Interview With Turning Stick: “I Am Not A Man Of War”

March 5, 2021

Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.


After last week’s romantic interview with Lagos and Traffic, today’s interview is more of a learning session. My subject is the amazing Turning Stick. Yes, you know the Turning Stick, but do you really know him?

We spoke about his main job and side hustle, as well as the annoying way Nigerian mothers use him against their children. The Turning Stick has really witnessed a lot, and this interview will show you just how much.

Zikoko: Thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Turning Stick: Thank you for having me.

So tell me, did you choose this life?

I think it chose me. When you are fashioned out of wood and given a name like ‘Turning Stick,‘ your prospects are limited. I can’t dress up today and say I want to go and work at PiggyVest.

I have resigned myself to my job as a household item. That has made all the difference.

How is life as a household item?

It depends.

On what?

The kind of household I find myself in — what they eat, how much they eat, things like that. My work in a small household can be to just make Eba, turn Amala or Semo [gags], and maybe Jollof rice on Sunday.

If I’m in a larger household, I know I have to be a part of party preparations and all those kinds of events.

Do you enjoy it?

Asides from dipping my precious head inside that nasty thing called Semo?

Semo needs to be sent into the evil forest at this point.

That thing is cursed. I only enjoy working with Eba and Amala.

*Sigh*

But back to your question, I actually enjoy being a household item. It is safer. There is no chance that the Nigerian police can pick me up or collect bribes from me.

Until the government creates a law that all household items have to start paying tax.

I hope that the family I live with would have moved to Canada by then.

Screaming.

For many people, I am just an ordinary stick. Nothing more. They don’t even pay me serious attention. This is why, when they discover my pleasurable side by mistake, they realise that I have range.

Err. What pleasurable side?

Say, for example, someone smacks you with me, and you moan instead of crying out in pain.

Wait, that happens?

Oh yes. That’s the reason one man and his babe promoted me from kitchen equipment to bedroom appliance. They were playing together in the kitchen, and he said something funny, so she smacked him.

And he moaned…

Yes.

Omo.

At that moment, it dawned on both of them that they had been underestimating me. I was just smiling because they finally unlocked a part of me they should have discovered a long time ago.

Wow.

The pleasure part is my side hustle. Food is the main job, and on the side, I supply pleasure to those who desire it.

And how have you been finding a balance?

I draw clear boundaries. Kitchen time is different from bedroom time, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Humans have needs, and so some people might employ me for pleasure immediately after making Eba.

Don’t you get tired?

I do, but as I said, when you are fashioned from wood and given the name Turning Stick, your life’s purpose is already defined. You can’t deviate. But for real, I am doing fine.

What I just don’t like is when people use me as a weapon of war.

As how?

Go and ask Nigerian mothers now. They are the ones who usually bring me into their crazy punishment schemes. Like, yes, your child offended you. Talk to them or something, but no.

If they have not used me on that child, they will not rest.

Oh dear.

Organise a census of people who have been hit by a turning stick in this life, and you’ll see what I mean. The people who have been hit by a turning stick are more than those who have not.

And those ones who have not been hit will still taste it. It’s almost like a rite of passage at this point. Like, if you are born in Nigeria, you’ll certainly receive a dose of me before you turn 20.

It’s like breakfast. Everybody will surely eat it. The timing might just be different.

I received mine for the first time at the age of 8…

Oho.

Apparently, I have eaten my own breakfast.

For real, I am sick of being a part of this violence. I want to tell Nigerian mothers, don’t use me to do your dirty work! Face your problems like a reasonable human being.

Don’t look at me and decide, “Hmm. Retire small from turning Eba, come and flog my child for me.” Don’t take advantage of how thick I am and decide that you will take me to your debtor’s house to threaten them.

Ah, that also happens?

See, if you know what my eyes have seen in the hands of Nigerians. If you know! Where do I even want to start from? Too many stories. One time, I was owned by this woman who carried me to fight her husband’s mistress.

Excuse me?

I didn’t even know at first. I woke up and saw that I was in a handbag, so I said, “Toh, maybe I am going for a party job or someone is taking me for my side hustle of pleasure.”

Only for you to get down and see something else…

I was just angry. In my mind, I thought, “Madam, foolish your foolish in peace, but next time don’t involve me. Like, your husband is right there. Why not apply me to his head and watch me perform?'”

I thought you said you don’t like fight?

That one is a fight for justice. Not the one you’ll use me to destabilise a defenceless child. I might be a turning stick, but I have morals and take justice very seriously.

Wow.

My personal philosophy is this: there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. This interview is my act of protest.

You inspire me a lot.

Thank you, I’m flattered.

Do you have any final words for the readers?

I am a preacher of love. I feed you and can assist you in the journey to an orgasm, but I draw the line at violence. Especially violence to children. I am not a man of war and I will never be.

Use me to turn Fufu, Semo, Garri or whatever. Just don’t use me to turn the waters of violence. It is that one that will vex me.


Check back every Friday by 9am for new stories in the Interview With… series. Read older interviews here.

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