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Life Of Gbenga Episode 10: Dayo's Resolution

Today was quite different from Gbenga’s recently past couple of days in the sense that he attended all the classes for the day.

This was fortunate because if he’d failed to do so, he would have missed three impromptu tests. You’d think the lecturers connived to deal with the students.

They did not care that it was a Friday and not a Monday. Fridays were supposed to be the least stressful, weren't they?.

But unfortunately, Dayo was absent. Although for Dayo this was kind of normal. Recently, the guy had become fond of skipping Fridays, preferring to start his weekends a day early.

Gbenga had tried to call several times but Dayo’s line was not going through. Maybe the dude was still fast asleep, afterall with Dayo, anything was possible.

The last class ended by three p.m. As much as Gbenga coveted his bed, he boarded a bus headed for the main gate.

He was going to check on the nigga. If that boy dey sleep, e go chop slap today, Gbenga mused. He could not wait to see the look on Dayo’s face when he told him about the tests he’d missed.

The bus taxied to a stop at the main gate car park. Gbenga disembarked and paid the driver.

“Bross, this your twenty naira don tear.” The driver said.

Gbenga’s eyes flashed. Benin was such a stupid city. It was the only city in Nigeria where the residents rejected money over flimsy reasons like ‘your money don fade’, ‘your money don tear’ or similar senseless talk.

He took the twenty naira from the driver and inspected it. The so called ‘tear’ was just a slight cut at the edge.

“No be person give me?” Gbenga complained.

The driver squeezed his face like someone licking unripe tangerine “nor be my fault bross. If na u now, you no go collect this money from me.”

Gbenga ground his teeth together. Fortunately, he knew just how to deal with the driver. He dipped his hands into his pocket and brought out a one-thousand-naira note.

“Okay take, abeg give me change. I’m in a hurry.” Gbenga said.

The driver frowned “where I won see one-thousand-naira change na?”

“Bross you go find am oo.” Gbenga said nonchalantly.

“You nor get another change?” the driver asked.

Gbenga did not even bother to reply that. The driver hesitated, fidgeted, hissed and finally stretched his hands towards Gbenga.

“Oya just give me the twenty naira.” He said.

 Gbenga smirked and gave the man the rejected note. He walked away whistling, while he pocketed his one-thousand-naira.

Them think say na them get sense pass, he mused as he made his way out of the campus. He crossed the highway and walked towards the junction leading down to Sixteenth Street.

He was about to go down the junction when some guy rudely blocked his path. Gbenga frowned and stepped out of the fellow’s way, intending to continue his walk.

But the dude stepped in his path again. He eyed the guy very well. Wetin come dey bring this kind nonsense, he wondered. No be say na my friend oo?

“Guy na ‘solution’ you dey smoke?” he asked the fella.

“You’re trespassing.” The nigga said “you know you are not allowed in this region.”

Gbenga actually cleaned his ear with his small finger. But this guy dey craze oo.

“So hot afternoon like this, you no see anything to do with yourself. You say na high you won high abi?” he taunted the fella.

The bross wiped his nose “guy, just walk away now. There’s no need to create a scene.”

The worst part was that the nigga was dry and slim like a used up chewing stick with ugly dreadlocks that seriously desired some maintenance.

Gbenga hissed and stepped out of the fella’s way once more. He started to make his way down the street again but was stopped by the audacious way the bross grabbed him by the elbow.

Now Gbenga‘s fury was awakened so that he began to see fire and brimstone. He was about to strike the nigga with a backhand slap when someone called out.

“Yashiva!”

He paused and turned back. The caller was a very tall, bony guy with a hardened face. He wore dark shades and dark clothes. In fact, everything about him was dark including his complexion.  

“This is their territory,” The tall guy said “the whole of EDPA belongs to other Yashivas. You own all of Ekosodin and part of Osasogie. Please just chill, so that you don’t start a war.”

Gbenga eyed the small fellow. So the nigga was a cultist.

“Look, let me make this very clear. I don’t belong to any cult. I am no one’s Yashiva and I am free to walk anywhere I choose. In fact, my friend lives on this street and I’m going to see him.”

The tall guy sighed like he was dealing with a troublesome toddler. “Everyone that matters already knows you’re a Yashiva.

We’ve already uploaded your photo to all our Facebook pages sef. It’s official, there’s no point in contesting it.”

“You guys even have Facebook pages? What the fuck? You know what, I don’t care to know.” He said, looking around.

Just how many of these individuals were hanging around and observing, Gbenga wondered. He suddenly felt very self- conscious.

It was quite unsettling to be recognised by people you didn’t even know existed in the first place. As he looked around, he sighted Dayo in one of the roadside business centres. He was busy manning a photocopying machine.

Gbenga started to walk towards the business centre and then paused when he noticed that the tall guy followed after him.

“Stay away from me.” he said through his teeth “do you guys monitor my movements?”

“Yes Yashiva, of course we do. And you are taking a huge risk, moving around like this. Anyone could take you out. It would be way too easy.” The tall guy said.

