image

A Story written by

Hadiyat’s parents and their four children are having dinner
inside their shack and at the same time counting the money they
have made and planning when to return to their homeland in
Niger. They discuss their daughter’s betrothal to one of their
fellow Arab named Assam and that the sooner she returns home
for the marriage the better to save her from the constant
harassment of Sule and the other dangerous touts and
hoodlums prowling and roaming about the stadium and
environs. Because, she stands the risk of being assaulted.
Hadiyat agrees with her parents.
“Father, we made quite a sum today,” Hadiyat says with a broad
smile.
“Yes. Let us count,” says her father.
They start to count in Arabic.
“950 Naira,” her mother says as they sum up the total amount.
“Not bad at all. Thanks are to Allah,” her father says in
appreciation.
“Hadiyat made 560 Naira,” says her mother.
“She has done well. But, she will soon stop and return home.
Assam will soon come for his bride,” her father says.
“Of course. The sooner we do so, the better. Because, these
infidels have been casting their lustful eyes on our beautiful
daughter,” says the mother.
“I have noticed that infidel called Sule touching her here and
there indecently. If care were not taken, he would defile her one-
day,” says the father.
“God forbid such an abomination,” her mother declares.
“Yes. I want to go home to join Assam before the Ramadan,”
says Hadiyat.
“Yes, my beloved daughter. We will not delay any longer. Look
at you. You are already a full-grown young woman,” her father
agrees.
“All her mates are getting married,” says her mother.
One night, there is a thunderstorm and in the torrential rain,
people are running helter-skelter to escape from being drenched
in the storm. The commuters that are waiting for their buses
rush to stay under the flyover where the traders are, some of the
touts, bus drivers and conductors are staying inside the buses
or just nearby. The storm continues throughout the night and
floods the whole place, washing away all the shacks and
makeshift camps under the flyover, including the shack of
Hadiyat’s family and her parents have gone to Iddo motor park
to make arrangements for their journey back to Niger. And in the
confusion, she shepherds her siblings into an open bus already
occupied by others, but she does not find any more space for
her to stay with her brothers. She leaves them there and looks
for space in any other bus under the flyover. As she is looking
for the safe bus to pass the night, she finds Sule alone in a bus,
smoking and drinking. She wants to turn away, but he quickly
persuades her to come inside, promising not to harm her. She
agrees and goes inside. Once inside, Sule does not waste time
to talk her into sleeping with him. And under duress and the
offer of a lump sum of money, Hadiyat succumbs and he
discovers that she has been a virgin until now.
“Please, Sule. Don’t hurt me,” Hadiyat says in her smattering
Yoruba with an Arabic accent.
“Hurt you? My sweetheart. My honey. My own Godsent
“oyinbo” baby. Relax and sleep. You are safe here inside my
danfo. I mean it when I said I want to marry you. And you and
your parents and your little brothers will never beg again. See
money here plenty.”

To Be Continued…

Previous Episode
Next Episode