Ghetto Christmas

Can a man rob God?

Na the last thing wen comot for pastor mouth before we hear the sound kpraka kpraka followed by “Everybody lie down flat”. Real street no even need hear lie down flat before you begin enter ground like seed wen dem wan plant. Who go dey Ajegunle wen no go sabi the sound of wen dem cock gun. Before we know wetin dey sup, the men dem don begin rise up like ijebu garri from different corner of the church, with gun wen no be childs.

Pastor yemi wen-dey-drink-big-stout no even wait make dem shout the lie down flat finish him don lie down, wan even enter ground bury himsef alive. Haba! pastor! But last last, na Aj be this so I no too blame am. When gbege burst all man dey answer him papa name. Even though him be pastor, him sef sabi say  jaguda get oga.  As the men dem dey go round dey check to make sure say nobody try any nonsense, all of us dey do silent competition for who go lie down flat pass. Even papa Jamiu wen get kitchen-utensil belle, because if u call am pot belle, e no go reach to describe am, lie down dey even suck the belle inside  sotay e come dey like say e wan flat for ground pass me.

Him papa mama!!!

Me sef suck my own inside come flat like Hausa mat. No be me dem go shoot because I no lie down flat. Only Deacon Etim na him wan form Jagaban. They speak many English as him dey always do when na time to give testimony.  “This is wrong. This is preposterous, this is unjust, how can you rob in the house of God, on the eve of Christmas, how?” When the smallest inside dem the thief sound am, na him I even know say  forget all the big big English, if deacon Etim pidgin English na rice wen dem put for fire, e  don done tey tey.

Baba halla “ abasi mbok oh!!!! But e no rish to tear me this kain slap na. Na we we na. bros.”

Him eye come dey like the tap for our compound wen u no close am well- the tears just dey flow drop by drop. E come be like say the slap paralyze the deacon. Cos e still dey yarn, dey try make e no really cry, dey try wonder why bad things dey happen to good people, when dem ring am the second one. The call connect and e tell him body make e use him head, because d way e dive down ehn, if no be say I don tey for the church I for feel say swimming pool don dey inside the church.

E no even make sense to try shout. Kehinde street boys dey do street jamz that night and na DJ cure-my-craze dey play. The rumor wen be dey area na say e go smoke  twelve jumbo of  kwale igbo as bet,  the thing come knock him engine. But las las sha e come normal after dem carry am go aro psychia, or e dey do like e don normal  because once in a while the red and blue wire for him head dey touch. Na why sometimes him go see you for night still dey shout good morning sir. Kehinde boys specifically choose am because him sound dey like wetin dey mental hospital, e mad gaan. So with mad speaker and D.J cure-my- crase  wen carry half dada, half gorimakpa for head, kehinde street boys sure say their music go dey blast even for moshalashi street wen also choose to do their own street jamz on that 24th too.

Thunder fire their mama.  Nonsense Street.

The thief dem no wan hear say bird born 5pikin, 12 come die. So dem tell like two of the choir people to dey sing praise and worship as dem dey go round dey obtain all man for the church, make everything still dey like say normal service still dey happen.

Because I know as area dey be, I been no wan leave my entire bar for house so I carry am come church. When pastor dey shout sow a seed, a seed wen go provoke God to bless you, I hold my money tight for pocket. Him papa! Why I go wan provoke God? Who I be? Ordinary man like me? Money wen I don plan to use for hotel wen me and my babyrisky go dey tomorrow dey jolly our christmas. But as this men dem fall in, I come realize say that my plan just dey like who wan chop fish lap-impossicant.

I see some surprising things that night as I lie down for ground dey peep.  As the men dem dey near you, dem dey tell you make you empty your pocket. Brother paul wen before  dem do 1,2 buckle my shoe for prayers for church, e don begin dey speak in tongues, empty him pocket and aside the two die die hundred hundred naira wen fall out, I  see three packet of Gold circle condom. Paulo Paulo, so u sef dey chop aka enwe? Na wa o.

As I dey for ground, I use style style dey find pastor wife, wen dey always like preach about protection, security, jump down from mountain and baba God go send angels to set mouka foam wen u go land untop  so nothing go do you. But omo eh, be like as dem shout the lie down flat the woman move. She no even reason her husband. She be real street. Igboro woman. I know say for her mind she go don talk say instead two of them go die, make one person die make the other person bury am. After all if thief marry winsh born ashewo who go come dey stay house for night?.

 

Na still that night I understand why sister agnes dey always calm anytime she enter church. Because as dem tell am make she empty her bag, I see two full kpoli, and one wen dem don kiss half wen fall out. I talk am. All this her red eye no be say she be prayer warrior. All this talk wen she dey always follow herself talk, no be speaking in tongues. She and the SK dey get better tete a tete.

Even mama itoro wen dey my side, wen dey always beg style style begging for church, because she be widow, wen dem empty all her wrapper, the money wen fall out reach almost N10,000 or maybe e small pass like that I no know. Na peep I been dey peep wen I see am.