“As your Yashiva, I command you to stay out of sight. In fact, I would be really glad if you kill yourself.” Gbenga said and continued walking. He glanced back and was a bit startled to find that the tall guy had disappeared.

He stepped into the stall and tapped Dayo who was so busy with his work, he failed to notice when Gbenga stepped in. He was startled when he saw Gbenga.

“Hafa na. Na here you dey? You nor come class at all today.” Gbenga said, raising his voice a bit to overcome the loud hum of the small generator.

Dayo shrugged “Did I miss anything?”

“Just three class tests.” Gbenga said.

Dayo’s eyes bulged “on Friday of all days? Wetin dey worry those people sef?”

Gbenga looked around “you nor tell me say, you don turn business man oo.”

Dayo avoided his gaze and continued with his work. Now that bothered Gbenga. Was his friend ashamed of his work?

Come to think of it, this would explain why Dayo seemed to disappear for long periods, especially Fridays. In order to reduce any tension, Gbenga joked.

“You for tell me say you won try your entrepreneurial skills na. Me sef I won hammer.”

Dayo shook his head and chuckled. He handed the papers to the young guy who had been patiently waiting. Gbenga studied the customer.

The guy was obviously a fresher from the flashy way he dressed. Spend just one year in Uniben and your swag will die.

The guy paid Dayo two hundred naira and left the stall. Dayo switched off the generator and took a sit on one of the white plastic chairs. Gbenga followed suit and sat down too.

“Three tests,” Dayo said “how dem be like? You pass?”

“Na me won mark them?” Gbenga asked.

Dayo scratched his head “na so you always dey talk. Your score go come out now, e go be like say you copy the whole textbook.”

Gbenga chuckled “so na you get this place?”

Dayo hissed “yea, yea. E don reach like a month now.”

“Why you dey hiss? Na money na,” Gbenga said “no be two hundred that guy pay you just now?”

Dayo hissed again, “guy you nor understand. If na so the thing dey flow eh…”

Dayo was saying when some guys dressed in blue polo shirts and white caps came into the stall. Gbenga noted the way Dayo’s face fell.

“O boy, your dues.” One of them said.

Gbenga hated them on principle. They were tax touts, absolute irritants who only made the society worse by draining budding businesses in the name of tax collection.

Dayo’s countenance was as hard as granite “una don reach here like nine times this week alone. Person no dey see wetin una dey use the money do sef.

Only una go tax for water, tax for light, tax for land, tax for waste disposal like say una dey provide any of these services.”

The man scratched his pot belly “o boy nor just talk anyhow for here. Just pay your dues. Obey before complain.”

“One naira nor dey commot for my hand today. I never work anything.” Dayo said.

Some of the other ‘agberos’ started yelling at Dayo.

“O boy you dey craze? You won sleep for cell? Abi you won make we lock up this place?” yelled one of the niggas.

Dayo hissed and got up “I say I nor dey drop anything today. Na God go punish una. How much person dey earn when una won still dey put mouth. Thieves!” Dayo spat out.

At this outburst of his, two of the tax collectors charged at Dayo. Another kicked his table and sent it tumbling into the caravan.

Gbenga groaned and got up. If Dayo was fighting, he had to fight too. He threw a punch at the nearest tout.

Just like that, the stall turned into a warzone as more tax collectors, rushed into the stall to join in the melee.

Gbenga noted when some fellows in black swarmed the stall and started attacking the furious thugs.

At first he was confused by all the flying chairs, swinging punches and ugly yells until he saw someone whip out a pistol. Oh shit, he thought frantically and searched around for Dayo.

Dayo was busy joining three other guys to kick at one of the thugs who was on the ground and had curled up into a ball, to bear the furious blows. Gbenga yanked Dayo and started to drag him out of the stall.

“Guy leave me!” Dayo yelled.

“Guy shut up and move!” Gbenga yelled back, pulling his furious friend.

As they stepped out of the stall, ta pow a gunshot thundered and rent the air. Just like that the whole vicinity went haywire.

People started running helter-skelter like agitated cattle. Gbenga crossed the road with Dayo and quickly made his way past the main-gate just as the security men were trying to shut the gates. Another shot was fired again.

“But who come dey shoot?” Dayo asked looking both frightened and baffled at the same time as he tried to watch through the gates.

Several people had surrounded the gates especially all the ‘amebors’ and rumour mongers that were looking for a juicy story.

“It’s the ‘Twin Serpents’. They joined the fight once they saw me.” Gbenga explained.

“Guy let’s just enter bus, sharp sharp.” Dayo said.

They duo rushed into a bus headed for faculty. They silently listened to the other passengers gossip about the fight.

“Who dem say dey fight?” One woman asked.

“Na all these yeye cult boys. Nor mind them,” another guy said with authority as if he knew what was happening.

“Them go send pikin go school make e go learn, pikin go say na to come kill himself na im better pass.” The woman said letting out a long hiss.

The two friends sat in the park in front of ‘Faculty’. No one wanted to speak first until Gbenga broke the ice.

