I was utterly dazed. Yup, I remember that day. I had on the most miserable green shirt with black polka dots. I wouldn’t stare so much because I didn’t want to be caught staring. I was doing the same thing today, staring at him but not wanting to be caught. He was with two or three guys; I wasn’t sure and didn’t care.

My shawarma was almost ready when he came towards me and tried to start a conversation. He was cool about the way he asked me to come, sit and talk with him. I pretended not to be interested and made going to my bag more important than sitting with him. My bag was obviously safe with my friends. I left with him though after “going to check on my bag”

We went around the back and sat on the stairs. He could barely keep his eyes open, and while we were talking, he kept repeating my name, like he didn’t want to forget it but it could have also been because he was high and that was his own way of misbehaving. He was so good looking. I mean, the way he smiled while we talked. We talked for almost an hour about everything and anything. He had so much in common. The night was going really good, really really good.

It was almost an hour or more that we were talking when his friend (the dream killer) came over and told him it was time to leave. I knew he was going to forget that this ever happened; he’ll forget he told me my smile was beautiful. He’ll forget he told me I was special, or that we have a connection. I knew he was going to forget my name and a couple of other things and as this reality was hitting me, I wanted him to kiss me, so even if he forgets, I wouldn’t forget the way his lips felt as the touched mine or the way my heart skipped a beat when he said hi.

He pulled me up to leave, and just as I stood up, he cupped my face in his hands and leaned in and kissed me. He was way taller than me (I’m 5’4). He was a good kisser. The way he took my lips, gentle and sweet; the way his beard grazed my skin, I loved every bit of that moment. But this moment I loved so much was short lived; he kissed me and said goodnight.

I saw him on Monday night walking with a really pretty girl. He looked up from his phone and looked at me. He held a stare for about two seconds before taking it back to his phone while walking away. He didn’t remember. I wanted to scream, tell him all about that night. Tell him who I was. How we talked all night. How he kissed me and took my breath away but instead I turned to my friend and managed a smile. The truth was my heart had chattered into almost a million pieces…I was hurt; but really, who wouldn’t?


The first time I laid eyes on her, I didn’t want to take them off..the only things I wanted to take off were the overalls she wore to hide her body… But still I could tell she had a beautiful body. 

The way she walked.. Shoulders slumped… Head down… Hands folded yo her chest.. But still her hips managed to get attention every time.. The way they swayed side to side.. Any human would take a second look.. Her long legs… They took their time to pace a place event though we knew they were built for haste… 

Her skin… O so yellow… 

When I finally got a chance to look at her eyes… They were magnetic.. Her lips… Looked soft… And when she managed a smile.. The world around her lit.. 

But Nnena didn’t know she was beautiful.. 

See Nnena was a scared young woman.. 

Two sons with no father… And another on the way.. Her mother passed on when Nnena was born… Leaving her father to care for her. 

We all knew Nnena was the beautiful one… I mean everyone in the street knew that.. Hell every one in the town knew that. 

When she went to the market, we all wanted her to buy from our shops… But she only came to my mothers shop… With a few words she bought and left.. 

I found myself giving her one cup more… Garri, beans, rice… And on many occasions… Isi okporoko with the small dry fish she always came for.. 

My mothers store was not big but our big heart got us many loyal customers… 

Many mothers wanted their daughters away from Nnena… Fathers would not have her in their compounds.. They were certain she will bewitch their sins into taking her in with her unnecessary baggage.. Her boys and a half.. 

Chinese whispers of how she got pregnant… For the boys.. And the one on the way.. 

She slept with her teacher in school..

She slept with the former landlord…

She let a boy slept with her and abandoned her

She was manner less… She was shameless… She had no home training.. On many occasions, the whisper was.. She killed her mother.. 

The last time I saw Nnena was on the first Friday in April, last year.. 

The rain had decided to grace us with her presence…. And she made quite a show.. 

