Wedding panic

Its here. The D-Day is here. Well, almost.

By sunday night, I am going to be a married woman. My name will change, everything will change, even my body.

It seemed so far away six months ago. All the shopping, all the mother and daughter fights, everything looks so trivial now.

The cake isnt ready, the gown is ready.

The bridesmaids dresses are alright, the chief bridesmaid's dress has not even been sewn yet.

The flowers for everybody has not arrived yet.

And my hairdresser wants to rob me blind, but its too short a notice to get another.

I cannot remember where I hid the marriage license and I am looking for some of the gift money.

One of my bridesmaids is acting very funny and we are thinking that the service boys from the caterer might not cover the whole event.


Why do I have to fix artificial nails? And must my hairdo be gel? Can't I just set my hair in a curl or wave? The video guy is bugging us for his advance payment, and I still have to pay for the hair pieces for the bridesmaids. Where in God's name did we hide the rings? How am I supposed to pack the clothes I will need separately? Since we young babes cannot sleep in the house, how do we get a hotel to sleep? Why is the honeymoon agent taking so long with her processing? Where will the couple sleep for the night?

I am almost in a panic.

Then I look up, and I see Vicky.

All is well.

We made it this far, and we will make it even farther.

We will defy all those that said we are too young to marry, and the union [after 4 yrs of courtship] is too soon.

We will show them that said they want to see how we will survive, and they give us three weeks before collapse.

We have the ultimate weapon.
We have God on our side.

He smiles at me.
I smile back in return.
Yes, we are going to be alright.

I will not let go

Tis amazing what we take for granted everyday...Got to church yesterday in less than 10 mins thanks to Bikermice from Mars [I'll miss them when I move to Abuja!]. As I went up then down the ped bridge briskly, all that was on my mind was getting to church. I stepped into Church and all that changed. It seemed my hip had shifted. I could barely put any weight on my right leg. It was awful. I developed a limp as I entered the church.
I gunned for the very first available seat at the back. I could barely put pressure on the hip even while sitting. I wondered what I had done to cause it to happen. Was it my diet? For two weeks I have stayed away from rice, white bread, and yam. Considering that that was the staple in my household, you can understand that it was with supreme effort that I was sticking to that regime. I am loving the effects already as my clothes are really loose around my body, but I am lacking carbohydrates - it would have been total if not for the spaghetti I consume regularly. A chat with my chief bridesmaid calmed me down - if it was from my food then its not the diet, because I am staying away from carbohydrates not calcium.

Was it my state of mind? I was not really paying attention to a lot around me. My processor was doing a lot of computing - on one hand I was calculating how much the total aso ebi I was to church for friends carrying cost, so that I would sound brilliant when I was asked by the paying parties. On the other hand I was trying to guess if I would make it in time to church before the closing prayer. On another side I was wondering if I would be able to fulfill my promise of visiting a friend's mother and on the other hand I was wondering how I would finish the job laid out and waiting for me on my bed at home.

Needless to say, my mind was all over the place, but that did not explain the sudden pain in my right hip. I was listening to the sermon - yes I actually met the sermon as it was about to begin when a thought hit me out of the blue.

I will not let go until you bless me.

That was how Jacob/Israel got his shifted hip.

He did not let go until God blessed him.

He held on tight, and wrestled with all his might.

And he was all the better for it.

All he lost in the bargain was a well balanced hip.

He got all he could imagine and more from that encounter.


The pastor's bellow [yes it sounded like a bellow], brought me back into the church hall. It was time to tell God what we wanted before the year runs out, he declared. It was time to claim all those pending blessings left over from the previous months, he announced.

I was up on my feet with the crowd. I strayed from the normal prayers for the past eight months: asking for another car, a successful wedding ceremony, my father's miraculous presence at the wedding. Instead, I requested for one thing.

LORD BLESS ME.

I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME, LORD.

Because in the end, His plans for us are good and not evil, to bring us to an expected end. He loves us and only wants the best for us. I would rather ask for His blessings which covers all I need, than sell myself short and ask for specific things from Him.

HE blessed me that day, and even though I was limping till evening, I did it with a smile on my face - I had wrestled with Him and told Him my demands, in prayer - 
I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME.

