Afanikõn : Wahala by Angel James


I was nodding my head to Alpha Ojini’s vigilante bop.

It was a coping mechanism, a push to
brace myself while I stood on the long and scattered queue that was nowhere close to moving.

It was a distraction from the men that deemed it fit to toast me at a crucial time like this.

I watched how their eyes accessed my loose jeans and fitted top as I walked to the queue.

It made me wonder what motive some were here for.

I clamped my arm to my phone and walked as gracefully as I could.

It was the one time I could boast that time did in fact wait for man.

It wasn’t until my earphones got snatched by the tall woman who swam in her husband’s T shirt, with her black leggings and sunglasses.

Aunty Mimi.

Before I could mouth a word, she snapped at me.

“What part of safety don’t you understand? Of all the times to listen to music it’s now, this girl. I’ve been screaming your name.”

“Aunty I-”

“Abeg give me that phone, rubbish.”

Next thing, Aunty Mimi held my hand while we walked to the queue.

I watched her speak to a man with slender arms, who wore a grey and black checkered shirt.

He pushed his glasses to his
face and tucked the middle of his pants before proceeding to nod at her wordings.

I frowned at the crowd and the tenacity of the sun on a Monday morning.

Pregnant women were given a preference for their situation.

It was a relief to see that they were attended to.

Still, I hated that task required this much inconvenience in Nigeria.

Amidst the crowd, I quickly dodged the spittle from the mouths of strangers.

Bodies brushed and pushed me.

Aunty Mimi had to tie both the end of her T-shirt to mine so we could be closer.

I heard a lady screaming as a petty trader tried to rip her off her money.

The chaos disturbed me but I was determined.

The only way to extricate the horrendous scenes I’d experienced for 20 years was enough to keep me here.

I needed change. I wanted to vote. I knew it would count.

Everyone was so worked up that you’d see some people shouting over minimal issues as taking a little step towards the gate. The officer who ushered was rude like a typical Olopa.

His complacency was funny to Aunty Mimi. After realizing that he wasn’t doing his job well, he had to act intimidating.

I shut out the angry voice of this police man who believed it was okay to shout about the scattered queue directly in my ear. “Na why we no dey grow as a country. Common line, una dey fight” he said. It was almost our turn and the sweat dripping down my back made the process irritable.

I shook my head and reminded myself why I was here. Nobody sent me. No-one had to, for I needed to be here. As I stood in front of my aunt, thinking of all the possible things that could go wrong today, I felt my body being pushed forward. It was then that I realized — it was my turn to go in and hustle for my PVC.

I looked back to see Aunt Mimi disgusted at me, not bothered to know what went on in my head. Before I could read her mind, she took the words out of my head. “Chai ajebutter”

As I walked in to see another queue, I hissed and begged God for grace.

About the author


Add Comment

By clarajack


Get in touch

Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.