Dilemma

Funny thing is

Things are not going well with us

No… Not us, us!

We are not talking

We are both sulking

It’s ‘HI!’ whilst walking.

We’re not making love

Not just her…, you!

Celibate with you two.

Sigh… You are all the same

I am what I am

Coulda woulda shoulda… Shame!

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Farin Ruwa Falls & The Shrine of Mbing

“Farin Ruwa Falls is a waterfall found in the central region of Nigeria. It is among the highest waterfalls in Nigeria. It is significant among Africa’s falls when the total height covered by the waterfall is considered.

The source of Farin Ruwa falls is found on the Nasarawa State, from whence it gushes down over the edge of the Nasarawa. During its descent from the Jos Plateau, the water drops a total height of about 150 metres (492 ft).[1]This drop is higher compared to the more popular Victoria Falls, which drops a height of around 108 metres (354 ft) during its descent.[2

Farin Ruwa falls is found in the Farin Ruwa Development Area, under Wamba Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The falls is found along the boundary of Plateau State and Nasarawa State, under the Bokkosand Wamba Local Government Areas of the two states. The falls has its source on the Jos plateau, in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The falls was discovered by the then Britishcolonial rulers of Nigeria in the 1950s. A catering Rest House was established in Gur Hill at Marhai village close to the falls in order to exploit it commercially. To protect its rich heritage, the colonial administration gazetted it and named it Marhai Forest Reserve. However, despite this early development, Farin Ruwa was consigned to the background until the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996.[3] The waterfall is about 120 kilometres from Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, and 30 kilometres from Wamba town.

Farin Ruwa is a Hausa language word meaning ‘white water’. Farin Ruwa is a description of the nature of the falls by the local inhabitants of the Farin Ruwa area.[4]The height covered during the descent of the falls is very great, so that the descending water crashes during its way down the Jos plateau escarpment. The falls gradually turns white in colour as a result of the height covered by the falls during its descent.

The falls, as a result of its white colour, appears in the distance to the inhabitants of the Farin Ruwa area like white smoke on the mountains. This white nature of the falls earned it the name Farin Ruwa from the inhabitants.

Wikipedia.

“She is so blissfully naive!” I remember thinking as I spoke to Cherie.

Cherie was also an astounding romantic. She was a nice person.

In a few hours from when I first spoke to her, I would confirm that she too possessed the ‘X-Factor‘… One of us rare individuals who have the mystic cross(es) etched in their palms naturally.

Cherie has absolutely nothing to do with the story I am about to tell. I want her though. I want a new protégé. I need a muse esoteric.

The distance from the village closest to the Farin Ruwa Falls is about five kilometers from the falls. In the event that you overzealously decide to measure the distance, and my estimate falls short… Fuck you very much. Hehehehehe…

About a kilometer from the falls, you meet the two gentlemen who function as officials. They give you the normal talk and then lead you through an undulating depreciated man-made pathway through a corridor of trees so sparsely spaced it looks slightly unnatural.

But it is all beautiful.

The waterfall is nice…

Water is cool…

Blah… Blah… Blah…

I was being a gentleman and carrying Cherie’s backpack. At some point, she told me that I was a nice man. I remember replying that, “I am not a nice person; but I can be nice.”

Cherie has absolutely nothing to do with the story I am telling. I want her though. I want a new protégé. I need a muse esoteric.

Later that evening, after we had all returned to our Wamba campsite, we started to barbecue turkey, goat and fish.

I made sure to be positioned just by the shadows. I made sure that I was well noticed for about three hours. And then at a moment most auspicious, I faded off into the night.

I hiked back to the waterfalls. I covered the distance in about ninety minutes.

I gingerly approached the edge of the pathway where the officials would always start their talk, just before the first few cement steps bordered on one side by a very shaky metal hand rail.

Opposite that stretch of steps was a dilapidated hut. Earlier that day, the waterfall official had confirmed my suspicion that the place was a shrine. Long before white missionaries affected their traditions, chief priests would hike up to this point and consult the gods on issues ranging from permission to go to war and which crops would prosper during the farming season ahead.