“How you won take return to that stall?” Gbenga asked Dayo.

Dayo relaxed on the chair “I’m done with that shit. The store can go to hell.”

“But it’s your source of income.” Gbenga said.

Dayo hissed “it’s just suffer head. The government will keep enforcing unreasonable taxes while we the small scale businesses will keep striving and deceiving ourselves that it would get better.

But it’s been like this for years and it only gets worse. I’m sick and tired of that shit.”

Gbenga laughed a little “come on, you’ve only tried for like one month. It would get better. Besides, this is not the end of the road. That’s why you’re in school.”

Dayo eyed him “are you kidding me? Our government no get respect for entrepreneurs. Their own na to frustrate and destroy.

Evil and unreasonable sons of bitches. Them dey tax for light, meanwhile na gen I dey use all the time, they tax for water meanwhile Water Board has not pumped water one day.

Even the waste disposal sef, na we dey contribute money to pay those guys if not we’re on our own. Besides we’re in a freaking recession.

Go and meet most of those my neighbours. Most of them be graduates oo. Some even graduated from this our department and a lot of them made sharp two one’s before you say maybe their results were bad.”

Gbenga sighed “so what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to do G” Dayo said with fervour.

Gbenga studied him and started laughing. He punched Dayo’s shoulder “no be only G. Let’s go and kidnap some rich kids.”

Dayo’s look was cold “nigga I’m serious. My mother retired this month. Because of that, my parents keep talking about being ‘realistic’.

In fact everything they tell me these days has something to do with being realistic. That’s why they got me that stall.

I nor fit suffer oo. I nor fit hustle all my life and then come still born pikin when go follow me suffer. God forbid.

But the fact is that even if you read hard in school, when you come out, chances are, you’ll still join all these niggas hustling their asses off for simple peanuts.”

“And you think G is the way out? G no be beans oo.” Gbenga said still laughing.

“I’ve done my research.” Dayo said “to be a successful G- boy, you must sell one of your body parts. I’m willing to do that.

In fact I’m going to Ijebu-ode next week with some guys. They’ve told me there’s a popular old man there that’s really good at the stuff.”

Gbenga was speechless. Was Dayo high or something?

“You want to sell your body part. What the…which part?” Gbenga asked.

“My left kidney.” Dayo said.

Gbenga fell back on the chair and continued laughing “Dayo oo. You nor go kill person.”

Dayo looked at him “I want you to come with me. E go make sense if we hammer together.”

Gbenga hissed, “you nor well. I nor fit sell one drop of my saliva sef. There’s got to be another way bro.”

“I don’t expect you to understand.” Dayo said “you’re not like the rest of us. The universe has a crush on you.

I know you say you hate your dad but let’s face it; the man is rich as fuck. You’re wickedly smart and everything is easy for you.

Only you will play Naira bet and win two hundred grand in one day. Fine girls all over the place want to do you.

In fact, you touched a cult leader’s girl and instead of losing your life, you became a Yashiva. Now when you get mad there’s mayhem…people die sef. It’s no surprise the future doesn’t scare you.”

Gbenga hissed “is that how you see me? You forget that my rich father has five wives and I am the only child of the last wife.

All the other wives have lost one child each. No one knows why but of course we all have our theories. So who knows when my turn will come?

That’s why I avoid my father’s house at all costs hoping that they will forget that I exist. You’re talking about naira bet.

Do you know how many times I’ve lost money to Naira bet? Guy don’t go there oo. And almost all my troubles started because of fine girls.

I had to drink the blood of someone I killed. Why? Because of a certain fine girl. Now they call me Yashiva but my life is not safe, death follows me like a shadow and you think it is swag? The future bothers me too.”

“Then accompany me to Ijebu-ode. What’s there to be scared of? Everything in life is a risk.” Dayo said earnestly.

Gbenga got up “enough of this poisonous talk. You are depressed. Come, let us play point and kill.”

Dayo shook his head “Na wa for you sef. I dey talk serious matter, you dey talk about chasing girls.”

“It will make you feel better.” Gbenga said “by the time you’re through, all this silly thoughts will fly away.”

Dayo shrugged “nothing’s going to change my mind. But I’m willing to play. You go first.”

Gbenga shook his head “nope, you go first.”

Dayo sighed “fine, oya point.”

Gbenga looked around and sighted two girls walking towards Ekosodin. He smiled at Dayo and pointed.

Dayo frowned “both of them?”

“No the one in the yellow dress. I give you five minutes to get her number.” Gbenga said.

“Number?” Dayo said derisively “why you dey talk like small pikin? We’ve passed that level na.  Let’s see how fast I can get her to come over to my room.”

Gbenga smiled “I give you three days to get her to your room then.”

Dayo scratched his head “but e go hard oo, she looks like a fellowship girl.”

Gbenga coughed at that “fellowship girl? Then I give you one day based on say na them dey curious pass.”

Dayo laughed and walked off towards his target. As Gbenga watched Dayo go, he couldn’t help but feel worried for his friend.

 

 
 
 

I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.

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