Here in Sokoto, it is always a big deal when the Governor or someone of equal political or financial relevance comes around a place where corp members are. So, colour me not so shocked when the Commissioner of Education in Sokoto State was hosting the wedding of his daughter in our humble village and he invited the Governor of said state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and, to the best of my knowledge, the previous governor, Aliyu Wammakko and they actually came. There were other ‘distinguished’ guests as well: far be it from me to leave them out.
I’m not sure how to describe how much or less of a success the wedding was as everyone was more particular with, at least, catching a glimpse of any of the invited guests than on the actual reason for the occasion. I guess people, nowadays, have no regard for the beauty of a marriage ceremony regardless of cultural style and that, in my opinion, is a damn shame.
By the time we, the resident gentlemen and lady corp mmbers, got there, it was packed full; not by well-wishers of the new couple and the bride’s father but by those who were there to see ‘something’ drop from the guests. I must confess we were there for the same thing too and tried placing ourself in a prime position where the Governor would no doubt see and recognise us as if we were real estate surveyors. Can’t blame us though; 19,800naira a month is barely enough most times.
There was a lot of trumpet-blowing, shouting, chatter, and Hausa music all aimed at the guests as they eventually came out of the palace of the traditional ruler of Kilgori (that’s the name of the village where I serve. Sounds like a dangerous computer virus. In Siri’s voice – Your laptop has been Kilgorised.) At this point, this was where all the fun started.
As expected from any event in Nigeria with a hint of social fanfare, there is always a display of one’s financial clout especially when the individual is in the political scheme of things. This is usually revealed by ‘spraying’ money at people in some sort of grandiose fashion. Apparently, this is a practice here in Nigeria; maybe not every part but you get my point. It is well believed that when you ‘spray’, it is a symbol of how wealthy you are: wealthy enough that you do not mind tossing some of it at people and it also indicates that you’re generous. It’s a weird belief system but that is how it is.
I think I should write something on ‘Money spraying as a cultural phenomenon in Nigerian Social circles’ but that’s for another time. Anyhoo, as soon as the ‘spraying’ began, it became a rat race to get as much as you could when and how you could. I’ve always been interested in knowing the lengths humans are willing to go to get basic needs and wants and that day, dear reader, I was not disappointed as everyone performed splendidly well as soon as the cash hit the air.
If it was a rat race before, it became a stampede much sooner. If it had been 1000naira notes that were being hunted and fought over like it was the end of days, I would have cheered with a jumbo-sized bucket of popcorn and a 1.5litre bottle of cocacola. I might have dived into the fray to let loose. It was not to be, unfortunately as they were all ‘hustling’ for 100naira notes. Men, old enough to be my grandfathers, duked it out with kids I may have fathered if I had been crazy enough. There was the occasional flash of khaki green as a corp member would be spotted claiming territorial rights over a note while getting ready to make another mad dash for another one two tantalizingly close feet away.
In my case, I do not know if it was me trying to preserve my dignity by not ‘hustling’ for the cash or just me being a wimp by not wanting to get punched in the face by God-knows-who all in a bid to get some change but I just did not join the fray. While this was going on with me in a corner watching as it all unfolded, the Governor apparently signalled one of our fellow corp members to see one of the aides to the Governor as he had made provision for ‘something’ for the corp members. As soon as that happened and what was promised to us was given and collected, things got really interesting and I mean bat-shit crazy kind of interesting.
Allegedly, when the Gorvernor visits any local government of the state, nothing less than a hundred thousand naira is given to the resident corp members. Now, when I say ‘nothing less than a hundred thousand naira’ I mean it could be more but it is hardly ever less than that. Obviously, the locals knew this and that is where shit hit the fan. Demands were made by certain individuals to us corp members that a part of the money given to us, specifically 70% of what we were given, would have to be handed over to them. For whatever reason that absurd ‘request’ was made, I doubt I will ever know till my dying day. Just so I do not forget, they threatened to knife (well, specifically, they said they would kill him) the corp member in whose hands the cash was in if he did not hand it over. After hearing this, well, said gentleman took off to our lodge like a lost soul that the Furies were after.
