Iya Basira had never had it easy in anyway. She lived by the strength of my hands. And whatever her hands findeth to do, she did with desperate dedication.
She came from a poor family, she had no great options in marriage and ended up with a loafer and a drunk. To him she gave 4 children but she knew better than to stick around and mourn her fate.
She took to the streets and she sold whatever anyone wanted to buy just as long as it put food on the table.
She didn’t have her own shop, she couldn’t afford it, so she stayed in any open space she could find and she sold….from orange to groundnut to guava to whatever was in season and out of season.
Her 18years old daughter Basira and 12 years Bisi were always with her hawking whatever they could to make the long ends meet. It never did.
That is the background of my story Lord.
Do You now see why I asked You how You determine who starts well and who struggles from day 1?.
Basirat, is a young girl who knew at an early age what hardwork meant and how to go to bed without food.
She is a girl who sees no better fate for her life but who is willing to change things no matter how small. She had learnt quickly that to get her family out of their lot, she needed to pay attention to what really mattered.
So she dedicated herself to helping her mum feed the flock as well as find time to attend a public school near the market.
After school, she will come straight to the market to takeover the trading for her mum, sometimes still in her uniform. It was said that she often provided “alabaru” services….People that help customers to carry their merchandise in the market.
Dad, You’d think this story is about Basirat right?
I had to touch on this to be very clear about the family I am talking about.
Now Iya Basira has a 2nd daughter…Monsura. Monsu as she was fondly called was born with some mental deformities. She wasnt a full retard, but she wasn’t fully there either. If a fully functional person lives in the kind of struggles I described Lord, help me understand the pain I felt when I got to know that Oluwatomisin is Monsu’s daughter.
By the way, Monsu is 15years.
Because of her condition she didn’t go to school much so she either stayed at home to take care of the last child…..the boy…or sometimes did some petty errands in the market for their mum.
That was how she became the vulnerable point of attack for evil men.
Knowing her mental strength, Iya Basira never let her off her space alone and always ensured that the 8years old brother was with her at every point for any movement. He was supposed to act as a 3rd eye for her, but the devil always knows his victims well.
Now imagine Iya Basira’s shock when it became obvious that Monsu was pregnant.
Monsu and Tayo would usually pass Oga Olu’s shop on their way to school and back.
Oga Olu was thought of as a family friend and sometimes benefactor to the family. He is assumed rich and has a big shop with a lot of sales team, so it became ok to sometimes leave Monsu and Tayo with them….if their mum goes to village market outside Lagos to buy her merchandise.
Unknown to everyone, Oga Olu had been taking advantage of the poor mentally challenged girl.
He will buy gala for them and while the little boy was eating and watching TV, he will lure Monsu out and have his way.
This had been going on for months without anyone even the sales team and especially his wife knowing any better.
It never occurred to anyone that such a respectable man would stoop so low.
Dear Lord, this 3rd leg You gave men…..sometimes I wonder if it was a good invention….well maybe it is!
Iya Basira was sometimes worried about the sales boys and will beg Oga Olu’s wife to please keep an eye on the boys and her daughter but they never one day thought to keep an eye on the main predator.
So when they did was discovered Iya Basira was besides herself.
At 1st no one believed Monsu when she called Oga Olu’s name. They thought she got it twisted. But she insisted against all odds.
“Na Oga Olu, she persisted, “he used to give me gala gala!”
And while the mum beat her in the market she kept weeping and shouting…..”gala, gala it’s the gala..oo”
That was how the “gala” nickname came about.
Lord, You have a great sense of humor, You
I understand that Oluwatomisin is a splitting image of Oga Olu. Straight from the birth place people went to his shop to tell him that his nakedness was in the market……that his secret was out at last.
His “gala” has produced the desired result!
That was Tommy’s (Alias “gala”) grand entrance into the world.
By the way, Oluwatomisin was born at home….delivered by her grandmother.
Totally beautiful, mentally sound with a clear stamp of her biological origin.
Iya Basira named the baby, “God is enough for me” because during the crisis B
Oga Olu called their bluff said that they had no evidence to the accusations.
God, You were really enough evidence right? You sneezed the man out of Monsu’s womb.
“You are not a man that You should lie, nor the Son of man that You should repent……If You say it…..You will do it right?
Then Iya Basira needs help. Tomisin did not ask to be born. I dont believe that she is an accident of birth……I believe that she is a child of destiny.
Her mum is mentally challenged, her dad is a predator, her grandmother is struggling…..that is the beginning of her life.
But that would not be the end right?
It’s just the beginning……You are the Author and the Finisher of our Fate…right?
Dad, this is Your daughter, I dont know if I am done yet with this…..but I am checking in.