Your Brief Bio:
David Uj is a 22 year old Nigerian,A Mass communication student at the Ahmadu Bello University,Nigeria,He is also known as Yohanna David Joshua.
He started writing when he landed a talk show job at age 17 For Nigerian teens choice Awards,along the way he understood his passion is writing.
At age a 20 he wrote a poem to participate in the #Bringbackourgirls campaign in which was a shocker to his family that his writing skills is extraordinary.His passion for writing drove his desire to study mass communication.
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
Can everything work well for kayode? Omo Lagos doesn't answer all prayers oh.
I always thought that it was okay not be able to provide, sitting in the mist of this dirt sand, my over worn jeans had gone faded, my shirt has carelessly tore itself, with my hands on my jaw thinking how impossible my struggle for a meal tonight will be, I can hardly face the sun down direction because I am ashamed, that a man my age can’t feed a mouth, so I look deep into the flowing water, I sit above, and hope it washes my shame away, the more I look into the flowing water, the more I see my mother’s face, I just could not ask my brain why I was getting the reflection so I ask myself with my hand over my head, tears flowing down my cheek like a day old child, I find myself screaming to myself for help, because my mother’s reflection is the most unpleasant picture anyone will ever find appealing and what made this disgust bitter, is because I am under a circumstance of being a failure, a disappointment, where I come from we work thirteen hours of the day, I and Tayo my younger brother in my father’s coco plantation to earn a plate of white rice with salt. My father never saw a reason to come along because he felt like he was doing us a favour, assuming the longer we stay in the plantation working, the stronger and more responsible we became, Despite all my struggle in life I still find myself hopelessly placing my foot in between every sand crumb on the beach and hoping I might just get a left over in the bins of the resort to please my present starvation.
My foot will not stop bleeding, gushing drops of blood into the white sand and making me leave traces after my step that says I have been walking for months, because I was one of those men who move into a city as big as Lagos and never budget money for bus fare, I cannot stop looking at my blood flowing foot as I took every step wondering how I will replace every blood drop because I was already in starvation for a week, I run toward the first lady who seem approachable, with her kinky hair, a short skirt and a cooperate shirt ,with her arm raped around her chest holding tight to her under bridge cheap loafers and a bend down select hand bag, am sure she was just coming from work rather still one of those Pentecostal church member, who dress to impress, I never beg those hungry wannabe looking civil servants I said to myself a week ago but today she seem to be the answer to my prayer, just when I got close enough to call her, “sister.. Sister…” and she turned to me with her eyes red and suddenly unapproachable “Biko... biko… biko, person no fit waka for Lagos sake of say una type dey jobless? If you no fit find work, find Jesus! Brother no be every person you see for street be mugu oh, look at you no go back village, you want beg! You think say Na everybody wey dey waka don chop? Fool…Lazy man...No be your mates get house for Lekki?” I wonder why every lagosian have a misinformation that anyone who live in Lekki have a complete three square meal, just the same way most erudite Nigerians project future inventions hoping that their families in America or the united kingdom will cover the bill, forgetting that not all immigrant have the luxury an average Nigerian is entitle to.
Just like a man who his manhood is stole from him I turn my back toward where I was going and set my eyes in hers, while she pour down the heavy bucket of insults on me and I started walking backwards, each step sounded of shame and I just cannot explain why my hand was holding tight to my zipper, it felt like the only way I could remind myself that I was still a man.
Walking the street of Lagos is what I do for fun, I walk pass the orange seller who sold the sweetest oranges in Balogun market, at least that was her trade mark and she will not stop shouting it in my ears whenever I pass that road from my daily scavenging, the vendor, oga Usmanu,a black skin young man, who is opposite her in his glo with pride stand point shade, arrange his newspapers and magazines every time a passerby stops for a minute to read the headline and he often says to them “a word na hundred naira oh” with his black face frowned like undone akamu ,oga Usmanu loved my spirit of wanting to learn so whenever I pass, I stop to read the headlines and because he knew that I could not afford a meal let alone his newspapers he offers me to read them for free only on the condition that I read it out loud and translate it into Yoruba afterward, while I read the paper I can only see the admiration in his eyes, wishing he was able to read English and Yoruba at the same time, whenever I read a tragic story to oga usmanu he will always hiss, with is lips pointed as a peek and he will nod his head saying ‘’ah ah… this countrri no save again ni oh’ ’he will look deep in my eyes, watch as my lips and tongue pronounce every word, I often wonder why anyone will admire anything about me, but with oga Usmanu I feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, he did not care I was a jobless, poor, homeless fellow, who comes into his shade every day, with the same shirt and jeans to read a combination of the white man’s invention, rather he always offer me pure water to wet my dry lips and would always apologize for having his Lunch just a minute before I came, I always try to come before his lunch so I have a taste of a well prepared home meal but it seems to always be minute to his last bite, even when I decided to come by 8:00 am,oga Usmanu still apologizes for having a meal few minutes before, the hospitable side of him is the seat he offers me under his shade and the sachet of cold pure water.
