You are on page 1of 21

Olufunmi Omopariola Olayinka


Copyright Olufunmi Omopariola Olayinka

The right of Olufunmi Omopariola Olayinka to be identified as
author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with
section 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the
Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this
publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims
for damages.
A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British
ISBN 9781849630221
First Published (2015)
Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.
25 Canada Square
Canary Wharf
E14 5LB

Gratitude to my loving husband Niyi, wonderful children
Morayo and Damola and my irreplaceable sisters Bola and
Arin. Thank you all for being pillars of support.

Dont take them away, come back, come back, please, please
I didnt mean to disobey you, please return Carol and the
boy; take me instead.
Steven continued chasing after the very beautiful goddess
running away with his wife Carol, and his son Kola. He was
trying very hard to catch up with them but soon his legs
became too heavy and would not carry him.
Please, please dont take them away, he whimpered.
Steven woke up with a jerk; he was covered in sweats,
Oh, God, he whispered realising that he was having the
same recurring dream again.
He must have fallen asleep while sat on a chair reading a
James Patterson novel. The night is still young, it was only
eight p.m. He freshened up in the bathroom and joined other
patients in the common living room.
It is time for your night medications, called out Evelyn
a short while later. Evelyn is one of the duty staff nurses at the
Saint Catherine Psychiatry Hospital, London.
Dr Steven Attah, a Nigerian trained medical doctor has
been admitted and detained under the section 3 of the British
mental health act for the past two months.
In laymans terms, if he should leave the hospital without
being discharged by his psychiatrist, he will be hunted down
by the police and returned to the hospital, as long as he
remains within the UK.
His admission has been prolonged, because according to
his psychiatrist, Dr Grimes, Steven lacked insight into his
mental health condition and was non-compliant with medical
In laymans terms, Steven is refusing to take the heavy
duty antipsychotic medications prescribed by his psychiatrist.
Dr Grimes has diagnosed Steven as suffering from Paranoid

Delusions, and prescribed one of the newer antipsychotic

medications called Olanzapine.
These newer groups of antipsychotic medications give
you significantly fewer side effects when compared to the
older ones, Dr Grimes explained to Steven.
Yeah, right, thought Steven to himself, bringing up a
mental picture of the few patients he had on antipsychotic
medications whilst practicing as a general practitioner in
Nigeria. He was more familiar with the older antipsychotic
medications, and the long-term pictures for his patients were
not pretty! In his opinion, the medications left most of them
overweight, extremely sedated and with sluggish movements!
He does not believe the newer group of medications are
dramatically different in terms of these embarrassing side
Not on your life, he swore silently to himself. If you
dont mind Dr Grimes, I will prefer to try psychological
therapy you know the so called talking therapy first
before considering these heavy medications, he said and
continued, I know some patients who got better with just
psychological therapies without needing medications, he said
in a desperate bid to avoid taking antipsychotic medications.
Im afraid that is not an option in your case, the
recommended treatment for someone with your diagnosis is
antipsychotic medication, replied Dr Grimes firmly.
Steven felt like screaming at the doctor, but knew that
would probably land him in a more secure facility and on a
higher dose of antipsychotic medication.
Instead he said, I do not agree with your diagnosis, and
refuse to take Olanzapine or any other medication for that
That decision is not yours to make at the moment, you
are being detained under a treatment section which means
we can treat you for some time even if you do not agree with
the treatment. Im afraid we will have to give your medication
by injection, if you keep refusing the oral form, said Dr
Grimes sternly.

