It was when people from other yards started running to the yard opposite Imagwe’s home, to the very spot where he and his siblings stood giving out drinks that Imagwe realized the proclivity of what he had done. It was still noon and he had thought people might be fewer inside each yard to at least take a bottle and thank. He was broadly wrong. He didn’t know how the news got to the others and the drinks finished before the death of ten minutes.
A woman who sold foofoo and bottles of kerosene owned the gigantic umbrella where Imagwe and his siblings stood. Adesua really took in the details of the umbrella by jerking her head up, turning around and reading what was written on each triangle that formed the umbrella, ‘MTN everywhere you go, MTN everywhere you go, MTN…’ The foofoo woman was saying, ‘This people na good people, chei your Mama try. Thank her you hear?’ Imagwe furrowed lightly, it was never his mother’s idea. Junior merely stood absorbing the drama of the moment. A little girl presumed to be the foofoo woman’s daughter because they had the same kind of protuberant eyes was already caressing Adesua’s brown bear with her. They seemed to be talking in tiny voices that Imagwe overlooked. The woman was almost gulping down her own bottle of fanta, she had already secured four bottles close to her business, she said it was for her husband and children. Her little girl had already sipped from her before facing Adesua to chirrup.
“Naso e suppose be na, anybody wey move in suppose feed we wey already dey’ A man commented in pidgin, cocking his drink with his incisors.”
“Papa Mimi na him you no kill goat for us, upon say you hold small money.” The foofoo woman added.
“Igbo woman you for cook ofe owerri for us.” Another woman said and they all cackled.
Imagwe laughed a little and went to shake hands with some boys standing around, sipping from their bottles. As he shook hands and adjusted his collar as he was wont to, the boys picked up the quality of the thing around his neck, a bold gold chain. Imagwe smiled at each glance on his garb, that was his intention.
“Make ona drink fast bring the bottle,” The woman shouted out to no one in particular. “I know everybody wey collect drink here, drink fast come drop the bottle. Don’t chew it.” Two girls at the entrance of the yard laughed shortly at the cadence of her last words. After a while, she told Imagwe that she will organize the bottles into the crates and send it back to the shop where he bought them. Imagwe thanked her and teased her little girl’s cheek. He often loved to play the role of a young man.
Mr and Mrs Oshoke drove in to see something that seemed like a multitude around their gate. At first they were bemused at how people waved at them excessively from the beginning of the street as if he just finished campaigning like a political candidate. He honked and waited a little for the crowd to give way but they were still bent on taking what he had no prove of. The foofoo woman had already taken her rice in her own plate. She saw them and waved, ‘Ona welldone good people. See car. Hia eh”
Imagwe was bouncing to the gate with two plates of rice and chicken in both hands when they succeeded to drive in. He walked past them and handed the rice to two girls before Solomon closed the gate. He took two plates again from the crowd through the pedestrian part of the gate and closed it.
“Daaddi welcome, Muummi welcome.” He greeted his parents politely, he didn’t like the fact that they came back earlier than the end of his feast of charity but he bottled the feeling anyway. Junior and Adesua were already on their electrified parents, greeting and telling. Mrs Oshoke padded into the kitchen to see her pots on the floor, dirty bowls, a messed up floor and her son dishing jellof rice into strange stainless plates. She hugged herself.
She was still standing by the door when Imagwe went out with the heavy plates and came back. He hugged her from behind as always and said gladly, “Muummi, I have a surprise for you.” Their Dinning was skulked by a white-lines curtain little wonder she didn’t notice the bouquet on the table. Imagwe led her there and also went into their room to invite his father.
“We cooked jellof rice Sir.” Imagwe displayed to them like a chef. Adesua was already clapping, Junior smiled widely with his lips still glued together.
Mrs Oshoke laughed her amazement and winked to her husband who understood. They already ate jellof rice from a cafeteria before coming home but they quickly began to show appreciation and admiration to the children. She had hoped that they would eat ebah and the egusi soup in the fridge that evening. At the moment, Imagwe said, “Excuse me,” and left for the kitchen. Junior hollered “Mr Chef” and that flared out laughter.
Mr Oshoke did not like what Imagwe did with the people, he should have taken permission or waited for his mother to arrive he thought, yet as they ate and conversed loquaciously, he forgot to be angry. He was always angry at how he neither knew Imagwe nor his surprises. BIG BOYS STORY, Chapter Six