- 1.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (I)
- 2.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (II)
- 3.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (III)
- 4.Mechanics of Yenagoa (IV)
- 5.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (V)
- 6.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VI)
- 7.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VII)
- 8.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VIII)
- 9.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (IX)
- 10.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (X)
- 11.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XI)
- 12.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XII)
- 13.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIII)
- 14.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIV)
- 15.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XV)
- 16.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVI)
- 17.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVII)
- 18.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVIII)
- 19.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIX)
- 20.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XX)
- 21.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – I
- 22.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – II
- 23.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – III
- 24.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – IV
- 25.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – V
- 26.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VI
- 27.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VII
- 28.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VIII
- 29.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – IX
- 30.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – X
- 31.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XI
- 32.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XII
- 33.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIII
- 34.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIV
- 35.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XV
- 36.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVI
- 37.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVII
- 38.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVIII
- 39.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIX
- 40.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XX
I guess I should begin by introducing myself. That’s what people do when they have a story to tell. So here we go – my name is Ebinimi, and that’s what my friends call me. They don’t call me Ebi or Nimi because I don’t like people shortening my name or calling me anything other than the name I was christened at birth. In secondary school though, for a while a few of my classmates thought they could nickname me Bola Tinubu and make it stick because of a certain similarity in facial features I share with him. I think it’s the eyes, and the dowdy way they droop when I smile. But, trust me, I shut it down only after two weeks.
Don’t ask me how I did it. What is important for now is that it didn’t end well for the principal initiator. He wound up with the proverbial black eye that may or may not have had anything to do with my encounter with him in a dark alley around his neighbourhood.
Once in a while, I allow Jacob. But that’s my surname and so I prefer that the user was older – like my teachers and lecturers at school or people from the church who insist on calling me Brother Jacob, which I detested by the way, but can’t do anything about. As far as I was concerned, that moniker was a ploy to gnaw at my conscience and make me feel bad for not showing more commitment to the ministry of Reverend Ebizimor. Allowing him use up almost half of our compound for his Sunday and midweek deliverance services without collecting a kobo from him was not enough sign of commitment.
Only yesterday, I noticed him supervising the replacement of the small signboard of the church beside the gate to something way larger. Now, “Reverend Ebizimor and the Jerusalem Warriors International” in glistering black and gold lettering was visible from at least a kilometre away and there was nothing I could do to get him to bring it down or revert to the old signboard. And then there was all that singing, drumming and prayers that only reached heaven if it was acted out in deafening decibels. But what could I do when he had my elder sister, Ebiakpo, wrapped in his crooked fingers, and she was his biggest fan and staunchest convert.
She says it everywhere, and all the time, that Reverend Ebizimor was responsible for her first and only pregnancy. Responsible, not in the sense of him being Anda, my nephew’s biological father, but because his prayers, fasting and spiritual conjuring somehow made her union with her husband Benson fruitful after almost eight years of marriage.
Letting the church share part of the land we inherited from our grandparents was a compromise. The deal was – if I let the church stay, then she would allow me use what’s left behind the house for my mechanic workshop. I had no choice but to agree because renting anywhere else for my business was out of the question. And now, after four years of being co-tenants, it was starting to feel like I was the tenant and that the church and its members were the landlords. I had lost my sanity, and anonymity, and most of all, control over what goes on inside my own compound and sometimes even inside the three bedroom flat I share with Saka, Biodun and Brodrick, the apprentices in my workshop.
But don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I would be an ingrate to do so because the church had been nothing but a blessing in disguise to me, and I mean that quite literarily. Firstly, patronage to my car repair workshop and my customer base increased significantly since the church moved in. Everyday, power hungry politicians, profit-seeking businessmen, lonely married women and desperate single ladies troop into number 9 Kalakala Street, Ovom under the guise of fixing their cars, to procure miracles and divine solutions for their myriad problems. And then there was Blessing. Blessing, the love of my life, the sugar in my tea, the cockroach in my cupboard, the kidney in my suya…but all that was before the pregnancy.