Steven excused himself and left the consulting room,

remaining determined not to accept Olanzapine.
Later on that afternoon, Steven sat in his room ruminating
about his discussion with Dr Grimes, given the circumstances
of his admission, he could see how his psychiatrist may have
arrived at his conclusions; he, however, wished the team had
put in a lot more effort into researching spiritual beliefs and
cultural practices of Nigerians before concluding with
absolute certainty that he was delusional.
Otherwise, despite the best of intentions, the mental health
system will only end up stigmatising and make social life
more difficult for members of ethnic minority families,
usually women and teenagers who dare to rebel against certain
barbaric cultural practices. Friends and family members who
share these beliefs or who are, equally, being oppressed are
not likely to tell the truth.
Even if he was indeed suffering from psychosis, Steven
realised that he was more petrified of the longer term side
effects of antipsychotic medications than any psychosis. He
could not get the mental image of premature ageing, arrays of
medical problems including weight control problem out of his
That was six weeks ago. Dr Grimes and the rest of his
team remain unconvinced of Stevens sanity; instead, they
believe that he is cleverly hiding his delusional symptoms
behind a mask of polite conversations.
Steven was admitted from the police station, after he had
been arrested for assault, damage to property and threats to
kill his three closest friends namely, Bode, Bayo and Peter. He
claims that his friends were responsible for the road traffic
accident that claimed the lives of his wife and one of his sons,
through the practice of occultism. The police felt his
accusations were bizarre, since none of his friends were
involved in the road traffic accident. They decided to refer
him for psychiatric evaluation.
His friends, on their part, denied any knowledge of what
Steven was talking about, but refused to press charges, they
appeared very understanding and supportive saying they

believe he was suffering from mental health problem as a

result of the tragic loss of his wife and son. They also
mentioned that his mother had suffered from a similar
condition in the past. Hence, Dr Grimes was totally convinced
of his diagnosis.
Alas, he has no way of proving that his bizarre
accusations of his close friends as being responsible for the
death of his late wife and one of his sons, despite the fact that
they were not physically involved in the car accident was not
a symptom of mental health problems.
True to his word, due to Stevens persistent refusal to
accept his medication, Dr Grimes prescribed Olanzapine
injection and instructed nursing staff to enforce the
medication. Surprisingly, one injection was more than enough
to convince Steven that Dr Grimes meant business. He did not
like the humiliation of being injected against his wish and
quickly decided he needed another approach to his
What is it they say? he wondered aloud to himself,
keep your friends close, and keep your enemies closer! Not
that he had anything against Dr Grimes or his team members,
but there is a conflict of interest resulting from the teams
inability to understand and believe in the existence of certain
cultural and spiritual practices which are foreign to the
western culture and virtually impossible to prove by any
scientific method.
He became very friendly towards Dr Grimess team and
decided to superficially comply with all their
recommendations. He could be a charmer when he put his
mind his to it. He smiled to himself remembering how the
ladies used to compete for his affection during his university
After three months on admission, Steven pretended to
have had a change of heart regarding use of medications,
having come to the conclusion that there was no other way out
of this hospital arrest for him.

He needed to get out of the hospital as soon as possible

for the sake of his only surviving son who is currently under
the care of his brother-in-law.
Members of his late wifes family are all understandably,
very cross with him; they blame him for the untimely deaths
of their daughter and grandson. What they fail to realise is that
he blames himself more than anyone could blame him.
He must accept the mental health diagnosis and be seen to
be complying with medical treatment as much as possible.
He will do everything possible to gain their trust;
thereafter, it should be easy to avoid taking the medication by
keeping it in his mouth and spitting it out when the coast is
clear. Hes had plenty of practice as a child, when he used to
trick his parents into believing that he had taken medications
they had given him, when in fact he had not.
He made a mental note to remember to complain of
sedation and nausea when asked about any side effects he
might be experiencing; it would be highly suspicious if he did
not experience any side effect.
As soon as he is discharged from the hospital, his plan is
to take Bola his only surviving son back to Nigeria and start
his life again from scratch. Firstly, he must go back to the
church which he has turned his back on, confess his role in the
death of his beloved wife and son, pray to God for mercy,
forgiveness and seek Gods protection against further spiritual
attack from the queen and members of the dragon society.
Steven stood patiently in the queue together with other
You look different today, he said to Evelyn, the staff
nurse when it was his turn to take his medication. It must be
your new haircut, it simply looks fabulous.
Flattery will get you nowhere, Evelyn said, smiling as
she put the dissolvable tablet into Stevens hand.
He dutifully put the medication in his mouth and jovially
opened his mouth, sticking out his tongue to show that he had
indeed swallowed the medication.
Afterwards, he walked calmly to his room without
arousing any suspicion, spat out the yellow paste, thoroughly