The sound of the rain and it repeatedly kissed our zinc roof was so loud you could barely hear a thing from outside… 

I had been lying in my room thinking of what school I would finally put on my jamb form. The droplets of water falling into the bowl by my bed side from the leaking roof was too distracting… It wasn’t like I was concentrating anyway.. 

I decided to focus my attention on other things.. Like the compound.. I hadn’t stared more than a minute through my window into the street when I saw her running… 

We had no surrounding wall or gate in our compound, my father said it made him feel imprisoned.. 

I looked closer and I saw her clearly… She had a knife in her right hand.. Bloody hands.. Bloody clothes… 

It was obvious she had been crying… Just behind her… Her father followed.. 

I wanted to leave my room and come outside but my mother wouldn’t let me so I decided to stay and watch from my bedroom window.. The privilege of being an only child.. You get a room to yourself. 

I opened my window a little to make out the conversation…. My parents had gone outside to intervene obviously.. 

She kept screaming.. ‘I won’t let him touch me again..’ 

Over and over and over again.. 

Her father had been cut on his arm.. 

I don’t know the end of the story.. But my mother called me and sent me to the kitchen.. By the time I got out… 

She was sitting in our living room.. 

And her father had left.. 

That night as we sat in the parlor to say our night prayers.. I couldn’t stop staring… 

The devotion was quiet… Unusually so, being that my mother was a chorus leader in church.. 

I slept in the parlor while Nnena took my room.. 

By the time I got up in the morning… She was gone… And so were the answers to all my questions… 




It’s the second time I’ve caught him staring at me.. I’m beginning to think he wants to say something to me.. “you think” I sarcastically said to myself.. Maybe I should say something to him.. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen. 

“hi” i heard a voice over my head.. I looked up and saw him smiling down at me.. He looked hood from where i was sitting.. 

He was tall.. Or maybe I was just really short.. At 5ft4 I could barely tell the difference between average height and really tall.. Everybody was tall to me.. 

I raised my head and smiled back at him.. 

“Is the seat taken?” 

Looking to my side I managed a small “no”and a quick nod as I took my books off the chair beside me… 

He sat down.. “Bade, Ajibade” 

“Ijeoma” I said burying my head back to my sketch pad… I had the habit of getting lost in my thoughts when I’m sketching.. But I hadn’t been able to make a complete drawing because I was always getting distracted.. 

“May I”, he said making a motion towards my sketch pad … I reluctantly gave I to him.. And twenty minutes later.. I had my face on that page of my sketch pad.. He drew me.. And excellently too in twenty minutes.. I was still struggling to make such an amazing drawing in such short time.. But Bade did it. 

Fast forward two hours later, I’m laughing so hard and holding my ribs.. 

Bade was amazing.. 

It was time to leave and I told him… ‘Oh,  Where are you going? I can drop you off somewhere if you like?”

“What makes you think I don’t have a car?”

“My bad, oh.. Ok.. Then you can at least give me your number.. I’d really like to see you again”

I smiled and took his phone and put my number into his phone.. Picked my bags and 

Left the lounge. 

I had walked away real quick and didn’t notice he was walking behind me.. 

“are you following me?” I said smiling as I turned.. 

“No, I’m leaving too.. The best thing about this place just walked out” he said smiling.. 

I flagged a cab and started negotiating prices… 

“You should really his let me drop you off… I’m heading that way too.. 

Reluctantly I let the cab man drive off and walked slowly behind him, bag in hand. 

“Where are you going? I don’t know this route?” I said.. A little unsure.. 

I wasn’t really familiar with this route and I was a little paranoid.. I’ve heard stories.. 

He wasn’t replying me.. And his silence worried me the more.. 

He packed his car… 

‘get down’

I looked at him.. His hands were on the steering wheel.. 


“Get down”

I opened the door. And got out of the car.. Taking my bag with me.. 

He got out the car too.. Turned around to where I was and held my hand..  

I looked into his eyes and I saw nothing.. It was like he was empty.. 

‘Please!’ I begged him before he pushed me to the ground.. 

‘Bade please!’ 

‘My name is not even Bade’ 

That was the last thing I remembered.. 

it was all once in my head