SALEWA

By Jonathan Oladeji

I don’t know how many people have met Salewa before, even if it is not the Salewa I am talking about. What can you say is common about every Salewa? It’s usually their room mates that can testify better.

I met Salewa in my 200 level and she told me her name was Sally. I stared at her for hours before managing to pick a seat behind her in the then AUD 2 on the Great Ife campus. Salewa is the typical tall, slim, dark and beautiful (TSDB) girl. I approached with all caution because I wanted to make a good impression. Even though I am not much of a fashionista, I could see her wrist bracelet, earrings and neck-piece were a complete set out of an A-Class boutique. Salewa was not the bend-down select kind of girl. I wanted to break out of that circle too by all means.

We talked awkwardly at first, then kicked off with a bit of more fashion related gist as I noticed that was all she wanted to talk about. I actually wanted to talk about drawing boards and painting canvasses, but it would be a game spoiler so I continued with the gist. We ended up dating for a while and it was always in the reading room, or at the cafeteria we met. The reading room was where she spent her time listening to music and playing games on her phone. I noticed she would tell her friends she was on a date, but both of us knew we were in a reading room.

We had been together for almost 6 months when I started noticing some irregularities. Salewa always waited for her room mates to leave the room before coming out with me and she would hardly go back until very late at night. I thought she just loved spending time with me…. I also realized no one had ever seen her parents when they come visiting. She usually tells me they come around and sometimes she would share some candy or fancy snack they had brought from “the abroad”.

It was towards the end of the second semester in my final year and one day I walked past Sally’s hall and the noise was deafening. It was the typical noise that accompanied the apprehension of a thief. “Ole!! Huuuhhh!!” the girls yammered on, some poured buckets of dirty water on the crouching girl, others pinched and slapped her head and pushed her. Some other guys too had been attracted to the crowd and I noticed some of the girls in Sally’s room gestured in my direction. I started to feel uneasy, but moved closer. Sally was on the ground, beaten and crying.

I rushed through the crowd of excited girls, tore off my shirt, wrapped it around her. Some boys came to my aid and we got her to the Porter’s lodge where the hall warden questioned those who knew about the incident. Sally had been borrowing her jewelries and clothings from her room mates all through from hundred level. She would steal snacks that her friends brought from home. She stole money on some occasions and these operations had gone unnoticed for 3 years. In her defence, she used to volunteer to wash clothes for her room mates. She also gave them the raw foodstuffs from her parent’s farm. So, technically they were paying her back in kind. That was how my mouth opened and could not close as she made her case between sobs and nose blowing.

It was that day I knew Sally was Salewa Aiyekoto, the daughter of a village high priest in one remote area in Ijebu-Igbo. I don’t know whether it’s the name or her father’s professionals, or her village people, but I will never forget about Salewa.

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SALEWA

By Jonathan Oladeji

I don’t know how many people have met Salewa before, even if it is not the Salewa I am talking about. What can you say is common about every Salewa? It’s usually their room mates that can testify better.

I met Salewa in my 200 level and she told me her name was Sally. I stared at her for hours before managing to pick a seat behind her in the then AUD 2 on the Great Ife campus. Salewa is the typical tall, slim, dark and beautiful (TSDB) girl. I approached with all caution because I wanted to make a good impression.

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