rinsed his mouth and rejoined the other patients in the living
area for a few rounds of dominos game. At midnight, he
retired to his room and said a quick prayer before lying down
to sleep. As he closed his eyes, waiting for sleep to come, his
mind travelled back to how it all began.

Chapter One
All that glitters is not gold, Steven reminded himself bitterly
as he rushed towards the nearest bus stop from his east
London apartment.
Despite wearing imitation leather jacket and gloves bought
from the Liverpool market, blood circulation to his fingers
seemed to have been totally cut off by the extremely cold
weather, his fingers were now feeling numb.
Steven Attah shares his one-bedroom flat with his wife
Carol, and his five-year old twin sons Kola and Bola.
He wished he had looked more carefully before he leaped!
Until two years ago, he was a successful general practitioner
with a flourishing private hospital and a decent four-bedroom
apartment in a respectable part of Lagos, Nigeria.
Unfortunately, several of his professional colleagues who
were settled abroad, mostly in the UK and United States,
always appeared to be much more successful financially.
Spending money recklessly whenever they came home on
holidays or to attend social functions. The majority of them
owned houses in the very expensive and exclusive areas of
This prompted Stevens decision to move his family to the
UK in search of greener pastures and a better future for their
Carol, his wife who was an established fashion designer
back in Nigeria, was very unhappy with her husbands
Not only were she and the twins comfortable in Nigeria,
Tony, her older brother who has been living in the UK for the
past fifteen years, had warned her that it is no longer easier to
make money in the UK compared to Nigeria, especially if you
have a thriving business in Nigeria, thanks to the global
economic recession.

Carol tried in vain to caution and discourage her husband

from such a hasty and high risk move, all her warnings fell on
to deaf ears. They argued endlessly over the issue, Steven was
convinced that Carols reluctance was down to her being tied
to her parents apron strings and not wanting to be far from
them. In the end Carol gave in to her husbands decision to
move to the UK.
Hello, Steven greeted the grumpy looking bus driver
who looked like he had had a quarrel with his wife before
resuming work.
He waved his bus pass at him as he jumped on the bus,
slightly out of breath; he climbed to the top of the bus
managing to get his favourite seat near the window. He liked
to pretend that he was a tourist enjoying the view of London,
temporarily forgetting all his problems.
Stevens destination is the Homerton Hospital where he
works as a security staff. A job he had recently secured
through his brother-in-laws employment agency.
Tony, his wifes older brother, has his own employment
agency that secures contract jobs for security guards, porters
and domestic cleaners. Steven is well aware that Tony and the
rest of Carols family were not pleased with his decision to
relocate his family to the UK, but theyve managed to remain
friendly and polite with each other for Carols sake.
Since arriving in the UK, Steven has attempted the PLAB
exams several times without much luck. He has never got past
the first stage of this two-stage professional examination
which he is required to pass before he can be allowed to
register as a medical practitioner in the UK. He has spent most
of the familys savings from Nigeria on expensive preparatory
courses and examination fees. Their savings account is almost
empty, which is why Carol pressurised him to take up any
available work through her brothers employment agency as a
means of sustaining the family in the meantime. Tony was
able to assist him in getting a job as a security staff at the
Homerton Hospital.