I understood that there was usually one chief priest. The priest’s tenure was usually by spiritual appointment. The custom was dead though. Overrun by civilization and Christianity.

But earlier, my nostrils had caught a whiff of a distinct sweat type. Don’t bother asking me how, only my nose truly knows. I have learned to trust my instincts. In my line of work, instincts are paramount.

It was a waning full moon and so visibility was above average for that time of the night. The air had a zephyr that came and went every forty seconds or so.

I sat in the darkness on the forest floor Dandasana style and slowly dropped my heart beat and pulses to a significantly slower speed.

I am not sure how long it took me to ‘confirm’ (hear/feel minute movement and then perceive a scent/smell), but it typically takes a little over ten minutes.

I remained statue still and patiently waited.

From within the ruins of the dilapidated hut, a figure gingerly extracted itself from a hole in the ground. It glanced around furtively and cautiously stepped out of the ruins into the open.

This was who I was here for. ‘My client’ was quite specific. They just forgot to mention that it was a woman. Not that it would have mattered anyway.

Her bromhidrosis was quite bad. In the open, that body odor was really strong. She was wearing a simple dress that was so old it had become threadbare. She should not have bothered with the dress, there was little left to the imagination. Even under moonlight.

She barely had the time to react before I was upon her. I am a freakishly strong person, but she had strength like I had never seen in a woman. She trashed, bucked and writhed about like a catfish in a barrel evading capture. I had her wrists and ankles tied up firmly within a minute nonetheless. A few seconds to gag her too.

I activated my transmitter after deciding that a flare would be too overt. From that second, I had seven minutes to get to the muster point half a kilometer NW.

I picked her up in a fireman’s carry and began a slow run. She was not heavy and I had adrenaline in full circulation. I made it to the spot under five minutes. I therefore had about ninety seconds to understand who I was kidnapping.

I found my kit and secured the perimeter. I quickly donned night vision goggles, Honey Badger low visibility carbine, complete with a suppressor went under my left armpit, two stun grenades went into each pocket of my combat pants. I set off four smoke screens in a distinct pattern… I now had about sixty seconds to evacuation.

She was an albino. Her eyes had cataracts so bad I was sure she was blind. Her breasts were quite large and had almost no droop… She was not older than twenty two. She was whimpering and shivering uncontrollably.

I heard the sound of the apache and saw them toss out more smokescreen. I confirmed perimeter security via ‘comms’ and retreated for the pick up.

She was extracted in thirty two seconds.

I was jogging back to the campsite in Wamba by the thirty fifth second.

I got back without incident and showered briskly. It was about three am. I requested for an Uber online.

The cab arrived as requested by 7:30 am. I left the Wamba campsite citing ‘family emergencies’.

I do not know what ‘my client’ wants with an albino chief priestess from Wamba. Or how they knew that she existed in the first place. I try not to get involved. I am a professional.

Godling (1)

Everything happens in, and for a season

Every word for a reason.

Loyalty, I fear, is a an expensive tradeoff

Apportion trust deliberately thereof.

Protect yourself at all times

Against love, religion – all the sublimes!

To be forewarned is but divine courtesy

Lips ultimately leak evil you cannot see.

Even if you currently have no clue

Read again, and glean a truth or two.

‘Do They?’

When he has no more money

When he ‘can not’…
When nothing is funny
When the ‘man’s not hot’…
When there is another option
When there is no sex
When she cannot function
When she is ‘complex’…
Then talk about love
Then call them your soul mate
Then write them poems and songs
Then broadcast ‘the beauty of us’!
Then talk about marital bliss
Then plan or duly procreate
Then hopefully be confidants
Then maybe, ‘happy ever after’.

Serti Takum

Veni veni, Emmanuel captivum solve Israel, qui gemit in exsilio, privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!”

I do not think that there are many of us left. I am afraid I may be the last one.

