Monday morning came, everyone running up and down to get their uniforms from Mami and be ready before the hostels are locked. I wasn’t left behind; at least I made a wise decision of having a bath and getting ready before leaving the hostel. I arrived at the ironing man’s table and requested for my clothes. Uncle is telling me this, ‘I don’t know who or what you’re talking about’, and I’m seriously trying not to panic.

Oga bring my cloth, which one you dey talk?!”

The guy is still staring at me with this dumb look or like he doesn’t understand English when I know fully well that he understands the words coming out of my mouth. I started para-in, then my friend even came to talk to me wondering why I was shouting. After explaining everything to him, he joined me in my shout. Baba was still forming confused, so I decided to go through the clothes there myself. I found the jacket luckily, oya oga where’s my trouser? He’s still mumbling and doing like he’s looking for it. Mehn I was mad, this man wants me to show PH craze for him and of course the soldiers began to chase corps members so I had to go to the hostel to wear the rest of the ‘7/7’ but instead of trousers I wore the white shorts.

Having completed the task I went back to the man’s stand and he was still yarning and all I could think of was so much for my swearing in. Everyone else will have pictures and I’ll be absent. Next thing the man asked me to follow him to a building not too far from his stand where the Red Cross officials and volunteers stay.

When we got there he began to speak in Hausa for them, telling them what happened, but the only thing going through my mind was that this man is using language to sell me! Little did I know that the Red Cross officials were God sent. They calmed me down and sent him to find a new pair of trousers for me or be locked up in the guard room. Mehn I was so happy, I quickly wiped the tears that were streaming down my face and waited hoping that the guy won’t do hide and seek with us.

The officials were so nice, they even said that if he tries to play smart they will seize his iron and table and he’ll be punished. They even told me that just in case he doesn’t find a trouser that I’ll stand with them at the parade ground since I won’t be allowed to join my platoon. That, at least was comforting, I would witness the swearing in and if asked I can always say I was there.

Lo and behold, oga showed up with a pair of trousers and I tried them on, they weren’t too big and it was better than nothing. I thanked the officials profusely and off I went to snap some pictures and feel triumphant.


Written by: Igolo Aniebo



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