Steven pressed the stop button as the bus approached the

Thank you, he said again to the bus driver who barely
glanced at him as he got off the bus. Steven walked briskly
towards the hospital, in an effort to clock in on time.
Well, well, well if it is not Dr Steven Attah! a male
voice shouted from somewhere behind him.
Steven looked back, his eyes scanning around quickly for
the owner of the voice.
Bode Ojo! he shouted excitedly, rushing to embrace his
former university roommate.
They both gained admission to the university the same
year, Steven to study medicine while Bode studied
management and accounting. Thus Bode graduated two years
before Steven. They had since lost contact with each other.
Why do you have security staff on your ID badge?
asked a puzzled Bode.
Steven was dressed in a white short-sleeved shirt and blue
trousers with his ID badge dangling around his neck. Bodes
confusion was evident in his eyes as he questioned Steven
I heard that you are now a big shot doctor back in
It is a long story, one that will take all day. I am running
late for work now, why dont you give me your mobile
number? I will call you after work tomorrow.
They exchanged numbers and went on their separate

Chapter Two
Bode was on his way to see his wife, Tola who has just given
birth to a bouncing baby girl. They have been married for nine
years, during this period Tola has suffered three miscarriages.
She has been admitted during most of this last pregnancy
because both Tola and her obstetrician did not want anything
to go wrong. Bode has tried to reassure her that he loves her
with or without children on several occasions, but this has not
reduced Tolas desperation to have a child.
Tola feels insecure and threatened by the fact that Bode
has a son out of wedlock with his ex-girlfriend while he was
in the university. Although they were never married, Bode has
maintained regular contact with his unmarried ex-girlfriend
who is a doctor and her son, both of whom are doing
extremely well in the United States. This feeling of insecurity
has led Tola to seek all sorts of traditional and spiritual
remedies in a desperate bid to have a child which she believes
will secure her marriage.
Guess who I saw on my way here? Bode asked his wife
as he entered into the maternity ward. Tola was sat
breastfeeding her daughter with her face radiating happiness
and pride of motherhood.
I dont know, Tola responded as her husband gave her a
kiss, so who did you see? she asked.
Do you know Dr Steven Attah? He was one of my
roommates during our university days.
I cannot remember meeting him, said Tola, you had
many roommates and girlfriends back in those days, she
Although Bode and Tola were not dating during their
university days, they often attended classes together and were
friends. She was well aware of Bodes popularity.
What was Dr Attah doing at Homerton Hospital? Or does
he now work here? Tola asked.

That is the surprising thing; he was dressed in a funny

looking uniform with a security staff badge around his neck.
We could not talk because he was in a hurry but he promised
to call me tomorrow so we can catch up on old times.
I have decided on a name for our daughter, Tola
informed her husband happily, changing the subject.
Dont keep me in suspense, Bode said, trying very hard
to show excitement.
Our baby will be called Precious, announced Tola as
she changed her baby over to the other breast and continued
breast feeding her.
That is a beautiful and appropriate name, she is the most
Precious thing in our lives, replied her husband with a slight
hint of sadness in his voice.
Is everything OK at home? Tola asked, You sound a
bit stressed.
Everything is fine, said Bode quickly, forcing himself to
sound cheerful.
The truth is that Bode was feeling sorry for his wife
silently, he knew that baby Precious was doomed to die before
her first birthday. Tola does not know that the man she
married has a very big secret.
Bode Ojo came to the UK ten years ago, his parents had to
sell their personal properties and borrowed money from
friends in order to send their first son abroad. The expectation
is that once he is settled down, he will assist his parents in
training his two younger sisters and one younger brother.
Thus Bode was very determined to succeed financially, in
order to live up to his parents expectations.
On arrival in the UK, Bode quickly discovered that,
contrary to the opinions of many people back in Nigeria,
money does not grow on the streets of London. Bode
neglected to tell his parents before coming to the UK that both
the passport and the visa he had bought with a huge amount of
money were not issued in his name. He is therefore not able to
do any work or further training relating to his professional
qualification while in the UK.

