Baba Jeffo and the Hunt for Johnson Baby Oil

People don’t say “true to God” unless they mean it, so I believe him.

If what he’s saying is true, then it’s the answer to my biggest problem. And it’s probably true. I mean Emeka knows these things. He is the only boy in our class who has pressed two full breasts belonging to the same girl.

The only problem with the solution he proffered is that I am the first, last and only child of my mother. We don’t have a baby in the house. Where am I going to get Johnson Baby Oil from?



On the ride back home from school, daddy is moving like an earthworm bathed in salt. It’s only Tuface’s “Dance in The Rain” that totori’s his body like this before, but it’s even Asa’s Bibanke they are playing on the radio and he’s dancing. Who dances to Bibanke? That worship song. I almost want to tap him and ask if his wicked boss finally died of gonorrhoea like daddy is always hoping he would, but I have too much on my mind.

By the time we get into the house, I have concocted a plan. Saving 50 Naira from my lunch money every day will give me 250 by Wednesday next week. Another week and I have 500. That should be enough to buy the Johnson Baby Oil na. If it isn’t then I’ll pour perfume inside ground nut oil and use it like that.

This man is still dancing. He hugs mummy who shouldn’t even be back from work but is sitting down with her Daddy G.O anointing oil and pendant, on the table. She gets up and two of them continue dancing to no music.


Now that my parents have gone mad I will have to move in with them Aunty Helen. She’s nice but only gives her children 150 as lunch money. It will now take me two extra weeks to get the baby oil. I slide to the chair dejected and drop my school bag on the floor.

Mummy and daddy really picked a great time to go mad and start dancing.

Just then, my mother finally sees that I am in the room.

“Baba Jeffo. Jeje my big boy. Jeffscosco. Jefflily. Jeffery 1 of Africa. Smart boy. Blessed child.”

Now I am sure she is mad. Either that or she wants me to wash plate.

She hugs me and looks at me and hugs me again and starts crying. So I start crying. Remembering that Aunty Helen puts too much water in the pot when making her Indomie.

So this is my future?

150 for lunch and water water indomie?

“Jeje, your mother is pregnant! You’re going to be a big brother.”

Hey, they are not mad after all. My tears dry instantly, and my first thought is that my baby oil plan is back on track.

So, I’m going to be a big brother. I will finally have somebody I can tell to go and wash plate. Plus I don’t have to eat water water indomie and live with Aunty Helen. This is good news.

I smile.

My father is smiling too. I understand his joy. I know what he enjoyed to put the baby inside there.

My mummy is smiling also. I wonder why. Maybe she has forgotten how painful she claims it is to bring a baby out. E nor concern me sha.

I hug her and allow her put that 5k annointing oil on my head.



Everyone has heard and is calling to congratulate my parents.

“After how many years”

“Ah God is faithful”

“They have failed”

Annoying people. They’re probably just thinking of the jollof they will eat at the naming ceremony. That reminds me, I ask my mum if we’re expecting a boy or a girl. My daddy replies that anyone the Lord gives us, we will accept. It must be a girl then. God is not wicked. He will not give us a boy to be sharing my Fifa with me.

In my mind, I am already picking out names. I will give her Osaruese. My Basic Science aunty’s name. It means “God, thank you.” It will be my way of telling God thank you for providing Johnson Baby Oil for me when I needed it most.

And if it is a boy, God forbid o, but if for instance it is a boy, I will give him Johnbull. I hate that name.



Five months have passed and every day, every single day, my daddy still dances like agama lizard that they gave red bull to drink when he’s picking me up from school. It doesn’t matter if he’s listening to Adviser Nowamagbe or Beyoncé.  Yesterday, he was even dancing to that Tonto Dikeh song.

I have other things to think about right now sha. Serious issues mehn. Serious issues. I feel like my head is heavying me. I couldn’t even copy note for last period. It was Emeka that borrowed me his note to take home.

I finally used my full hand to squeeze full breast today. Two full breasts o. From the same chest. And. She. Liked. It. I didn’t even tell Emeka this, but she allowed me see her nipples sef. I died, went to heaven, asked Jesus if they will start showing Samurai X on Cartoon Network again, then came back to life to continue looking at the nipples.