Lore, strange truths were whispered in my ears from birth. From lips I never saw. They told me of ancient mysteries, they spoke to me repeatedly long before I had understanding. I have grown with these ‘gifts’. I Am.

Joan was there.

Becky was there.

I. K. was there.

Nura too, I think. The remaining Backpackers were in the second Hilux pickup truck.

It began that morning when we set out to camp at Mayo Kam. We stopped after the petrol station. It’s name (the petrol stations’) escapes me now. Where those traders line up to sell their wares to travellers. As always, we stopped to ‘eat local’. We got some moi-moi (bean pudding) cooked in plastic bags. We also got the yams we intended to roast by the camp fire from there too.

I was seated in front with ‘It Is Raining‘, our eerily quiet driver. I cannot lie, his name really is, It Is Raining. The rest of the team were fussing about trying to buy a bunch of stuff we did not need. I. K. came to me smoking a cigarette and being as rambunctious as only he can manage.

She was standing slightly behind the rest of the traders. She was tall for a local. The table upon which her kuli -kuli (deep-fried, hard and crunchy groundnut paste) was placed was understandably higher than anyone else’s. She had a boy of about ten years old beside her. She was close to this child I perceived. Not a sibling, he was too plain. Or maybe I should say that she was too beautiful. As of right now, despite all that transpired, I still do not know the ties that bound them together.

She was wearing a black cotton embroidered gown. She was slim and lithe. She was exotically beautiful. Dark Nubian. She truly did not belong there.

She and the boy… And so I stared a tad too long.

Naturally, she bristled under my direct gaze and as is the manner of men and women and love and sex and marriage; she made me know that she was interested in me too.

Taraba state of Nigeria still embraces a laid back and traditional culture. Decorum, modesty and decency still obtain. So I discretely commissioned It Is Raining to arrange for a discreet rendezvous scheduled for the next day. Seven pm to be exact. It Is Raining returned to me bearing news that gladdened my heart and my pleasure showed. She watched my face and coyly began stealing admiring glances at me. While Backpackers are not in fairness indecent, they can be quite direct. They teased me relentlessly about the obvious chemistry Serti (yes, that was her name) and I just shared.

As I have revealed in a previous tale, Mayo Kam was a kind of ‘Garden of Eden’. Permit me not to relive that past at the expense of this future. Suffice it to say that we got back to the transit camp the next day, at about noon.

I. K. and I immediately set about imbibing copious amounts of beer. We were joined by one Backpacker after the other until the makeshift ‘bar’ became pleasantly rowdy. At some point, we all decided to barbecue some meat later that night.

That evening, in preparation for my date, I had a long shower and massaged a lot of coconut oil onto my entire skin. It was lightly perfumed with frankincense. I donned a flowing white robe and made sure to wear my ceremonial beads. I finished my ritual by burning a specific special Oudh from Asia.

My ‘hotel room’ (if you could call it that) was basic. A small bed, a one-seat sofa and a plastic chair. I had arranged both seats side by side at the foot of the bed. Behind the seats was a large window it’s panes were made of glass louvres. I shut them and pulled the curtains shut. I required privacy.

I then proceeded to sit in the dark. I meditated on Serti until a soft knock on my door announced her arrival.

I turned on the lights and opened the door. Unsurprisingly she was still as beautiful as the day before. Unsurprisingly, she came with the boy. I sat them on the seats and then sat down opposite them both.

I gazed into her eyes for a bit, and then his. I returned to her lovely face and smiled at her. She smiled shyly in response. I held out both my hands; one to Serti, the other to the boy. They took my hand in theirs and then at my request, held hands too.

“It is time Serti…” I gently informed her.

Her face clouded over as the pain, bitterness, memories all popped out of her soul, through her eyes and into my consciousness. The preceding twenty two words is the part of my calling I hate. I blinked back tears of empathy and gently whispered,

“It is time Serti.”

This time she nodded curtly. The boy answered ‘yes’ even though I was not talking to him.

