I did not know her name. She wasn’t quite spectacular, neither did she hold a special place in my heart, life and mind. She was to me and most likely to every one a random person.
She sold oranges, apples and airtime. She had the look of one malnourished and impoverished. Her little kids, Ada and chiboy(I’m not so sure if that’s their name), were tiny replicas of her physical state. I never bought fruits from her for my bunkmate had once told me “You know that woman downstairs? Don’t buy from her o. She is very dirty. Her stuffs are unhygienic”.
My bunkmate, an IBO girl, was of the opinion that this woman couldn’t be IBO. Her childrenn bore IBO names though. To Nnamaka, my bunkmate, Ibos were never that dirty, only the Yoruba people could be and the Hausas too.
She later got to confirm her suspicion that the woman wasn’t Ibo. She was full blooded Yoruba. She had married an Ibo man.
That aside, I never bought fruits from mama Ada. But for pity and compassion sake, I bought airtime at intervals.
The other day, I bought airtime (mtn 100naira or so) from her and while I was there, a fellow hostel mate came to buy some oranges and an apple. I guess she was a nutrition-conscious person, deciding to keep fit by taking a fruit a day. I tried that one time, I never was consistent.
As the poor girl bought, I almost warned her about how unhygienic the fruits she was purchasing might be. I guess she was new to the hostel as no one ever really bought mama Ada’s fruits. But I didn’t warn her so as not to be termed a badbelle.
Today however, I feel bad as this girl has had continuously a bad case of diarrhea. She did not buy once but became a regular customer thereafter. I heard this from other hostel girls.
Today, admitted in Uch, dried up as a result of constant excretion and vomiting, a consequence of the fruit which was supposed to keep her healthy, she lies on the bed exhausted. The doctors say she needs blood transfusion.
Mama Ada biko, see what your unhygienic habit has cost this girl. Now that I think of it, I do not want to know her name no more for
that dirty woman who sold fruits in front of our hostel
has earned a name for herself.
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