11 min read

Everybody dey wait

Puta kene n’ogbo
Ife di mma amaka
Better soup na money kill am o
Adanwa ngwa pekem pekem iya
Ada Ada (Hei Asanwa)
Ada Ada iyooo

The lyrics of the song Ada Ada by Flavor blasted through the bluetooth speaker my aunt gifted me last year as I swayed my nonexistent hips to the rythm. Trying to execute the dance steps I had in my head, my wicked step sister barges into my cubicle sized room startling me. My legs wobble and I fall like a drunk panda but the evil queen doesn’t seem to care.

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“Mama said you should wash the dishes from the village party, sweep the property and the house, scrub the kitchen tiles, fetch water from the stream, mop, cook the soup we’ll eat next week…” Amaka paused to take a breath
” She also said we’re travelling to Lagos to visit her sister tomorrow but of course you’re not going with us” She sneered like the devil she is.

I leave my room quite happy that at least I have a night to myself, my evil step mum begins yelling at me ” Ada haven’t I warned you not to wash my clothes with your dirty wears?” She yells angrily as she wacks me in the face. Of course my dad wouldn’t intervene as he’s hungover from his daily drunk escapede.

“I’m sorry ma” I muttered weakly as my eyes clouded over with tears. Taking her suitcase from her, I carried it over to her most prized possession ; a rickety old Toyota corolla. They all pile into the car including my half dead sorry excuse of a father. My step mum takes the wheels roaring the old worn out engine to life as a she speeds off leaving me in the dust.

I happily skipped to my room to tune down the music and begin my chores. Changing into my two pieced wrapper; one tied perfectly across my bosom and the other across my waist covering barely half my thighs. It is barely 10’o clock so the market won’t have opened. 

Accepting my fate of being their servant, I set out to begin the excruciating journey of ridiculous chores my step mum happily laid down for me. Deciding to wash the wash the plates first, I take the kegs to fetch water from the stream. Killing two birds with one stone.

”Ada” a shrill voice pierces through my ears. I turn around to see Amaka and Uzo ; my best friends. Basically my only friends because the village people think I’m some devil that killed my mother as she was giving birth to me. Tuning out of the reverie of my life, I happily engulf them in hugs.

”Where are you going with five kegs? Uzo asks confused in her soft voice. Don’t tell me Mama Chidinma still maltreats you? Amaka bombards me before I can even process what Uzo says. Amaka and Uzo are quite oblivious to the entirety of my daily encounters. All they know is that Mama Chi won’t allow me go to school and I spend the day hawking her goods in Egala town.

Amaka and Uzo have known each other forever. About ten years ago,I was running away from the school shortly before it closed. Mama Chi’s friend is the principal and I couldn’t risk her noticing me. Imagining myself like a trained ninja I saw myself to be, I sprained my ankle attempting to backflip beneath the wide window shutters almost as low as the ground. Amaka and Uzo had ditched class to pluck oranges from the tree behind the school and they saw me there writhing in pain. Thinking I was one of the students, they wanted to take me to the nurse but I was quick to explain my situation to them. they helped carry me to my house and snuck me through my room window. Since that day, we formed a bond and they always taught what they learnt in school.

“Why aren’t you answering us? “Amaka yells impatiently bringing me back to the present. “Oh sorry, I was daydreaming. I’m going to fetch water from the stream and no, Mama Chi isn’t maltreating me” I reply in one breath

“We were just heading there to take a bath. It’s so hot ” Uzo says. 

We continue our walk to the stream together discussing trivial village matters. Mostly Amaka is talking, of course. She is the most informed on the hottest single guys in the village and she never ceases to gist us . As soon as we get there, Amaka cuts her rant short, runs and dives into the pool of water spraying a large splash on Uzo and I. I love coming to the stream because it’s usually deserted except in the early mornings and I can seat by the edge of the water with my best friends and we enjoy and laugh like our lives are perfect.

I tell them about my day’s event and they tell me about theirs. They decide to help me with my chores like they always do and I agree. “Let’s begin” Uzo announces as though she’s speaking to the whole village. We each arm ourselves with a keg and go to the beginning of the stream where the clean water flows and fetch to our abilities.

As soon as we got to my house, we start the chores and finish in about 2 hours because Uzo works as fast as a power machine. When we are done, we blast music from my blue tooth speaker throughout the whole house dancing to our  heart’s desire.

After our makeshift crazy frat party, we were so worn out so we took a stroll to Mama Buki’s shop to eat her Yoruba delicacies. Stuffing my face like the crazy panda I am, I eat to my hearts desire which also means i only stop when I’m on the verge of death.

Going back home is not easy with a food baby so we take longer than usual. Finally, we get there and they go they’re separate ways. I run to my crash, crash into my bed and await the arrival of my accursed relatives.

As written by Fawziyyat Yusuf.

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