I love my mum and dad. I can’t say who I love more, but I can say that I love them on different levels. They are essentially very different people. My dad will always come up straight and direct to the point with you in any circumstance. If you achieve any kind of success, no matter how small, you’d get from him your congratulation and other deserved acknowledgement that may come with such achievement. My mum, on the other hand, would tell you: “Don’t even think you’ve achieved anything. There are people out there who have done better than you.” She’d tell you this and then go ahead to act like she is unaware of the success. There is always the repetition she’d subject me to when she is giving me one of her famous advices. Most times, while standing there listening to her go on and on without any sign of stopping, and with my legs giving signs of lethargy, I’d shout inwardly: “Stop already mum, your message is crystal clear and understood!”

However, like I said earlier, I love them both very much. They both work really hard for me and I won’t trade them for another set of parents, except if the new pair comes very open minded and cool with my sexuality.

The year was 2000. I was in primary 4A, class prefect and the most brilliant in my class. On this particular morning, I prepared and left for school. Mum had cooked jollof rice the previous night and part of the leftover was my breakfast. During break time at school, I came home to drink water since my school is a stone throw away from home. I didn’t just come for the sake of my thirst, oh no. There was another motive – to steal from mum. Every break time, I’d come home under the guise of drinking water, and once mum was outside going about her business, I’d sneak into the other room where she kept her sales bag and take out N5 or N10. Then I’d be off back to school, sometimes without even drinking the water. This had been my little drill for some months before the day Karma decided to visit my matter.

On that day, when I returned I returned to school with the N10 I’d taken from mum’s bag, I went on to spend half of it in the school cafeteria. Soon, the break was over and we were back in the classroom. As we got settled, we noticed that our form mistress come in looking a bit rattled.

“Somebody took some money from my bag,” she addressed the class without any preliminary. “If you know you’re the one, come forward now.”

As with this kind of situation, nobody came forward. I didn’t speak up either. I knew I’d stolen some money minutes ago, but the money I stole didn’t belong to her.

“All of you,” the teacher began tersely, “come out and turn out your pockets!”

We all trooped out to the empty space in front of the classroom and began turning our pockets out. At this juncture, I approached the teacher and said, “Ma, I have this N5 with me. I took it from my house before coming to school.”

She gave me a full disbelieving look before saying, “Follow me.”

With my heart beating slightly, I followed her out of the classroom. She took me to 4B, which had a male teacher as the form master, and narrated everything to the man. I stood there in disbelief as she told her story like I was the thief who took her money. Before I could say, “But ma, it’s not your money!” I was thrown into a dark room which was supposed to be a store room and locked me up; this was after I’d been given 12 strokes of the cane.

Following my lock-up, teacher after teacher came to ask me to narrate what happened. And with each narration, I tried with all the zeal of a ten-year-old to convince them that I hadn’t taken my form teacher’s money. I took it from the house, I maintained amidst tears. While inside the dark of the room, I cried and pleaded to these adults. I even confessed that I’d stolen the money from my mum and not from the teacher. But none of them appeared to believe me. I didn’t know why this was so, but looking at it in retrospect, it was the word of a ten-year-old against that of a thirty-something year old, who was their colleague. Expecting them to believe me would be asking for too much.

After some time of staying locked up, from inside the room, I heard a familiar voice. It was mum’s. They had sent for her to corroborate my story of taking the money from her bag. But here is the ironic twist. She didn’t know I steal from her during break period, because at that time, she was yet to count the amount of money she had realized from her sales. So asking her if her money was missing would not yield an affirmative response. She didn’t corroborate my story, and eventually, she had to pay the teacher back her stolen money and left the school soon after that. I was brought out of detention, flogged again and sent back to class.

But that was not the worst of it all. Back home, mum had ground pepper and mixed it with water, as she awaited my return from school. As soon as I stepped into the house and divested myself of my school clothes, she descended on me like a hurricane. She hit me severally and just when I was about to run for my crumbling life, she poured the pepper on me. The fiery liquid reached into the bruises I’d just incurred from my mother and unleashed the most excruciating pain I’d ever known. I fled my house screaming at the top of my lungs. Following the ruckus, the news of what had happened circulated and neighbours began gathering. It was incredulous though, at this point, the story was still that I stole my teacher’s money and lied about it. No one believed me when I said it was my mum’s money instead. As I was there mourning my life, I didn’t know which story of theft I wanted people to believe anymore.

By 3pm, mum left the house for her evening sales. While all these were happening, dad was indoors. He didn’t interfere, he didn’t say a thing. I didn’t expect him to. He was out of a job then, and mum was the bread winner. This had made him reserved in certain family matters, especially when it involved money. However, when mum left, he came to me where I was huddled outside and said, “Hey, Mister Man, get inside and take those panties off and wash your body.”

Quivering and still in pain, I went inside and did as he instructed. Then I went to the kitchen and discovered that there was no lunch. Mum hadn’t made any; no point in rewarding a thief with a full stomach apparently.

By evening time, around the time I knew she’d be back, I left the house and went outside, unwilling to stay in the house within her reach, should she come back home with her rage still simmering. She came back by 7pm, walked past me on the other side of the road before our house without so much as a glance in my direction. By 8pm, I was still outside, too fearful to get inside. Our landlady and another neighbour called me to them and asked what happened. For the umpteenth time, I told my story. The neighbour was particularly pissed at how my mother had believed my school teacher beyond every doubt. The two women took me to our house and pleaded with mum.

“I don’t believe that your son stole that money,” the neighbour inveigled. “Most times, he stays in my shop whenever I’m busy in the kitchen and I’ve never complained about or noticed money or any item missing. It’s really a shame you didn’t accord him any benefit of doubt.”

