If you haven’t lived in a public house or if you didn’t grow up in one I am sorry to say you haven’t really lived the Nigerian live. There are different types of public houses, the good, bad and ugly, the friendly types, the neighborly types and so on, today I will be talking about funny experiences, memories and what take place in public houses.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon but my mum made sure we lacked nothing, that woman is one of the best on planet earth, when VCD player came out we would go hang on the neighbors windows, forming batman peeping just to get a glimpse of Chinese movies, my mum would catch us and cane the devil out of us, well me especially my brother was in boarding school, sometimes I’d prefer the neighbors food to ours because I felt theirs was cooked with more money but before they will let me eat they would have sent me on tons of errands I didn’t mind at all I set my eyes on the price be it meat or bones.

I was a runt, stubborn as hell, I fought everyone but I was really small in size so I was nicknamed “Terrorist” we weren’t many kids in the compound just the landlord’s six kids, myself, the girl who lived with us {Ekwutus} and a girl who stayed with her uncle {The Womanizer}. I was the leader of this pack, I decided who’s window we would go peep in to know if they were having sex, to know who was cheating on his girlfriend so we can tell the nice auntie when she comes loll, for a reward of course, I was so small that I was able to squeeze myself into the burglary proofs of windows to help neighbors who forgot their keys inside and sometimes I’d go back and tiff money, heheheeheh.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

I hated those big uncles, they never minded their businesses, so I was a kid who had a crush {Williams} my mother is the strictest person I know, she had special canes for each offence, well one day she went out and I knew she wasn’t going to be back till evening so I decided to invite dear crush over, I bathe wore a very short nicca, now I think of it what would we have done sef? Anyway those stupid uncles decided to come to the window and peep and saw me lying on Willy’s legs and all hell broke loose, they beat the crap outta us, as in ehn, aunty philo was even worse, I had saved 300 naira to buy a jacket from her, and whenever I asked for the money or the jacket she would threaten to tell my mum about that day, the other uncles were satisfied with beating us but not aunty philo anyway she eventually told my mum and till today when I think about the midnight beating I received I still shudder loll, imagine my surprised when I saw aunty philo recently  at an Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo event I covered memories came crashing down.

We had a neighbor who died of HIV then, we didn’t know it was HIV we just assumed spiritual attack, so his wife took him from church to church, even TB Joshua but he wasn’t attended to, the story back then was he slept with prostitutes got the disease, the wife contracted it and when she got pregnant the new baby got it also, the only person who didn’t get it was the child they moved to Lagos with.

My first and only love letter was to my landlord’s son Ifeanyi, I have never told anyone this, one minute we were friends the next minute he looked so handsome anyway he turned me down I was like a younger sister to him, today when I see him I dodge dude aint looking so fly no more.

I bath naked, stole, fought, peeped, blackmailed, got molested, ahan I broke into neighbors kitchen at night and ate their food, damn Bella you don really commit o, I think about these things now and laugh but back then it was survival of the smallest, and yes the girls touched themselves in the bathroom I touched especially when the koko started growing on our chests and when bier bier started showing.

What’s your public yard experience, share we would love to have a laugh or cry over it.

Isabella Ibeji.