This men dem take their time. Even collect the three chicken wen Iya Samuel and her family been wan use give pastor do thanksgiving. Dj cure-my-craze still dey blast customer dada ni for outside, while brother martins the lead singer, dey try him best make e no  cry inside the microphone e dey use sing, as dem dey collect him phone, him money, and even him belt cos one of the thief say na original leather. Him dey sing it is well for the microphone but if your spiritual ear dey open, the real song na, “holy ghost fire, fire fall on them”.

How this men take miss we no know. One minute dem dey collect phone, next minute dem dey threaten to kill anybody wen open eye, next minute voom dem don disappear.  Na that time all man come begin shout, dey cry, na that time people for area come even know wetin been dey sup since for the church. Many of them dey laugh us say if to say we dey street jamz who for come rob us. With their long long face like lorry, and sorrow wen full their body, everybody just dey cry him personal cry, dey count their loss, they go house. Merry which christmas?

 

The next day, we hear say police dem from Ajeronmi police station come the church to do investigation. You go fear na. No be eke dem again? Dem go just come dey ask jamb question. Only thing wen dem sabi na to catch boys wen dey smoke weed for little heaven.  If alarm don blow their papa like this, next thing dem go raid little heaven where boys no dey cause anybody problem o, just dey do their fire drill jeje.

 

Police dem wen be say wen dem rob UBA for boundary/Aiyetoro road, dem begin enter all the compound wen dey around the bank, dey arrest any boy wen get suspicious face. You carry dada, arrest. You draw tattoo? arrest. You get strong face, arrest. You dey use laptop, arrest. Na that period na him OritseKemi sleep almost two weeks for cell. Why? Him get strong face, carry dada, draw skull tattoo, den as dem jazz enter him room, see where him dey press laptop dey try mix him new song, the police dem shout “egbe! See the ring leader”. Na with almost 50k, man know man, and plenty brother abeg na him e use fallout for there. So all of us for area know say police no go fit find anything wen loss for church that day. But how pastor yemi-wen-dey-drink-big-stout go do na?  him gast co-operate

 

At all at all na him be winsh. As I don loss phone, loss money, I no fit loss the lashing wen babyrisky say she wan gimme as my christmas gift. Something wen I don plan say she go know the difference between egbin and igbin.  Na beg I beg my sister say make she borrow me ten thousand naira. Say I wan use am do something important.

Her papa! Even though na my papa too.

Lashing no be important thing? Na her phone I use send babyrisky the address of the hotel wen I go use my thunder fire am like sango. My blood dey hot.  The hotel wen I pick no dey area at all because  Babyrisky brothers na mental and if dem go hear say I dey mekwe their sister eh, ajegunle no go contain us.  And we dey try form lowkey make we no cast for area because of all those people wen dey jamtalk. The hotel dey inside inside surulere and anybody wen u jam for there eh, just shake am tell am say bad man na bad man.

 

The receptionist  for the hotel give me the room key. Direct me say na upstairs. Before I pay I sha borrow the receptionist phone use call babyrisky to make sure say she dey come. Because I know as devil dey work.  E fit be today now na him she and all her family no go make am.  The babe sef her head dey there.  She tell me say make I just go the room naked dey wait for am. The electric shock start from my ear, shock my brain, shock my body, shock my thing- blade( no ask me why na d name I give am.), come shock my mouth wan kain special shocking sotay I no know when like flavor nabania I shout oyolima!

 

I been dey climb step go my room wen I hear voice dem wen familiar. Dem dey argue. I been wan continue to move but my leg no gree. I die! Wait no be this man voice I dey hear like this? I press my ear for the door wen the voice dey comot from. Omo na him. I die. No be mistake na him.

Deacon Etim.

GHEN GHEN

I been no fit recognize the other voice wen e dey argue with, but deacon Etim big big English no dey two for market so na him. “you should not have assaulted me. That was not the plan you nattering nitwits” e just dey vibrate dey go. Dey halla, dey shout, dey deposit. Next voice I hear na pastor Yemi wen-dey-drink-big-stout voice. Wait! Shey na say this men come church meeting or wetin? But abeg na lie no be for this hotel. Graziella hotel no be were dem dey stay dey do church meeting.  I been wan bone am say make I free when I hear baba do good voice too. Church financial secretary. Their papa! I must know wetin dey happen here today. Omo I knock! As dem ask who be that? I say na room service, say we get small problem with their payment. As the door open, na so I push deacon etim fall.

See deacon Etim, pastor Yemi, the thief dem from yesterday, and all our money and phone as e spread for table.

Check out!

See I tell them. “ I don already tell my babe wetin dey happen, so if anything do me, she go expose una.  Me no wan expose una. My own na say Eye wen see get share. Make una just reason me something and if I talk anything, make thunder fire my papa brother.”

Dem reason am. Reason am. Then  dem count like 50k give me. Give me like two of the phones wen I see for the table.

“Merry christmas eh!” na so I tell dem as I dey fall out. After all, na we we.

I waka go up, room 204, naked dey wait my mother christmas, babyrisky. As e dey hot. Na now the christmas merry. As I dey touch the 50k, I dey hear Baby Jesus cry. Ehen! Na now dem born am for my side.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.

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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT SO FAR

Your Favourite,
Uncle Stephen
@itsunclestephen (IG & Twitter)
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steveekeng@gmail.com

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