Muyi is fine mehn. God. She has been in Mercury since we entered secondary school. But as we just resumed second term, they brought her to our class because her grades have gone up, and she’s now in Diamond, the class for scholars. Her all-back reaches half of her back. And she wears that pink lip gloss that is reigning for all the girls. But it was the day Stephen brought his PSP to school, and she started playing God of War that I fell in love.

I swear to God I love her. I bribed her seat mate with my lunch money and moved to her seat sharp sharp. Even helped her copy note in Edo sef. Before closing she was smiling anyhow based on who I be.

And today, after all the note copying, the 2go chatting, the sweet perfume smelling, she finally allowed me to press full breasts with my full hands. I should be dancing more than my daddy right now, but I can’t.

I don’t know if my mummy is waiting until the baby is almost coming out before she buys Johnson Baby Oil. She has bought SMA Gold. Baby clothes. Even baby bath sef. But oil nor gree let her buy.

And I cannot do that thing without this Johnson Baby Oil. The last time I did it with my body cream, it was like fire entered my trouser and stayed there for hours. My cream is too harsh. And if I say let me just freestyle like that, the way I did when I got home after Muyi hugged me for the first time, all my Junior will start paining me. Emeka said I have sensitive skin there. That’s how his own is too.

And Johnson Baby Oil is the best thing for doing it. The same Johnson Baby Oil that mumu supermarket woman near our house said she won’t sell separately from the set of other Johnson Baby something that go for like 3k plus. How many egg rolls will I miss during break to pay for that one?

Mummy who I thought would have bought the set by now so I will pour small from the oil has decided to let devil use her.

And now, Muyi has allowed me to press full breast with full hand and even shown me nipples on top. God knows if I go to sleep like this I won’t wake up tomorrow.



10:15 pm

Na die I see so.

I’ve returned my phone to daddy for the night so I can’t text Emeka on 2go to tell him that I won’t wake up tomorrow and that I’m leaving my PlayStation with him.

I write a letter instead and keep it under my pillow.

Then I write another letter to Muyi to tell her that it’s her full breast that is killing me so. As I’m folding it, a brilliant idea just enters my head.

I rush to my mummy’s room to find my daddy watching Second Chance on Telemundo with her. God, love na bastard. I quickly look at him so that he knows that I’m judging him. Then I tell my mummy that I’m taking her 5k anointing oil we bought from Daddy G.O’s bookshop. She asks why, and I tell her that during Maths period I had a vision that I will dream bad dream this night and so I want to pray. She smiles and says her own prayer for me then gives me the oil.

First, I kneel down and pray the longest prayer I’ve ever prayed in my life for God and Daddy G.O to forgive me for what I’m about to do with this anointing oil. Then I add that God should touch mummy’s heart to buy Johnson Baby Oil quick because the way Muyi was looking when I was pressing her full breast with my full hand ehn, she will definitely allow me press it again. Maybe even do more than press it sef. And if that should happen, and there’s no Johnson Baby Oil, mummy will have to go and buy two more bottles of 5k anointing oil because of all the bad dreams I’ll be dreaming.



It’s as if God told my mummy during her morning devotion what I did with her anointing oil because I am still sleeping the sweetest sleep of my life when she wakes me up to tell me we will be going to the market later today to buy some baby things.

We drive to Oba Market and climb upstairs. She buys me one new Naruto wrist watch and then enters one shop where it’s like they only sell Johnson Baby something. Heaven has only one light bulb inside, fan blowing from one wall, and rows and rows of delicious Johnson Baby Oil.

We are back from the market and waiting for Haruna to open the gate when it gets to Davido’s part in that “Osinachi” song. In my mind I sing along with him; “My lovely Muyi sinachi, my baby oil sinachi mo, something something sinachi.”

Then I notice the blood. It’s spreading on mummy’s chair. I tap her hand and she looks at me, then at the blood.



It is evening before they come back from Faith Mediplex. Aunty Helen is in the parlor with me eating the Indomie she made for me that I refused to eat. I lie down next to my mummy on her bed, and my daddy is sitting on the floor near us, watching Man U’s match. All of us are crying. Although I think my daddy is crying more because they’ve scored Man U again.

