No 9 No 10 is up…
THE NARRATOR’S VERSES
NO 9 NO 10
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I saw the writing on the back windscreen of a taxi:
No 9 No 10.
How have you all been? It has been a while, yes, yes, yes, it has!
Had to travel to some rather huhudious village for a while, that’s why. Went there to plant a church, you see, working in the evangelizing field.
Anyway, here we are again, bright and sprightly as ever…hehehee!
I missed you though, as I am sure you also missed me. If you didn’t miss me, ah well, me dier I missed you much!
I am tired today, yes, so my tale will be short, more of an advice sort of thing, hehheee. See, we had this get-together in church this afternoon, and some Ayigbe woman brought konkonte and soup…ahaaaa!
Ate that food like my life depended on it, and it made my old, beautiful, sweet and sexy wife stare at me like I was some kind of alien…hayhayhay…she has never seen me blowing konkonte like that, like the way my friends Ray Annan and Osofo Nana Amoah blow konkonte…heeeerh, they blow it like their mouths were machine guns…chor-chor-chor-chor-chor like that…heheheee!
Anyway, anyway, anyway!
Enough of that for now. I feel heavy and sleepy…and I feel for something else too. The way the konkonte has entered my corners, it has made some end very sensitive, and my old wife has been smiling because she has seen the way I have been staring at those fine things behind her back.
She asked me when konkonte became an aphrodisiac…ewooooo, hehehe.
So I’ll follow her inside soon, for a hot afternoon blast.
Aha, what was I saying mpo?
Oh, yes, the taxi cab I saw today with the strange words on its back window:
No 9 No 10.
Hmm, when I saw it the first time I pronounced it like Number 9 Number 10, and linked it to the Ewes, since the Ewes were also known as Number 9, for a reason I couldn’t understand, presumably because they hail from the ninth region…hayhayhay, don’t come tukpei me oo, Efo!
But really, Number 9 Number 10 didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
It was much, much later, when I was almost home, that it struck me suddenly that indeed, the ‘No’ didn’t mean number, but it meant No, as in Nil, Negative etc.
Loosely, what it meant was that you can’t get to 10 without going through 9.
Aha, quite poetic, quite poetic.
Reminds me so much of the story of Baba Alhaji and Yusif…yup!
Happened a long time ago, yes, that story.
You see, Baba Alhaji was married to Amina Sadat, and they had two children, Memuna and Kassim.
Baba was a poor man, but his younger brother, Alhassan, was blessed with riches. Alhassan was married to Fusseina, and they had only one son Yusif.
Alhassan loved his son Yusif fiercely, and pampered him tremendously. Abi he had money, hahahaha, and you would expect him to pamper his only son, right? Yes.
Alhassan was good to his external family members, including Baba Alhaji o.
Oh, he was taking care of them la!
He was paying for everything for Baba, and for other siblings too. He built a house for his parents, a huge one. Baba Alhaji and his family eventually moved into the house that Alhassan built for his parents.
Everything was going on well well, fine fine, when calamity struck.
Alhassan and his wife, Fusseina, and their son, Yusif, were returning from a trip to Accra when their car was involved in a fatal accident o. Oh, dear, dear. Hmm, na proper calamity that o, Chineke Baba God!
Unfortunately, Alhassan and his wife Fusseina died…hmm, ayoo.
Their son, Yusif, survived, though he had some serious injuries.
Like joke, like joke, they carried Alhassan and his wife to grave o, and Yusif was an orphan.
But, no problem right? His father left a lot of riches, and he had his uncles and grandparents and large external family for support, right?
Yusif was fourteen years old when this calamity happened o, and eventually when he came out of hospital, and learnt he was now an orphan, the poor boy come cry saaaaaa!
But the elders told him no fears, boy, no fears. You still have a family, jooor! Now, Baba Alhaji, being the elder brother, was given Alhassan’s inheritance. He was also charged to take in Yusif as his own son, and take care of the boy o!
Abi you start dey think of what is going to happen, anaaa?
The way your evil mind dey imagine the scene, na so happen perpeeeerper!
Now that Baaba Alhaji and his wife Amina Sadat and his children moved into Alhassan’s mansion, that is where the wahala started for poor Yusif o!
The rooms in the mansion were six, aha!
Baaba Alhaji and his wife used the master bedroom. Their son Kassim, who was sixteen, had one room, and their daughter, eighteen-year-old Memuna, had one room.
Eno be three rooms dat, leaving three rooms?
