I arrived Mando park at about 7pm but my phone was already off. I kept my things with an Hausa man who sells little provisions in a kiosk. I sat down to take a bottle of coke in his kiosk. ‘Please can I find a place in your kiosk to charge my phone as I take my coke?’ I asked the man. ‘E mana, you peet flug your pone hia!’ he responded in his Hausa intonation. I quickly brought out my charger out of my bag and plugged my phone.

After five minutes I tried to put on my phone just to call Ayuba that I have arrived when I heard a beep, it was a text message from Ayuba. “I have tried your number severally but it was switched off, call me when you arrive”. Immediately I called him and it rang until it ended without a response.

I dialed again and this time a man picked the call but it wasn’t Ayuba’s voice. ” Kai, kari ki kira wonon nonban kuma, karuwa” then the man ended the call. I managed to rehearse what the man said to my Aboki friend where I kept my things but I couldn’t pronounce most of the Hausa words well, so interpreting it for me was difficult. Until we got a third party who understands Hausa and English well who interpreted what the man said “stop calling this number again, you prostitute.” After 30 minutes, it dawned on me that thieves had stolen Ayuba’s phone.

Immediately I called Abdul to inform him of the development. He tried to make some calls to help me out but all his efforts did not yield anything good. It was getting late already, I asked the kiosk man of the nearest hotel that is affordable and he called a cyclist to take me to a hotel in Kawo where a room is N4500 per night. I checked in at about 9pm. The following morning I took my bath and picked a taxi drop to Zammani College. Zammani college was not difficult to locate as it is one of the most popular schools in Kaduna.

‘Good morning sir,’ I greeted the security man on duty. ‘Good morning my daughter, how may I help you?’ He asked. ‘I am a Corper from Calabar, I am here in search of my boyfriend who is serving in this school.’ ‘We have four male Corpers in this school but I don’t know their names and no staff is around today being Saturday.’
I quickly described Kenny and he remembered him. ‘That’s Uncle maths, he said. They call him uncle maths because he teaches mathematics in the school. I can give you the vice principal’s number so you can call to enquire from her because I haven’t seen uncle maths in the school for almost three weeks now.’

‘Hello ma’am, my name is Folake Kehinde, I came from Calabar in search of a Corper serving in your school, by name Kehinde David.’ ‘Okay, I guess he’s your brother right?’ ‘Yes madam,’ She thought we are siblings because of our surname. ‘He took permission to be away for two months to attend to some important life issues. He will be back next month.’ she said.

My phone dropped from my hand with uncontrollable tears rolling through my cheeks. The old security man understood the whole drama as he shook his head in pity.
When I got to my hotel room, more than one hundred thoughts ran through my mind in a jiffy. My aim of coming to Kaduna had been defeated, what’s the essence of spending another night in this hotel? I took my things and checked out, took a cab and headed straight to Mando park. The journey was rough because I couldn’t get a direct vehicle to Calabar but I eventually arrived Calabar on Monday morning. Life since then has not been the same for me without Kenny.

It’s now a month since I returned from Kaduna. The vice principal said Kenny will be back in a month’s time. I picked my phone and scrolled to her number. ‘Good day ma’am, this is Folake Kehinde, the lady that spoke to you about Corper Kehinde David last month.’ Okay, Kehinde’s sister, how are you?’ She asked. ‘

I am fine ma, I’m calling to know if he is back.’ No, we haven’t seen him yet and we’ve been worried as well. We have reported to the state coordinator of NYSC. This is really worrisome, where could he be?’ She asked.
‘Thank you ma,’ And I hung up.

Part2 | Part 4

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