At the same time, another corp member (a female this time) fell into the unfortunate hands of a pickpocket who, in the surrounding madness, reached into her pocket and took an android phone that was in her care. The phone belonged to a colleague and the loss of the phone in that moment halted her ‘hustling’ as she tried to find the phone which was already in the wind.
Finally, a pair of other female corp members, who I think had it worse, were unlucky enough to be publicly groped by some boys and maybe a couple of adults. I mean a shameless and unabashed hands-on exploration of their upper extremeties. I’m not sure how to say it without being a douchebag but that is what happened.
The ladies were in full blown panic mode as they were both in tears as the weight of the sexual assault hit them. One kept repeating that her breasts must be returned to her. How that would be possible seeing as she was not given an on-the-spot masectomy, I had no idea but I felt pity for her. The other just cried out and blamed anything and everything, NYSC being the major culprit, for posting her to such a backwater place to slave – ahem – serve the nation. I could, definitely, not blame her: fear, anger and other intense emotions can make people say stuff.
By the time we all got back to the lodge, there was a lot of apprehension as everyone was understandably nervous. You could have called it a Code Red or even DEFCON 1 and you would have been spot on. We locked ourselves up in the lodge and had every considerably weighty and blunt instrument out just in case there was an attack. We even sharpened all the available kitchen knives just in case we had need of them.
Anyway, all that happened one crazy Saturday in February and I’m just glad it is gone #sighofrelief. I just can not wait for the next great adventure.
With the expert directing of Zack Snyder and screenplay by David S. Goyer, 2013 brought forth Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel in a re-branded DC cinematic universe (even though it took them 75years to know that the Man of Steel’s underwear should be inside not outside). It all begins with the birth of a boy-child in the citadel of the house of El: the first natural birth on Krypton in centuries and an abomination, to be honest.
This is followed, closely, by a coup led by General Zod, and the execution of the members of council of Krypton.
In a last ditch attempt to safeguard Krypton’s future, the patriarch of the house of El, Jor-El steals the codex and, along his wife, Lara, sends their less than a day old son, along with the DNA structure of a billion Kryptonians, off world to Earth in the hopes that their son, Kal-El, can build a better world than theirs.
Humans are known, across the universe, to be terrified of what is different from them; of what they do not understand (google the Salem witch trials of the 1600s) and of course, young Kal-El or as he is known on earth, Clark Kent, is different: he is stronger, faster and just…weird. Even when he saves lives in his ‘unique way’, the fear, suspicion and assumptions still abound.
But when trouble (extinction of the human race kind of trouble) comes in the shape of suriviors from Krypton, can the humans set aside their fear and let him save them? Can they trust him and put their hopes in him enough for him to be… SUPERMAN???
I can guess what you’re thinking right now: why in Thor’s name would there be a book for a movie? Hold on just a minute. I promise you that this is going to be a mind-blowing experience for you once you pick it up. It was for me and the imagery and excitement while reading it was just sizzling.
Please don’t forget to leave a comment or like when you can. Have a SUPER month ahead.
So, it all begins with a terrified but determined green-eyed confessor on a mission while running from a quad that is after her life into the Westland and a brave, grey-eyed, and wounded woodsguide helping her to deal with the men (and by deal, I mean kill or toss off a cliff into a ravine).
What is the confessor’s mission into the forbidden Westlands? Why would she place her life at risk to do something that will get her expertly and painfully killed?
Her mission, should she accept, which she does, is to find the great wizard, whose name nobody knows or remember, and convince him diplomatically, emotionally or by force to name a Seeker and help the Midlands from a growing terror that is on the verge of taking over and subjugating all.
At the same time, she has to be alive to complete her mission as the last confessor and that means defeating or keep running from the assassins sent after her, dealing with a swarm of well trained Gars, fatigue, hunger and so on.
