Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 1
I am Ojo Makanjuola Stephens, a native of Esa-
Odo in Obokun Local Government area of Osun
state Nigeria. I am an only child of my Mother; I
did not know my Father.
He died when I was two years old. He fell from
the palm tree they said. He was a palm wine
tapper as well as a drinker. Stories has it that he
usually drank half of his wine before getting to
the market place, consequently he was always
indebted those from whose hands he had
collected money in advance. They say he was a
good dancer and singer too, especially when he
has had his fill of his produce.
Mama refused to remarry, she could not
withstand another man that could turn out to be
like Papa, and so she buried herself in her petty
trading and hair braiding. She sells anything,
most especially seasonal farm produce and
domestic Animals, if you want to sell your
domestic animals, contact my Mum; she knows
who wants to buy as long as she gets a
commission out of the deal.
I was her life; she lived for me even though she
never pampered me. She showed me love and
care within her lean resources. Mama would
never borrow a Pin from anybody, she taught me
contentment, her favorite watch word to me was
“Remember the Son of whom you are”
She taught me to stand my ground in the
presence of bullies, she told me never to weep
when my mates try to cheat me or oppress me.
Whenever I got into a fight with my mate and I
was over powered I wipe my tears before getting
home while I concoct plan for a rematch. I can
fight with a particular person ten times until I
take my pound of flesh except our paths do not
cross while going to the stream, farm, the
Market or School.
As a teenager, I had a small frame like my
Mother so my peers were always trying to bully
me, but that soon stopped when they realized
that I never said die until I am dead. My nick
name then was “wa pa” some thought it meant
to “be cool” but it was actually coined from “wa
pa mi l’oni” meaning “you will kill me today” any
bully that beats me must be ready for my trouble
for I would trail him to his father’s house with
stones and any imaginable weapon I could lay
my hands on until his family members come to
beg and appease me with gifts or money.
I was alone in the hostile world, no sibling to
stand by me except my frail Mother.
My Mother was tagged “Iya oloju kan” the woman
with one eye. I was her lone eye and she would
any length to protect me.
When I turned twelve and in class one in the
village grammar school, I started supporting my
mother during the holidays by joining fellow
teenagers to farm for money. About five to ten
of us could collect a hectare of land to weed
and cultivate for the land owner who guarantees
our breakfast and lunch as well as pay for our
We also go to the plantation owners to look for
Job from the fruit dealers that buy the harvest
from an orange plantation or mango plantation.
Our Job was to climb the trees with sacks and
pluck every ripe fruit on the tree and load it into
Trucks that take the fruits to the northern part
of the Country for sale.
Many times we had encountered snakes and
hostile rodents on the trees and such encounters
had led to the death and incapacitation of some
of us. After such hectic jobs, we retire home at
evenings after collecting our fees, we then
freshen up and hit the street after eating super,
super was mostly eaten between 5 pm to 6 pm.
We then go about looking for fun and girls.
The problem then was that girls of our mate
were looking at us as small boys; they would
rather go with the older boys of class 3 and 4.
So we simply go round the Village noting which
girl was seen hanging out with which boy.
The hang outs could be under fruit trees, by the
passage between two mud houses or simply
sitting together by the balcony of a house. These
we spread around the School the next day.
The proceeds of my labour I gave to mama as
my meager contribution for housekeeping. My
father owned no land, I heard he sold his portion
of his family land long before he married mama.
The only legacy he left for me was some old
palm trees scattered in his other brother’s farm
lands but my mother never told me about it
because she did not want me to turn out like
I still wondered what my mother saw in a man
like my father, even though she never spoke ill of
him to me, I knew she was not a happily married
Mama is a feeble Woman, she has a small frame
and not physically strong, she is thin and gaunt
as a result of sickness and excessive fasting. I
used to wonder how someone with little to eat
would indulge in marathon fasting. Mama could
pray for eight hours nonstop. Many nights she
does vigil praying till dawn, she does not shout or
disturb anyone when she prays; she talks to her
god alone. Her major prayer point was that God
should protect her Son and make a success out
It is only during such prayers that she tells God
about her not wanting me to turn out a failure
like my Father, she begs God not to visit the sins
of my Father on me. I attended one of her vigils
with her and I slept off mid way, I was bored
because she kept telling God the same thing
over and over, no wonder her prayers were so
long, I used to wonder then if God was that
My Mother’s problem started when she disobeyed
her parent and married my Father. She is from a
devout Muslim family; her father was the Chief
Imam at the village Mosque while her Mother
was the “Iya Suna” head of the Muslim women,
so you can imagine the reaction of her father
when my Father and his palm wine drinkers went
to seek for the daughter of an Imam in marriage.
They were chased off I heard. Islam and Alcohol
is like water and oil.
Her parent never gave their consent even after I
was conceived and my father went with his
family members to beg again thinking the
pregnancy would pacify her father, rather the
news of the pregnancy enraged the old Imam
and he cursed and disowned my mother publicly.
He did not forgive her amidst pleas from several
reputable people in the Village till the death of
him and his wife.
After his death, my mother remained a persona
non grata in her father’s house, I am tagged a
bastard there and I can only point a finger there
and tell someone it is my grandfather’s house, it
was so bad that if any of my mother’s relation
sees me or my mother coming along their paths,
they change course and follow another route.
And the man that put my Mother through all of
these did not stay around to take care of her and