I will not let go

Tis amazing what we take for granted everyday...Got to church yesterday in less than 10 mins thanks to Bikermice from Mars [I'll miss them when I move to Abuja!]. As I went up then down the ped bridge briskly, all that was on my mind was getting to church. I stepped into Church and all that changed. It seemed my hip had shifted. I could barely put any weight on my right leg. It was awful. I developed a limp as I entered the church.
I gunned for the very first available seat at the back. I could barely put pressure on the hip even while sitting. I wondered what I had done to cause it to happen. Was it my diet? For two weeks I have stayed away from rice, white bread, and yam. Considering that that was the staple in my household, you can understand that it was with supreme effort that I was sticking to that regime. I am loving the effects already as my clothes are really loose around my body, but I am lacking carbohydrates - it would have been total if not for the spaghetti I consume regularly. A chat with my chief bridesmaid calmed me down - if it was from my food then its not the diet, because I am staying away from carbohydrates not calcium.

Was it my state of mind? I was not really paying attention to a lot around me. My processor was doing a lot of computing - on one hand I was calculating how much the total aso ebi I was to church for friends carrying cost, so that I would sound brilliant when I was asked by the paying parties. On the other hand I was trying to guess if I would make it in time to church before the closing prayer. On another side I was wondering if I would be able to fulfill my promise of visiting a friend's mother and on the other hand I was wondering how I would finish the job laid out and waiting for me on my bed at home.

Needless to say, my mind was all over the place, but that did not explain the sudden pain in my right hip. I was listening to the sermon - yes I actually met the sermon as it was about to begin when a thought hit me out of the blue.

I will not let go until you bless me.

That was how Jacob/Israel got his shifted hip.

He did not let go until God blessed him.

He held on tight, and wrestled with all his might.

And he was all the better for it.

All he lost in the bargain was a well balanced hip.

He got all he could imagine and more from that encounter.


The pastor's bellow [yes it sounded like a bellow], brought me back into the church hall. It was time to tell God what we wanted before the year runs out, he declared. It was time to claim all those pending blessings left over from the previous months, he announced.

I was up on my feet with the crowd. I strayed from the normal prayers for the past eight months: asking for another car, a successful wedding ceremony, my father's miraculous presence at the wedding. Instead, I requested for one thing.

LORD BLESS ME.

I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME, LORD.

Because in the end, His plans for us are good and not evil, to bring us to an expected end. He loves us and only wants the best for us. I would rather ask for His blessings which covers all I need, than sell myself short and ask for specific things from Him.

HE blessed me that day, and even though I was limping till evening, I did it with a smile on my face - I had wrestled with Him and told Him my demands, in prayer - 
I WILL NOT LET GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME.

Seven pounds

I watched the movie, Seven Pounds, recently and just had to write a tribute to it.

Everyday, he sits at his desk,
glad to have a job,
glad to be able to cater for himself.
As the phone rings, he picks and says,
"Hello, Customer service, how may i be of help to you?"
Blind Ezra never hurt anyone,
was never cruel or unkind.

Everyday, she watched the children run down the street,
She could barely keep her dog from running too fast.
She knew her business was about to close,
but with the uncertainty in the time she had left,
her mind, her heart was no more into work.
Emily, the girl with a failing heart.

She sat in Child care services everyday,
always trying to reach out, always praying her friendly smile would convince the next child,
the next victim of abuse that she was there to hold them,
to provide another way for them.
No one knew of her pains, no one could tell that her liver had failed.
Holly, always smiling, always ready to help.

She kept the children in doors,
She never let them be exposed to her abusive boyfriend.
She let him in because she knew there was no where to hide.
And she knew she would die if she pressed charges.
Even when he broke three of her ribs she never said a word.
Proud Cottie - who would cater for her kids if she were to 'disappear'? No one.
Cottie had to stand strong amid all the despair.

The family of three ate at the hospital cafeteria.
The mother was smiling hard, and encouraging her first son to play with the ailing younger brother.
Nicholas was ill, and failing everyday.
He needed a bone marrow transplant, and was on the waiting list.
His mother tried to conceal her dimming hopes behind an over bright smile, but the boy could feel it.
There was no hope in this world.

He assumed an identity
To fulfill a mission.
He took the role of his brother
to penetrate and to study
He had it all planned out.
He knew what he had to do, and he knew when
He selected them all, specifically
they had to be deserving
they had to be nice kind people
they had to be worthy,
worthy of another chance at life.
Worthy of a change in their situations,
worthy of a miracle.