And so I lifted up my voice…

“…O come, thou Rod of Jesse’s stem
From every foe deliver them
That trust thy mighty power to save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.

O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s Tree
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust thy mighty power to save,
And give them Victory o’er the grave...Amen! “

And they both vanished into the bosom of the Lord.

Then I cried.

Mourning them.

Those two Spirits Lost.

I do not think that there are many of us left. I am afraid I may be the last one.

Lore…, strange truths were whispered in my ears from birth. From lips I never saw. They told me of ancient mysteries, they spoke to me repeatedly long before I had understanding. I have grown with these ‘gifts’.

I Am A Watcher.

I am mandated to maintain spiritual harmony and balance.

To evict and to summon.

To bind and to cast out.

I have been blessed with (The) requisite power and authority.

Mayo Kam 

I am not originally a Backpacker®.

I only signed up for this trip because I was tired. I was tired of life.

I was tired of being alive. I actually went on that trip hoping to die. Misadventure, murder, animal attack… Anything. Even via the auspices of the pack of prescription sleeping tablets I had stashed away just in case my mind got made up.

Mayo Kam.

River Kam.

Yes, I believe ‘Mayo’ means ‘river’. The waters were deep, clean and cold. We were soberly lectured by the park rangers that a tourist fell in and drowned about a year ago. I so wished it had been me!

Listen, Mayo Kam is an excellent place to camp. Especially during the dry season when the waters have shrunk and left more sand and land in its wake. There is no mobile service in the Gashaka Gumti Game Reserve. If you are Nature’s kid, you have a home there. It is truly amazing. It is beautiful, pure and largely unsullied.

We were eleven Backpackers in all. Two heavily armed park rangers and four local fishermen that met up with us by the camp site.

Leinad, Raj, Rebecca, Henry, Bashiru, Noorah, Joanne, James, ‘Long John’, Sarai…and me. Enez.

Lovely, lovely people. Diverse experiences, countries and character. Never a dull moment with the Backpackers. Yet I was dead inside.

I was not sure of the time, but I was positive that the day was Saturday. For two reasons:- Firstly, there was going to be a Super moon tonight, and a lunar eclipse of some sort. Secondly, today was supposed to be my wedding day.

Cards printed. Venue paid for. Ivory white sleeveless wedding gown bought. Everyone that knew me in any capacity was aware. And why not? I was twenty five years old, I was in love with the only man I gave my spirit, soul and body to. He knew that even Jesus took a back seat when he arrived. Yet… Yet… He PUBLICLY called off the wedding after mandatory blood tests revealed that we were both HIV positive. As in, why?! Who does that?!! HE knew that he had infected me, I was his submissive emotionally and physically!

My mum consequently suffered a stroke. My dad tried to kill me twice. I tried to ‘kill me’ twice… I was the brunt of every joke. An object of pity and ridicule. The subject of many conversations. All of these inside a week.

And so I fled with the Backpackers, to this remote and dangerous adventure, hoping I would die. By my own hand or otherwise.

Leinad was making it hard though. To kill myself I mean. Or to even suffer injury for that matter. He was clearly interested in me. Men! They are so predictable, they would fuck anything given half the chance.

The fishermen arrived at dusk and immediately set about fishing roughly five hundred meters away upstream. They brought their own gear and so ours was redundant. While the rest of the female Backpackers fussed over roasting yam tubers and frying tomatoes, onions and peppers to make a sauce for the imminent fish, I somehow anchored three hooks together and found a spot on a boulder and began to fish.

Faithful and loyal Leinad tarried beside me in abject misery until my dark mood forced him to seek lighter spirits. He joined the group by the large fire and soon forgot about me.

A short time later, I got a bite and expertly reeled it in. It was a foot long indigenous catfish specie. It paled in comparison to the humongous sizes the fishermen were catching and so I killed it just as my dad taught me years ago and decided to use it as bait. I had just tossed my line into the water when I got called to supper. I wedged the flexible but strong fishing rod in a two foot deep crevice, and left.

