The Trials of Mama Waila: Part 1 of 2

We once had a house help called Effiong. I didn’t have a problem with him. Not until the night he smoked pot and decided to test me.

My mother was out and I was home with my brother G and Uncle P.

‘Go and call me Effiong,’ said Uncle P.

Obedient child that I was, I made my way to the front of the house to ask the security guard if he had seen him. On reaching the gate, I spotted Effiong across the street, perched on a block of cement.

‘Effiong, Uncle P is calling you.’

‘Get lost, stupid bitch!’


‘What did you just say to me?’

‘Get out bitch!’

I saw red.

‘Are you mad? Who are you calling a bitch? You’re crazy!’

Na you crazy!’

His eyes were bloodshot but I didn’t notice. I was busy ploughing my mind for deep and potent insults. I found them and delivered them.  Partially satisfied, I stormed back into the house, flinging a few more profanities over my shoulders for good measure.

Imagine my Uncle’s shock when I stormed into the house shouting ‘bastard!’

‘What?! Come here. What happened?’

I ignored him and marched up the stairs and into my room, slamming the door behind me.

A few minutes later my brother’s head poked round the door.

‘You’re in trouble,’ he sang, grinning from ear to ear.

Like I didn’t already know that.

‘MEE, come here now!’ As soon as I heard my mother’s voice, I readied myself for battle.

‘Is Effiong your mate? Who gave you the right to insult my staff?!’

‘Mummy, he started it! I went to tell him Uncle P was calling him and he started insulting me!’

‘I don’t care what he said to you. Under no circumstance should you be rude to your elders! How dare you use foul language in my house?!’

‘He called me a bitch!’

‘Apologise to him.’


‘I’m sorry mummy, I can’t. He’s the one who owes me an apology.’

She looked stunned.

‘Is it me you’re talking to?! Apologise to him and don’t make me do something I will regret.’


‘Needless to say, I received a sound beating, at the end of which I still refused to apologise. My Uncle P had to take me out for a drive to give everyone time to calm down…like he wasn’t the cause of the drama.

Two hours later I walked into the house and instead of going up to my room, curled up on the floor in a corner of the sitting room.

‘What are you doing there?’ my mother asked.


‘Don’t you have a room? Get up from that floor.’

‘I now know my place in this house. Since the house boy is more important than me, please leave me let me sleep on the floor like the slave that I am.’

She looked ready to take my life. I wasn’t ready to give it.

I got up and went to my room.

It didn’t end there though. Watch this space!


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