The morning opens with vibes. A pleasant nurse smiling down at me as I open my eyes. “How do you feel this morning,” she says. I nod and sit up. As she begins to check my oxygen saturation, one of the 50yrs+ men begin to play Naira Marley’s Mafo. It ends and FireboyDML’s ‘Party Scatter’ takes over. At this point, almost everyone is up and jiggy, it’s about 6:23am or so.
Alhaji H an agile man in his sixties gets up and begins to dance to Party Scatter. “Mo n se exercise ni – I am doing exercise” he says in self defence even when no one asks him to shalaye. We all look at him as he dances, obviously, baba no go die unless to ba darugbo.
It is about 11:08am and the men – in their 50s-60s – begin to discuss about their infidelities. The openness of that conversation is so brazen. They discuss as if having a side-chick is a key element of a successful marriage – no shame at all. Lol. In fact while they discuss their agbere, there was a (re)union of sorts. Here’s what went down, so Mr. B begins to tell the story of a drama that happened between him and the manager of an auto-mart when he went to buy a ‘small car’ for his baby.
Baby = side chick.
As he narrates, Alhaji H begins to ask questions, telling Mr. B to describe the physique of the manager. He then asks for the location of the auto-mart and exclaims, “Ah! Shop mi niyen – shop mi le ti wa ra motor.” Everyone bursts into a hearty laugh and they bounce the usual surprise lingo around: oh! Really?! Looto?! Etc. Alhaji H even seizes the opportunity to market his merchandise to the other men in the conversation. “Mo sese ko awon fine fine cars kan de ni, won de clean gan – I just brought in some fine fine cars and they are very clean”
Now Mr. B and Alhaji H are best friends. See this life ehn, what a small world!
Finally, it appears that many did not disclose to friends and associate that they caught the bug and so when they take calls the conversations get interesting and weird altogether. At 2:51pm, Alhaji H seems to be a character with many intrigues. He takes a call. We don’t hear what the other person says but we hear him clearly. His voice is loud enough it fills the whole ward. Here’s the conversation:
Alhaji H: Ore bawo ni?
Alhaji H: Ah, o ti wo mi ni le abi? Mi o si larrand o
Alhaji H: Mo wa l’Abuja bi mo se n soro yii – I will call you once I get back to Ibadan
Why say you’re in Abuja when you are in Ibadan fgs*?! LOL
Next was the grandpa on the bed to my left. He takes a call and says:
“Moshood, mi o si n le o, mot i lo s’Osogbo; Osogbo ni mo ti n ba o soro yii.”
Me, I am just here trying to kill the laughter that forces itself out of me.
Like, baba why say you’re in Osogbo when you are in Isolation Center, Ibadan? How can Nigeria be good? LOL
All of these, nonetheless, I like Alhaji H. He brings life into the ward – from different gists to his spontaneous daces. Without people like Alhaji H, the Isolation Center would have become a cistern of boredom. In the last few days of my stay there, he would call me ‘lazy captain’ and I will call him ‘father’.
Now that we are all out of the facility, I miss Alhaji H.
*fgs – for God’s sake
Breakfast – yam x fish stew
Lunch – Amala/Eba x Ewedu/Okro
Dinner – Rice x Beans
Fruit – water melon