My story is funny, o. I am ashamed to tell it.
But here goes.
I’m usually not the sort of person that takes agbo. I don’t even drink any kind of concoction because I don’t trust the sources. If you offered me agbo, I would ask if you were sure of the dosage, sure of the length of time it took to brew, if it was properly brewed and all poisonous chemicals eliminated, you, know, by the time I finished asking you would be tired. I was that sort of person. That was my excuse for not taking stuff like that.
But then, there was this period, I don’t know what happened to my system, I was not pooing, I mean, I wasn’t going to the toilet. Normally, I didn’t even go frequently like most people but at that time, I was serving in one village in Bauchi. I had no access to a good toilet, we used a pit latrine where I was deployed. That was one major reason I just clamped up, I tightened my butt cheeks and would hold myself until I got to town to go use proper toilets.
I would go visit colleagues whose offices were in town and had good toilet facilities just so I could use it. My friends knew that was why I came to ‘visit.’
So as I was saying, that period, the ‘big do’ just ceased for me, for more than one week! My regular was thrice a week, so when for more than one week, I hadn’t done the big do, omo, even me with all my strong mind, became worried.
I drank lots of water, I used Andrews liver salts, biggie no gree come o! I became worried because I felt bloated, in fact, after a while, I stopped eating any heavy meal, I would just eat fruits, you know, just so I could poo.
After the 10th day or so, I pooed small at my friend’s office. But it wasn’t satisfactory. I felt that there was more waste that needed to leave my system. I still felt bloated.
I complained to a friend who was also a corper. He finished at OAU where he studied Arts, foolish boy! This guy told me he had one agunmu that would help me flush my system. Ok, remember I told you I don’t take agbo or herbals or anything and this supposed agunmu was also herbal of sorts. But it was dry, you know, it had been ground into a powdery form. My friend from OAU said I should mix it with water and drink that I would go easy like a baby…in minutes.
I agreed because I was at my wits end. I hadn’t had good bowel movement in almost two weeks so my friend’s agunmu was the only option to relief. I took just a bit, telling myself that if it worked well, then I would take a little more.
Like I said earlier, whenever I needed to use the toilet proper, I would go visit friends in their offices and use their toilets. So, that was how I headed to one of the friend’s office for my ‘toilet visits.’
I was in my friend’s office, waiting for biggie to come. Nothing o. I wasn’t sure maybe I didn’t drink enough, ni, maybe I should have used more water, maybe it won’t even work. After staying for like two hours, I told my friend I was leaving. Abi person will spend the whole day at their friend’s office, the friend will not work?
I hailed achaba, that is what we called okada up north, as the achaba tilted his bike for me to climb on, I felt a rumble.
“Ha, e don dey come.’
You know that tightening you feel in your loins that a shit storm is on the way and you begin to form sweat?
That was me that day.
Then I took a foolish decision. I felt kind of embarrassed going back to that office to use their toilet after I had bade everyone in my friend’s office goodbye. I decided to go to another friend’s office, not too far away. I would just rush to their toilet as soon as I got there.
Ok, so I told the achaba to take me there, some 5 minutes’ bike ride, not far. I knew I could hold myself.
My stomach rumbled again and one pain seized me by the side like this…I clenched my butt as I felt gas coming from the upper part of my stomach rumbling its way down to a fart. I didn’t let it out, what if it wasn’t a fart?
I told the achaba to ride fast! The road was bumpy, you know these achaba riders are really rough riders. I was sweating profusely now and my eyes were growing dim, one hand on my stomach, the other holding the achaba so I wouldn’t fall off!
I was just praying for strength to be able to hold off the tightening and rush of waste in my stomach.
Wait o, you are already laughing…let me explain my predicament!
I felt another gas coming through, by this time, my head had begun to pound from restraint. Then we ran roughly over another speed bump and I began to curse the contractor that put the speed bumps on the road…e no go better for dem, useless people, wasting money on speed bump instead of constructing road…what is wrong with our people?
You know when you encounter bumps on a bike, your butt lifts and …that was when I mistakenly released my cheeks…I just wanted to fart…small, instead, I unintentionally let out one loud fart, just to relieve the pressure on my loins…even achaba heard above the noise of his rickety bike and street noise, the next thing that followed was…a huge rush of ….awww, you guessed shit! It was a storm!
Obviously, I couldn’t hold that thing any longer.
I should have held tight. I let small air out and the storm followed.
What did I do, I let out a scream and fainted nicely.
Under the circumstances, what did you expect me to do? Start speaking Hausa and explaining to achaba?
I fainted, from shame, from pure relief, from…how would I have got back to my room out of town? Faint lo l’omo. I just gbam…fainted!
I ‘woke up’ in the hospital; I was cleaned up and…yeah. They saw my nysc id card; maybe that’s why they helped me.
I could not have survived the shame. I relocated a few weeks later. I told our oga that I had a sickness, everyone was willing to help me relocate because it must be a serious sickness for a grown man to shit himself in public.
I say no more!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)