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This is a tale

Maybe folklore, maybe not

About the rest of us


Daddy and Ada had been schooled

In the village

In reality it was just four walls

Bamboo in summer

Thick thatch in the rainy season

To keep the rain out for about a hour

Enough time for foreign alphabets

To be imbibed by play deprived children


It is not clear whether Chidinma too

Schooled in the village

Ihiala meant better times and maybe

A better school

Lagos saw even better times

The private school, the baby boy heir-apparent

The new car and apartment


When it rained in Nigeria

It was louder in the city

Because all the houses were closely packed

Because all the houses had tin roofs

Because all the tin roofs resounded the rain with

With reckless abandon; joyous indifference


We were sitting on the balcony

Listening to the sound of the rain; our pulses

Reverberating the rhythm

When daddy asked the question

That began the exclusion

‘How does one light a fire in the rain?’

Ada answered

Muttering some phrase about dry wood and so on

Daddy nodded his consent

We carried on listening


There are certain things you don’t learn

Within the four walls of school

‘Bush Education’, daddy calls it

We exchanged looks – the rest of us

Because nobody told us

Because nobody told the rest of us

We carried on listening

Pretending to be captivated

By the rivulets that had formed.


Written by Oluchi

Follow on twitter @Mizz_starzz

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A graduate of Mech Engr from UNILORIN. Works and lives in Lagos.

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