“Ok, make we go” James conceded.
They went out of the class. Passed through some paths. The sides were bushy but they tread softly and well alert, so they don’t step on sh1t. Sh1t (faeces) in these grasses were of different species depending on what or who had passed it out. Cow sh1t (dung) was a bit smoky and mild on one’s fit. You don’t really get to smell much. Same goes to goats excrement.
But when it gets to the one passed out by man – I mean human beings. I’m so sorry to say, it doesn’t know or respect who steps on it. His smokiness emit fire than of smoke and when it clings to your feet or sandal or shoe. It does stick continuously to you, the smell and everything as if it were some magnetic substance – following you like a sting, till you wash it away.
After they had arrived at their destination. There were already some other guys from other schools in the complexes there. They were bazing weed and gulping gins.
“Guys, how far na?” They welcome them.
“We dey” Maxwell said, shaking all, about 20 other people that either sat on stones or on grasses or whatever they could get to seat on – with a slap handshake and other’s followed suit, including little timid James.
“Who be this Jew wey una bring come here today?” One of the guys asked. He was very black. His eyes were shut-red. His voice was so deep, it could overshadow the voice of about 20 crowds.
With the way he asked the question, one would see, he was somehow the head of school two. They called him `Principo.’
He stood up and went towards James. Bend some few inches below till his face was close to dwarf James and he blew out the smoke he had reserved in his mouth and nostril to James face. James moved back, irritated. He coughed and covered his nose.
“Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, complete omo mummy”
“Guy, cool down for am now, first appearance. Him go blend.” Maxwell defended his friend.
Maxwell had been close to James because James could mime any rap music of any American artiste. And he, who loved American music had seen, he had find someone who shared his interest, even when he couldn’t rap and mime the way James did.
“You sure say this guy go blend so?” Principo asked, giving a dry laugh afterwards.
“Guy, fre fre fre, free am abeg, just giv gi gi gi give me two raps. I go pu put am through.” Maxwell spoke like a stammerer. Whenever he was exited about smoking, he often lose his tongue.
Maxwel put James through. He didn’t even resist the attempt. He grabbed it as if he had had it in mind before. They all smoked at length and drank to stupor that evening and adjourned their meeting till the next day, after school again.
Two days later,……..
They all gathered together in a room. They had called a meeting of the family and all relatives were present. Relative to them was everyone from their tribe and shared the same believe with them – who was living within the perimeter or radius of the place they stayed. More, if it could be said, is of area than of street. It was the whole area of Olowogbowo.
Only God knew why the meeting was called but people had come because it was their usual custom and it could also be regarded as their culture.
It seemed to be more of a muslim culture than of their natives. They have really grown in oneness, not knowing how unrelated they are. But still custom must be kept.
If these people were Hausa’s as they claim, then people wouldn’t dispute their culture or custom. But many people believe they are foreigners, which they don’t like to be looked as such. They claim they had come from Jalingo. Only if people have heard those who came from that tribe speak, they couldn’t assert these people’s claim.
Though, if they were Guinea as many believed, then one wouldn’t argue – Guinea people have a very close tie with Hausa culture. It might seem so if one looked at things from a closer look but one would still have to say, it was some form of Islam teachings than of tribe.
One could say, Islam had influenced their culture and projected it more than whatever their culture is, if only they have one. They have often based more of their lives on Islamic teachings that one would not know, which was their culture, really! May be they have a culture or Islam was their culture.
“Should we still wait for Mariama’s mother and father?” One uncle Moshood asked the people already present in the gathering. They were up to 15 and the sitting-room they sat contained them. Enough space was still left, if people were still coming, let’s say up to 8 people.
Everyone in the room seemed to be light and fair skin. Except we want to re-grade them according to lightness and fairness. But that was irrelevant.
“At least let’s still wait a bit, if they don’t come before 10:30am, we should start,” Umar’s father said, speaking plainly Guinea.
It was still 9:57am.
The moment the Uncle replied “ok,” the door sounded and there came the people they had been waiting for to start the meeting.
“Sorry we came late,” they pleaded and sat hurriedly on the two-seater sofa.
“Oh! Welcome!” The gathering said, typical of their Guinea background.
“I think we may now proceed,” the uncle said.
He appeared to be the one who had called the gathering and it was well understood. He was an Imam and everyone held him in high esteem. He was seen as the head of the family of the Guinea’s in that area, not because he was older than any of the people in the gathering but because he was an Imam everyone respected as a steadfast man, and very charismatic. He often puts them through what might look obscure to them in faith and in culture. He wasn’t even as old as the youngest person in the gathering.
“The purpose of the gathering is to discuss about out daughters who are now ripe in age, or should I say, almost ripe and we all know what culture and religion demands of us.” He introduced to the floor, what the topic of the day was.
“Very true,” and some nods came from the people who sat down, some their legs crossed over each other, a sitting posture more regarded to belong to the upper class or wealthy people. But it was now a common thing amongst people of any class.
Some people sat on the floor, their legs crossed inward, as though they wanted to pray.
“Thank you very much,” the Uncle appreciated their consent and proceeded.
“we all know Zainab J. is now in SS2 and Fatimah and Mariam have just entered their SS1. It is right, we don’t lose focus of what Allah wants of these girls. They’ve now studied to some point we know is acceptable as required. Though, the limited class was supposed to be primary 6 but we tried to give them more room to be enlightened in academics and also to mature before they are finally married out to their suitors.”
He paused, looked at some few faces to know may be he was communicating with the gathering and seeing the faces of people, being attentive – continued.
“So what do you say now? Cause I think it is time!”
“You have spoken well, Uncle Moshood. May words of Allah never depart from your mouth. ” Fatimah’s father spoke up.
“yes, it is true, these girls should have been given out since they finished their primary education but I suggest that due to the fact that it would remain just one year for Zainab J. and two years for Fatimah and Mariam. We should allow them finish at once and then they can be betrothed to their suitors.”
“You’ve spoken well baba Fatimah. I buy your idea and strongly think, that should be the right step to take. We should just let them finish their secondary school education and they shall be married out.” Mariam’s mother supported.
“Well, what do you all think about it. Aisha, mama Umar, Bala and the others?” The Uncle asked.
“I think it is cool, the way they’ve said it,” said Bala.
“Yap, I have no differing opinion to that too” another person said.
“Any objection to that?” Uncle Moshood asked but the gathering confirmed there was none.
“May Allah grant them a good heart and submissive spirit that – they might be good wives to their intending husbands” he prayed and some maids brought in some light refreshment.
“I shall take my leave now. I have things I should attend to at the mosque”Uncle Moshood said and took his leave.
To Be Continued….