I woke up reluctantly sometime during the night. I badly needed to pee, but my sleeping bag was very cosy. Besides everyone, including the park rangers, was asleep. I guessed that it was about midnight. It was pitch black outside the influence of the camp fire light.

One look at the sky decided me. I got up and walked towards the river and did my business in a hole I dug in the sand. I was just rounding up when I heard something thrashing about weakly in the water. I intuitively knew that my line had caught something big. I was up the boulder in a flash and back down with my fishing rod.

I think that all three hooks played a part in my catch. I think that the crevice helped wear down the fish. I think that the super moon and it’s unusual brightness lured that fish from the deep.

It was the largest fish I had ever seen in my life! It was not a shark or anything predatory. I think the locals call it ‘water elephant’ or ‘Giwan Ruwa’ in Hausa.

It was beautiful. I was not afraid. Death by this fish if it could would be welcome anyways. And so I darted knee deep into the treacherously cold and fast flowing water and dug my left hand into its gills and began pulling it ashore.

I came to pee in the bikini bottom of a two-piece swim suit, with just a hoodie over me and the bikini bottom. The rocks under the water were slippery and sharp. The humongous fish clearly did not want to leave the water… I was almost drowning within seven minutes.

Whatever I lack as a woman; big boobs, bubble butt et al… came to my aid that night. I used all of the six feet of lithe physiognomy I possessed to lever my catch out of the water.

The fish was only a little shorter than me. My left hand was still locked under it’s gills. That hand was now numb. I locked my right hand into the gills on the opposite side of its head, sidestepped the last foot or so onto the sand and lunged, pulled and lifted in one explosive move.

I landed on my right side painfully with the fish’s head between my thighs. Both my hands still gripping it tightly. I was exhausted! My breath was raggedy and labored. I was wet and cold, I was shivering and shuddering – (from hypothermia, shock and adrenaline).

As I slowly caught my breath, the fish too started to calm. As I slowly warmed up from the heat my body was producing, so did the fish.

But I knew that something was wrong… and so I slowly eased off my painfully cramped fingers and looked down at the fish.

It now had long hair and was a naked girl. I could feel her cheeks on the insides of my thighs. I could feel her cleavage on both sides of my right thigh.

I was by now hyperventilating in shock. But I was spent, lactic acid had built up to the detriment of my muscles. I simply could not move.

And then she started convulsing; flopping about in a most unnatural way. I did not need to be told, she was dying.

I successfully struggled to sit up. I held both her shoulders and began to push her back into the water… But the sand and my tired body impeded my noble intentions.

I began to weep. Not just because of there and then, but because of before. I finally got to cry at the injustices, at the curse of being a woman in Africa, at being ‘the weaker sex’. I was simply so exhausted and tired on the inside and outside. All I could do was to keep stroking her hair and back babbling, ‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry…’ over and over again.

I learned something that night; we are spirits and we live in physical bodies. At some point she stopped shivering and translated. I felt her leave. She was not her body, she was gone. Her body went limp, numb and cold. I saw her stand beside me wearing a look of slight confusion and wonder.

“Please, I didn’t mean to… I am so sorry!” Were my exact words to her.

She looked down at me for a while and then her beautiful face softened. She knelt beside me and then blew softly on my face, and then lightly kissed my lips.

“Enez…baby girl… Wake up!”

“Did you frigging catch this behemoth?!” Leinad’s handsome face inquired in disbelief.

It was about dawn, not quite bright yet. I made him help push the fish back in the water. We watched it bob in one spot eerily before it sank suddenly.

I shivered suddenly and hugged myself. To my utter amazement, I was bustier! I groped my new and improved breasts in confusion. I looked up at Leinad and the look of pure lust on his face terrified and thrilled me.

I am no longer ill. Have not been ill since that day, not a cold, rash or headache. I am at peace. I am rich and I am wealthy. I am happy.

P. S: “Please, I didn’t mean to… I am so sorry!”