Author: GODFIRST PONJUL NDAM
[Admission list came out and Manbyen is admitted into the Federal University of Langtang to study English language B.A. She has been excited since the day she printed her admission acceptance sheet. Both her parents and everyone most especially friends in church celebrated and congratulated her. The night before the day she leaves for school after the resumption and the registration date has been called off for new students to embark on registration and start lectures immediately because of the internal strike that has retrograded the school’s academic calendar. Her dad and mum sit her down to advise her in the sitting room]
Mr. Ndamson: Manbyen, this night we’re happy that you’ve gotten a school and you’re living to study for your degree as we’ve always prayed but we’re also unhappy that you’re living us. You’re all we’ve gotten and the precious gift God has given us. We want the best for you and we’ll always support you for the best as we’ve always done. In this new environment, you’re going to, you’ll meet people of a different kind most especially the ones I called Demons on campus.
Manbyen: Dad…..Demons on Campus!
Mr. Ndamson: My child, they’re saboteurs lay in wait every session to plunge your destinies, I mean newcomers like you. These are your fellow students whose minds are corrupted and have set up their minds to corrupt others too and left in had I known.
Manbyen: But why would they do that?
Mr. Ndamson: Your mum and I met in the same school you’re about to live to tomorrow. We’re not new to the lifestyle on campus. Perhaps in this 21st century, it is even worse than before. Your mum should tell you more before we pray together for you. [Stretching backward on the cushion for a good posture]
Manbyen turned looking at her mum to hear what she would say.
Mrs. Ndamson: Baby, your dad and I love you. Listen to his words and heed to it. We don’t want you to go and join in living like others who are reaping the fruits of their foolishness in the hands of the ‘Demons on campus' your dad called them. Manbyen, always pray as we’ve taught you. Don’t neglect the assemblies of brethren and look for a fellowship you can join so that your faith can be strong in living the ills of the campus.
Mr. Ndamson: Yes, but one thing we should not forget is that, you should know the kind of friends you keep company of. Friends have the ability of changing you to conform into what they think is best for you not what God sees best for you. Manbyen, my last words to you is that, don’t disappoint us but make God proud and the Ndamsons family proud to. [Serious]
Manbyen: [looking inattentive and carried away by the excitement of going to school the next day. The advices were totally an oversight to her. She managed to respond finally to show she is with them]….. Mum and Dad thank you for the advice and I promise to make you proud and God. [Saying it fast in order to go back to her room]
After manbyen’s words they both prayed and disperse to their room living Mr. Ndamson going through his files reading with his white medicated glass in the sitting room. Manbyen got into her room and began talking with her friends on phone in a low tone not be heard neither by her mum nor dad. Then it is already 9 minutes to 9:00p.m.
[Manbyen just arrived school. At the school gate, she alighted from the commercial bus that picked her from kangtang local government to Lantang, the capital city of Plateau State. She alighted with her luggage in front of the school hostel gate. At the gate entrance, an embargo is written with metal craft on the top which could be clearly seen by anyone coming named VILLAGE HOSTEL. At the gate, keke napep queue commuting students from the hostel to school. Students trooping out in a rush; some on lab coat while others on their departmental dress coat, others on their personal dress. She stood at the gate looking naive and tired waiting for her cousin coming to help her with her things to her hostel room which is off campus called RUSAU. Manbyen wore a long mother mary skirt and simple clothe that covered every part of her body. Though she is discouraged and belittling the way she dressed after seeing students rushing out for lectures and how they look. Finally, Ava appears looking exhausted as if she has been running. Manbyen countenance expresses her annoyance to Ava]
Ava: nim akuri mman mi kat; seriously, it isn’t my making. We had a production class today and I thought we could finish on time but the lecturer prolonged because we didn’t do well.
Manbyen: Okay I understand. But I hope you finished well. Seriously, I stood here over 20 minutes waiting; I just look like one prodigal daughter [both laughed]. Serious, everybody is looking anyhow and I don’t like it. [Carrying her bag]
Ava: I said, I am sorry now, okay, let’s go so I can prepare something for you, I know you’re hungry and must be tired too. [Holding two of her bags]
Manbyen: I’m really excited I’ve arrived school and I can’t wait to see my department and the entire school premises. [Her countenance expresses her excitement as they walk passed the school gate to the small gate to Rusau]
A knocked at the door, Nora opened with a smiled and Nerat is in bed pretending to be asleep. Entered Manbyen and Ava.
Ava: Una don dey mad fa. How many times pesin go knock before una ears go hear. [Looking frustrated and frowning]
Nora: [putting on headphones] Bebs sorry abeg, true true I no hear una knock until I com removed my headphones.
Ava: So you no hear, what of Nerat? [Serious]
Nora: Ask her ooh, shey she dey pretend say she dey sleep. [Pointing fingers at her]
Ava: Nerat [she called] I know say no be sleep you dey [Nerat still pretending]. See, I no dey too like una attitude ooh. [Dropped the bags and headed towards the kitchen. Her house is a safe con with both kitchen and toilet]
Nora: please you can sit down. [She kindly ask Manbyen standing up]
Manbyen: Thank you. [Putting her bag down to sit down on the reading plastic chair at the corner of the room with a table and books on it]
Nora: So how was your journey and your parents home? [She asked nicely as she has always been]
Manbyen: The journey was fine and my parents are fine as well. [Turning back to look at Nerat who just wake up from her pretentious sleep as she perceived the aroma of Indomie noodles oozing out from the mini kitchen]
Nerat: Sister, you don show. [Looking loosed and unruly]
Manbyen: [turned wondering if she is also a student or a prostitute because of how her hair looks and the way she dressed. She managed to reply her] Yes. Thank you. [Turning back to face her front]
Ava: [Called Manbyen from the kitchen] Manbyen nim akuri come and help me carry your food outside. I know you’re famished already.