It is rare to be given the opportunity to plan one's death - Death is always cheating at that.
But Tim Thomas had that opportunity,
To his brother Ben, he gave a lung.
To Ezra he gave his eyes.
To Emily he gave his heart.
To Holly he gave his kidney.
To Cottie he gave his home.
To Nicholas he gave his bone marrow.

To each one of them, he gave another opportunity
Another shot at life.
He planned his suicide, but he didn't feel he had to die just like that.
This graduate of MIT, decided if he were to die, people had to benefit from his death.
The accident that killed seven people and the love of his life, that left him as the only survivor, was proof enough for him that he survived for a reason.
And he touched many lives, in his selfless act.

I only hope he gets to enter heaven.

Seven pounds

I watched the movie, Seven Pounds, recently and just had to write a tribute to it.

Everyday, he sits at his desk,
glad to have a job,
glad to be able to cater for himself.
As the phone rings, he picks and says,
"Hello, Customer service, how may i be of help to you?"
Blind Ezra never hurt anyone,
was never cruel or unkind.

Everyday, she watched the children run down the street,
She could barely keep her dog from running too fast.
She knew her business was about to close,
but with the uncertainty in the time she had left,
her mind, her heart was no more into work.
Emily, the girl with a failing heart.

She sat in Child care services everyday,
always trying to reach out, always praying her friendly smile would convince the next child,
the next victim of abuse that she was there to hold them,
to provide another way for them.
No one knew of her pains, no one could tell that her liver had failed.
Holly, always smiling, always ready to help.

She kept the children in doors,
She never let them be exposed to her abusive boyfriend.
She let him in because she knew there was no where to hide.
And she knew she would die if she pressed charges.
Even when he broke three of her ribs she never said a word.
Proud Cottie - who would cater for her kids if she were to 'disappear'? No one.
Cottie had to stand strong amid all the despair.

The family of three ate at the hospital cafeteria.
The mother was smiling hard, and encouraging her first son to play with the ailing younger brother.
Nicholas was ill, and failing everyday.
He needed a bone marrow transplant, and was on the waiting list.
His mother tried to conceal her dimming hopes behind an over bright smile, but the boy could feel it.
There was no hope in this world.

He assumed an identity
To fulfill a mission.
He took the role of his brother
to penetrate and to study
He had it all planned out.
He knew what he had to do, and he knew when
He selected them all, specifically
they had to be deserving
they had to be nice kind people
they had to be worthy,
worthy of another chance at life.
Worthy of a change in their situations,
worthy of a miracle.

It is rare to be given the opportunity to plan one's death - Death is always cheating at that.
But Tim Thomas had that opportunity,
To his brother Ben, he gave a lung.
To Ezra he gave his eyes.
To Emily he gave his heart.
To Holly he gave his kidney.
To Cottie he gave his home.
To Nicholas he gave his bone marrow.

To each one of them, he gave another opportunity
Another shot at life.
He planned his suicide, but he didn't feel he had to die just like that.
This graduate of MIT, decided if he were to die, people had to benefit from his death.
The accident that killed seven people and the love of his life, that left him as the only survivor, was proof enough for him that he survived for a reason.
And he touched many lives, in his selfless act.

I only hope he gets to enter heaven.

Drupal Discovery Day Dakar – Nov 7, 2009

Come join the Dakar Linux User Group and other Senegalese Drupal Enthusiasts on this first Drupal Discovery Day Dakar

Where: Dakar, Campus UCAD / Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique (map)
When: Nov 7, 2009 / 13:00 – 18:00

Some of the topics we’ll be talking about:

  • History and goals of the Association Drupal France et Francophonie
  • Installation: getting started with Drupal
  • Now what? A run-through of the core modules and an overview of the most used third party modules
  • Localization and internationalization: dealing with multiple languages
  • The sysadmin side: performance tuning, scalability, automated deployment tools and the built-in testing framework
  • Drupal distributions: pre-packaged Drupal installations for a specific target audience
  • The next steps in creating a Drupal Community in Senegal

This little event would not have been possible without the support of the Association universitaire Francophone and the DakarLUG. Thanks!