Hmm, wait until your father die, and that is where you will see proper room sharing o, abeg!
The three rooms that were left became guest rooms. One was guest room for Baaba’s parents. Another became guest room for his wife, Amina Sadat’s parents, and the last one became guest room for ordinary visitors!
What that meant was that poor Yusif no get room now oooo!
Ei, human beings be bad!
Ayoo, so Yusif first started to sleep in the hall, but soon Amina Sadat said he was stinking, his body odour permeating the rooms, so now ebe corridor inside Yusif come sleep o, on some small cloth bi!
A boy that was pampered and loved by his father, was now sleeping on the floor in his own father’s home o!
And that was not the only thing koraa o! He became the servant in the house la. He washed clothes, he cleaned rooms, he swept the house!
Oh, come see proper wickedness, oh Lord!
Yusif was not even allowed to bath inside the house o! Na yard inside that boy dey bath, and porch inside that boy dey eat! Aaaah! Yehowa!
Yusif was crying everyday…well, almost everyday!
The thing that pained me koraa was the fact that his grandparents knew what was going on, but they looked on unconcerned because Baaba Alhaji and his wife Sadat Amina were giving them a lot of money!
Baaba Alhaji was no longer poor!
He was living lavishly, he and his family! Car na car, party na party, food na food!
Meanwhile, it was mouldy food Yusif dey eat o!
Tears sef dey ran down my cheeks as I dey tell you this story.
Na proper suffer that orphan boy suffer o!
For two years la, until he was sixteen years old.
Okay, one day the headmaster of Yusif and some big shot education people came to visit Baaba Alhaji and his family.
They had good news o!
Yusif has scored so well in the examinations organized by some Danish philanthropic group, and Yusif had topped the whole country o! So the Danish group has given scholarship to Yusif to go abroad and study o!
Ei, trouble don land for Nagonasha street!
Ei, so Baba God dey wey edey watch things like that?
Ojigbigbi ikebe super!
Come see jealousy for Baba Alhaji and e ugly wife Sadat Amina dem faces o, like monkey buttocks!
Their son, that lazy fool Kassim, and their daughter, that glory-hole Memuna, were all jealous o! So Yusif will be going abroad to study, after all that they had done to him?
Now, remember that Baaba Alhaji only became custodian of his brother’s riches until Yusif came of age o, and so they were now scared! If that boy happens to go to Denmark, and return as an educated, rich and clever man, they would lose everything o!
So they had to do something!
Na der nooor they pretended happiness for Yusif, and gave him one room to stay and sleep inside now! Yusif no fool o! He knew they were only doing that because they had heard he would be going to Denmark on a full scholarship to study law.
But he didn’t know the evil that was being planned o!
One evening, two weeks before his planned trip to Denmark, something bad happened!
Ei, his papers were ready o! His Visa was ready o! Everything was ready!
Well, as I was saying, two weeks before his trip, na der wey Baaba Alhaji and his ugly monkey-face wife Sadat Amina went to the police station to complain that their son, Yusif, had been smoking ganja and sniffing stuff they’re afraid of o!
Hmm, abi you know ganja? Na marijuana e beautiful name dat o…heheheheee!
Na der nooor policemen jump for jeeps inside, come fire sirens…
Straight to the residence they came! Buga-buga they forced and entered the house, straight to the room Yusif now slept in!
Search, search, search!
Gbraaaaa! Trouble come o! They found plenty ganja in a sack under Yusif’s bed o, and they also found some kilograms of cocaine o!
Come see beatings for Yusif in face!
Tow tow tow! Gbash gbash gbash!
Slaps and kicks enter Yusif body straight to jeep, straight to police cells!
He cried and cried and cried! He pleaded his innocence with tears of blood!
But, ganja be ganja, and cocaine be cocaine!
He was tried as an adult o, because of the drugs, and sentenced to fifty years in prison with hard labour o!
Oh, Yehowa! Oh, oh, oh!
Scholarship kafungbe! Denmark kafungbe! Yusif has lost everything o!
Na der wey Baaba Alhaji and his wife, the monkey-bottom face Amina Sadat, and their ugly children Memuna and Kassim come tear wild celebrations of joy o! Now, Yusif was gone, a victim of their wickedness, and the whole mansions were for them now, all their riches theirs!
And they never visited Yusif o!
Well, five years later, prison officials came to their home with some papers to sign.
Now, what papers were that, you want to know.
Na death papers o!
