March 8th, 2013
‘Salam alaikum, ma!… Mo ti wa ni side Oke-Odo yen’, i said, with the noise of humans and vehicles playing in the background… ‘Wa alaikum salam, maa rin wa si side filling station yen’, responded the familiar voice at the other end of the phone conversation, that assured me that i was in the Emirate city of Ilorin. After months of anticipation, here i was, finally, in ILORIN. After the usual ritual of welcome, it was time for Jumu’ah. Wow! I was about to observe Jumu’ah prayer in the city that prides itself as having Muslims in the majority. The mosque was modest but the sermon was a magnificient one. Disappointed??? Nah, i wasn’t. The visit was meant to be a surprise for some people and it sure was.
Getting home, the bed welcomed me as if it had anticipated my grand arrival. The room was quite serene and the green paint was just the right tone. After closing my eyes for close to 5 hours, the day was gradually drawing to a close. Then, it dawned on me that i was going to spend my next few days in this city!
March 9th, 2013
The following day was a bright one and expectedly a busy one. After the chores/breakfast, time flew past our eyes. Oh! By ‘our’, i mean my cousins me. Gisting, listening to radio, watching films devoured about 5 hours. By noon, it was time to visit a very important port of call, the University of Ilorin. Reaching the varsity, i noticed the unusually long distancebeteween the school gate and the main campus. The school was as quiet as a graveyard, coz people were just returning from break. Oops! It was time for Zuhr. Meanwhile, i was thinking of how to make it pass those stern looking gatekeepers guarding the only male hostel. After the prayers under the tree in the car park, a surprise call was placed to Ajoke to inform her of my presence on her campus. Was she surprised? i’d leave that for her to answer! But (un)fortunately, i had to wait for hours before i could meet her. The meeting was an event on its own**winks** After successfully making it past the security, i found myself in a hostel that was sharply in contrast with my idea of a hostel. My idea of a hostel had been shaped bt my 4 years of rugged lifestyle in OAU. Here was a hostel that was organised and, to an extent, neat. The room was also different from OAU’s. The room was nearly twice the size of my school. After a few hours there, it was time to watch the lads play soccer; d usual monkey-post…. Then came The Meeting! Having called to say she was in front of the male hostel, my mind hurriedly did a scan through her numerous pics in my head. What does she look like? Will the momentum be maintained? Will? What? How? Seeing a figure from afar, i knew it had to be her. Her eyes running inquisitively through the barrage of bodies that’ve congregated in front of the hostel, courtesy the Etisalat show. Dressed in a black flowing gown (jilbab) and a matching hijab, she was not so difficult to identify despite the number of hijabites on the campus. She was just distinct et unique! After ending her search, we proceeded together to her hostel. No thanks to PHCN, she was carrying her ‘lappy’ around looking for where to charge it. Then, we headed to the buttery where we discussed like long lost friends. It seemed like forever but nature had to come to distrupt us. The lil’ time i spent talking to her was so hmmmn! Oops! Maghrib beckoned and i promised to see her before i returned. Sadly, this wasn’t meant to be. Hoping to see her soon!
…and i mean it!
March 10th, 2013
‘Brother Hakeem, it’s time for prayer’ came the voice i heard in my half awake state. Morning already? Wow, that was fast! The prayer passed and the status quo was returned to- sleep, sleep and more sleep. Waking up after about 3-4 hours, i found myself reminiscing over the events of the previous day. As usual with me, i think of what i could have done and try to incorporate those into future plans. Breakfast was had and we boys delved into our talk*:-p* the afternoon sped past us within the twinkle of an eye and we were in evening already. As promised the previous day, i headed for the campus, hoping to watch the mighty clash between the best, Man Utd and one team from London, Chelsea in the FA cup. As usual i sneaked past the now relaxed gatekeepers in the hostel. After Asr, it was time to tour the campus. Armed with my phone and earpiece, me Orimadegun toured the school. Takiing pictures at the fountain, different depts, builings et al. This was the last day in the school’s break, so the ‘academics’ was literally empty… ‘Kabir, e be like say rain go beat us reach hostel ni o’ was what i remember saying before running together to the hostel. Rain had started! And accompanying it was a mini whirlwind. We reached the hostel in no time and Man Utd were disappointing me. The day was far spent and homw beckoned. Reaching home about an hour later, dinner was taken and my next action was predictable… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
March 11th, 2013
The day was Monday, the resumption day for the students of UNILORIN. For me, however, the day was so, so, so, so and so boring that i virtually spent the whole day sleeping. Apart from the occassional visits to the mosque, the day was spent indoor. Sadly, i was the only one at home. I’d leave you to do the imagination of the kinda boredom i experienced. It was then i knew that songs that seem uninteresting on a normal day would be otherwise when boredom sets in; you’ll take time to listen to the lyrics instead of the beats. Thanks to NEPA, abi shey na PHCN, my phone did real well. Boredom no good for the health o!
March 12th, 2013
The day was Tuesday and it was a continuity of the previous day. Except for the fact that someone at PHCN was playing with the switch, there was no much difference. By afternoon, i decided to breathe outdoor air and i headed for the campus. Before getting to the campus, i ‘branched’ at my elderly cousins shop. This was the first time i would be seeing her after her wedding ceremony late last year. By 1:47pm, i was on campus. After the Zuhr prayer, i went to the academics to print a document but was unable coz of the jaw-dropping price; N20/page & i had a 23-page document- i bet you just did the maths! Back in OAU, it was N5 or N7 per page. After some time, i headed for the bus-stop but was amazed by the length of the queue. O’boy, me i no fit join this queue o! But what choice have i? Night was approaching and the weather wasn’t smiling. Luckily, i joined the bus as the first drop of the rain touched down. Sadly, i had to walk in the rain after i alighted at my bus stop.
March 13th, 2013
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March 14th, 2013
My final day in Ilorin :'(. After close to a week at the Emirate city, it was time to return to base. The day began as usual with the morning prayer. Then, the preparation fo my return journey began. After the breakfast by 11:32am, i pick'd my school-cum-travelling bag and headed for the car park. After the okada dropped me at the KASMAG park, Unity road, i paid for the ticket and waited for another hour or so before the journey began proper. Navigating through the vehicles on the road, i noticed that Ilorin is just like any cosmopolitan city in Nigeria, nothing strikingly unusual. By 1:31pm, it was goodbye to my host city for the past six days!