Bosi gbangba pt3

"My Daddy Eko is coming to our house today!" Four year old Ajibike whispered to her friend. They were at sunday school, and even though the teacher had warned her to keep quiet twice already, she could not suppress the good news. Nothing could suppress her excitement that day, not even the fact that her sunday black shoes had cut that morning on the way to church, because she had run at the site of a giant millepede. Her best friend, Lanre, had laughed at her, calling her a sissy, but his words did not have their usual effect that day. All she knew was that her Daddy from Lagos was arriving that day, and that was enough to keep the sun shining all day for her.

One would think that the man's visits meant lots of sweets and gifts for her, like any other child, but for Ajibike, it meant she had a listening ear to report all her troublesome younger brother had done to her since his last visit. He was always patient enough to listen, unlike her father and mother, who expected her to be responsible for the little brat, and take punishment even when the brat was wrong. That was all she needed, a listening ear for all her stories and tales of adventure in the three farms her father had.

Her present companion was a girly girl, the type that she and Lanre sneered at when they passed by, with all the frills and stockings and gowns. Ajibike only wore gowns on sundays, even then it was until she returned home again. The sissy asked her if her Daddy Eko would bring imported chocolate, and turned away when Ajibike said no.

With no one to chat with, as the teacher had banished Lanre to the other side of the class, Ajibike dipped her hand into her favourite gown's pocket. She loved the particular lilac gown she was wearing mainly because of its pockets in front, in which she kept a variety of things like her one and only marble, her beads, her wire rings, and all other sorts. One pocket was for her while the other was for Lanre - she kept their goodies because Lanre had elder siblings that were more thorough in emptying children's
pockets than her mother, who had her hands full with her restless brother most of the time, and expected Ajibike to be a mature girl.

She rummaged in her pocket until her fingers found her favourite bead piece, which had a small groove on it. The beads had actually come from a long necklace of beads that she had worn for more than a year until her brother had pulled it apart. Since she didnt know how to string it, and her artist aunt was busy with exams, she carried some of the pieces around with her. As the Sunday school teacher commanded them to close their eyes and pray, Ajibike rolled the bead absentmindedly on her arm.

There was combined service that morning, which meant that the children got to sit in the main church with the adults, a rare treat for Ajibike, as she loved to watch and laugh at the dozing antics of the adults in the church. Ajibike settled down, and watched as Dami, Lanre's younger brother, who was her brother's regular partner in crime walked by. She knew he was looking for her brother, and she turned around briefly to look at the church entrance to see if Lanre had quit disturbing that sissy girl and had decided to enter.

She was still rubbing the bead absentmindedly on her face when she turned back - and her elbow bumped into Dami, causing her hand to push the bead straight into her nostril. Dami began crying the second he saw that Ajibike could not snort out the bead piece. The sunday school teacher ran into the church, and asked what happened. She took Ajibike and crying Dami out of the church before listening to explanations.

=--------------=
"We are so happy to see you," Ajibike's father was telling his cousin. "How are things in Lagos? Hope not too hectic for you."
"Not too hectic o," the man replied. "We are surviving."
"You still have not told me what you want to eat sir," Ajibike's mother put in as she placed a tray of cold water before him, on a stool. "We have yam, amala flour, ogi, vegetable, egusi soup, and even bushmeat."
"This your wife will kill me with food one day o,"Daddy Eko said. "She keeps forgetting that the minute I finish eating her food, I begin to fall asleep."
"That is the way it should be sir," she responded. "Sleeping after a meal is a sign of contentment."
"Where are the children?" the man asked.
"They are off to church with the maid." she replied. "Since you wont decide, I shall go and prepare your favourite. Please excuse me."
The men nodded as she rose and made her way to the kitchen. She smiled because she noticed that they waited until she was no longer within earshot before continuing with their discussion.

She was grinding pepper on the stone grinder when she heard faint voices. She stood up straight and took care to wipe her brow with the back of her hand. The voices got closer and closer. She ran to the front balcony to see what the noise was about, and gasped.

Coming towards the house was a group of about eight people, the person in the middle was carrying Ajibike and walking so briskly that the others had to practically run to keep up.

