The problem was that the young couples did not want Mrs Brown’s ‘help’, as they felt she was just a nosy old landlady whose interference had a way of turning things from bad to worse. However, Mrs Brown would hear none of this. She always knew how to use her position as landlady to get into the houses of everyone whose marriage she wanted to ‘help’.
She never rented her flats to single people or older couples. She only rented to young couples that had marriages ranging from one day old to fifteen years old. She believed helping them was her divine calling. And since all her kids were grown, married, and out of the country, she had all the time to devote to this ‘ministry’ of hers.
Believe it or not, one of the terms in her customised rent contract is that polygamy is not allowed in her house, she must not find out about the presence of any third party on the matrimonial bed. Also, once you separate from your spouse, you will have to leave the house once your current rent expires.
These rules were appalling to people that intended to rent, but they still rented anyway because they were desperate for accommodation, and secondly, most of them were young couples who never actually intended to separate from their spouses, so it was all well and good for them.
She even always has extra keys to the flats of new tenants, and sneaks in to their house in their absence, until they eventually find her out, and change their locks. One tenant even told his neighbours that she had walked in on him, and found him naked, before he realised she had an extra key.
Talks of ‘“Who is that woman by your side?” “She is my sister ma.”, “Who is that man I see you hugging?”, “He is my uncle ma.”, “If he is your uncle, should you hug him? Why can’t you go on your knees to greet him?”’ were the norm in that compound.
As such, even though Mrs Brown had a very nice building, with spacious flats, tenants never lasted long in her house.
One particular tenant that could not wait to leave that house was Niyi, who had tried in vain to stand Mrs Brown’s ministry, but was unsuccessful. His marriage was two years old, and he was very handsome and tall. He also had a very friendly disposition towards everyone he met.
His friendliness and beauty was a thing of concern to Mrs Brown, as she considered this to be a sign of a womanising man, and a womanising man would eventually make his wife insecure and give her heartache, which would eventually lead to an unhappy marriage. And an unhappy marriage in Mrs Brown’s house would be a failure, and serve as a big blow to her ‘ministry’. Because of this, she decided that she would keep a special eye on Niyi.
Niyi was already getting tired of her nosy interrogations and comments, and was always at the edge of blowing off his top, but his wife always tried to calm him down.
One day, he was talking to his sister about a family matter in his car. Seeing Mrs Brown walking towards him from a distance, he knew a problem was brewing around the corner. Immediately, he turned to face his sister directly, pretending not to notice her.
When she finally got to him, she started
Mrs Brown: Niyi
Niyi: (Muttering under his breath) Yes, Jezebel? (Turning around) Oh, I'm sorry, ma. You sounded like someone else I knew.
Mrs Brown: Who is this you are talking to, does your wife know you are downstairs in your car with a strange woman?
Niyi: Yes ma, she knows. This is not a strange woman, she is my sister.
Mrs Brown: How do I know you are telling the truth?
Niyi: If only you had changed the lens of your glasses, like I recommended, you would have seen the resemblance between us.
Mrs Brown: You don’t have to be so rude with your remarks. I am only trying to help you, and watch out for your wife.
Niyi: Thank you ma, we appreciate that.
On another occasion, Niyi was on leave from work, and his female cousin had come to visit him at home. Immediately she got into the apartment, Mrs Brown got on the prowl. She went to the front of his apartment, and strained her ears so she could decipher whatever it is that might be going on in his house.
After about one hour, she couldn’t stand the mystery anymore, so she just knocked. Niyi knew it was her, so he refused to open the door. He told her to go away, that he was sleeping.
Mrs Brown: I am here with the carpenter. Remember you made a request that your kitchen cabinet be fixed.
Niyi: That is very strange. I made that request 18 months ago when I just moved in, and nothing has been done about it since then. I wonder how come you remember, even when I have fixed it and forgotten about it.
Mrs Brown: Well, I decided to be a darling, and do something about it.
He finally opened the door, and before he knew it, Mrs Brown pushed it wide open with a power he never imagined she had in her, and went straight into the living room.
Niyi: I thought you said you brought the carpenter. Where is he?
Mrs Brown: (Looking at the woman in the living room) Seeing what I see here, the absence of the carpenter is hardly important now.
Niyi: And what are you seeing here?
Mrs Brown: Who is this in your living room?
Niyi: (Hardly believing his ears, irritated, but trying to be polite) She is my cousin ma.
Mrs Brown: (Eyeing Niyi and the lady) Are you sure, are you telling me that there is nothing going on between you two?
Niyi: Absolutely ma. There is nothing going on between us.
Looking suspiciously, Mrs Brown hissed and walked out
Later that afternoon, Niyi took his thrash out, and saw his cousin off to the car park.
On his way back to his apartment, he saw Mrs Brown doing something he had never imagined or thought possible. It was a sight of Mrs Brown going through his thrash.
Niyi: Excuse me ma, what is going on here?
Mrs Brown: Ooh, not to worry. You claim she is your cousin. I will prove to you that she is not, when I find the condoms you used for protection!!!