All posts by Florence Ezekafor

Welcome to the artistic words of creative writing. I'm here to share my writing journey and what I learned. I write poems, fiction and inspirational thoughts. Hope you find them interesting.

Inspired Sunday: The Man With Five Little Children

Shout out to all the single parent out there. God bless you all.

I saw one man in the church today with five little children in his hands. The last one is around eight months and the first around nine years; difficult stage for mothers you may say and this man is playing this role all by himself.
I asked myself questions like, where is the mother to these children? Working on Sunday? De@d? Travelled?
I looked at the man with premature grey hair and a gloomy face.
And why are his children’s clothes squeezed out of shape and why the boys hair and even his own unkempt? Why are the girls dressed in skirt and blouse that do not agree with each other and why are they all eating chocolate upon chocolate till the end of service?
I was cracking my brain when someone said that his wife, the mother to those children di£d while birthing the eight month old baby in his hands.
I felt pity for him. Who will help him? Who will take care of those kids like their mother?
What a life!
But I saw one thing in that man; a man determined to take the bull by the horn and play the role of both mother and father for a while.
Motherhood like fatherhood is hard. Now think of being both as a single parent.

Hope you’re having a great Sunday. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Vain Gain

Ben, filled with so many regrets, dragged his feet to the door. His index finger worked on his chest, on the  brownish stain on his navy blue robe and wondering why on earth he now lived alone, why his family weren’t there and why everywhere was ghostly quiet in that house, as if he just w oke up to reality.

He had lived without his family for one year, but it always seemed like he lost them yesterday. Its hard to move on. It’s just hard.

He reached for the door handle, stared at it for a while, opened the door a little and peeked into the street.

As he searched for the delivery man with neck turning left right and left, with eyes squinted against sun rays, he saw the group of onlookers gawking at posters leaning on  metal poles.What could it be they were looking at?  He pulled his head back inside the house and peeped through the window at the man hastening towards his door.

‘Mr Oy!’ The man called. ‘Come out here and see this for yourself.’

Ben glared at his robe and ran upstairs, changed into something better and joined the group outside.

He gawked at the posters. What were his photographs doing on them? What the…! He whispered as his eyes sped through the letters.

There, glaring back at him, were his secrets.

Who was out to destroy him? Joy? Janice? They were the only ones he told

Ben hurried up through the tickled readers and yanked the posters off the four tree trunks, and wished someone exploded with  idiocy.

It must be Janice. Joy would never hurt him.

What else did Janice want? She was supposed to move on after destroying his marriage and ruining his life.

Six years ago, Janice was the woman for Ben; the one he wanted from the bottom of his heart to spend the rest of his life with.

And whenever she said amidst laughter ‘One day, you will wake up to my absence’, Ben had always thought it was one of her jokes. She would never leave him.

But she did. When he needed her most.

His asthma had hit hard and he was critically ill at the hospital. She was to take care of him but she did not show up at the hospital and never showed up again. He never saw her until after he got married to Joy. Joy was the pretty nurse who took care of him at the hospital and captured his heart. But Janice would always be prettier and lovelier.

Thats why The day his wife put to bed and was still at the hospital, she stood at the door with tears in her eyes. She was sorry. She could bear seeing him in his condition. It pierced her heart to see him in pain.

Something awakened in him and forced him to reach for her hand and let her in.

Few months later, he returned from work  and saw her at the dinner table silently eating dinner with his family. Instinct told him to run but it was too late.

‘Janice here wants to have a word with you, honey. I’ll leave you both to talk. I’ll join you when you’re done.’

What wife would leave his husband alone with such a pretty woman? But his wife trusted him that much. He stared at her back as she carried baby Fortune on her shoulder and walked into the room without glancing back.

‘!Why are you here?’ He whispered

‘!Ben. I’m pregnant with our baby!’

‘How! Why!’

She got up and walked to the door. He was scared…scared his wife would find out and leave.

His wife walked back to the dinner table and stared into his eyes.

‘Why was she here?’ He heard the question but could not answer, and was relieved when she  did mot say anything further. But he was afraid of what would follow that visit.