Bosi gbangba pt3

"My Daddy Eko is coming to our house today!" Four year old Ajibike whispered to her friend. They were at sunday school, and even though the teacher had warned her to keep quiet twice already, she could not suppress the good news. Nothing could suppress her excitement that day, not even the fact that her sunday black shoes had cut that morning on the way to church, because she had run at the site of a giant millepede. Her best friend, Lanre, had laughed at her, calling her a sissy, but his words did not have their usual effect that day. All she knew was that her Daddy from Lagos was arriving that day, and that was enough to keep the sun shining all day for her.

One would think that the man's visits meant lots of sweets and gifts for her, like any other child, but for Ajibike, it meant she had a listening ear to report all her troublesome younger brother had done to her since his last visit. He was always patient enough to listen, unlike her father and mother, who expected her to be responsible for the little brat, and take punishment even when the brat was wrong. That was all she needed, a listening ear for all her stories and tales of adventure in the three farms her father had.

Her present companion was a girly girl, the type that she and Lanre sneered at when they passed by, with all the frills and stockings and gowns. Ajibike only wore gowns on sundays, even then it was until she returned home again. The sissy asked her if her Daddy Eko would bring imported chocolate, and turned away when Ajibike said no.

With no one to chat with, as the teacher had banished Lanre to the other side of the class, Ajibike dipped her hand into her favourite gown's pocket. She loved the particular lilac gown she was wearing mainly because of its pockets in front, in which she kept a variety of things like her one and only marble, her beads, her wire rings, and all other sorts. One pocket was for her while the other was for Lanre - she kept their goodies because Lanre had elder siblings that were more thorough in emptying children's
pockets than her mother, who had her hands full with her restless brother most of the time, and expected Ajibike to be a mature girl.

She rummaged in her pocket until her fingers found her favourite bead piece, which had a small groove on it. The beads had actually come from a long necklace of beads that she had worn for more than a year until her brother had pulled it apart. Since she didnt know how to string it, and her artist aunt was busy with exams, she carried some of the pieces around with her. As the Sunday school teacher commanded them to close their eyes and pray, Ajibike rolled the bead absentmindedly on her arm.

There was combined service that morning, which meant that the children got to sit in the main church with the adults, a rare treat for Ajibike, as she loved to watch and laugh at the dozing antics of the adults in the church. Ajibike settled down, and watched as Dami, Lanre's younger brother, who was her brother's regular partner in crime walked by. She knew he was looking for her brother, and she turned around briefly to look at the church entrance to see if Lanre had quit disturbing that sissy girl and had decided to enter.

She was still rubbing the bead absentmindedly on her face when she turned back - and her elbow bumped into Dami, causing her hand to push the bead straight into her nostril. Dami began crying the second he saw that Ajibike could not snort out the bead piece. The sunday school teacher ran into the church, and asked what happened. She took Ajibike and crying Dami out of the church before listening to explanations.

=--------------=
"We are so happy to see you," Ajibike's father was telling his cousin. "How are things in Lagos? Hope not too hectic for you."
"Not too hectic o," the man replied. "We are surviving."
"You still have not told me what you want to eat sir," Ajibike's mother put in as she placed a tray of cold water before him, on a stool. "We have yam, amala flour, ogi, vegetable, egusi soup, and even bushmeat."
"This your wife will kill me with food one day o,"Daddy Eko said. "She keeps forgetting that the minute I finish eating her food, I begin to fall asleep."
"That is the way it should be sir," she responded. "Sleeping after a meal is a sign of contentment."
"Where are the children?" the man asked.
"They are off to church with the maid." she replied. "Since you wont decide, I shall go and prepare your favourite. Please excuse me."
The men nodded as she rose and made her way to the kitchen. She smiled because she noticed that they waited until she was no longer within earshot before continuing with their discussion.

She was grinding pepper on the stone grinder when she heard faint voices. She stood up straight and took care to wipe her brow with the back of her hand. The voices got closer and closer. She ran to the front balcony to see what the noise was about, and gasped.

Coming towards the house was a group of about eight people, the person in the middle was carrying Ajibike and walking so briskly that the others had to practically run to keep up.

