Dele walked tiredly along an express road with earphones plugged in his squirrel like ears, humming without passion. The sound of cars racing at high velocities blended discordantly (in the background) with the song playing. He shook his head slowly and thumped his feet while listening to Davido’s Like Dat. Earlier in the morning, he had been so hopeful of the turnout of events at the end of the day. He was to meet a client somewhere in Ikeja. He spent all night preparing a dope ass presentation that should rattle the client’s legs. And maybe her purse and bank account too. Couple hours after and he was leaving the woman’s store, with so much anger brewed up in him to play Hulk in a fight scene in Marvel’s Avengers and his face was squeezed like a tattered N100 note. Never had he been that under priced by any of the crazy people that requested for his services. Nigerians did not like to pay for services, but this woman in particular wanted to use his services while merely offering groundnuts.
On his way home he stopped to buy corn from a woman by the roadside. The woman selling was so voluptuous that she surrounded the large bowl in which the several pieces of corn boiled humbly.
“Abeg madam, na that one wey the yellowness be like say e just come from Abroad na hin I want”
The woman looked up at Dele with disdain, struggling in her endeavor to do so. She was obviously displeased with his request, but Dele was too worked up to give a fuck. Or rather he was not about to spend his last money without being able to make a choice that would be favorable for him.
While listening to one of the distasteful Nigerian songs carefully masked in a Shaku Shaku vibe, Dele walked aimlessly like a tired camel, gnawing at the corn like a drunken vulture. As he walked he kicked whatever object he came across on the road. Since he finished his undergraduate studies life has been terribly difficult. He resolved not to apply for a job but instead learn a skill/craft, hone it and be a master at it — and had succeeded in doing that. He majored in website designing and was fairly good at it. Unfortunately, getting clients proved to be harder than getting a Nigerian woman to accept she is wrong. Or get her to orgasm.
The journey home was impossibly long, but he had no choice. Whenever he got home he would crash immediately. He would surely be too tired to indulge in the usual activity that took place in the dungeon he called home. He dragged along like a pregnant sheep, his shoes so worn out that they cried wool or whatever material they were made from. As he listened to his favorite playlist he was interrupted by a phone call which he answered hastily.
“Hello” he said affectionately. There was a brief silence which made Dele so anxious. This, in his hopeful thinking, was most likely a call of grace.
The voice that responded almost made Dele choke on the irritation he felt. It was the automated voice of his network’s customer care.
FUCK YOU GUYS, he screamed.
He continued his marathon journey, neglecting his environment only with a steady focus on his destination. Dele, at a point, looked up at the sky in a fashion that suggested that he was asking for mercy from his creator, but what he really was doing was confirming if the violent pangs he felt as a result of hunger have not blurred his vision. The sky was blood red, lumps of clouds in a choreography setting and this confirmed Dele’s fears. In less than a minute heavy dizziness set in, causing him to stagger as though he was about drop a banging hot dance move before he fell to the ground like he was under the anointing. Hunger is certainly a transit to connecting with the spirit realm. Slowly, the world as he saw it went from HD to 144p to a scrambled screen then…blank.
Dele could hardly tell if he was in a dream, but at some point he was seated in a council of elders with blank faces, and each person’s hand functioning as the organ of communication. They were debating on which gender should be responsible for carrying pregnancy. One of the elders whose hand was the most muscular and was covered in dark silky hair said it should be women, considering that they possessed the required organs for the process and for nursing the child. The voice that came from the hand was deep and had a chill to it that made Dele’s spine vibrate. Another hand, with the most beautiful set of manicured nails (painted in matte red) expressed that it should be the man because most of them had pot bellies any way so asides it being a comfortable habitat for the unborn child, it would also be the perfect disguise. A loud laughter broke out then an uproar followed almost immediately with various hands making funny gestures, before a feeble looking hand with unhealthy looking white hair all over signaled for silence. The people on the council seemed to obey the order and suddenly, the blank faces all stared emptily at Dele.
When Dele opened his eyes, he was in a room that took the form of a shrine. Above him hung a white gourd that continued to spiral. His hands and legs were tied with a long USB cord. When he looked around he saw an oddly looking man with one eye at the center of his head like a poorly fed Cyclops. The man was chanting incantations while looking inside a white bowl. Or maybe he was just mumble rapping.
“Excuse me plis, what am I doing here? What is this place?”
There was a long hesitation from the Cyclops looking man. No incantations, no movement. After some time the man told Dele that one of his clients had brought him in for money rituals. Dele tried to suppress his laughter when the baba said client, but that was not the only reason he wanted to laugh. Anyone who considered him sacrifice worthy obviously has no idea that a hungry person would not produce any money. Not even shit.
“Baba, I have a counter offer” Dele said, while wriggling in pain.
The man centered his gaze on Dele, his one eye twitching at interval. He was eerie looking, with his goatee connecting with his chest hair. He had really large ears that appeared like he used them to fly. He declared his interest in the offer, asking Dele to pitch it and also warned that if the offer was not convincing enough he would finalize the ritual process. After a deep sigh, followed by enough deliberation Dele pitched his offer to the one eyed Baba, ensuring that he did not miss out on any point that could potentially compel him to change his mind.
“Ehen how we go come take do am? Me I no sabi how to use computa” The baba responded after Dele was done pitching his offer, with a curious look on his crooked face. A website where people could immediately log on to and make whatever request that they wanted. After all, the oracle needed to go with the times considering that most, if not all, of the Baba’s clients were Yahoo boys.
Ah. What an ingenious idea.
“I’ll totally be in charge of that. People will be able to interact with the gods and the oracle through the website…”
Dele wanted to continue, but he hesitated. He wondered if the Baba was pondering the same thing he was. The Baba maintained the gaze, the tension between them was so palpable that it shook the entire shrine.
“…so Baba, Obatala ti wa online niyen”
It was a new beginning for fetishism; the digitization of Oosha. www.babalawo.com