‘“Know yourself” no be curse.’
Na wetin our people talk be that. True true, if you no know yourself, na which other thing you go know na? Sometimes e get how somebody go do anyhow and people go look am and ask am ‘You no know yourself?’ or ‘O boy make you know yourself o!’ The thing be say, if you no know yourself well sometimes strong things wey no suppose do you go do you.
Last week Monday I no go work.
No be say to go work no hungry me o. Actually, na lie be that. To go work no hungry me sha and e for good make the weekend continue, but man must comot go find him garri. Anyway, when I wake up that morning, ‘the spirit’ tell me say to comot for house no go be good idea. Na wetin I for fit tell pastor if to say e ask me be that. But between me and you, na just my belle say make I no comot o. The belle just do one kind and I begin remember something wey happen to me some years ago when I been still dey university.
That morning, around 4 o’clock for morning e be like say somebody just slap me. I jump up from sleep. When I look around me, my four roommates still dey sleep dey snore. After a few seconds, my belle come make one sound. You know that sound na. I realise say nobody slap me o. Na that belle movement na him wake me up so. For the hostel, every four rooms dey share one toilet. We dey lock the toilet and each room get a key to their toilet. I get up, carry toilet roll, take toilet key and waka quick quick go toilet go do my ‘business’. I notice say na dat kind ‘business’ wey you no actually need to put any force before e come out. Just position yourself and… na like that. I finish the thing and go back to my room go continue the sleep.
6am and I done wake up. I dey feel very normal and ready for the day. I baff, dress up and go buy food from Madam Kwor (short for Madam Quantity) the woman wey dey sell food for hostel. I buy beans without. You know beans without na…. Just beans wey dem use palm oil cook, no meat or fish. The beans dey plenty, e sweet, e dey belleful and e cheap. I wack the thing quick quick, then go class.
The class start around 8 o’clock. 30 minutes after class start, somebody wey dey form D’Banj begin blow mouth organ inside my belle. Immediately, I remember Madam Kwor beans! I tell myself say nothing dey happen. I fit manage am till the end of the class before I go back hostel go do like that. After maybe another 10 minutes (I no really sure o; who dey look him watch under that kind condition sef?!) e be like say some children dey run round inside my belle dey sing round-and-round-da-village. I begin shift from side to side. You know that type wey you go raise one part of your ‘something’ small and use one part siddon, then after some time the thing go tell you to change the part wey you use siddon and use the other part, abi? Ehen, na that type. I take corner-eye look the people wey siddon near me to see if any of dem done hear the music wey dey come from my belle. Luckily, e be like say dem dey focus on wetin the lecturer dey talk. All, this time wey I dey do all these things, I no dey hear anything wey the lecturer dey teach o, but I dey look straight for the man face! I done dey sweat like Christmas goat too!
I stay there small and I no fit hold am again, so I decide to bone the class and go straight to the hostel. Poor student wey I be, I no blow bike. Hostel no too far from class so I say I fit leg am go there. I come out from class begin waka sharply dey go back to the hostel. As I dey waka like soldier dey go, suddenly the thing go just do like say e wan come out. Like soldier too, I go just change from quick march to slow march. If you done go NYSC camp or see soldiers or police dey parade before, you know wetin I mean. No be just slow o. I go tighten the muscles of the ‘area’ to make sure say nothing drop! But, I no come understand why e be like say everybody wey I know for school come dey follow that road at that same time. And all of dem wan stop stop and hail me, shake hand or hug and gist plenty. These people no see say na Armageddon wan happens so?! And you know how e be na, I no fit just bone dem dey waka or explain to dem wetin dey really happen. Like ten people stop me before I finally reach hostel.
When I reach the hostel, as I see my room door na run I take cover the last 20 metres. I open the door quick quick, throw my books on top bed, grab the toilet key and toilet roll and run dey go toilet. You sabi how devil dey take punish person for sin wey he know even know say he commit? Key no gree enter padlock. After enough struggle, the key enter and padlock no gree open. As I dey do this one, I dey dance that dance (you know the dance na), dey jump from one leg to the other, dey pray to God make He no let devil succeed, dey curse Madam Kwor for giving me beans without, dey wonder why we no dey even leave the toilet open all the time…. The padlock come open, as I dey remove the padlock dey open the door na him Armageddon happen! Just 2 steps to the toilet bowl! The rest, as oyibo talk, na history.
So that last week Monday, as I wake up and the thing do me like e been do me that day years ago, I remember Armageddon. If to say I been take that first belle movement many years ago serious, the thing wey been happen that day no for happen. As an ‘experienced’ man and man wey know himself now, I know wetin to do this time. That kind strong thing no fit do me again. I no dey go anywhere! Whatever fight I need to fight na for my house I go dey fight am. Afterall, nowhere for bible wey dem talk say Armageddon happen two times! And as our people talk, ‘If dog bite you one time, na the dog dey craze. If you allow that same dog to bite you again, na you wey no well!’