A week passed and nothing happened.

Then two weeks later, on Sunday, he was before his computer and his wife in the kitchen when a knock came on the door. He glared at it and hoped it wasn’t what he was thinking.

It was! It was her. With a big  bag laden with God-knows-what.

She left the bag and walked past him into the house.

‘What are you doing?’ He asked. Her hand glided to her shoulder and she whispered into his ears,

‘Our baby needs you.’

‘Janice, listen up, if you know what is good for you, go and do something about that baby! I’m warning you. Stop it! I’m happily married. Dont spoil…’

His wife walked into the sitting room. Glared at them for a while before picking baby who was crying in baby stretcher.

‘What is she doing here…with a travelling bag?’

‘Ask this shameless woman! She is just like every other girl in the street looking for the owner of a child growing in their wombs!’ He said and regretted saying that. For Janice stood up, went to the door and dragged her bag into the second bedroom. They both stared at her without words.

His wife handed him the baby and walked to the door and knocked…was she not  supposed to kick the door open, burst into the room angrily and drag Janice out of the house? Why was she so soft with her.

She opened the door for her. She stared hard at him before closing the door. He did not hear them shouting.. he wished they did. As he  placed his ear at the door and listened, he heard his wife’s sob. What? Then the door snapped open and she picked their girl from him, ran into their room. He rushed after her. He met her sitting in the rock-star with Fortune on her bosom.

‘She’ s pregnant with your child!’ When he did not say anything she said, ‘ You cheated on me with your ex!’

‘Joy, I’m sorry for this. I’ll make sure she left.’

‘Tell that to yourself because I’ve called my sister to pick me up. She will be here any minute.’

‘No, Joy! Honey, you’re my wife. You can’t do this. Fight for your right!’

‘Leave this room, Ben, before I lose my cool! Leave!! This minute!!!’ And he left. Hurried to Janice and dragged her bag out of the house and pushed her out of the house. But Janice was a hard nut to crack.  Before he knew it, his sister-in-law was already there in front of the house. And without a word to him picked Joy, screeched her tires on the driveway and zoomed off.

Joy left him. He did not feel good about it. He couldn’t have. She and Fortune were the  best things that have happened to him.

But when Janice turned into an angel and made him feel greater than he had ever felt, he felt that losing them was sort of blessing. Little did he know that he was being fattened for the slaughter.

They got married…he and Janice after three months.

Two years later, he found out she was having an affair with his boss at the office. It came as a surprise. How did they meet?

It was too much to bear! And he did walk into his boss’s office and punched him in the face for shamelessly admitting to have slept with her even though he was sorry.

Janice was sorry too. But that did not stop him from serving her a divorce letter and didn’t mind when she took their child with her…after all, he needed a paternity test.

In the midst of all the turmoil, he began to feel this wired desire to be all by himself, isolated. This feeling cost him his job and now he was a depressed as hell.

Two weeks later, a knock came on the door. He refuced to open it.

But he jumped to his feet when Joy called his name. His daughter wanted to see him. Ben knelt down and hugged his girl.

‘I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry!’

Florence Ezekafor

For Those Who Fix Their Eyes On Fat Dough

I lie where I failed, asleep in the pool of my blank sheets. But I must sit up now, pick my pen and trace my root.


Imagine you’re stressing yourself out every day of your life, putting in all the efforts, resourses and energy in your job, just to keep food on the table. JUST to keep food on the table! As if life is all about food – I know, food is as important as life itself, yet, I refuse to shove aside these other things like being able to own luxury houses, buy designers clothes, shoes, bags and stuff like that, going to the best hospital for medical attention and buying any of the posh cars in town.

And do stuff like going on vacation to most relaxing destinations and seeing the amazing places of the world.

For those who constantly keep their eyes on their dough and how lean or fat it is, working for peanuts can be a daunting task

I call myself a teacher, a guilty one who can’t be a part of nation’s future building anymore because I wanted a fat dough.

Yes, a fat dough means I could cater for my needs without shedding blood through my eyes.

But teaching is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had the chance to do, but each time I set eyes on my monthly alert, sighs escaped my lips.

