Doorbell rings.

“Eriife!”, I screamed

No answer.

Sigh. I did not particularly like answering the door at my sisters, I hated the awkward meetings and questions. “Aha, The Law!, igba wo lode? Daddy ati Mummy nko? Bawo ni ise? Awon boda nko? When are we meeting them? Is your Sister at home? Her Husband nko? The kids? Grandma nko?

“They are not home Ma”

“Ahan, where did they go?

I got to he door, looked through the peephole.

No one.

Who is there?. I called out “It’s me”, a child’s voice said

I opened up.

A scrawny looking young girl of about 8 years was at the door looking like she was about to burst into tears.

“Good afternoon Ma”, she said “How are you?”, she was apparently from the next flat because the door was open and she kept looking in that direction. “I’m not fine ma”, she holds up a tattered black hair net, “please help me sew it”


“Sew it?”, I collected the net and held it up. A good portion of the net was ripped,”what happened to it?”

“I don’t know, please help me sew it before my mommy will come back, she will soon come back, please please”

She was almost in tears now.

“There’s nothing I can do dear, just explain to your mommy, she’ll understand or come and call me when she comes I’ll explain to her”

“Nooo, noooo, aunty please please help me sew it”

I was helpless and confused for a bit. Although I caught her eyeing my black hairnet gently embracing my head, which was similar to hers.

Ok you know what? See all these loose ends? Start tying them together and it will be okay.

Okay. She said.

I heaved a sigh of relief as I watched her close the door to their flat.

Barely five minutes later she was back at the door.


“Please help me, my mommy will beat me, please aunty, please please ”

“But what do you want me to do”

“Give me your own” she cried holding on to me.

Na wa o, which kain fear is this one, I thought.

I had no choice but to give her mine o.

She wouldn’t budge till I did.

I don’t ever want my kids to be that afraid of me! Because of hairnet?!


And some parents will call it discipline.