Eventually, she does find the wizard and a Seeker is actually named but that does not even begin to provide a solution to the current disaster.
The team of Wizard of the First Order (Zeddicus Zu’l Zorrander), Mother Confessor (Kahlan Amnell) and Seeker Of Truth (Richard Cypher) have a mission: find the last Box Of Orden and keep it out of Darken Rahl hands until after the first day of Winter otherwise, all is lost. Simple, right? Well, NO! They have to deal with obstacle courses at every point: the boundary, a big-ass dragon, heart-hounds, the witch woman, Shota, MAGIC, traitorous Queens, a larger-than-average yellow-eyed talking wolf, the feared Mord Sith and their Agiels and of course, the blond, blue-eyed bastard, Darken Rahl himself
If you loved the TV series then I have a good feeling you will love the book a lot more.
I would like to assume that the majority of people reading this have experienced theft before. Perhaps, at some point in time in the past, being robbed is something that has been experienced. I am a corp member serving in one of the villages in Sokoto and not up to two months ago, we, the corp members serving in one of said villages got robbed. I would really like to say our lodge was pillaged as if looters went through it but that might be a little hyperbolic.
I was at home (not in Sokoto) on the first day of 2018 when I got a message, to my shock, that the lodge had been robbed. I’m pretty sure if I could see my face in that moment, it would look like someone who suddenly hears someone that, ordinarily, knows nothing about superheroes start explaining the logic of how it is entirely possible for Batman to deliver an ass-whooping to Superman.
So, when the ‘signs were favourable’, I high-tailed it back to Sokoto to take an inventory of my property and find out what was missing. God being merciful, I did not leave anything of immense value that I could not get over if they were taken except for my credentials, which, in retrospect would be hard for me to get over if they had been taken. I got back and was told that my clothes had been tossed around by the perpetrator in his search for God-knows-what. In fact, I was considered as one of the lucky ones as two among us were not so lucky.
One of the newly posted corp members to the village was a victim and two of his shoes were taken. You might scoff at the idea of ‘just two shoes’ but it really is nothing to scoff at when you’re considering a pair of Nike Air Sneakers and another pair of Asos loafers worth about thirty five thousand naira (approximately $97) at the time of purchase. The other corp member was, how do I put this… it is as if she was the main target of the thief and had quite a lot of her things that were ‘liberated’.
With that being said, a case like this is supposed to be reported to the nearest and appropriate authorities (aka, the Po-po) and, to quote learned advocates, to let justice be served and said items that were stolen be returned or if they can not, then monetary compensation be made. Instead of this, the matter was and is still being ‘handled’ in a hush-hush way. Granted, I could respect their need to not blast the issue and make it a public nightmare for themselves but they could have done better. They have made it seem like it was our fault that we were robbed. It is said that in a city of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. This proverb applies to the principal of the school where the lot of us teach. He then asked the gentleman and lady corp member to produce receipts for the stolen items. How absurd!!! The shoes were at least two years old and the phone was more than a couple of years old. Who keeps receipts for such items? Who even asks such a thing in the first place?
Up until now, we still have not seen the thief with our own eyes – and yes, it was just one person who decided it would be a good thing to go rob a house. If I let my thoughts run wild, there might be a reason why the lodge was targeted.
We live in a house whose rent is supposed to be covered by the office of the local government chairman but, according to chatter around here, the office of the local government chairman has been slacking on paying the rent for about seven years. Could this be a ploy to forcefully eject us from the lodge? In the very recent past, plans were fully underway to get us packed out but somehow those plans failed.
If it could happen while the majority of us were not available, what is stopping it from happening again when we are all around, in the dead of the night and this time, with a group with not just the intent to steal but maybe the intent to liberate a few heads and stack them on a pike?
I very much like my head attached to my body, thank you very much, and would like it that way for the next six decades or more if God wills it.