I have seen many things in this Lagos, “many thing you no understand”, as Adaora Lilly Ulasi titled her novel.
As a young reporter in THISWEEK magazine, I was used as an interview object for any new girl looking for employment. My editors would ask any new lady being interviewed for a job this question: “How would you react if the first guy you meet in this office tells you at first sight: ‘I will give you belle!’”
Of course the girl will voice out her outrage only for my editors to bring me along to meet the lady. Then I will accost the lady with a heavier poser thusly: “So if I give you belle, what will you do?” It ought to enter the Guinness Book of World Records that I did not end up being lynched for my bad behaviour.
It is against this bad background that my editors then conspired to give me the assignment to research and write a very exclusive cover story on the subject of prostitution. I was duly mobilized to interview, dally with and get inside the skulls of all prostitutes. I got to know prostitutes who were breadwinners for their families, prostitutes who had regular boyfriends, married prostitutes, preacher prostitutes etc!
It was in the Ajegunle area that I experienced the climax of my prostitution research. I got to the brothel near the boundary junction of Ajegunle, bought a beer and settled down to take in details of the ambience only for a very huge riot to spontaneously erupt like a volcano beyond the Richter scale! It was after at first running for cover that the reporter in me helped poor Maxim to get to the very roots of the rioting.
It happened that a brand new babe had just come to settle in the brothel. The in-house DJ of the brothel told the new chick that the rule was that any newcomer must first get fresh with him before being allowed to do the normal business of entertaining other men. The girl got inquisitive by asking the older pros if there was any standing rule of every new chick sleeping with the DJ. The old pros told the girl that there was no such rule, that the sly DJ was fond of exploiting the naivety of any new girl in the house. When the DJ found that his business had been exposed he got angry and went into his studio.
Then instantly St. Augustine’s immortal record “Ashawo No Be Work” reverberated from the DJ’s studio into the brothel and around the Ajegunle environs. The pulsating beats of “Ashawo No Be Work, Na Management” irked all the prostitutes so much that they instantly organized themselves into an Aluta march into the DJ’s studio. They beat the hell out of the poor guy. And thus the old knowledge of William Congreve that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” came to pass in the Ashawo riot at the Ajegunle brothel.
Nota Bene: After all my efforts in researching and writing the prostitution cover story, I turned it in to my editors who somehow sent it to the directors of the company who gave the damning verdict: Not Fit For Publication In A Decent Magazine!