In the end, mum allowed me back inside the house. A few minutes after the women left, dad called from outside. When I came to stand beside him, he asked, “Son, did you take that money?”

“No, I didn’t, sir.”

He nodded, like that was all he needed to know. Then he said, “Ok. Go inside and eat your dinner.”

In that moment, the love I had for him quadrupled.

The matter ended there. Funny thing though, you’d think that incident would discourage me from further thievery. But no. I didn’t stop stealing from mum until when I was in primary 6. That was when I decided it wasn’t worth it.

However, there’s a lesson to this trip back memory lane. This is to that gay guy who’d empty his host’s wallet when he steps inside the bathroom to clean up, or while still asleep after a hook-up sex. Karma is piling up your nemesis. BEWARE!

Written by Michael

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  1. Kenny
    April 09, 09:41 Reply

    LMAO. someone stole from you recently huh?

  2. Kenny
    April 09, 09:46 Reply

    Your mum though, has she changed? Granted she didn’t know you were stealing from her but she shouldn’t have taken your teachers words overs yours.
    My mum will defend me and rebuke those teachers for beating me and locking me up. She’ll then take me home, find out the truth and punish me and the punishment will be no way near what you experienced.

    Are you out to your mum?

    • Delle
      April 09, 10:03 Reply

      I swear. My mum would never take their words over mine. Stealing isn’t something petty especially when you’re being embarrassed in front of the whole school because of it. It’s a dent on your parents image and that’s all my mum would be after. You can’t do that to her child especially when he’s seriously defending himself.
      Oh and woe betide that teacher when the truth finally surfaces…I’d stop here.

    • Pink Panther
      April 09, 10:12 Reply

      Uh, Kenny, is this your first read of the Up And Down Memory Lane series? He’s talked about coming out in a previous episode.

      • Kenny
        April 09, 10:23 Reply

        I’ve forgotten jare. So many things to read on here. One can barely keep up. I’ll go and check it out. I’m interested in his mum’s reactions to him being gay.

    • michael
      April 09, 10:59 Reply

      She is still young to die of heart attack. So no, am not out to her.

  3. lluvmua
    April 09, 09:46 Reply

    wonderful story Michael……. but come to think of it, the thought of stealing from a hookup is mentally disturbing and degrading……. haba naw are people that desperate to get money????? smh and I think our parents are kinda similar….. lol . *winks*

  4. Delle
    April 09, 09:54 Reply

    Do I like your mum? Hmmm

    I miss those days when #5 was valuable. Now however…lol

  5. Peak
    April 09, 10:16 Reply

    Nice read, a lot of it got me laughing. I was puzzled about the intent of this recount, until I read the closing paragraph. Well done.

  6. bruno
    April 09, 10:49 Reply

    lol. african parents… physical abuse and discipline to them are one and the same.

  7. simba
    April 09, 11:02 Reply

    My mother, wouldn’t even allow me to defend myself,because she knows I wouldn’t steal and honestly I wouldn’t. Till date we have that telepathic connection,even tho we never really lived together or much in same country.

    • Pink Panther
      April 09, 11:08 Reply

      How come she hasn’t ‘telepathized’ the fact that you’re gay? 🙂

      • Philips
        April 09, 15:14 Reply

        Pinkie ooooo
        you won’t kill me

      • simba
        April 09, 11:41 Reply

        And who says she dosent know?? Even a blind Mum would decipher my case lol… hahahahahahhahahahahaha

  8. ambivalentone
    April 09, 11:43 Reply

    I really can’t identify with this tho. Ordinary say u too eye popsie meat sake of say ur own small, na to chop beating. Imagine say dem hear say I steal…the killing no be for here. Money no dey tay for our hand o. We wud meekly give gifts from strangers to my mum. My mom hated the idea of buying things outside, so she wud pack our lunch with no break-time money. Any money she doesn’t know about…*shudders*

    • Verified
      April 11, 15:17 Reply

      My mum does the same thing about my lunch pack. She packs our food, along side a bottle of coca cola in our water bottles so we don’t have the need or request for money. I still have that ideology of taking food from home to work, even till date cos we had our lunch from home till we finished school.

  9. Francis
    April 09, 12:03 Reply

    ??? I raid mumsy especially popsy wallet well well. I just had to have my fix of tigernuts and biscuits from the nearest mallam.

    Show ended the day he suddenly came back from work an hour after he had left to find me in his room. Room wey he dey lock, carry key commot everyday. ??

    @Michael your mama harsh die! Pepper water on top wound over N5 which she isn’t sure you stole. Haba! ??

  10. Geeluv
    April 09, 14:10 Reply

    I just love your dad…… he’s really a father. Mind you, the day you come out to your mum… the day you die.

  11. jamie
    April 09, 17:44 Reply

    I’m still a newbie here but I’m loving the stories. I love the closing paragraph. professionally related, and witty. Lol I think Kitodiaries is another sweet haven!

  12. J0j0
    April 09, 22:37 Reply

    Guilty of this crime! Going to mums purse for break time…

  13. jamie
    April 10, 06:57 Reply

    aww, thanks guys, I look forward to exploring Dis place to the fullest….

  14. *•sugarrr•*
    April 10, 08:09 Reply

    Lafffffz….. Huh! I was once beat that I still have the stigma on me. Steal again? Mba.

    Jamie,? welcome Hun.

  15. Reed
    April 10, 08:30 Reply

    Michael mumcy na warrior o! Wow! My mum will rather change my sch dan hear that trash abt me. Lol. Welcome Jamie. ( come to think of it, Una no welcome me o! *justsaying*)lol

  16. Frank_Einstein
    April 11, 14:16 Reply

    Your mum and my mum are kinda like twins in character……i’m so loving the story, and the lesson therein. Thanks Michael.

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