Gbenga went to Ibadan in search of greener pastures. Everyone he knew was heading into the white collar job market, and he was no different. Shedding his farm clothes for a white shirt and black slacks, he travelled from his native village in Osun state to Oyo state, hungry for a fresh start and the prospects of financial independence.
“Be careful with those city girls,” his mother had warned him before he left “they are like vultures, always looking for someone to devour.”
Gbenga had agreed with his mother, nodding vigorously despite his covert desire to get for himself a city girl.
Everyone had heard about the city girls; vivacious, voluptuous, exposed, and unashamed to strut their stuff. It was a story that left mothers horrified, and young men red faced with smiles as wide as the Niger.
Armed with the N50 he received from his cocoa wealthy father, Gbenga took refuge in his uncle’s house for a while before getting a job in the Ibadan Cocoa House and moving into his own place.
At work, he was shy and avoided the women. Not that there were many women, but he did his best to avoid them, especially the older single ones with degrees from English schools. They were too powerful and domineering in his opinion, which was unfortunate, for the women, powerful and domineering as they were, could not seem to resist him.
“I’ll take you out for a drink. This is an official order boy, take it or leave with your job.” One said to him on a particularly dreary day.
And so Gbenga found himself in the middle of the city life, immersed in mature parties and country clubs. In time, he came to enjoy that type of life and soon charted his own course; dropping the older women for the city girls his mother had warned him about, and the fine wines for cheaper beers and spirits.
In six years, Gbenga had three children from two different girls and a fourth on the way from a third girl. His salary became insufficient as inflation and the oil boom further weakened the lucrativeness of his job. When the Cocoa house began to shut down, Gbenga sought help from his father, only to realize the man was also in a fix; acres of cocoa and no one to buy.
The trip back home was shorter than the trip that led him away. Gbenga replaced his white shirt and black slacks for farm clothes. He was not the same boy that left though, having experienced life in the city. He would often share stories of his sexual conquests with his old friends, and sometimes with new friends, over pots of palm wine.
“They could not get enough of this farm boy,” He would say, laughing and spilling wine over his shirt “I think it was my muscles that they could not resist.”
Gbenga died from a snake bite on his farm on an uneventful day. He was survived by his father, mother, five siblings, four children and three ex-girlfriends. He left this world with no money in the bank and no real accomplishments, just another face and story weaved into the tapestry of life.