I am back to being the first, last and only child of my mother. God should just put the baby back inside even if it’s a boy sef. I will manage. We can be sharing my Fifa until daddy buys his own for him. But I know God is not listening to me. He’s still angry with me because of what I did with his anointing oil.

In school on Monday, I’m trying not to cry. Later Muyi takes me to back of staircase to ask what happened. I tell her everything except for the anointing oil part, and she’s telling me sorry. She even puts my hand on her breast sef because she thinks it will make me feel better but my mind knows that there are somethings even full hand on full breast cannot solve.



After a while, I move back to my seat with Emeka. Everything is trying to come back to normal inside me and even at home. These days, when my daddy is driving me home he’s not dancing, but, at least, he’s not as quiet as he was when the baby left.

I hug my mummy when we get home, and she starts crying all over again. Me and daddy make my special pancake and Nutella for her and three of us watch Mara and Clara. I am trying not to run out of the room screaming. The person who put Telemundo on DSTV ehn, e papa lap!

When we know mummy has taken her drugs and is sleeping, daddy puts off the TV and lies down next to her. I go to my room but change my mind at the last minute and head to the store at the back of the house where they have put all the baby things.

Taking a trowel, I start digging a hole in the spot in our backyard where my mummy plants her pumpkin and my daddy sets trap pretending that he’ll ever catch bush meat. When the hole is deep enough, I put the Johnson Baby Oil inside it and cover it with sand.



About the Author:

Portrait - OhumuS.I Ohumu is a person who writes down what the people in her head tell her to. Some of these dictations have been published in Saraba Magazine, The Naked Convos, as well as on her blog ( She has but one major goal; to make enough money to buy all the art and food she’ll ever need.

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

13 Responses to “Baba Jeffo and the Hunt for Johnson Baby Oil | by S. I. Ohumu | An African Story” Subscribe

  1. Wole Fash 2016/06/22 at 4:21 am #

    The day didn’t start like I wanted but this story has just made it all go away. I enjoyed this like it was some gourmet meal I gouged on.

  2. damian 2016/06/22 at 6:45 am #

    Nice write up!

  3. Hannah 2016/06/22 at 7:44 am #

    OMG! I loved, loved, loved this. I was laughing idiotically, and then it turned sad…

    “God should just put the baby back inside even if it’s a boy sef. I will manage. We can be sharing my Fifa until daddy buys his own for him.”

    “She even puts my hand on her breast sef because she thinks it will make me feel better but my mind knows that there are somethings even full hand on full breast cannot solve.”

    Awww. This was amazing. Jeffo’s voice was so strong and sure, he would be an amazing older brother. I like how his focus changed from ‘me’ to ‘us’.

    As for you, Ms. Ohumu, I want to be your new best friend.

  4. ifueko 2016/06/22 at 10:44 am #

    Stephanie, Making me proud since 2011, had a feeling it was you when I saw the name, am proud of you Bae

  5. Ijeoma 2016/06/23 at 1:36 am #

    Good writing,

  6. Fatima 2016/06/23 at 10:06 am #

    This is an absolutely amazing piece on ‘teenage angst’.

    I smiled, laughed and then I cried.

    Very well done Ohumu!!!

  7. Thia 2016/06/23 at 11:24 am #

    This story was awesome. The best part was that it was written by a female, I could almost swear it was a male. Thank you for making me smile today.

  8. chinenye 2016/06/23 at 2:48 pm #

    was worth the time i endured for my slow internet to load this..simplistic and well written

  9. Mariam Sule 2016/06/23 at 4:34 pm #

    Awwww. I loved this mostly because it’s very ‘Bini’. I don’t get to see that often. Kudos

  10. Banku 2016/06/24 at 7:30 am #


  11. Nnamdi 2016/06/24 at 11:54 pm #

    Funny and honest.

    There are really things a full hand on a full breast cannot solve.

    Well done!

  12. Amina 2016/07/02 at 11:04 am #

    Can’t tell you how much i loved this story, oh wait i can! I LOVED THIS STORY!

  13. Ebuka(Echo) 2016/10/04 at 6:46 pm #

    Wow I can’t even say much you’ve stolen my dope@ S.I

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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