I really hate doing my hair at Mama Tope’s shop.
Not because she isn’t good, she is, but what exactly do you call a person who gossips too much? Not a gossip, I mean a much more stronger and hateful word.
It was at Mama Tope’s shop that my Mum found out that her boss was cheating on his wife.
“I saw the man yesterday when I went to the market. You know that hotel at Dugbe yen? Ehn o, I saw him coming out with one sisi. All her breasts were spilling out and he looked disheveled, you know, like someone who did the deed.” She roars, laughing in her witchlike voice.
Well, actually, Mr Bobola WAS cheating on his wife. It’s not like it was his fault though. I mean, the way the woman fussed over her children her, it made everybody worry. She never had time for him. Mama Tope has a bad habit of gossiping about her customers. Immediately a customer leaves, she immediately launches into a long story about how the woman cannot cook well or how her husband had “told” her that his wife is wack in bed.
I would admit, her shop could be quite entertaining so I went there last week Tuesday to make my hair. I sat, waiting for her to finish with her current customer. As usual, she was telling a story about the customer that just left while her trainees, omoose’s, listened attentively to this woman and her terribly accented Yoruba-like English.
“The man ran away to London o! Will he na come and let one woman kill him? Eni eleni.” She hissed dramatically as everyone in the shop shook their head sympathetically.
“This life sef nawa o.” A customer said
“Eh, men of nowadays. They no send you o. Any little wahala like this, they will pack their bags.” Mama Tope went on. Even I felt for the man.
As we continued to listen and make comments, I suddenly noticed a car passing by. Mama Tope’s shop is located on the roadside so one can easily park and walk in. It was my best friend who was driving by.
“Lade! Lade! Lade!”
The silly girl had her radio on so loud that she couldn’t hear me.
“Ha, this girl ehn.”
Mama Tope noticed that I was trying to get her attention and spoke up.
“Toyo, is she your friend?”
“Yes, Mummy Tope. She is—-”
“Haaaaa! That wicked girl is your friend??? Stay away from her o. Omo buruku ni.”
By the time she said this, Lade was already out of sight. I was confused.
“But why do you say that? She’s a good person.”
Mama Tope heaved at that moment and I knew what that meant. A long story on the “why”.
“That girl ehn. I heard that she’s a prostitute. She used juju on her best friend’s boyfriend.”
“Haaa!!!” The whole shop chorused. Mama Tope, feeling encouraged, went on.
“They said it was even at her best friend’s party. She poured it in the guy’s drink. From that moment, the guy was gone. He even broke up with the best friend that very same day! It was the best friend’s birthday.”
“Awon obinrin le o!”
Mama Tope had finished plaiting her customer’s hair and placed her hands on her hips, for a more dramatic effect.
“She didn’t stop there o. She married the boy! Very wicked girl.”
While everybody started making comments, My mouth was hanging out in shock.
Lade is my best friend. She had actually gotten married to my other best friend, Ifeanyi. Ifeanyi liked me but I didn’t feel the same way. Years later, he began to fall for Lade but Lade refused him because of me. She had liked him for years. It took me 6 SOLID MONTHS to convince Lade to agree to Ifeanyi, telling her that she wasn’t breaking any sort of code. I was in a serious relationship at that time so I really wanted my two best friends to end up together. She said yes to being his girlfriend at MY birthday party!
Where on earth did Mama Tope hear this kind of story?
“Oya Toyo, it’s your turn.”