Tale 11: Of Floating, Squatting and Sharing
Of my sojourn in Ife - which tales do I not tell?
Tales of horrifying living conditions in Mozambique hall?
Of walking dead of night for ‘kaskoliness’ sake?
Of skirting cultists, dabbling in Student politics?
Of SUG power by extension,
Of ‘love’ unrequited?
I continue in close vein to where the last tale left me,
A tale of homelessness, through almost all of my years in Ife.
Aides by corrupt officials, Abetted by greedy students.
The former it seemed (?) assigning rooms for favours,
The latter, reselling like local Lords at hiked prices
All contributing to a hard life for innocents.
As told, my first semester, I floated.
Meaning? I did not even have a floor space to call mine for sure from day to day,
None to lay my Vitafoam single mattress.
But at least due to Toyin’s generosity (she had a top bunk so no corner to share with me)
I had at mid-bad times, a table-top in between two bunks (otherwise used for reading and cooking
At worst, I waited till all had dropped off to sleep or gone off to ‘read’ and to ‘gbeshe’
Then dropped my mattress on the ground, in the what should be the walkway
Mini-tales of being trod on, as night revelers returned,
Of being stumbled on as midnight nature calls were answered
Of horror of all horrors, my sole nibbled on by rats for snack!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I will never return to that place - Amin!
Of a second semester in same year 1
Post Olumide Akinsola introducing me to Tomi Olapoju nee Okediji
Finally having a place to squat - o what luxury!
Aside: You wonder at squatting? It’s the floor space ‘attached’ to a lower bunk occupying pride of place next to a door.
A place on the floor at night, to lay my head;
A more peaceful sleep than atop lockers or tables
A place to put my licker filled with my worldly University possessions
A place to feel somewhat at home - though bitten by terrific mosquitos!
Thank you Tomi!
And then my second year - away from Mozambique straight to Moremi
But no still had no room assigned (wetin I do OAU room assignors sef?)
Having met one I call my friend for life,
Mother to my only God son (so far o!)
Adeola Adenugba nee Oyedeji.
A place to share as she did more than offer me a squat.
For you see, she was a Quarters babe.
So I luxuriated in having a spring frame to support my mattress
And My locker in pride of place in the room!
Thank you ‘Deola!
And year three - a thank you to Seyi O… who through 4:5 took me in.
To Toyin, Tomi, Adeola and Seyi
I pray that you will never know homelessness
A place of Joy you will always have
to lay your head and that of your lineage
Tomorrow I tell a tale of adoption, burglary and roofs.