A Random Tale

Baba Okiki sat in front of his house picking his teeth. He
had just had a meal of amala and ewedu soup. That new wife needed to be
taught how to cook he thought. Iya Okiki would never serve him tough meat.
Experience had schooled her in the art of cooking meat; what kind of meat to
buy and how long it should be cooked for so that it was pleasantly soft and
juicy. This was not the only reason he was dissatisfied with his new wife Toyin,
she was so naive in a lot of things, the only things she seemed to know how to
do better than the other wives was dress well and give him a good time in bed.
The useless woman! He had spent a fortune on her bride-price and for the wedding
ceremony and three months into the marriage he was beginning to seriously
regret his actions.
“She will bring you great wealth, her head will see to it
that all your lost glory will be restored, she has been destined for great
wealth” the priest had told him.  He had
married Toyin for this reason because he desperately needed to rejuvenate his
dwindling resources. He had built a house when his first wife was pregnant with
their second child and his block-making business was doing very well. He was
going to acquire more land and build a bigger business when his mother brought
Folasewa to his house one cold evening.
“You must marry her! We do not have bastard children in this
family. All our children are raised under their fathers’ roofs. If you were
bold enough to make love to her, then you must be bold enough to marry her”
And that was that. Within the next six months, he had
married a new wife and become a father to a set of twins. He had greater
responsibilities and it became financially burdensome to cater to all the
family needs. His business was doing well enough, but he kept diverting his
profits to his household needs. So he had married Toyin but she was only making
things much more difficult for him; there was always a party and the need for a
new dress, she always needed money for something. The marriage was still new so
he had indulged her so far but his patience was wearing thin.
 He winced in pain as
the broomstick pierced the soft flesh of his gum. He savoured the taste of his
blood while he pondered what to do to redeem himself from the financial mess he
was in. By nightfall he had decided he would go and pay Fadeyi the priest a
visit early the next morning. The house was quiet, his first wife had gone for
her weekly night vigils to pray out the demons in her home, Folasewa had taken
her children to see her parents and Toyin had gone to a friend’s house to help
her prepare for her wedding. He was going to be alone tonight but that was
fine. He did not need any distractions.
In his bed he tossed and turned, too worried to sleep. That
wedding was a huge mistake, he thought, so much debt! He had promised Isiaka
that he would pay him the balance of the wedding cow the next morning. He had
no money to pay and Isiaka had heard enough excuses. What would he do now? In
his frustration he tossed the covers off his body and put on some clothes.
It was a cold night and he shivered  as he walked in the direction of Fadeyi’s
house. He suddenly hissed in anger, he had forgotten to take some money. How
was he to appear before the deity empty-handed. He considered going back home but
then resumed his journey toward the priest’s house.
 “What have the gods
given me after all the sacrifices and payments I have made?” they would just
have to accept him empty-handed he concluded. He was in no mood for pleasantries
so he decided to take the back door and avoid Fadeyi’s family members. He would
go straight to the consulting room where Fadeyi would be concocting his herbal
mixtures after a long day of receiving clients and tending to their needs. NEPA
had been gracious enough to restore power and he could hear the television
blaring. These women and homevideos! He thought. He was about to make the turn
into Fadeyi’s consulting room when his eyes fell on a familiar slipper. Funny,
he thought it looked like the one he bought for Toyin a few weeks ago. He
dismissed the thought and opened the door. He stared first in horror and then
in anger at his new wife who was trying desperately to be modest and then he
closed the door.

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