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Our Ram Is Haram
by Naija Stories   (Author)
Read First Three Chapters

Stella Ibagere

SIMISOLA Taiwo walked into the compound she shared with eleven other tenants, with only one thing on her mind: by next week, she might become mad. Simi, as she was fondly called, was in her late twenties, over worked, under employed, badly paid, and very much single. Being a receptionist in a struggling telecommunication outfit on the mainland, nine years after graduation and still searching for ‘the job’, ‘the man’, ‘the home’ – in short, the dream life she promised herself while burning both ends of the candle in the university libraries and reading rooms – wasn't the prize she had labored for. Her diligence, honesty and great academic qualifications were like gold before pigs; they didn’t mean anything. But Clara, the class dullard, had clinched a great job in an oil company with fake results, and Dupe had told her how sleeping with a big boy had gotten her a job that came with a car, a duplex and millions of naira, every year.
Simi was in a really foul mood as she tried to open the door to her apartment quietly, so as to avoid greeting some of her nosy neighbors. But sure enough, since nothing in her life was going according to plan, the key refused to turn in the lock. Simi smiled bitterly and tried to relax as she inserted the key into the lock again; there was a saying in her village that if a person was angry, there was a tendency for the property of the individual to absorb its owner's mood. So she tried to relax, hoping that the key and lock would relax, cooperate with her and get the door open. But no such luck. The key just wouldn't budge. With a frustrated kick at the door, Simi jabbed the key in the keyhole, but the key, vexed at Simi’s theatrics, split in two.
“Great! Just great.” She looked wildly about her, as some of her neighbors trooped out of their apartments. So much for a quiet evening now!
Simi lived in a face-me-I-face you flat in Ketu, a slum in Lagos, Nigeria. Twelve room-and-parlors were built on a plot of land with a crumbling fence; six to the right and six to the left. All the tenants shared a common set of toilets, bathrooms and kitchens that were detached from the main compound. However, during the rainy season, stoves and kitchen utensils were brought from the kitchen and placed at the entrance of each tenant’s apartment, where cooking would have to take place. Rosters for keeping the compound and the toilet clean were made and pasted at the entrance to the compound.
“Aunty welcome oh, your door key dey give you problem again?” enquired Mama Chizoba, a mobile hair stylist from the eastern part of Nigeria, who occupied the room facing Simi's. She was one of the few women Simi got along with in the compound. Her husband was a loafer who was interested in doing exactly nothing. Mama Chizoba actually rented the apartment for her family and was trying to raise funds from her siblings in Germany to help her husband get started in business. Simi liked her because of her cheerful disposition and her never-say-die attitude in facing life’s challenges.
“Yes oh, Mummy Chi, this door don start again oh,” Simi replied.
“No worry, make I bring knife, I go help you open am.” Mama Chizoba went into her room to get a knife. And true to her words, with a deft twist of her wrist, she got the door opened.
“Ah! Mummy Chi, you are a life saver,” Simi enthused, greatly relieved as more tenants came out of their rooms to see what the problem was.
“Which one be life saver?” asked Mama Chizoba. “You acada people just like to make small thin’ look like big thin’”.
“Wetin happen to aunty door?” asked Mama Efe. A mother of seven children, she was from the Niger Delta. She sold food at the bus stop while her husband made his living as an okada motorcycle rider.
“The door jam. You know say na so so fake material this Ijebu landlord take build this house,” replied Uzo’s wife, Simi’s immediate neighbor to her right.

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Price: ₦500 ($3)
Product Details
Author: Naija Stories
Publication date: 2013
Pages: 45
Product dimensions: 423 x 600
More About This eBook
Our Ram is Haram and other stories focuses its attention on everyday life and everyday people. Each of the stories dwells on personal yet universal experiences of life which will speak to anyone who has ever lived in Nigeria - of the good times and the bad, and of the ties that bind and the
distances in between.
Editorial Reviews
About Author
Naija Stories is a social network for Nigerian writers of all skill levels and readers of both genre novels and literary fiction. It is an avenue for readers and publishers to discover new authors and for writers to share their work, gain recognition, and connect with their audience and each other.
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