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Where Money Sleeps

 

Timileyin Fowowe was well known throughout the Yoruba state and even beyond. His fame rested on his twelve wives, cocoa farm and Ayobola technical boy's college, which he established in 2001. He was not just famous for his wealth but also his urge for women. As a young man of thirty years old, he had already gained fame throughout the thirty-six states. In the Hausa land he was known as the mugunruhu known to the hausa's as an evil spirit, while the Igbo's called him okeojoo known to the igbo's as a wicked person. He contested for the senate president in 2005, which he lost to his counterpart chief Olowoadalu and he later won the chairman of his local government in 2006. He got his bad names as a result of his claim that education for a female child is a waste. He was tall and slim, and his eyebrows are well straightened like it was carved by a barber. His black skin was smooth and shining, he had a dimple by his left cheek and scanty mustache with his teddy almost touching the length of his ears. He married twelve wives and had thirty-two children of whom male are twelve and the remaining twenty are females. One of his daughters, Adebimpe was a seventeen years old girl, who graduated from Okeonigbin secondary school with a WAEC certificate. She was one of the luckiest and brightest female child of Timileyin Fowowe. 

 

Adebimpe was black skinned with an oval shaped face; she had a pointed nose and slim lips with a curvy shape that fit in all dress. Her wide eyes gave a lovely spark, which made her popular among the boys of the Yoruba town. At the age of seventeen she had already earned thousands of naira by coaching young children of her community. She gathered them under a mango tree close to her father's compound which was one of the most luxurious houses in Owope. It was painted white and the roof was rough with patches of gold pan. Three huge black tanks were placed by the side of the house. One of the tanks gave out water to the people of Owope while the other two is used by Fowowe and his family. Adebimpe earned a lot of money to take care of her mother after school. The remaining children were not privileged to go to school; they were only given the opportunity to learn trade like tailoring and hair dressing.

 

Akanmu was the second child of Timileyin, he was a melancholy, and he rarely talks. He had a huge mole on his nose, a thick lip and his brown skin match the color of his eye pupil. Among all his siblings, he loved Adebimpe very much because she took after his mother. 

Sidi for that was his mother's name. sidi was a literate, she studied business management in the polytechnic of Ibadan where she graduated with a first class degree. Adebimpe received coaching from an English tutor called Mr. Badmus Kasali through the influence of Akanmu, which helped her to pass her Wace without any re-sit. 

 

Madam Jago was Adebimpe mother's name; she married Timileyin Fowowe for his money and fame. She falls victim of shock when Fowowe began to marry many wives. She was admitted into a prestigious hospital for a period of time before Fowowe refused to waste his money on madam Jago's hospital bills and invested it in his cocoa farm. Before madam jago got married to Fowowe, she was one of the prettiest ladies in Ere, where she grew up. Without a college degree she managed to establish her clothing business in Owope, the city of Ere which was patronized by wealthy people from various states. After her marriage to Fowowe things began to change, she found out about Fowowe's perpetual lust for women, she was depressed and eventually ended with stroke, which led to the ruin of her business.

 

Among the male children of Timileyin Fowowe, it was only Adigun, the first child, who decided to take over the cocoa business instead of going to school, he ventured into different kinds of trades like textile, pottery and selling farm product. He took after his father's complexion; he had the physique of an athlete. He was strong and hard working. 

 

The terror of fowowe's family began when Adebimpe decided to enroll into Bluemary University in Lagos. She secretly wrote a letter to Dr. Milton a white man in the department of Medicine in university of Bluemary in Lagos on 20th June 2008. In the letter she wrote about her choice of study and her qualification. After a month Adebimpe received a letter from Dr. Milton through Akanmu, the detail of the letter contained Adebimpe's success of enrollment into the department of Medicine in the University of Lagos. Out of excitement Akanmu broke the news to Fowowe before showing the letter to Adebimpe. 

Fowowe who had always frowned at the idea of any of his daughters going to school called out Adebimpe with terror from the sitting room.

'Adebimpe! Adebimpe! Adebimpe!'.

 

Adebimpe appeared in a white flowery blouse on a pink mini skirt, her hair was rolled in doughnut and she painted her lips with Vaseline which made her pink lips glow by the little ray of sunlight piercing through the sitting room curtain.

