It was a beautiful morning. Taking in the cold air of Kangere camp in Bauchi, I was on my way back from the usual (and unnecessary) morning parade. Heading to my room, I decided to try a different path. I chose to use the corridors instead of the pathway I was accustomed to.
While on the corridor of the room before mine, I decided to peep, curious to know how life was for our neighbouring corpers. I mean, my roommates were funny but I wanted to see if these guys could match our banter level.
“Who be that? And wetin you de look?!” a man wearing a white vest asked.
“Chairman. Calm dow-“
“Who you de call chairman?!” he said, walking towards the door.
“Chairman, no vex. I just-“ I looked into another area of the room then I saw something. I saw a soldier’s uniform hung on the edge of a top bunk. It was at this point that I knew I had messed up.
“Na me you de call chairman?!” he asked as he joined me on the corridor.
“Ah. I no know abeg,” I said, my palms glued together.
I begged for my life because I had seen what these men had done to corpers.
“Oya begin crawl go front and back and de talk, ‘I be monkey, I be mumu,’” he said.
Without hesitating, I did it…right in front of the pathway I should have used, the pathway every guy used.
I was released after 2-4 minutes of crawling, claiming to be a monkey and a mumu, and wondering why I chose to walk on the path of curiousity that morning. It felt like eternity.
The power that resides in minding your damn business can and will really save you from a lot of crap, I thought.
Yours curiously and embarrassingly,