This chronicle was written March 15, 2010 but has been adopted for this week… Ok?
Ok, so like donkey in Shrek 1 I’m singing “on the road again”…or maybe I’m humming it. I’m not singing because I like the fact that Shrek is slowly into a Nollywood cartoon; part 3 wasn’t necessary at all! And did I tell you DreamWorks has announced there’ll be Shrek 4 and 5? But I digress, that’s a story for another day.
I’m on the road to Funtua, somewhere in Katsina, homeland to Nigeria’s one time absentee president (and no, I did not go for his funeral)! In fact, why don’t we leave the reason why I went there and concentrate on the journey to and fro which is always the fun part? Ok? Good.
So, the rest of the crew picked me by 6.30am (don’t forget I couldn’t sleep a wink the night before), and we set off. Pretty uneventful till we got to the border between Abuja and Niger State. Some guys in weird-looking uniforms (dark red and green) stopped us (had barricaded the major roads anyway so we didn’t quite have an option) and said they were environmental sanitation officers and they had blocked the roads so people would stay home and clean. Yeah right. One of us went to their boss, spoke to him a bit and they let us go. Curious to know how he managed that so easily, I asked what he said.
Crew guy – good morning, we’re from the BBC, going to Funtua for an important assignment.
Environmental guy – what is BBC? (And I thought we were known)
Crew guy – don’t you watch TV?
Environmental guy – oh, is it the one on TV?
Crew guy – (exasperated, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me look) yes
Environmental guy – ah, you should have told me sir, you should have specified (as if there are two BBC’s). Erm, my name is Official XYZ and we’ve been working diligently at this roadblock, trying to encourage people to clean their homes because we believe that health is wealth. (Suffice to note that by this time I was holding my sides in laughter). Oga (power had changed hands), would your people like to film us so you can show people that the environmental board in this state is…
Crew guy (cuts him short, knowing that power had changed hands and taking full advantage of it) – I told you we’re on an urgent assignment. On our way back, we’ll film this area for a special report.
And that my darlings, was how we were allowed to pass, and explains why I saw one of them saluting us! Moving on, we passed through Zaria (naturally) and we stopped at Rahama Restaurant to get a drink, pee, etc. I liked the place, it was pretty arranged. The guys selling suya were pretty much like bankers; with counters (numbered) and there was a supervisor guy (much like a branch manager) walking around and giving orders. I had to go so I went to use the surprisingly extra clean block of WC or pit latrine (choose your choice). Only thing that baffled me was, there were like a million kettles there, the floors looked so colorful! I mean, even if they were prepped for lunch/pee hour rush, they overdid the kettles abeg! Let me sum up the Rahama experience by saying this chronicle is one week late because I was critically ill after I got back. Please read between and under the lines.
Moving on, ABU Zaria gives life to the term, ‘University Community’, it’s so big! I mean, we were driving for more than twenty minutes and it was ABU on both sides of the road! At some point the walls of the school finished (and I don’t blame the wall – I would have finished too, the school, staff/students quarters, farms, etc stretched on for miles on end)! According to a tale, Sir Ahmadu Bello of blessed memory dreamed/proposed that ABU would start from Kwangila (contract bridge area), up to Funtua. Guess what? He achieved it to an extent because the school stops at Zaria Academy, and that’s a few spits from Funtua.
Makes me wonder what our leaders dream about: is it how to ‘import’ exotic women for their lewd pleasures, how to amass wealth through theft, or how to hoodwink the very people they pledge to guide? But again I digress, and I apologize.
Ok, so we continued going, abi? Somewhere in Shika, we saw a lorry load of guys waving sticks and machetes in the air. I was told they were hunters singing ‘battle’ songs. I was also told that if this (A) got into the bush and met another group (B), they would abandon their hunting expedition and start showing off their magic (juju), wrestling with each other (in other words, gingering their swagger)!
Ok, thanks to the Fairy God Father, we got into Funtua in peace, and on time too. I said I’d spare you the ‘why’ but I cannot but share these –
• No male shook my hand! Not even when we were introduced to the family of the person we went to see. (And there I was thinking I’d get air kissed or something)!
• There were so many little (aged 2 – 5) children running around in the streets! It’s almost like every family had enough kids to start a nursery! Jeez! (I found out though the communal head of the area we went to had just died and because of the peculiar way they mourn, all the little children were handed over to caregivers while their parents were in clusters; men in one place and women in another).
• There were so many dilapidated buildings! Some of the buildings (supposed to be schools) have campaign posters on them! Talk about a messed up conscience.
• Funtua has light o! As a matter of fact, I think ‘over light’ is worrying them! From the time we got there till we left, there was light, and full current at that!
Ok, that’s that about Funtua, didn’t see anything on the way back because I slept! This chronicle won’t be complete however if I don’t talk about the famous panty bomber who incidentally is from Funtua. I wanted to pay his family a visit but erm…..changed my mind just in time!
You know, back in January last year I tried to do a Mutallab chronicle but it didn’t click. One hour after and it still hasn’t come o, just imagined some stuff and I want you to imagine with me now. Just like 25 for Haiti, what if artistes the world over decided to do a song for Mutallab? I imagine the lines would be close to…….
No, how about you tell me what you think the lines would read like?
P:S – Day 3 of one chronicle a day this week! 4 days to go!
- Cartoonista (rhema3one7.wordpress.com)