Tuesday, 19 April 2016

A Short Story: Ferrying Alaba

No 1. Ojo Street stood like a sentry on the narrow lane, with several unfenced multi-room buildings belonging to the 1930s. The house faced a railway track which they say was built in the 18th century, and for seventy years it had resisted the vibrations of shuttling trains.

No. 1 was also known as Bewaji House after its former owner, Theophilus Bewaji who was also the first settler in the area. While the house did not die with its owner, it was close to the ground. It was listed to a side like a tipped cattle carriage driving into a bend, and still it found the space to tuck in two shops, one on the left and the other on the right, occupied by the wives of two tenants who sold food supplies to the neighbourhood. Between the shops was a wooden door made from three wide planks held together by a beam. It led to a stairway, which faced the room of Taiwo Bewaji and her grandmother, Mamake; the only surviving wife of Theophilus Bewaji who lived on rents collected from tenants. Mamake was formerly known as Mama Jumoke, until her granddaughter Taiwo, while learning to talk, mispronounced the name, and then it stuck.

This short story was first published in the AKE REVIEW. You can read the complete story on the website

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