I found teaching in my country frustrating! And when I left, I swore to never go back, at least not here.

I’m not frustrated by the teaching profession itself because I enjoyed my time with those children and even now I feel like I have left my call in pursuit of nothing.

But there was nothing I could do to keep myself in the position where I could be a part of the great future of these brilliant, bright eyed, carefree children.

Teachers are painfully underpaid both in public and private schools. You will see teachers getting between 20, 000 and 70,000 naira as monthly salary. That is approximately between $50 to $170 a month, less than a weeks expenses for family of four.

For those who are lucky enough to miraculously find a teaching job with over 100 thousand ( I heard there’s a school which pays its teachers a whopping 300, 000 or $724, God bless them) there is no need to grumble. You are completely rewarded.

By the way, I was offered a teaching job in United Arab Emirates with good working condition and 3,600 AED (407, 000 naira) to teach kindergarten, I thought it was too small and murmured. When I returned to my country and the first school I got interviewed in told me they would start me off with 25, 000 naira, I went mad and I asked myself question like, what have I done wrong?

The school I’m talking about has its students tuition at 60, 000 naira per term and with 34 students in the class, I deserved not less than 50 000 a month which would be 150,000 a term. Not that it was enough for my expenses but I would have managed it.

By the way the minimum amount a parent with three kids like me spends on feeding alone here can be placed around 40, 000 and you must keep it extremely well managed you know, like having your tape, balances and measuring cups for every ingredient, otherwise, you will have yourself to blame.

While some private schools with high standards pay applaudable sum to their teachers on monthly bases, some pay near to nothing, especially if you are not a “proper teacher” ( a proper primary teacher should be licenced to teach with NCE, BEd, MEd or DrEd or whatever it’s called.

Yet, with your Bsc and BA and postgraduate Diploma in fields other than education, you’re the well sort after in primary schools because they know you’re less qaulified and thereby less expensive. Having a quick 1 year teaching course does not make you a proper teacher here.

So what adds to your worth is definitely the Education specialty. You must have 3 to 4 years course in education to be qualified to open your mouth and say that you are underpaid, otherwise your mouth should remain zipped. After all no one is forcing you to follow that path.

I’ve made my research and I’ve found top ten countries places where teachers feel well rewarded. According to Forbes, these countries are trying hard for their teachers

Countries Average Salary(annual)

Swtzerland $110,000

Luxembourg $98,000

Canada $56,000

Germany $64,000

Netherlands $60,000

Australia $61,000

United States $60,000

Ireland $53,000

Austria $50,000

Denmark $52,000

It then means that teachers are not underpaid after all. At least not in the above countries.

And we expect teachers to get out of their countries and go to where they’re valued rigjt?

Yes?

But the thing is, they are not rich enough to get out of the country. If you consider the financial aspect of getting out of the country.

And I think they should stay and build the nation, for the sake of these children, fixing their eyes on God for heavenly reward.

I wish things changed for teachers for good.

Florence Ezekafor

Trouble Walked Up To Me

A young boy collapsed at my doorstep!

I loved corn pudding dearly and he was a corn pudding hawker. I couldn’t resist the urge to call him when he was passing by my building shouting, “Buy your hot agidi jelof! Buy your hot agidi jelof! Hundred hundred naira!”

He was a secondary school aged boy and the first thing that came to my mind was, this boy should be in school. Why is he hawking while other children are in school learning?

I studied him as he got closer with his tray loaded with many wraps of agidi and his neck looking so short under the weight.

He looked tired and worn out and… sad. And I was still thinking of how unfit he looked to hawk under the blazing sun when he toppled and collapsed on the ground  before me, with my toe too close to his lifeless looking body.

I took two steps nackward and looked around as if I knocked him off and making sure no else saw me doing it. The hunger for agidi vanished and those delicious agidi now looked like gravel to me.

“What happened to him?” My neighbour asked from her balcony.

“I dont know.” I said and shove the boy and called since I did not know what else to do.

