I live in one of the suburbs of Lagos with my wife, Khafilat. I am an ordinary okada rider who ply routes around my area. Before now, I used to be a tailor in my close friend’s shop, Victor. Although we hardly got customers, somehow we still managed to survive. However, in November last year, the compound in which the shop was situated was gutted by fire and we could not recover anything. Consequently, we had to look for something else to do in order to keep spirit and soul together and also feed our family.
Some weeks after the fire incident, Victor and I bought a fairly used okada the same day and started work. My pretty wife, Khafilat, and I got married about seven months ago. She is a beauty to behold; in fact my world evolves only around her. She has been so support-ive, caring and loving. When I told her I was going to become an okada rider, she told me to do what makes me happy. She gave me her support and blessings.
Victor and I are so close; in fact, we see ourselves as brothers from different mothers. Every day after the close of work around 7: 30 p.m., we first go to my house to eat, drink and chat for a while before he heads home to his family. He lives just two streets away.
About three months after we started the okada busi-ness, rumours filtered into my ears that Victor and Khafilat were having an affair. But I flagged it off because people see him in my house almost every day so I felt that was the source of the rumour. I live in a face-me-I-face-you compound and one Saturday evening, an elderly man who I respect so much in my compound called me and asked me how my day went and I told him it went fine. He looked at me, shook his head and spoke in proverbs, “Rilwan, my son sometimes the person you call a true friend is he who stabs you badly. Open your eyes wide, in fact shine them. May God give you under-standing and wisdom.” Then, he walked away.
“This one baba spoke to me in proverbs, could the ru-mour about Victor and my wife be true?” I muttered. I didn’t want to take his words for granted so I decided to watch my wife’s every move carefully. I never knew that it was common knowledge both in my compound and on my street that my best friend and my wife were having an affair. Two days after baba’s proverb, Nat, my friend, in the next compound called and told me about Victor and my wife’s illicit affair and their meeting place. He revealed that Victor and my wife meet three times a week in a brothel just two streets away. “I will tell you the truth Rilwan, my friend. Your so called friend, Vic-tor, and your wife meet at a brothel three times a week between the hours of two and four p.m. They meet on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and people in the area know about it. I am surprised that you don’t know. Anyway, if you want me to take you there, I will,” he revealed. I felt so disappointed and betrayed at first. How-ever, we fixed a day to go to the brothel so that I will see them with my own eyes.
The next Tuesday, Nat took me to the brothel, we hid at a corner and about an hour later, Victor and my wife came out of the brothel hand-in-hand. My mouth was left open from the disappointment and betrayal; it was Nat who reminded me that flies could enter if I don’t close my mouth. “So, it is true after all. My wife and best friend are cheating on me? They have stabbed me,” I told Nat. I went straight to a bar to drink away my sorrow. I got home a bit drunk and really if you ask me how I managed to drive my okada home, I don’t know. Khafilat was very surprised to see me in that state because she knows I am not a heavy drinker.
“Rilwan, my husband you came home drunk today, hope there is no problem,” she asked. “I am fine. I just want to sleep,” I answered. I woke up the next morning full of resentment and disgust for my wife and friend. I didn’t want them to know I was aware of their ‘little secret’ as well so I thought of what I could do.
I wanted to confront my wife about her infidel-ity but Nat advised that it was not a good idea as she could bluntly deny. “Nat, so what do I do? I think I am going crazy,” I revealed. He suggested that there was this herbalist who could help solve my problem. “I will suggest that you see this herbalist. He will solve your problems in the twinkle of an eye. You just tell him what you want,” he stressed. I told him to give me two days to think about it.
On the third day, we drove for almost three hours inside the bush just to see this herbalist. When we got there, I explained the situation to him and he asked me if I wanted to put magun on my wife’s body and I said no. “Baba, I don’t want to put magun on my wife’s body because I don’t want someone’s blood on my hands.” “Alright my son, what kind of juju you want make I prepare for you?” he asked. “Baba I don’t know but I no wan kill the man because he is my friend. Alright, just prepare strong juju that will disgrace him from time to time when he is carrying a passenger,” I pleaded. “Alright my son, I will prepare the juju that will disgrace him thrice a week. But you have to come back after three days to collect it,” Baba emphasised.
After three days, I went back to Baba alone to collect the juju and he instructed me on how to administer it. “All you have to do is rub a small quantity of the juju on his okada before he starts using it the next morning,” he instructed. Baba however warned that if I don’t do as instructed, the consequences will fall back on me and it will be very severe. He also warned that if Victor is cured at any point in time, the sickness will be trans-ferred to me.
Early the next day, I drove to his house and did as Baba instructed. Three days later, I was at the park with my other colleagues when one of the okada riders rushed to the park to inform us that Victor was running mad. We all rushed to the place only to see that Victor who left the park a few minutes ago with a female pas-senger, getting half way asked her to get down from the okada because it was time to sleep with his girlfriend. To the shock of everyone, he started caressing and kissing the okada. In fact, he almost took off his clothes. About 15 minutes later, when his eyes were clear and he saw the number of people staring at him, he became so ashamed. On sighting me, he asked me what just hap-pened to him and I told him. He wept like a baby and told me that it had never happened to him before.
This happens to him every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, between the hours of 12 and 12:45 p.m. With this, he does not have the time to think of going to the brothel with my wife. Sometimes, it is so embarrassing that his two wives and five children weep for him and wish there was something they could do to help him. My wife too is aware of the situation and she feels pity for her lover.
At a point, he thought if he stopped the okada busi-ness it will stop the disgrace but at the set time and days, the 15 minutes of disgrace still occurs wherever he is. In fact, it became worse because he harasses any woman he sees within that period and sometimes, he ends up being beaten by on-lookers.
Some people, who know about Victor’s affair with my wife, are already pointing fingers at me. I however tell them I am not behind his plight. Yes, I am human, I feel guilty that I put him in this situation but at the same time I cannot help him because the disgrace will be transferred to me. Seeing him disgraced three times a week saddens me but there is nothing I can do. I hear some of his family members are looking for solution for him but I pray they don’t find any so that it will serve as a lesson for other married men who sleep around with married women.