By Yami Bamgboye
After several months of genuine stewardship, Osiya’s father stumbled on a truth. On this day, the Founder’s wife had gone into spiritual seizures following a session of worship. She came buzzing ‘blaa…blaa…maa…maa…’ like revelling elephant flies around fresh faeces and silence sprinkled on everyone while they waited for her prophecies. But Osiya’s father had caught a glimpse which ruffled their feathers. It really was the beginning of his last days.
Osiya’s grandmother ended her pleas with a tender clasping, the one that sent the remaining exhortation straight to his brain, unspoken and tears rolled down his cheeks– a sensation he felt when his father passed on in his arms.
‘Grin…grin…grin…’ was how it all started on the fateful day. ‘Hello, ibi li wa?’, the voice at the other end enquired. Osiya was surprised– a call, an unknown caller. Before he muttered ‘who are you?’, the call ended abruptly and he thought he heard ‘yeeeee, Ogerevo is dying’.
‘Ogerevo! That’s my father!’, he said in his head.
‘But… he was sleeping, and… shook his head when I greeted before leaving for school, but…’, he muttered again. He couldn’t be sure he was not scared. His hands quaked; the noise other students made around him sounded a million miles away and the only thing that re-echoed in his head was wailing.
‘Bibi ma, Bibi ma’, he said when he saw his father where he had lain and tears streamed down in large quantum. As he raised his head in his arms, he saw a streak of smile on his face like someone who had a wish and conquered death in death. Then, his last breath; it was a fulfilled desire. Osiya was in his third year at the university.
What next? He couldn’t figure. He got up, paced around in circles yet, nothing was forth coming except the asylum idea. ‘Why should I keep running?’, he muttered again.
‘Besides, it was just a poem oh! In the media, they said a line struck them like an arrow “gluttons in paradise gagging watchdogs with thorn-gags, “but that is true nah. It even became worse when they placed restrictions on cyberspace comments, political comments and speculated jail terms for offenders. Who does that in democracy? To play safe, they said if proven to be false, I laugh. Are these not the people who make what is seen unseen?’, he concluded.
He went to his bed, adjusted his shorts and sat at the edge. Later, he lay and slept off again.
Shevo was the smartest guy in Osiya’s class in secondary school. They had been very close friends until Shevo left Kalakuta to study in Ghana and could only communicate through telephone calls and the internet. As smart as Shevo was, he was also pretty mischievous. He knew a lot about girls and sex. He had the boldness of a mature mind at his tender age. Shevo and Osiya were just fifteen years. No one could doubt he was far ahead of Osiya.
Shevo had at a time in school– while they prepared for their final exams– encouraged Osiya to woo Jumai, a girl Osiya had childhood crush on. Both Osiya and Jumai had been members of the same church too. Shevo persisted he did, Osiya knew he didn’t have the boldness. So, he opted for a love poem which Shevo delivered to Jumai with his own words.
Now that he was in Kalakuta again on a short visit, the thoughts of Oshiya did not flash through his mind. His only sister Makanju, was in trouble. Shevo’s first call was at his family house where his weary father, a fairly successful architect and mother lived.
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