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Mrs Evangelist 2

If you are just seeing this title for the first time, you should catch up on the first part, Mrs Evangelist.

PS: It is a true story, my story.

After the police incident, she became difficult to ignore. The inhabitants of the compound called a meeting to discuss how to handle her. It was at this point I realized my “neighbor-distance-syndrome” had shielded me from a lot of happenings.

Let me break it down, from the very beginning. This beautiful woman was married to a wealthy man, once. She had two wonderful children for him, who were in their 20s and 30s respectively. Her daughter had rented a house in the compound, in the quest for independence from her family drama. She divorced her husband and came to stay with her daughter. When she first moved in, she shared tracts, sang and prayed on top of her voice. She evangelized to the inhabitants, once in a while dropping judgement statements.

Neighbors found out from her daughter that she was a Pastor, so they tolerated her snickering, insults muttered under her breath. Even more, they tolerated the books she bought targeted to address the vices she found in them. She went ahead to write a book on marriage and became a marriage counselor. At this point, she had earned the name: “Mrs Evangelist” among neighbors. In the midst of all these, mother and daughter fought often, until the daughter moved out. That was the last time rent and any bill from that flat was paid. She was served a quick notice but every time she was served, the quick notice ended up in the bin.

At times, NEPA people (ehn correct me by saying PHCN or whatever they now call themselves, you sha understand) would be themselves and mix up wires, sometimes pumping machine would stop working, all these things will happen and she would do nothing to help. By nothing I mean, we all came together to pay money and fix and she would do nothing. She stopped coming out. I started noticing bins in front of her house, spoiled food left over by people. A lot was going on. We discussed that we will all just let her be.

She made it a thing to fight with anyone who knocked on her door.  Her fights always ended with a stern warning “Never knock on my door again”. This is often followed by series of insults.

It did not end here o!

Mrs Evangelist woke up recently irritated by the noise of kids playing in the compound. She lit newspaper and flung it at the kids. Adults around screamed in horror but this did not stop her. In fact, it agitated her even more. She boiled hot water and splashed it through her window. Then, she turned it up a notch, urinated and defecated in a bucket and poured it at the kids. It made a mess, splashed on the walls and covered the corridor of one of the flats. The compound was a mess.

The Landlord was called, he came with police men and she told them that he had raped her, this had broken her mentally and now he is trying to eject her from the house. The police were dumbfounded, the evidence of the mess and the new rape story confused them, so they left. The next day, she used the broken mirrors she kept at her window pane to cut the window net. She poured out her trash and biological waste, pampers and so many disgusting things.

We got together, decided it was time to get her help in a mental clinic. The psychiatrist said we had no right to admit her without family consent. We called her daughter, and she said “I want nothing to do with that woman”.

So, here we are! Stuck with a mentally challenged woman in the compound. Honestly, I am genuinely worried and I need advice on what to do.

How can we involve the state government?

Help oooo! Before one day, somebody will burn the house while we are all sleeping!!!

What can we do for Mrs Evangelist?

Mrs Evangelist

Mrs Evangelist because… you will find out at the end of this post.

Who is she? Is she okay? What can I d to help her? You tell me, when you are done reading.

This may not be a street diary topic, but then again, it may be! Maybe I should create a Tenant diary category (you should advise me on this). Okay, so the gist:

So, I moved into my new apartment. It was a block of flats in a compound. The house stood out in the midst of the other houses in the street. It looked like it did not belong there, in a good way. I was so happy when I found that house! If you have ever looked for a house in Lagos, especially the mainland, you will know what I mean. I really wanted to live on the mainland since I worked on the mainland… Back to the gist.

So, I got comfortable in my new house, keeping neighbors at safe distance. We were close enough to greet each other and ensure things were working in the compound e.g. light. We were far enough to not get into each other’s business. So I didn’t have any issues with anybody. My house was my haven. My neighbors were golden. Or so I thought.

Everyone seemed okay but I noticed one person who didn’t particularly fit into my perfect, or almost perfect neighbors. She seemed very social sometimes and other times, very moody. She stayed indoors a lot. I first noticed her when there was a persistent knock on her door at about 11pm, one night. She yelled at the person knocking, cursed and splashed water through her window.

At first I thought, “this person sef, why are you coming to see somebody by this time?”. Later I found out he was her son. Well, it’s pretty late in an African home. Next I noticed, her daughter had moved out. Well, that didn’t mean much to me either,  the girl was old enough. Next, she stopped answering my greeting, I thought, oh, she probably has a hearing problem. Then, I took ill and had this serious cough, she texted one of my neighbors “Why is there a sick girl here? Come and carry her before she dies” and the neighbor showed me.

I still made excuses o! I said maybe she was doing it with a good heart, the issue was probably delivery. Next thing she calls the police to arrest my only friend in the compound and another young man. Guess why? She said THEY WERE PLANNING TO KILL HER. Also, she said they were hitting her wall and not letting her sleep. I was weak. The police saw the gentlemen, called the caretaker to ascertain their credibility and they released them. At this point I started getting worried.

Did it stop there? Of course not.

Read Mrs Evangelist 2.

The Keke Conductor

I was in a hurry to a friend’s birthday party, so I walked briskly to the main road to find a keke going my way. I stood and used my thumb to indicate the direction I was heading. Keke drivers and I seemed to have developed a communication style that we both understood. I don’t know if this thumb-communication was tailored strictly for me but, we can just pretend it was. Haters would argue otherwise, but you know… Back to the matter.

I finally got a Keke. I was the third passenger and for some reason, there was a guy in front even though there were two empty spaces at the back. Honestly, I always thought no one liked to bond on a buttcheek level with the keke driver except they had no choice. I guess I was wrong. Another woman flagged the Keke and she stepped in. She was the last piece in the keke puzzle. All the seats were full.

As we drove towards our destination, someone flagged down the already FULL keke and we stopped, to my surprise. As we approached her, a look of realization crossed her face. She understood that we had gotten to maximum capacity and she stepped back. The keke driver however, surprised me. He parked the Keke in front of the woman and beckoned one of the guys sitting next to me. “Fryo! Come Dis Side.”

“Ehn which side?” I didn’t say anything out loud o. It’s not me agbero will slap for no good reason. My brain was genuinely trying to figure out how this would work.

Fryo came to the left of the driver and the woman, sat where fryo once sat. The keke driver, Fryo and the new passenger, shifted uncomfortably on the single seat they had to share, till they found a comfortable position that worked for all parties. I watched in confusion. How is this small keke supposed to carry six people?

I started trying to rationalize it, maybe this perching guy is his friend and he will drop him in two minutes. Maybe he is just trying to make extra cash. Maybe… I have run out of maybes and this guy is not thinking at all.

As we approached the last bus stop before our drop-off, Fryo reaches out to ask us for our money, conductor style, “your money for back.”. My jaw dropped. This guy is legit the conductor!

All in all, it started to make sense. The guy was the one who hailed me to get into the keke. He also hailed other people. He put his comfort aside to get passengers in. Fryo was the wing man! The conductor!!!

Honestly, I never knew keke people needed conductors. At what point do you start outsourcing? At what point do you realize you need a PA? How much will this guy pay him or was he his brother from the village looking to make ends meet in Lagos?

Finally sha, nobody came to Lagos to count bridge. But please comment, tell me your thoughts about this. Moreover, this may already exist in Lagos and I am probably the last to know.