Yes, your evil mind is right…death papers for Yusif la! He died in prison as a result of ill health, sadness and mourning o! Yusif was dead, gone, fare-thee-well, gone too soon, what a shock, obituary, funeral, grave!
Ohhhh, my God!
Why should you let this happen now? Oh, why, oh why! What a sad tale be this!
You’re sad, abi?
Ayooo! Hmm, God dey!
Now that was the day Baaba Alhaji and his family come tear better party! Ah, na better party what kill am…na money kill am o!
Okay, let me tell you the conclusion of this sad tale.
About fifteen years later, all the money was gone.
Baaba Alhaji and his family had squandered everything because of mismanagement of Alhassan’s businesses. A huge company had come and bought the companies. It had taken over Alhassan’s hotels and Utensil Company. It had taken over all the buildings of Alhassan.
At that time, Baaba Alhaji was seriously sick, and they needed money for his surgery. Hmm.
Memuna, his daughter, had now become somewhat of a professional prostitute o…hehehehe, big big things had been passing her under kafu kafu kafu like Congo gun.
Kassim had also become a drug addict o, and drunk!
Sadat Amina was the only one who was in a bit of good health.
They were now living in the last house of Alhassan, the mansion they had inherited, but which had passed on to the huge company which had bought the Alhassan properties.
Now the owner of the company wanted them to leave the house!
That was when Baaba Alhaji sent for his aged father and some family members to come and beg the owner of the big company that had purchased all their stuff.
The owner had given them a deadline, but they wanted to beg him for a little extension o, to put some few things together, you see! They had heard he was a good man, and they knew if they begged him, he would understand and have mercy on them o!
So they were all waiting in the courtyard where tents had been erected, waiting for the wealthy man to arrive so that they would beg him.
And soon a huge, black beautiful and incredible car came to park o…then the wealthy man got out.
And when he entered the yard, come see scarteey oooh!
Everybody was screaming! Everybody was shouting! And everybody was afraid!
Now why, why? Why was everybody so agitated?
The man was an exact replica of Alhassan o!
Eiiii! Has Alhassan returned from the grave?
Has he come for revenge because of how they had treated his loved son? Dear Yehowa, Allah Baba God, what was the meaning of this?
That was when a weeping Baba Alhaji knelt down in front of the stranger o, and began to weep bitterly o, his whole sick body trembling with fear o.
“Oh, Alhassan, my brother, I have wronged you o!” he cried bitterly. “Forgive me, my brother! It was me and my family that planted the ganja and cocaine in your son’s room o! We made Yusif die! Please forgive us!”
Sadat Amina was so scared she was lying on the floor almost dead!
Sweet for her la!
Who say man no dey?
That was where this apparition that looked so much like Alhassan spoke.
“I’m not Alhassan!” he said calmly. “I’m Yusif, Alhassan’s son.”
What is this?
But we hear sey Yusif died in prison! We signed the prison papers!
And that was where Yusif told them the story of what had actually happened in prison!
The prison commander, a man who had no son, become very fond of Yusif in prison. He had believed the boy was innocent, and so when a young prisoner died, they had forged documents to show that it was Yusif.
The prison Commander then took Yusif home to his aged wife as their son. Back to school Yusif had gone, and eventually he had won another scholarship to study in the United States.
Here he was now, powerful, wealthy, blessed.
And then his wife and children emerged from the car…and also the prison Commander who had taken Yusif as his son!
Beautiful, beautiful wife….
Incredible, amazing children…
And there, Baba Alhaji, his ugly monkey-butt wife Sadat Amina, his public hole daughter Memuna, his ganja-pusher son Kassim…they all fell down on their hands and knees in shame before Yusif…weeping and begging for forgiveness!
And yes o, you heard Baba Alhaji’s confession to the crime of cocaine and marijuana abi?
Ayoo….no 9 no 10 ampa!
Like I always say, my verses no be false o!
I don’t tell lies o!
They’re very real stories that happened, my people!
Now, what lesson do we learn from the story of Yusif?
NO 9, NO 10!
Why are you looking at me like that?
Abi you want me to tell you what happened then?
Well, if you had been Yusif, what would you have done to them?
Yes, he did to them exactly what you would have done to them…
Anyway, anyway, anyway…
I have to join my dear old wife in bed and tumble up…hayhayhaaay!
My name is Adams Abdallah.
I am the Narrator.
And this has been my verses.
Adios! Ciao! Bye for now.
Catch you another time!
And remember…no 9, no 10!
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