The Autobiography of an Orange Seller
265 Pages
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The Autobiography of an Orange Seller


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Learn more
265 Pages


This autobiography relives the lifestyle of a Warri Boy, the typical escapades of a young man going through life with the influence of peer groups, and an ultimate transformation through experiences of self-discovery and a deepening relationship with God.



Published by
Published 29 December 2014
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EAN13 9789789182701
Language English
Document size 17 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0058€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


Eric Ikogho
Published by Kraft Books Limited 6A Polytechnic Road, Sango, Ibadan Box 22084, University of Ibadan Post Office Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria +234803 348 2474, +234805 129 1191 E-mail: Website:
©Eric Ikogho,2014
First published 2014
ISBN 978–978–918–144–5
All Rights Reserved
First printing, May, 2014
The characters in this book are not real, and the names bear no resemblance of actual persons dead or alive.
To Edesiri
The story of a ghetto kid and the lucky circumstances that helped him find a place in the scheme of things.
One r The Beginning
They ran in all directions, clutching ice cream cones and plastic bottles of soft drinks. Though looking grubby with stained clothes, as biscuits and cake crumbs plastered their faces and littered everywhere, there was happiness and excitement written all over the faces of these children. The sounds were joyous, reflecting the season and the attendant expectations from these happy kids. The parking lot was filled with exotic cars. They were mostly jeeps and sports utility vehicles (SUVs), and a good collection of Infinity models of jeeps. There were a few Hummer jeeps, reflecting the heights of the affluent in the society. Even motorbikes were parked there. In this season, no one was going to be left out. Children were children, and no one knew the rich, poor or homeless. The atmosphere was colourful with a touch of red adorning the spacious hall. Why not? It was Christmas. The weather was splendid. Blue skies almost laughed aloud in appreciation of the season, and the sun was friendly, emitting low heat as if to complement the soft winds that whispered Christmas carols. The traditional harmattan season was not yet in sight although severe storms of dry and scorching weather filled Weather Reports on television screens in the northern parts of the country. This was Benin, and we were enjoying the best from the heavens of God. The trees even acknowledged the beauty of the season, and displayed colours with their leaves, similar to the spring season in far away lands. Traditionally the streets of Benin were lined with children clad in colourful colours walking in groups, with the bigger children leading the way and shielding the smaller ones from the menacing traffic. There were drunken drivers and excited children driving Papas’ cars to contend with. The blaring horns and big boys waving flags out of car doors added to the
beauty on the roads. “Wake up,” came a loud voice almost like a scream within my ear. It was Staffy. He had been observing my mood for sometime now, and suspected I was on memory lane. “Wake up,” he said again. “We have ordered ice cream for you,” he continued, observing me as I looked at the happy kids. Staffy knew me well. He was a childhood friend and we made our discoveries together. We attended the same secondary school, and spent our holidays together in the same neighbourhood. He was not just a friend; Staffy was considered a member of our family. He was like a blood relation of mine. His mother was my mother, and my mother regarded him as her son. Only Staffy could have known I was remembering my childhood. He could read my mind like a book. He knew my moods. Staffy was preparing to go to the United States of America. He had a sports scholarship. He could easily have been the author of this book. We were on a date and were expecting our dates to join us. We had to be discreet. The girls did not want to be seen leaving with us. “Wake up,” he said shaking his head. “It’s their time. Ours was different.” The fast food place was new in town, and well furnished, with a generous stock of pastries, chicken, fried rice and almost any delicacy you could find in an expensive restaurant. I stared at the ice cream cup in front of me with disapproval. It was strawberry ice cream. I was not disposed to any other type of ice cream except the all white one. That was the one I knew. It was called vanilla now. I was not particularly used to taking ice cream, not until now. I never tasted ice cream until I was well over 23 years old. It was fun. Just then Imuetiyan began to cry. Clad in an oversized pair of trousers and long-sleeved dress popularly calledbubaandsokoto, a native dress popularized by the Yorubas in the western region of Nigeria, Imuetiyan became loud as he cried, desperate for the attention of his mother. He wore a red plastic wristwatch and blue plastic sunglasses. Imuetiyan wore plastic shoes, and protested the unequal treatment he was getting from his mother. He had been denied a packet of fruit juice, despite the fact that his elder sister was sipping away at hers and would not let go.
He wanted his. “I nor blame you,” snorted his mother in Pidgin English. “Your papa nor fit buy ordinary garri for house for Christmas. ‘I want juice’,” she said, mimicking her son. “Where you think say I go get money from?” she queried in a rather loud voice shoving Imuetiyan through the front door as they hurried out of the restaurant. I knew Imuetiyan’s mum very well. They lived a few blocks from my house at Evbuoriaria Quarters. She was a saleswoman in a local restaurant run by an elderly lady. Her husband was a bricklayer and hung around the marketplace looking for work from the local contractors who went there to hire freelance artisans. A Christian, Madame Angela, as she was popularly called in the area, was well known. She was a very loud neighbour and spared no words in telling everyone how lazy and wretched her husband was. She was bulky, and could wrestle anyone who dared cross her path. Almost every woman in the neighbourhood had had a taste of her rain of abuses. It was even dangerous to exchange greetings with her in a public place like this. I had to put up a face of deep meditation to escape her eyes. It was the safest thing to do. “I know that woman,” I said to Staffy. “Iron Lady. She lives close to my house.” She reminded me of my mother. Mama was a hard-working woman. A woman of great virtue, Mama was a ‘native village’ woman, uneducated. She could not speak Pidgin English and spoke Urhobo to us. We spoke English, determined to make her like other mothers. Our friends’ mothers spoke in English and were presentable. She never cared about the ‘whiteman’s’ language. She was content with her native tongue and only managed a few words of bad Pidgin English if she had to communicate with a customer. Papa had brought Mama to Warri where they settled after having my elder brother in the village. I was born in Warri, the second child of my parents. Papa decided to relocate to Warri to start a new life. Life in our native town Okpara Inland was not favourable to him. He was now a cocoa farmer. It was a good trade, and Papa was able to meet our basic educational needs with the proceeds of his new trade. Mama had no training in any