Bosi gbangba pt2

"What is the issue now?" the man asked. "Haven't you taken enough for the tests?"
The child was crying silently, in her mother's arms.The nurse glanced nervously at the couple. How was she to tell them that the pathologist was out for his noon day drinking break?
"Er...the samples have been sent to the Lab sir," the nurse stuttered.
"But that is what you said twenty minutes ago!" the man exclaimed.
"We are waiting for the results sir, before we can proceed." the nurse repeated again. "

The man glared at the nurse before turning back to his wife and child. Suddenly two doctors rushed into the room and asked for the referred child. The nurse pointed towards the watching couple. One doctor quickly collected the sleeping child from its mother while another began explaining that the child had to be operated on because they believed any more delay would jeopardize the child's life.

"No!" exclaimed the mother. "That's the reason we asked for a referral! We do not want an operation!"

"But madam," the doctor replied. "she can barely breath! The only reason she can sleep right now is because she is not alert. When she wakes up she will be in a lot of pain. If you only let us..."

"Let you do what?" the mother interrupted. "Cut a hole in my baby's throat?"

"But its just a tiny hole madam." the doctor said.

"No matter the size its still a hole," the father replied. "A permanent hole. We do not consent to the operation. Why are you not waiting for the test results?"

"Tests?" repeated the doctor.

"He means these test results," another voice floated from the end of the corridor. She was tall, slim and her steps were soft and sure on the worn tiles of the hospital. As she crossed a sun beam, her face was framed for a second, and it looked more like a model's than a doctor- the mother's roving eye caught on the billowing doctor's coat again for assurance. What could this teenager be doing in a doctor's coat? She wanted to ask.

"You ran tests on the child?" the second doctor asked her, his face contorted in a frown.

"Yes," replied the lady as she moved closer to the mother and rubbed her hand up then down the woman's sleeve. The woman relaxed a little, unconsciously.

"She has a bit of apple stuck in her wind pipe." she continued. "Its not poisoning as their hospital's note said. All we have to do is give her drops that will melt the piece. We will also give her more sleeping syrup."

She looked directly at both parents as she said,"There wont be any need for an operation. Please let ur perform the procedure. It will only take a few hours."

"We don't even know these people." the mother said, looking at her husband pointedly. The doctors apologized and introduced themselves.

As they made their way back to the waiting room, the mother wondered what would have happened if the teenager doctor, who turned out to be a pediatrician, had not arrived when she did. She had shuddered when they had been told that their baby was about to be given a permanent hole in her throat. Her mind had failed to refuse to stop picturing the child, with a hole in her throat, growing up still with a hole in her throat.She pictured the humiliation, the shame, the suffering the girl would be put through all her life, all through no fault of hers.All because another woman who wanted her father had decided to 'deal with' the girl.

The mother shuddered again."Are you alright dear?" her husband asked as they sat down to wait.

"I will be if you can assure me that that witch will not spend another night under my roof," the mother responded.
"It could have happened with anyone," the father defended their house guest. "Even you."
"Even me?" the mother repeated. "How could I possibly be so dumb as to feed apple to a child that has no teeth?"
"I knew you were going to react this way." the man said in a resigned tone.
His wife just stared at him before shaking her head, also in resignation. How was it that men were blind when it concerned women that wanted them?

They sat in silence for three hours, the wife muttering prayers for minutes at a time. The husband sat back, and reminisced. He remembered when the baby was born, how he had been called aside and told that the hospital did not have an incubator, but there was a way out - they could improvise, if only they could get their hands on about ten hot water bottles and a few more thick blankets.
He'd made a dash for the university quarters, and gone from door to door until he'd gathered all he needed. His neighbors looked at him in wonder - an African man was usually this jubilant when his wife gave birth to a boy, but the father was oblivious to the the gender, and even the condition. As far as he was concerned, he had a child.
He was a father.
He had a child.

The baby had been 1.6kg at birth, and the doctors, after setting up a make-shift incubator with cardboard boxes, hot water bottles, and thick blankets, were scared when the weight dropped to 1.4kg. The baby was a survivor however, she not only survived the incubator, she survived one month at the hospital. She was the smallest premature baby to ever survive in the hospital, and as a gift, she was granted free treatment until she clocked three years of age.

But the baby was barely one year old, when an old friend came visiting some days ago, totting apples, the local species. She had insisted on carrying and playing with the baby, then on feeding her apples today. Ajibike had adapted to the new food until a particularly big piece had gotten stuck in her throat.What started as a small back-patting incident, became an alarming issue that entailed rushing the child to the nearest hospital. Thank God they had been alert and not numb, because the doctor on duty had insisted on operating on the child, even after hearing that the kid was choking on ordinary apple. They had put their foot down, and insisted on a referral.