'Yes sir I'm here' she answered. Her voice was trembling has she responded to her father, she knew Fowowe only shout loud if his money was stolen or if one of his wives forgot to cook.

Fowowe used his tongue to clean the lower part of his mouth after which he gulped down a full cup of water from his stainless cup, he looked straight into Adebimpe's eye as he began to speak.

'Akanmu showed me this letter' he pointed the letter to Adebimpe who was wondering what the letter could contain. 

 

He removed his glasses from his eyes and placed it in the middle of the center table where some remotes for electronic appliance in the house are kept, then, he rested his back properly on the long brown cushion chair while he fixed his leg on the stool, he then continue to speak. 

'It contain your enrollment to one university of Lagos and I can't remember telling you to do such thing, if you are thinking of going to school it will be better for you to stop dreaming, none of my female children will step their foot into any universities or colleges, just stay at home and learn how to cook from your mother' 

Adebimpe frowned her face immediately Fowowe finished talking; she murmured so loud and banged her feet on the floor.

 

Fowowe rebuked her and put the blame on her mother for not instilling proper manners into her. He took his glasses from the stool and went for the afternoon newspaper. He left the house with his brown kaki short and a white buttoned down T. shirt with a black palm slippers. 

Adebimpe sought Dr. Milton's help to persuade her father on her behalf. She spoke with him on the phone on Wednesday and Dr. Milton promised to travel down to Owope on Saturday. 

Adebimpe rebuked Akanmu for being too forward with her father.

'Why did you show the letter to papa without seeing me first' Adebimpe inquired. 

Akanmu felt ashamed of his abrupt move and apologized to Adebimpe, he reassured her that another opportunity will surface. 

'Adebimpe, you know how much I care about you. I accept my mistake and I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive your brother.' 

 

Adebimpe looked so sad; she replied Akanmu sluggishly

'I just hope all my hard work doesn't go to waste, papa is so adamant on his decision' 

Adebimpe struggled throughout the day, she used the rest of the afternoon to read her favorite novel scratch the hitch written by Tseju Oyagbemi, until her father returned from the newspaper store in the evening. 

Fowowe called his third wife mama Debo to serve his meal. He ate for about an hour while he watched the football match between Nigeria and Brazil. After his meal he called all his children and wives to the sitting room for night prayer before they all went to bed. Only mama Saheed refused to participate in the night devotion, she was angry because Fowowe refused to give her money to expand her shop, and her children Saheed, Monsura and Bashirah are less favored among all Fowowe's children. She claimed Fowowe was a fake prophet that knows how to manipulate everyone with the word of God he refused to follow. The devotion ended and everyone went to their room after a word of advice from Fowowe.

'Money is the root of all evil, love is the strong hood that guides us, let us all learn how to love one another more than we love money' Fowowe said.

Some of his children murmured 'yes' while others struggled to open their mouth. All his wives hissed as they walked to their various rooms. 

Fowowe looked at all of them, following them with his eye balls; he shooked his head, shrugged his shoulder and laid down on the cushion chair.

 

Dr. Milton arrived at Fowowe's house on Friday instead of Saturday. Adebimpe was going to the market around 10: 00 am when she saw Dr. Milton with a fancy leather travelling bag. She was shocked to see him; she rushed inside to inform her father. 

'Papa! Papa! Papa! We have an August visitor'

Fowowe looked at her from the top of the line glasses frame and scold her for shouting so loud

'If you like, let us have September visitor, I will strike you with koboko when next you shout like an animal in my house and who is this visitor you are talking about?

Adebimpe paused for a while before she said 'Dr. Milton from Lagos'

Fowowe pondered for a while before he asked her to let Dr. Milton into the house. 

 

Dr. Milton greeted Fowowe with respect while he introduced himself and stated the reason he had made the journey down to Owope.

Fowowe looked at Adebimpe with an evil eye before he uttered a statement that sounded alien to Dr. Milton

 'If you like bring afin (an Albino), if you like bring oyinbo (a white man) nothing will change, you are not going anywhere'

Fowowe asked Dr. Milton if he knows where money sleeps

'Dr. Milton, do you know where money sleeps?'

