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    Mama Toke tried to talk him into completing the money for her but he refused and turned deaf ears. When she saw that he wouldn’t change his mind, she left the room and shut the door behind her.

    At the entrance of the door, while she was going away, she ran into mama Gift who owned a soft drink and snacks shop opposite the hotel. Mama Toke tried to avoid her but it was too late as mama Gift had already seen her from the vintage position that she was occupying in her shop.

    Mama Gift: “ah, so you are not only a witch, you are also a prostitute as well. Tufia!” she spat out.

    Mama Toke: “I don’t have time for your rants this afternoon”

    Mama Gift: “shame on you, shame on you o. what kind of a woman are you? You killed your husband so that you can have the opportunity to flirt with other men and yet you call yourself a mother, God forbid”

    Mama Toke: “I don’t blame you. You have a roof over your head, a shop you can call your own and a husband to take care of your needs that is why your mouth is running like tap without control. I don’t blame you”

    Mama Gift: “yes o, I have my own husband, go and die if it is paining you. Was I the one who said you should kill your husband? Useless harlot, prostitute”

    Mama Toke shook her head and walked away while mama Gift went on raining insults at her.

    Down the street and few meters from the hotel, mama Toke stopped a bike to take her to her daughter’s school. She wanted to go and deposit the three thousand naira she had with her pending when she would get the balance.

    It was past school hours and so the school premises was deserted but she was sure to meet the principal and other academic staff who stayed behind in school even after school hours.

    She alighted from the bike and brought out her purse to pay the bike man.

    Mama Toke: “you get one thousand naira change?” she asked the bike man who shook his head.

    Bike: “I no get change o madam, you for tell me before I carry you say you no get change now. Where you want make I go get change from now?” he asked with anger, typical of all the bike men in that community.

    Mama Toke: “ehn ehn, don’t fill my ears with too much talk. I should have fifty naira in my purse, let me check for it” she said and began to search her purse.

    The bike man looked at her and when he saw that she was carried away, he snatched her purse and zoomed off.

    It happened so fast that mama Toke didn’t see it coming. When she raised her head, the bike man was zooming off.

    She let out a scream and fell on the floor.

    “My money, my purse, my daughter’s examination fees” she shouted, rolling on the floor.

    Then she gathered herself together and ran after the bike man but she could not meet up.

    She ran to the gate of the school and pounded on the door. The gate man who was dozing jerked up and ran to the gate.

    Gate man: “what happened, madam. Are you okay?” he asked looking around to see what it was that was chasing her.

    Mama Toke: “my purse, my money, my daughter’s examination fees” she said incoherently.

    Gate man: “calm down, madam. What happened to you? What are you talking about?”

    Mama Toke: “I was coming here to pay for my daughter’s examination fees and the bike man I took snatched my purse and drove away. Help me catch him”

    Before she had finished talking, the gate man dashed out and ran towards the direction that she was pointing at. He came back afterwards, exhausted.

    Gate man: “I didn’t see any bike man anywhere. I am sure he has gone far away from this street” he said, bending down to catch his breadth.

    Mama Toke: “yay! Mogbe, mo ku, mo daran. After all I went through to get that money? No, you have to find him”, she said and began to roll on the ground again.

    Gate man: “madam, please put yourself together. We have so many pick pockets around these days, you have to be very careful when dealing with people”

    Mama Toke: “I am not leaving here without that money o. I came here to pay my daughter’s examination fees and I will not leave here without paying it”

    Gate man: “madam, get up and go to your house na, what kind of a wahala is this?”

    Mama Toke ignored him and continued to scream at the top of her voice and soon she attracted the attention of the principal and other admin staff.

    “Security, what is going on here” the principal screamed when he came out.

    Gate man: “sir, this woman said she was coming to pay for her daughter’s fees and then the bike man she took snatched the purse containing the money” he said.

    Principal: “and so? Isn’t that what is happening around here these days?” he asked.

    Gate man: “that was what I told her”

    Principal: “so why is she screaming here? This is a school environment and we don’t make noise anyhow. She can go to her house and cry” he said to the gate man.

    Principal: “madam, sorry about your money and your purse but you have to go now, you are distracting us with your noise and that is why we had to come out” he said to mama Toke.

    Mama Toke: “I went through hell to get that money and now somebody from nowhere has taken it away. I am not leaving here until you help me find the person”

    Principal: “well, I am sorry but there is nothing we can do. Like you know, this is a school and only the police can help you find the culprit. You should go and make an official report to them” he said and returned to his office.

    One of the admin staff recognized mama Toke as the woman who had once fainted because her daughter was sent out of class.

    Admin staff: “is this not the woman who came here and fainted the other time because we sent her daughter away during the school fees drive? I am sure she is just pulling this stunt again so that we can allow her daughter sit for the exams without her paying. I can swear that nothing was stolen from her. Madam, when you finish acting your drama, you can leave and allow us to work in peace” she said and walked away.
    Several days after that incidence, mama Toke who was determined to raise money for her daughter’s fees started going to the next village to hawk despite warnings that strangers should stay away from the village because they were looking for human heads to bury their king with. She was going there without her daughter’s knowledge and soon she began to make some money. However, things fell apart when she decided to go and hawk for the last time to complete the money for the payment.

    To be continued.

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