My eighth night sleeping on an empty stomach, it only felt normal but this time with so much discomfort, holding tight to my wool blanket, under that same bridge I hate to pass a night cause the homeless young girl next to me remind me of something, she smell so familiar, The smell of my father’s foot when it goes out those brown sandals, perhaps the smell was uncomfortable because I never really had a bond with him.
Mr. Tunde is a very difficult man, I grew up thinking I was the most terrible child a parent could wish for because of cause my father never forgot to remind me how better Tayo was from me simply because he does everything he’s asked even without asking why, maybe that is why he thought Tayo was more ready for a university education, whenever Mr. Tunde walks into the small compound, we shared with six families, I quietly tiptoe to my room without a sound, every family had a completed flat, but we occupied the last uncompleted one because it was off cause the cheapest, My father made us believe that he found the uncompleted flat more airy, I remember when mama Samuel, the widow who occupy the fourth flat embarrassed mama when mama went to borrow palm oil to make jellof ofada rice for the family, calling my father “ A proud empty pocket”, I still wonder if those were the right words to describe my father, he was a fierce man, even when I try so hard to please him by giving him a gift I was gifted in secondary school for the best student in Government, all I could afford was what I was given, I could not afford to bring home straight A’s result because I was not as smart a Tayo,and I could not afford to do all that am asked because I always thought Tayo has the gene of zombiezum and I would never want to be categorized as such.Mr Tunde let the bible size mini law book cover itself in dust letting me feel my effort to create a bond worthless, sometimes I feel the right word to describe our relationship is “unnatural”, nothing my father did to me was natural, was pure, was true or even blood related. He never spoke about me to his friends like he did of Tayo, he never thought I was even smart, even when I make extra effort to change my termly results from school, he might be an aging man in Law school but I never assume him for a smart student, because even if my results is written with a black biro I could decide to change it to a desired credit in blue, he still will never notice.
Most times I wonder why my father went back to school in his old age and let me without any higher education.
This Sunday morning seem a little different from every other, I woke up earlier than I use to and I was drowning in deep thought of survival ,something within me kept reminding me how impossible it will be for me to survive another day of hunger, I struggled to manage myself to Oga Usman’s stand to borrow some money to go back to the village, I just thought that I needed to leave Lagos for a while so I can buy time for my life to be balanced I knew deep within me that I was never paying back the money.
The motor park seem different from the last time I had been there maybe it is because I was not as hungry as I am when I arrived Lagos, All buses to Ibadan where booked for, the bus conductor advised me to pray that a passenger will be late so I can occupy the seat and luckily the next bus to Ibadan had two empty seats, the journey seem to be unreachable, maybe cause I was too hungry to be patient even after the roasted corn the woman next to be gave me, I still felt like I could eat the entire Ibadan upon my arrival.
Dropping from the bus, in my small village in Ibadan, I went on my knee to kiss the ground I stood upon, the air smell of freedom and warmness, the people didn’t change, there are still too dark and lousy, I began to run my way home to meet the family I left seven years ago, my eyes was dripping tears, I felt like a king returning to the land I understood the most ,one thing that didn’t change in my small village called "iwo" is the road to my house, it was still terrible, with cracks as deep as mama shubo’s feet,aproching the brown gate to my compound,I stopped running and suddenly the fear to return home washed my face, I could stand anything but defiantly not Mr. Tunde's mockery ,his way of reminding me how I moved to the big city seven years ago and came back running home because I could not stand nine days of starvation.
Walking in from afar I saw my father seated in the front yard wearing an all-black outfit, I thought that was a fashion choice after all he never had good taste in clothing,apporoching a little closer he turn to me, looking deep in my eyes and he began to chant “ahh… ahh… kayode…death has called you back home",I instantly went on my knee because I knew I could not afford for my mother to die, something inside of me wished the misfortune of death to fall on Tayo rather my mother, the only woman that loved me in my family, and suddenly I felt a warm hand on my head,which made me look upward and the unpleasant face of Tayo was above me.