Dr. Milton replied 

'I guess in the bank'

Fowowe laughed hysterically and concluded. 'oga money sleeps in a man's brain'. 

Milton could not contain his disbelief about fowowe's claim; he asked why Fowowe thinks money that should be kept in the bank sleeps in the brain of a man and not his pocket. 

Fowowe sit properly and said, 

'Everything that produce money to run the family comes from a man's brain, man is the reason behind any family survivor and that is why a man must be worshiped and nurtured. Even the bible says a man is the head and the woman is the helper. So women will help men in the kitchen while the men will go to school to acquire more knowledge on money making strategy. 

 

Dr. Milton suppressed his laughter, so as not to make Fowowe feel embarrassed, he explained to Fowowe about the situation of many female students in Lagos

'Women are created as a human on their own, they might be a helper but not a house maid, and they are helpers in form of a companion. Education is meant for all and to educate a man is to educate one person but to educate a woman is to educate a whole household, there are a lot of female student in Lagos doing so great with their studies'. He said.

 

Dr Milton concluded by making a remark in regards to Adebimpe

'Adebimpe is a bright girl, she had the highest score in the post UTME the school organized, I think it will be a bad idea to deprive her of this great opportunity'

Immediately Dr. Milton finished his statement, Fowowe stood up from his chair and ushered him out of his house. He hurled insult on him and condemned him for trying to enchant his daughter. 

The noise was too much that it woke mama Sidi from sleep, she came out of her room to see why the house had turned into a market place with lot of noise, but before she could made her way to the sitting room, Mr. Milton had already left the house and it was only Fowowe that was shouting with disbelief and bitterness.

 

Adebimpe decided to visit her friend Shayo, she went to her friend's house to relieved herself of stress. Shayo was Adebimpe's class mate in okeonigbin, she was shabby and chubby. They talked for a while before Shayo gave Adebimpe an advice to leave the house in pursuit of a better life in Lagos. Instead, Adebimpe thought of her mother's condition and refused Shayo's advice. 

It was on Sunday morning, Mama Juli who was the sixth wife of Fowowe called on her children, Posi, Tanwa and Yiwola for church service while Mama Akeem refused to let them attend the church service. She blocked the entrance with her chubby backside, she shouted until Fowowe came out with a green cotton towel wrapped around his waist and a wooden tooth stick hanged between his upper and lower teeth. 

'What it is again this morning, he asked'

 

Mama Juli eyed Mama Akeem before she responded

'Is it not your stupid wife that refuse to let me and my children go to church, maybe she is the agent of the devil' mama Juli said.

Mama Akeem laughed hysterically 

'if you like call me agent of the devil, if you like call me devil himself, you won't attend church service today until you tell your children to do the dishes, mama Akeem replied. 

Fowowe took a deep breath, he tried to settle the quarrel between the two wives but Mama Akeem was determined to make Mama Juli's children do the dishes. Eventually Fowowe hurriedly left the house; he escaped to his friends house Engineer Kolawole, who also married five wives and gave birth to thirteen children. 

Engineer Kolawole has just won a lottery of one million naira from the Baba Ijebu he did some months ago. Fowowe was glad he came at the right time to release his stress and at the same time enjoy from his friend's money. 

Fowowe lamented about the trouble he was facing because of his wives hatred for one another and Adebimpe's untamed lust for university life. Engineer Kolawole tried to calm his friend by making the whole men the victim of marital stress. 

 

'You see my friend, marital stress is everywhere, even those without children, never stop shouting, complaining and wishing they had never gotten married. All we have to do is enjoy our life without letting those ungrateful wives kill us before our time', kolawole said. 

Fowowe nodded throughout the conversation and finally spoke his mind.

'You are right, I should not let those wives kill my joy, you are right my friend'.

They talked while they drink ogogoro accompanied with ponmo mixed with pepper sauce. 

Adebimpe sat her father down after he returned from his friend's house. She reminded him about the closing date set by the University of Bluemary in Lagos. She made a lot of promises regarding her status as a woman, not to get defiled by any man until she returned home and find a suitable husband and also promise to support his father financially. Adebimpe did everything to convince her father, but Fowowe turned her offer down, he called her mother and chased both of them out of the house, shouting and hurling insult on them.