Manbyen: Okay. [Stood up and walked to the kitchen while Nerat stares at her]
Nerat: Bebs dey food don do ne my stomach no be for here oo [squeezing her face]
Ava: Shey na sleep you dey, hmmmm. Food never do ooh, continue with your sleep. [Answered from the kitchen]
Nerat: You want make pesin die before you go carry food com. [stood up and walked to the kitchen]
They both carried their food outside the kitchen laughing. Meanwhile, Manbyen had sat down eating her own. After their meal, Ava introduced Manbyen to them and told them she is here to stay with her for the meantime of her registration as she equally found the place nice to stay.
[At the Faculty of Arts, Federal University of Lantang. Seen outside are students with colourful dress coats; some in suits and others in cooperate. At the entrance of the faculty, stand two huge security men. Students had seen rushing in for their lectures issuing school fees receipts as a pass or ID card. Manbyen holding a file as some of the new freshers are, walking down the entrance. As she passed in to the faculty, left to her hand is an embargo written WELCOME TO ENGLISH DEPARTMENT. There it is the main office of the department, new students queuing with their file waiting one after another for clearance. Manbyen stands by the queue]
Manbyen: [naïve] please mister, is this English department's main office?
The fresher 1: Yes.
Manbyen: Thank you but what is this queuing for?
The fresher 1: For registration and clearance [moved to fill up the space].
Manbyen: Okay. Thank you [she joined the queue].
Powla: Hey, are you last here?
Powla: Thank you. Please can you join me eat popcorn [she brought out popcorn in black polythene in her transparent bag].
Manbyen: Ah! No, thank you.
Powla: Okay ooo. My name is Powla from Quan-pan local government [stretching her hands for handshake].
Manbyen: I’m from Kantang local government [Reciprocating handshake].
Powla: I knew it; you must be a native of Kangtang because of your brown teeth.
Manbyen: How? [She curiously asked]
Powla: Who don’t know Kantang people with their brown teeth identity? They’re also known for their arrogance and pride. But seeing you from the look of things you tend to be different but maybe is because we’re meeting for the first time.
Manbyen: Thanks for the compliment perhaps this conversation is done now.
Powla: Nice meeting you.
Manbyen: My pleasure.
Manbyen and Powla were cleared from the department and climb up to the first floor of the three storey building for the submission of bio-data and other document in the academic and faculty offices. They spent an hour on queue before having their matric number generated.
[Manbyen went back tired and stressed up looking hungry. She met Ava doing make up to leave. She painted her face with make ups which makes her looks like a prostitute. Enters Manbyen]
Manbyen: Good evening sis. [Looking tired]
Ava: Evening. You’re welcome my dear. You look tired?
Manbyen: Yes ooh. Today is really stressful. We had to get cleared by the department before the submission of credentials in the various academic files of the school. Do you know that we just finished now?
Ava: You should be grateful that you had your registration finished in one day. Less I forget, have you paid your departmental, SUG, NAPSS and TAROHSA dues?
Manbyen: That was the first thing I did before signing my bio-data. [Unbuttoning her dress]
Ava: Wow! It means you’re almost through with the required registration. But have you done your medicals?
Manbyen: That I will do tomorrow.
Ava: Okay. I’m going out with my friends now and I’m not sure if I’ll comeback today. [Looking at her face in the mirror]
Manbyen: Going out by this time sis and you’re not sure if you will come back? [Looking amazed]
Ava: I have a friend’s birthday party tonight. If you wish you can come with us.
Manbyen: I can’t oooh. I’m not here for that and don’t think I will ever be a prey for that.
Ava: [Looking upset with a frown face] so it is us that don’t know why we come on campus. Well, open your eyes my sister, this is campus not a village. We live to enjoy ourselves here for the four years we have.
They heard a knock on the door. Manbyen rushed to open and it’s Nora and Nerat. They entered.
Nerat: Babes, we don late ooh. [Smiling and excited]
Ava: How this gbedu dey do you for body now. Calm down abeg.
Nerat: Shey you know Slimzy dey sing. [Looking at the mirror]
Ava: We know Madam Slimzy.
Nerat: I dey crush on that guy. His voice is something else. Huh! I wish he holds me close as he sings. Awwn!
Nora: Nerat, can you stop this nonsense. Shey you know Manbyen is here.
Nerat: This mother Mary. Well, I know say dey never nak am that is why she dey behave like a pure fowl.
Ava: Enough of this Nerat, can we go now. [Turn to Manbyen] please help me wash the plates and clean the sink and be careful as you use that gas cylinder, okay.
They leave with a chorusful song of REMA titled SOUNDGASM.
Here is a link to ACT One: ACT one
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