My concern was this, if anything happened to this boy at my doorstep, people would gather and ask me what happened. And how would I explain to them that I called him to buy agidi only for him collapse before me. How easily would they believe that I did not do anything to him? And who would be my witness when the police would come?

“Take him out of there madam before people go gather on top of your head.” My neighbour said in pidgin English. And she was right. They would gather and ask what happened, and I better have a good answer.

“Come and help me, ma!”

Who? Me? No be me and you. I no wan trouble on top the one wey I don get for my hand.’ I stared at her with my palm hinged on my waist and back at the boy.

The boy turned to lie on his back.

“Please ma, give me water to drink,”  he murmured, his breathing was fast and shallow. I got the water and he drank it.

“What is your name?”

“Ekene,” I stressed my ears to hear him.

“Ekene, are you sick?” He nodded and  roamed his eyes as if he just realised he was in the middle of nowhere. My neighbour joined us. People began to drop one after another asking, what happened to him? Is he sick? And it was my duty to say the same thing over and over again, “I dont know, he collapsed before me.”

“Is he sick?” They kept asking. To this I said nothing. How would I know?

“Are you asthmatic?”  My neighbour asked.

The boy shook his head.

“Who sent you to hawk?” One man asked.

“Please take me to the hospital. If you take me to the hospital, I will be fine.”

“I need to call your parents first. To let them know were taking you to the hospital.” I need a number to call.”

“I dont have parents. Call my madam.”

“Oooooooh! No wonder.” people murmured. “This woman is over-using this boy for her selfish gain. Look at him! Tired and worn out and yet she had the mind to send him out to hawk in his state. If he was her son, would she do this to him? And why didn’t she put him in school like his fellow children?

I listened to their rant as I dialled the number he gave me. A woman answered and I told her what happened. When she said I should put her on a cab to bring him home, I said no. “Come here madam,” I said, ” it’s a matter of life and death.”

“I’m coming,” she said and the line went dead.

People began to disperse, leaving me and him.

“Auntie!” I turned towards him and he said, please I want to ask you for something. I’m sick with malaria but that’s not why I fainted. I fainted because I want money to register for my Senior WAEC. I want you to help me.”

“What?”

He told me the story of his life. How he dropped from SS3 because no one could help him pay WAEC fees. He had no relative to help him and his little sister. He was the one fending for both of them.

“Who do you live with presently?”

“My employer,” he said.

“She employed you to hawk agidi?”

“Yes, ma. It’s not her fault. I chose to do this to make money for my WAEC, but its hard to save.” At this point I thought I knew what happened. He feigned the whole thing to get me pay his WAEC fee. And he was telling me to my face that he feigned fainting.

I was about to scream his head off when he said, “Ma I didn’t mean you should pay for me. Take me to the hospital and leave me there. I want the doctor to help me get some money from my employer.

I got it. If I took him to the hospital, he would tell the doctor to extort his WAEC fee from his employer by adding some extra cash on his hospital bill..

How amateur his plans! How did he think a responsible doctor could consent to scam his employer?

“Do not do it. I know how much you need this but please stay away from scamming.

He kept quiet. Then he said after a while, “Ma , please when my auntie comes, do not tell her what I discussed with you,. Please.”

I nodded. “But I would if you carried on with your plans.”

“I have changed my mind, ma. I won”t do it. I’ve changed my mind about going to the hospital.

‘You’re not sick anymore?’ He kept quiet. And when his employer arrived, he got up and staggered home by her side. All that I wanted to do was take him in as my child and take care of his need and I wished I had all it took to do that. I wished I could help make his life easy.

I wondered why he could not tell his madam to pay him upfront, instead of using tricks.

Two weeks later I saw him happy, still with his tray of agidi balanced on his head. I asked about his health. He was okay and he did not go to the hospital that day. His madam bought him malaria medicine from a pharmacy. And he sat for his WAEC and the papers were easy.

In the end, I could not help but admired his determination to further his education and how he worked hard to achieve his dream on his own.


I see so many children hawking in the streets. Some of these children have no parents and some have single parents who are disabled or too poor to fend for them.

I like that some African countries have criminalized child Labour but I hope they have something in place to help these children.


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