It was not a good morning as I was really stressed after a long night of reading (that is what you get when you are under pressure to get an assignment done). I was trapped to my desk; all I could see were stars, even when I stared at a 21″ television. DSTV connected with Channels TV streaming only-god-knows-what, I still saw stars. I couldn’t comprehend what I needed more; to take brunch or to nap.
Quick decision, Mama Jide immediately came to mind. Her ripe plantain with beans is a tempting sight I always fall for. I grew up loving beans and ripe plantains, for reasons i can’t explain. Finally, with that thought am settled to brunch. Yet,
there remains a Goliath technology is yet to defeat, at least, for such lazy bones like me.
That is to email meals.
I have to ride on a keke (a local tricycle) to Mama Jide’s shop. Her beans and ripe plantain don’t usually go alone, Chioma serves it.
Chioma is a servant girl. She barely talks, soft and calm, radiating the grace of a woman. Her pin-point nose seated above a cup-like red lips aggravates steadily at the ego of any man – a complete man. Her curves aligned perfectly to the mechanical fittings of her laps. When on what seems to be her only jean trouser, there can never be a better explanation of the word ukwu(Igbo word for waist). Spot-free-chocolate skin, fashioned in near 4ft height. A perfect kiss-stand height. There has never been any girl that caught my sight more as Chioma did. She is beautiful.
On a straight thought now, I hope to sneak into her hand a piece of paper with my phone number written on it. That’s abuse anyway.
Hopes high, I arrived at their shop. Chioma was not at sight.
’Abort mission.’ I thought,
No! Patience is a better virtue here, I manned up.
Mama Jide with her usual startups greeted;
‘Customer! Customer! How are you and work?’
‘Ma! Am fine, We thank God. All is good’
‘How much own?’
N250, thats all she sales.
Where could Chioma be? I thought to myself, sitting motionless and staring at everything in sight.
Chioma is no more, I mourn. Would else could define my condition? When a man is plague with such feeling, you get nothing from him but confusion. He becomes a perfect confusionist, gaping! That was me!
Could it be she ran away, understanding that’s the usual servant-master escapade in Nigeria?
Has Mama Jide sent her back to her village? That’s a quick place servants come from, that’s the average Naija man thought anyway. Still gaping at the imaginary movie I was playing to myself, the aroma of my favorite meal arouse what was left of my consciousness at the moment.
Chi is gone…to where?
‘Customer, this one wey you dey think like this for this hot sun, hope all is well?’, Mama Jide asked as she serve my best.
‘Ma, am fine oooo, nwoke na ife(man and his thoughts)’, I lied.
As I devour, bitterly, the mountain before me, I know I won’t be filled. I will want some more.
I will want Chioma.
Taking what is to be the last spoonful; ‘Ma, am back’, the voice came from behind. It was Chioma.
As she make her way through the canteen lobby, I stared to my death. Gaping, she walked pass my table. In the jiffy, I was very high on something I can’t explain as saw what I admire tenaciously has been made another’s property. She is only 15.
Three months taken I guessed. Where have I been? I remembered I traveled. I was out of town for one month. My naivety has finally paid off. I was blinded. I should have understood better, her tender mammary gland eluded me. It was subtle and sleek to behold, I was bewitched in my own ignorance. I should have seen it in those nipples that pop out in those silk blouse of hers, its more prominent than before. Like a snail, I sneak into my shell, thoughtfully.
As I make my way to my house, I thought about nothing but wonder what really went wrong. Who could have placed Chi In this state? Why is Mama Jide caring less of her present condition? Or is she part of the plot? Chioma appears happy, but she is not happy. I can see that in her eyes. What could have gotten her to play a role in this disgraceful act? Why could she allow herself to be used? Where are her relatives? Chioma is from Ebonyi State, Mama Jide is from Imo State. As I ask myself question after question, I understand Chioma is an orphan. Mama Jide is her Mum’s friend, who took her in after the demise of her Mum in 2010. Her only brother is a Lagos hustler, no defined business. She only hears from him once in a while. Ebuka is his name and 4 years older.
As she tells her story two weeks later in my apartment, I could not but wonder what will be her fate. Is it designed for her to lose everything at such a tender age or is it part of the Will of God?
What does the future holds for people like Chioma?
I refuse to kill Chioma with my pen, rather I sort to understand the whys and how she got here.
Sorry, I skipped that Chioma’s parents were murdered in the Jos Crisis, 2010.
Oh! She was raped. Sex against her wish. What could be a better curse than poverty?
Mama Jide is a business woman. That’s her idea of generosity – I take care of you, you grow my business.
In spite of the unbelievable, ever growing economy of the country, persons like Chioma live with the illusion of wellness. Children like Chioma are laborers as a result of an unfair economic environment which places no value of welfare of her citizens.
Today, Chioma is the Nigerian youth, who engages in one activity or the other to sustain life. They are not morally drained, I refuse to accept otherwise. They are unjustifiably denied opportunities and basic rights as citizens. The law is not for person like Chioma, if otherwise, perpetrators dance to Aye by Davido – what a definition of infidelity!
They are innocent victims. Victims of unjust society, insincere government, unfavorable government policies, weak infrastructure, poor education, corruption, insecurity, political instability. They are not the frontiers of all these weakness of a weak society, they are victims. Chioma should be in school but she isn’t. Education is not for people like her, they are destined to be poor, Nigeria tells her so.
Could Chioma be the only victim?
Kosisochukwu (as God wishes) is her name. Beautiful and Happy.
How would I tell her that Mum loved her – a message from Mother to Daughter!
But who killed Chioma, Nigeria or Fate?