“person wey dey go boutique na mumu. na mumu dey go boutique” – Shoe Seller at Balogun.
The shoe seller shouted as Chinelo and I walked into Balogun Market.
Chinelo is my sister and one of my closest friends in the whole wide world. She also serves as my market companion, I buy whatever she approves and disregard whatever she disapproves. It is almost a reflex.
“Who says na mumu dey go boutique?” “Let’s check here biko. I don’t want to go inside the market”
We stopped in front these men and finally selected one shoe like that. Strong sole. The kind my mum will call AKPURUKA.
I tried the left leg and it was comfortable, I tried the right leg and realized it was kind of tight but I ignored it, paid and went my way. I had to get back to work.
It was the following day I realized that the shoes were not really equal. While the left one was comfortable, the right one left me in terrible pain. I was limping at the office. I knew I had to take the shoe back to the men. Chinelo kept saying “This is what happens when you buy Aba”. Child of the world.
“Oga this your shoe is not my size, the right leg actually, is not my size. Can I get another shoe?”
“wey the shoe?”
I hand him the shoe.
“Taiwo abeg expand this shoe”
One large man then puts his leg inside the shoe.
Chinelo and I laughed so hard and she had the good mind to take pictures. I mean, we were not expecting this kind of funny action. The shoe eventually became my size and the man asked for FIVE HUNDRED NAIRA!!!!! I laughed so hard. We told him we had no money but uncle followed us until he got tired and wished us well.
It was such a funny experience.
We found this shop where hair products were sold. Our eyes fell on this nice hair band that looked like french braids. Because my right hand held the nylons and my hand bag, I stretched my left hand to feel the hair band. I was going to ask for the price when the girl beside the stall snapped;
“Abeg, no dey use left hand touch my things”
“Ha. Chill, what happened to my left hand? Is it not part of my body? Mschew”
I didn’t even bother asking for the price anymore.
“She does not know any better” Chinelo said as we made our way back to the office.
How do you write about the Igbo traders in Balogun Market?!?
How do you write about the touch. The unwanted touch. The names they call you when you brush them off?
I tell Chinelo; “what if these people are taking our destinies with every touch? I cover us with the blood of Jesus.”
I know, I say and think the weirdest of things.
How do you respond to;
“gerraway you. Bikos mmadu na kpo gi?”
How do you write about the Igbo traders in Balogun market?
About their resilience and defiance to make it in this hustle city? How do you describe the energy that propels them as they grab at every passer-by to buy their ‘new new designs’?
Love and Light guys.