"Sunday?" a leathery voice interrupted his musing. The father looked up, then sat up immediately. His brother, older than him with more than fifteen years, was standing in front of him. He tapped his wife gently before standing up and prostrating in greeting.

"I thought so," the man said, nodding his white head. "When that child doctor kept disturbing me that I must carry out the analysis before going to my joint for my midday palmwine, I thought she was just ranting as usual. Thank God I glanced at the name on the forms. I carried out the analysis quickly before going out. I am glad I did."

"Thank you Papa," the wife said, rising from her kneeling pose.

"What happened to my child?" he asked as he took the seat vacated by his younger brother.
"She got apple stuck in her throat," the wife replied.
"Hmm...." the man mused. "Asphyxiation, or poisioning. Was it critical when you got here?"
"The doctors from General Hospital gave her a sedative so she was still sleeping when we got here."
"General wanted to cut a hole in her throat abi?" the old man asked.
"Yes," replied the mother.
"Typical," the old man muttered. "All they have to do is dissolve the apple piece, then give her a sleeping draught, and position her so that she doesn't choke before she wakes up. That's all."
"That is what the girl doctor said," the woman said.
They all turned at the footsteps coming down the corridor. The nurse approached the receptionist first, then came towards them.

"Dr. Ogochukwu says you can see your daughter now." She said. "Please follow me."
The three of them followed the nurse who led them down the corridor as she spoke.
"She is now in the Children's ward, but in a separate room. I see you have met Papa Mankind."
"He's actually my elder brother," the father responded.
"Small world." she said.
"Yes small world." agreed the father, who entered the room after the nurse.
They were greeted by the endearing sight of Ajibike clapping her hands and shaking her crib in enthusiasm as the lady doctor sang out of tune, while she checked her vital signs.The mother's silent tears were in complete contrast to her happy laughter.

Bosi gbangba pt2

"What is the issue now?" the man asked. "Haven't you taken enough for the tests?"
The child was crying silently, in her mother's arms.The nurse glanced nervously at the couple. How was she to tell them that the pathologist was out for his noon day drinking break?
"Er...the samples have been sent to the Lab sir," the nurse stuttered.
"But that is what you said twenty minutes ago!" the man exclaimed.
"We are waiting for the results sir, before we can proceed." the nurse repeated again. "

The man glared at the nurse before turning back to his wife and child. Suddenly two doctors rushed into the room and asked for the referred child. The nurse pointed towards the watching couple. One doctor quickly collected the sleeping child from its mother while another began explaining that the child had to be operated on because they believed any more delay would jeopardize the child's life.

"No!" exclaimed the mother. "That's the reason we asked for a referral! We do not want an operation!"

"But madam," the doctor replied. "she can barely breath! The only reason she can sleep right now is because she is not alert. When she wakes up she will be in a lot of pain. If you only let us..."

"Let you do what?" the mother interrupted. "Cut a hole in my baby's throat?"

"But its just a tiny hole madam." the doctor said.

"No matter the size its still a hole," the father replied. "A permanent hole. We do not consent to the operation. Why are you not waiting for the test results?"

"Tests?" repeated the doctor.

"He means these test results," another voice floated from the end of the corridor. She was tall, slim and her steps were soft and sure on the worn tiles of the hospital. As she crossed a sun beam, her face was framed for a second, and it looked more like a model's than a doctor- the mother's roving eye caught on the billowing doctor's coat again for assurance. What could this teenager be doing in a doctor's coat? She wanted to ask.

"You ran tests on the child?" the second doctor asked her, his face contorted in a frown.

"Yes," replied the lady as she moved closer to the mother and rubbed her hand up then down the woman's sleeve. The woman relaxed a little, unconsciously.

"She has a bit of apple stuck in her wind pipe." she continued. "Its not poisoning as their hospital's note said. All we have to do is give her drops that will melt the piece. We will also give her more sleeping syrup."

She looked directly at both parents as she said,"There wont be any need for an operation. Please let ur perform the procedure. It will only take a few hours."

"We don't even know these people." the mother said, looking at her husband pointedly. The doctors apologized and introduced themselves.

