My Nigerian Week
Ohuche Mercy Kalu
Black and white abstract illustration

My Nigerian Week

Ohuche Mercy Kalu

"On Monday, I leave my house elegant and lively, but I get to school sulky and late. Why? Because my cab driver was left on a spot for two hours. Why? Because he did not find something for the boys."

  • Nonfiction
Narrated by

On Monday, I leave my house elegant and lively, but I get to school sulky and late. Why? Because my cab driver was left on a spot for two hours. Why? Because he did not find something for the boys.

On Tuesday, I set out optimistically but have to trek the rest of the distance because there's traffic. Why? Because a police van has blocked the road and a driver who dared complain of their unruly driving, is being flogged by the policemen. He is frail-looking. He may be 50 or 60 I do not know, but onlookers beg for his sake, as they discretely make videos of the drama.

On Wednesday, my class ends at exactly 6:30 pm. I am famished but must wait for others so we can walk to the gate in groups. Why? If I do not, I shall lose my handbag and phone. I may be threatened with a dagger if I resist the miscreants who want to hustle my belongings. So with staggering legs and a rumbling stomach, I wait. I do not have fuel money to quicken an investigation on my behalf.

On Thursday, I am home early. While I watch the news, I see that bus drivers in the state are rioting. They say their colleague was shot dead by a policeman, who boarded his bus and refused to pay. The policeman says the deceased called him stupid, so he mistakenly shot.

On Friday, I pray that God sees me through these 24 hours. Then I muster courage and thrive through my day. The day moves smoothly, so I'm glad.

It's sleepover night, with the girls and we have all we want, except suya. The suya man on the next street makes the tastiest suya, but it's 7:45 pm, and there's a checkpoint belonging to the Special Anti Robbery Squad, on that street. Even though we have our ID cards, it's risky to be out as a group of girls. We would be labelled promiscuous. We would then be arrested by the men of this Squad, and carted away in their rusty van, alongside other young men who have been arrested for donning dreadlocks and strolling back home with iPhones in their hands. Before we are taken to the station, these officers will make a stop at the Zenith Bank ATM just along the roadside, and order the men to make withdrawals and settle their matter quietly. Those who oblige will be allowed to go. And those who do not will be beaten mercilessly- boots kicking their faces, sand, and blood staining their teeth. When we finally reach the station, the already wounded men will be tossed into a cell, while my friends and I will be ordered down a passage. We will be shoved inside an empty, poorly lit room, with the stench of urine hanging thickly in the air, maybe human urine, maybe rat urine. And we will be told to take off our clothes. When we tearfully refuse, slaps and kicks would follow. While we cry and scream, our clothes will be ripped off our bodies and our wigs will fall off. The leader will declare his right to eat first and while the others point their guns at us with unbridled lust in their bloodshot eyes and wolfish grins circling their blackened lips. The rest of the story would be tweets by our enraged friends, bearing hashtags to end police brutality, or end SARS and give us justice.

When we think of this, the hairs on our bodies stand and our bladders get heavy. "See let's just leave this Suya," I say, "It's even about to rain." So we boil some water and make some ginger tea.

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Ohuche Mercy Kalu

Ohuche is a writer, blogger and law undergraduate at the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. She is interested in Human Rights, Family Law, Immigration Law, writing, reading, traveling, mountain climbing and debating.

Instagram: Kamarachizuruanyi - Facebook: Mercy Kalu - Email : - Contact :09095489179 - Website:

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