 

'What benefit are you to me, you and your mother wasted my money and you are here talking about school, get out of my house, Fowowe instructed them'. 

He called out two of his wives Mama Juli and Mama Akin who were happy to throw Adebimpe and her mother out of the house. They hurriedly packed their cloths into a Ghana must go sack, and then threw it out of the entrance door until they packed everything out.

It was late in the night; Madam Jago called one of her sister, Fausa at Ide, a local government in Owope. They stayed with her for a while until Adebimpe was able to gather her tuition fee by tutoring the children of Ide.

 

Some years later Adebimpe graduated from Bluemary University in Lagos, with the best CGPA in the history of the university. She became the best student of the medicine department of the school. 

After she graduated, she built a hospital which was named after her father, TIMILEYIN COSMOPOLITAN HOSPITAL which was situated in Lagos. Her mother began to receive treatment in the hospital and within some months she had began to see changes in her health. The hospital was the best hospital in the country which was patronized by wealthy people. 

The family of Fowowe was divided due to the absence of Adebimpe and her mother, the only people left with Fowowe was Mama Sidi and Akanmu. 

 

Fowowe's wealth had gone awry, he invested in the Baba Ijebu which his friend, Engineer Kolawole did, due to his greediness for a high amount of money, he invested all his money into the lottery and got nothing in return. All he had left was just his vegetable farm. He had stroke after some series of attempt to get his money back from the lottery which became futile. 

Mama Sidi tried to admit Fowowe to several hospitals but he was rejected because of his critical condition. He was eventually transferred from APALARA HOSPITAL to TIMILEYIN COSMOPOLITAN HOSPITAL, there he saw Adebimpe who was a renowned Doctor. Adebimpe was so happy to see her father but disheartened about his condition. Fowowe felt so ashamed to claim Adebimpe as his child and shy away when Adebimpe was coming toward him with a big smile on her face. 

'Papa I am so happy to see you, but what happened to you, why do you look this way? Adebimpe asked'.

 

Mama Sidi hummed and explained to Adebimpe of the terror the family faced after they were chased out of the house. 

'Adebimpe my child, if I should start we won't finish today, for now please attend to your father, mama Sidi requested'.

'Ok! Ma, Adebimpe replied. 

She instructed the nurse to admit Fowowe to the hospital, he was put in one of the best room in the hospital. Adebimpe took care of her father until he was able to walk and talk again. 

Fowowe was discharged and Adebimpe took him to her house in Lekki where he met Madam Jago looking very pretty like she was before Fowowe married her. 

Madam Jago, Mama Sidi, Akanmu, Adebimpe and his finance were sited on a brown leather cushion chair while Dr. Milton talked to them all.

'Do you remember the day I came to your house sir? Dr. Milton asked facing Fowowe'.

Fowowe responded very slowly and shy

'Yes I remember'

Dr. Milton nodded in response to his answer and continued from where he stopped. 

'And did you remember asking me if I know where money sleeps'

Fowowe responded 'yes I remember'

Dr Milton then advises Fowowe and the whole family.

 

'Money doesn't sleep in a man's brain, both a man and a woman have the quality to generate money with their skills or school certificate. Adebimpe is a bright child and you can see today what she has become, nobody is a waste, Mr. Fowowe I hope from this you will learn that all your children deserve quality education irrespective of their gender'.

Fowowe nodded in confirmation to Dr. Milton advised as he sobs quietly.

Adebimpe hugged her father when he began to cry, Fowowe apologized to Adebimpe and her mother, Madam Jago. Fowowe looked for all his children who had scattered all over the states, he begged for their forgiveness and they all lived together in harmony. 

Copyright © Ojingiri Hannah 2018

Author: Ojingiri Hannah
Ojingiri Hannah is currently a student of university of ilorin, where she studies English. Hannah holds a Diploma in Law degree from Kogi State university, Ayingba and NCE degree in English/Economics from Kwara State college of education, ilorin. In her spare time she enjoys writing and reading inspirational books. She lives in Nigeria.

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