However, he did not let anything deter his determination

to succeed. He was squatting at the apartment of his cousin
called Bayo Cole.
Bayo is also a Nigerian; he works as a fitness instructor at
one of the branches of Fitness Pays gyms.
Bode was able to secure a job at one of the branches of
KFC, he combined this with working as a domestic cleaner of
offices on most nights when he was not on duty. He
contributed generously to paying the bill for Bayos
apartment, in order to make sure that Bayo did not get tired of
his constant presence at his place. This was cheaper than him
getting an apartment on his own, and it enabled him to send
money regularly to his parents for the upkeep of his younger
As a result of Bodes generosity in the house, Bayo spent
most of his money and time chasing after girls and organising
parties. He once boasted to Bode that he had fifteen girlfriends
from various parts of the world.
It was at one of Bayos numerous parties that Bode was
introduced to Peter Jacobs.
Although Peter Jacobs was born in Nigeria, he did not
complete high school in Nigeria before his parents relocated
to UK; hence he did most of his schooling in the UK. He is an
established lawyer, single at forty, lives in a three-bedroom
detached house in Peckham, London. He drives a black sleek
E-class Mercedes, is always formally dressed in designer
suits, crisp shirts, expensive ties and with his expensive
leather briefcase.
It was friends at first sight for Bode and Peter. They
liked each other immediately. Bode liked the fact that Peter
was successful and always looked well groomed, in fact he
envied him and would give anything to be in his shoes. They
became close confidants, Peter offered advice and financial
assistance to Bode on several occasions, especially when he
needed to send money to his family in Nigeria.
One Saturday afternoon, Bode and Peter were relaxing at
Peters apartment over a bottle of red wine and cashew nuts in
front of a huge plasma TV watching a football match.

Do you really want to make it in this country? asked

Yes, why do you ask? Bode answered looking
Are you ready to do whatever it takes? Peter continued
his strange line of questioning.
Yeees! replied Bode wondering what kind of a daft
question is that.
Then it is time for me to introduce you to our society, but
first you must promise not to repeat our discussion to any
living soul without permission from me and other members of
our society.
I promise, said Bode with absolute sincerity.
The name of our society is THE DRAGON SOCIETY,
membership is for life, once you join there is no turning
back, Peter informed Bode and continued, Our next meeting
is scheduled to take place next Saturday at the Dragon House
Social Club, you will meet the Elders who will tell you the
membership requirements and formally initiate you into the
That was how Bode became a member of the Dragon
Society almost nine years ago.
Following his acceptance of terms of membership and his
full initiation into the society, other members contributed and
gave Bode ten thousand pounds to assist him in starting any
business of his choice. He was also able to secure a bank loan
and quickly opened an intercontinental restaurant called the
La Carte. Within the same year he became a proud owner of a
three-bedroom house and the latest BMW series.
One summer, Bodes restaurant, La Carte was booked
to be used as a venue for a wedding reception, the bride of the
wedding happened to be Tolas older sister, Tolu. That was
how Bode got reunited with Tola after losing touch with her
for many years following their graduation from the university.
Bode and Tola fell in love and became inseparable. The
fact that Bode was constantly showering her with gifts and
money made the progression to marriage ultrafast, Tola was
not going to risk losing a handsome and rich eligible bachelor!

She turned a deaf ear to anybody telling her to be

cautious. The couple were married within a year of their
courtship, after Tola had called off her engagement to a
resident doctor in Nigeria.
Shortly after his marriage, Bode was able to convince
Bayo his cousin to also join the Dragon Society. For each new
member successfully recruited, the recruiter climbs one step
higher on the seniority chart and has additional benefits.