As they made their way back to the waiting room, the mother wondered what would have happened if the teenager doctor, who turned out to be a pediatrician, had not arrived when she did. She had shuddered when they had been told that their baby was about to be given a permanent hole in her throat. Her mind had failed to refuse to stop picturing the child, with a hole in her throat, growing up still with a hole in her throat.She pictured the humiliation, the shame, the suffering the girl would be put through all her life, all through no fault of hers.All because another woman who wanted her father had decided to 'deal with' the girl.

The mother shuddered again."Are you alright dear?" her husband asked as they sat down to wait.

"I will be if you can assure me that that witch will not spend another night under my roof," the mother responded.
"It could have happened with anyone," the father defended their house guest. "Even you."
"Even me?" the mother repeated. "How could I possibly be so dumb as to feed apple to a child that has no teeth?"
"I knew you were going to react this way." the man said in a resigned tone.
His wife just stared at him before shaking her head, also in resignation. How was it that men were blind when it concerned women that wanted them?

They sat in silence for three hours, the wife muttering prayers for minutes at a time. The husband sat back, and reminisced. He remembered when the baby was born, how he had been called aside and told that the hospital did not have an incubator, but there was a way out - they could improvise, if only they could get their hands on about ten hot water bottles and a few more thick blankets.
He'd made a dash for the university quarters, and gone from door to door until he'd gathered all he needed. His neighbors looked at him in wonder - an African man was usually this jubilant when his wife gave birth to a boy, but the father was oblivious to the the gender, and even the condition. As far as he was concerned, he had a child.
He was a father.
He had a child.

The baby had been 1.6kg at birth, and the doctors, after setting up a make-shift incubator with cardboard boxes, hot water bottles, and thick blankets, were scared when the weight dropped to 1.4kg. The baby was a survivor however, she not only survived the incubator, she survived one month at the hospital. She was the smallest premature baby to ever survive in the hospital, and as a gift, she was granted free treatment until she clocked three years of age.

But the baby was barely one year old, when an old friend came visiting some days ago, totting apples, the local species. She had insisted on carrying and playing with the baby, then on feeding her apples today. Ajibike had adapted to the new food until a particularly big piece had gotten stuck in her throat.What started as a small back-patting incident, became an alarming issue that entailed rushing the child to the nearest hospital. Thank God they had been alert and not numb, because the doctor on duty had insisted on operating on the child, even after hearing that the kid was choking on ordinary apple. They had put their foot down, and insisted on a referral.

"Sunday?" a leathery voice interrupted his musing. The father looked up, then sat up immediately. His brother, older than him with more than fifteen years, was standing in front of him. He tapped his wife gently before standing up and prostrating in greeting.

"I thought so," the man said, nodding his white head. "When that child doctor kept disturbing me that I must carry out the analysis before going to my joint for my midday palmwine, I thought she was just ranting as usual. Thank God I glanced at the name on the forms. I carried out the analysis quickly before going out. I am glad I did."

"Thank you Papa," the wife said, rising from her kneeling pose.

"What happened to my child?" he asked as he took the seat vacated by his younger brother.
"She got apple stuck in her throat," the wife replied.
"Hmm...." the man mused. "Asphyxiation, or poisioning. Was it critical when you got here?"
"The doctors from General Hospital gave her a sedative so she was still sleeping when we got here."
"General wanted to cut a hole in her throat abi?" the old man asked.
"Yes," replied the mother.
"Typical," the old man muttered. "All they have to do is dissolve the apple piece, then give her a sleeping draught, and position her so that she doesn't choke before she wakes up. That's all."
"That is what the girl doctor said," the woman said.
They all turned at the footsteps coming down the corridor. The nurse approached the receptionist first, then came towards them.

"Dr. Ogochukwu says you can see your daughter now." She said. "Please follow me."
The three of them followed the nurse who led them down the corridor as she spoke.
"She is now in the Children's ward, but in a separate room. I see you have met Papa Mankind."
"He's actually my elder brother," the father responded.
"Small world." she said.
"Yes small world." agreed the father, who entered the room after the nurse.
They were greeted by the endearing sight of Ajibike clapping her hands and shaking her crib in enthusiasm as the lady doctor sang out of tune, while she checked her vital signs.The mother's silent tears were in complete contrast to her happy laughter.