While millions of unfortunate Nigerian youths would be seating for the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination organised by the miserable Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, for the 7th consecutive time, a great number of youths were matriculating across the nation some days back, amongst them were students of the super-expensive University of Port Harcourt. I was invited by some good friends to the matriculation ceremony at the university. But whoever invites a womaniser to an institution like Uniport if not a grand setup.
The University of Port Harcourt is not a sane place where you should go to and expect to come back a saint. Your destiny could be changed in there. Anything is possible in that school, especially by the girls. Even the devil dreads the University of Port Harcourt. If my super philosophical great-grandfather were alive he would advice I thread with caution. One of the reasons I loved the old man was his wisdom which transcended generation.
The old man could see the terror that was in me as a boy and so warned me against institutions like the University of Port Harcourt. I made several attempts to study there but they all crashed. My great-grandfather, each time he does his mischief never forgot to throw in some advice. He was a very intelligent man with women. He married once and the woman, my great-grand mother died, leaving behind two children. He never attempted marriage any more. He led a simple life from where he normally observed the world, from his window even though he had no desktop or laptop with windows on it.
Many factors contributed to my great-grandfather’s exclusion from social life. I guess he was a kind of philosopher, exclusive to his beliefs. And he never wanted much to do with women, since he had learned a lot from his marriage to his late wife. My great-grand-old man never went to church. He watched the young energetic preachers from a distant and greeted them with the movement of his mouth, a constant busy part of his body which housed the tobacco I usually bought him. He was such a man. My great-grand father knew a lot could be done if certain events were avoided.
I should have copied that side of him. I should have sat at home and read the tons of books on my shelf. I should have re-read Wole Soyinka’s Ake and You Must Set Forth at Dawn. I should have read Salman Rushdie’s or devoured the countless short story collections in my custody. Or I should have sat and observed the world like he liked it. He who the gods want to destroy they first create for him, a Facebook account.
The closest my great-grandfather got to women was collecting money from them and taking them to his mat plantation, where he would supervise the women as they cut as much mat as they paid for. The man did not welcome problems but he could quarrel. He quarrelled more than anyone in the village. He would spit when he felt the contender was disgusting. The colour of his saliva could be so heartbreaking. The brown matter would drop on the cemented floor and he would drop his large barefoot on it, shuffling it. He told me that women could bring happiness or it’s opposite. But I was a child. His words were as interesting as rubbish. They mattered little to me, but not today.
The girls over there at the University of Port Harcourt could be terrible. While a sizable number of them are brilliant and beautiful others are sexy and naughty. Some dress to undress your mind, strictly. My girlfriend learned about my invitation to the university and swore by Amadioha to accompany me to the den. Who wan die? I promptly agreed to her request and she accompanied me. And so we went into the wilderness with me being so uncomfortable, for the many ladies who fancy my persons school there.
I could be really troublesome but when madam don follow me I try to buy some sanity. We got a taxi from the Rumuola area to Choba. The first temptation came from one fair and plump lady who sat next to me in the taxi. Madam sat at the extreme of the taxi, at the rear. My good friend, Dave, had accompanied us. He shared a passenger seat in front. My girlfriend, I and the lady sat behind. Dave also wanted to experience the dreary nature of the University of Port Harcourt.
While we chatted the plump lady liked our conversation and joined. She constantly smiled when I spoke the rubbish which never cased from my mouth. If I were alone it would have taken a Boko Haram threat to let that woman go without an exchange of contacts. She was an African woman in many senses. Consult Encyclopaedia Africana for more details. Wahala dey oh.
But being a partial family man I let her go. I made sure my conversation were not directly thrown at her but shared between Dave and my girlfriend. If you are a man and you have not learned how to share conversation with your spouse in public then you are in for a battle. Madam enjoyed my kind gesture and paid me in smiles.
I knew she could read what was going on in my head but she did not tell me. We pretended all was well. Nigerian women need attention. They would strangle a man to get it. Take it away from them and you have invited war. One thing about this special war that would come is that it would be endless. There would be no white flag. She would carry it and remind you whenever you make her angry. But Nigerian women make us complete. So they should be granted all the time in the world. What are times, without those we care about? Do you want to die?
And when we finally got to one of the campuses called Abuja I knew I had come into hell. There were pretty, semi-pretty, skinny and plump ladies everywhere. A lot of them could pass for nude. I like such pictures. But it would take a Pope to keep the head straight. I walked but could not turn at any one of the shaky, semi-nude backsides.
Madam would frown and that would not go down well with the rest of the day so I pretended the demons were not there. I walked and hummed songs in my head. I hummed a reversed version of Victor Uwaifo’s “If you see Mammy Water, always, always run way, Nwilo Bura-Bari”. My great-grand father had taught me humming. He said it sounded abstract but humming does help concentration. Whether I believed the old man or not was insignificant because I hummed and walked. I almost bumped into a woman who had the largest cleavage in the world. I apologised and resumed the walk into the school; throwing signs of the cross everywhere while looking at Madam to be sure she was not upset.
I know a lot of women in the University of Port Harcourt. But on that day Madam was there and so pleasantry was curtailed. Madam could tell I was avoiding some people. But is not presumption better than catching a criminal red-handed? When the ladies drove by I would look into the bushes to find imaginary squirrels, and when she observed I smiled. Who wan die!
Universities are great places. There are minimal restrictions, except for those glorified secondary schools. The dresses I saw in the University of Port Harcourt are not different from what I see on television, I mean those movies you watch only when you are at home, alone, with the door bolted. The ladies were so young but their dresses were far more tales-carried. We walked and greeted the few people we could. I eventually had some snap shots with her and some other ladies, those who were not on the suspects’ list.
Ladies, do not befriend a writer if you do not want to die early. A lot makes him write. And sometimes they are not the conventional muse, of a change of a university name; a politician’s spending of the state’s allocation on his child’s naming ceremony. Or a trip to Dubai, to one of the strip-clubs when the official information states: “medical treatment”. Madam enjoyed herself but when I thought that I had scaled through the day without a hitch she asked me who the lady I had collected her phone number was. I lied, of course. And we went home peacefully. Who wan die!
Written By Vincent Nwilo