Chapter Three
Steven was very relieved at the end of his shift. It had been a
very busy night for Steven, a group of drunken teenagers
turned up at the accident and emergency waiting room
sometime after midnight, nursing staff complained that they
were being disruptive and verbally abusive towards patients
waiting to be seen. He had to hang around to keep an eye on
the situation, after informing the police. By the time the police
arrived, the teenagers had sobered up from whatever drugs
and alcohol they had taken and left the A&E voluntarily.
As he took his seat on the bus and began to make his way
back home, he remembered his brief encounter with his exroommate Bode. He could not help but notice that Bode
looked well-dressed in white linen shirt, matching linen
trousers, gold chain with a gold-cross pendant, gold TAG
wristwatch and a pair of black Italian leather shoes. Steven
intended to give him a call as soon as possible, but first he
needed to get home, have a shower and breakfast before
heading for his examination discussion group meeting.
Steven is very desperate to pass his professional exams so
that he can practice as a doctor in the UK. The money he is
making as hospital security staff is barely enough to keep his
family afloat. Despite her initial reluctance to moving to the
UK, Carol has been very understanding and supportive. The
problem is that he does not know how long it will be before
she begins to say I told you so. He hopes he manages to
pass his exams and secure a job as a doctor before then.
Daddy, tell Kola its my turn to watch my programme,
shouted Bola, one of the twins, as he wrestled with his brother
for the TVs remote control.
Kola, dont be selfish, let your brother have his turn in
choosing the programme.

I will not play with you again, said Kola to his brother
throwing the remote on the sofa, picking up his Nintendo
game instead.
Daddy, tell Kola to play with me, cried Bola to Steven
who was trying to have a nap on the sofa.
Steven was babysitting the twins on a Saturday morning
to give Carol time to fix her hair and do some shopping for the
family. He was beginning to wish that he had gone shopping
instead and left Carol to deal with the twins.
Who wants to go to the park? asked Steven.
Me, me, the twins chorused.
Get your shoes and jackets, said Steven deciding that
the best way to have some breathing space was to allow them
to exert their excess energy outdoors.
He took them to a nearby park, sat down on a bench and
allowed them to run around freely.
As Steven sat down on a bench breathing a sigh of relief,
his phone started to ring.
Hello Bode, he greeted having recognised his number
from the caller ID.
I have been planning to call you sometime today but
youve beaten me to it. How is your family?
We are fine; did I mention to you that my wife delivered
a bouncing baby girl five days ago?
No, we didnt get the chance to discuss. Congratulations
how are mother and baby doing?
They are doing great; they have just been discharged
from the hospital this morning. I want to invite your family to
our babys christening next weekend at my restaurant called
La Carte restaurant, it is just about twenty minutes walk from
Barking station, can you text me your postal address so I can
put an invitation card with directions in the post tomorrow?
I will do that immediately and well be honoured to
He texted his address to Bode and they continued chatting
for another thirty minutes while Steven kept an eye on the

Steven moaned about his disastrous move from Nigeria to

the UK.
All my close medical buddies in the UK and US who
prompted me to uproot my family from Nigeria seem to have
washed their hands of me! Theyve all stopped picking up my
calls and never return any of them.
Such is life. You have no friends when you are broke.
Anyway I got the message and stopped calling them,
lamented Steven bitterly.
All is not lost, I had a similar experience when I first got
to this country but survived it. You were a good friend to me
when we were in the university and Im willing to offer any
assistance possible.
Thank you Bode, youve made me feel better already,
well see at your babys christening.
Take care of yourself, replied Bode hanging up the
Precious Ojos christening turned out to be a very big
celebration at the La Carte restaurant owned by her father,
Bode Ojo. Steven felt self-conscious as he entered the stylish
and cosy looking restaurant, Carol however was more relaxed
and less intimidated by the obvious display of wealth. After
the guest pastor had formally christened the baby and said a
brief prayer, the DJ took over, playing a wide range of
traditional African music while guests helped themselves to a
variety of delicious African and English dishes on display on
the extremely long dining table, made by joining several
smaller tables together.
Steven noticed Carol filling her plate with pounded yam,
vegetable soup and beef stew. He decided to settle for fried
rice, jollof rice and fried plantain. As he ate, he studied other
guests whom he believed to be some sort of business tycoons
judging by the range of expensive cars on display outside.
They were all expensively dressed, most of them in traditional
African attire while a few were smartly dressed in western
outfits. Steven could not help but envy Bode for being so
successful and influential here in the UK.