It started two months ago, when he arrived Gbogboero Grammar School. He was smart and had flesh like a broiler chicken: the right kind of prey for Borokini and his gang.
At first he laughed every time they called him funny names: tolotolo, dodoyo. He thought they were crass and local, too local to have uniforms on.
The joke lost its humor the day he felt a cold metal to his waist.
‘Those boys handle guns!’ He said amidst loud gasps as he related the story at home. His recently widowed mother burst into lamentation, calling on Sango to fry her in-laws for taking what was rightfully theirs and sending them packing. Watching his helpless mother cry, he knew the only person who could be strong for him had buckled. He must be a man now. He must stand up to them the next time they come for him. And they did come. This time, they landed him on bed-rest for three days.
Akande, the face-marked weed smoker who lived in Room one of their face-me-I-face-you, was a no-nonsense recluse, but for some reason, he liked fat-boy.
‘You no go school again?’ Akande asked after seeing fat boy at home two days in a row.
‘I’m not well sah’
‘Moto jam you?’ His black lips quivered at ‘jam’.
‘No sah. I was beaten.’
‘They beat me for school. Some boys beat me.’
‘Mumu!’ he laughed.
Today, Fat-boy walked home with a broad smile on his chubby cheeks. He kicked a stone in his path again, but felt no pain, no fear: Akande had followed him to school, and left everyone in Borokini’s gang with burst lips and broken limbs.