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Chronicles of a hustling Naija guy: with lessons on diabetes

Dr. Akin-Onitolo A.



Things seemed somewhat hazy on Thursday morning as Udoh crossed the busy street opposite his father’s house in Somolu. He was going to the kiosk at the end of the street where he played the daily lottery. It wasn’t everyday though, just those few times when he managed to squeeze some tip from his father’s customers. He waved gaily to his friends from the barbing shop and tapped his left thigh where it itched. It stung sharply, reminding him of his insulin injection site. He threw his leg forward in an attempt to subdue the pain and continued his brisk journey.

A brief stop at the pharmacy that provided his insulin and glucometer strips brought him face to face with a lady he once dated. “Udoh, Udoh,” she said in a loud voice meant to attract the attention of everyone in the cramped shop. Her over made up face glared at him and Udoh instantly wished he had not stopped by. “So what are you doing now? Still dreaming of swimming for Olympics, eh?” “Angela, how are you?” He attempted to steer her away from the unpleasant subject of his joblessness. The pharmacist on duty caught his eye and nodded to the unspoken plea on Udoh’s face. “I’m fine o. I just have a little cough, that’s why I’m here.” The witch said, still looking him up and down like she used to, making him glad he still maintained his figure. “Uh oh,” he replied absently as he caught the rumpled slip of paper hurled at him by the helpful attendant. 458. The note simply read. “Thank you,” he mouthed and backtracked out of the shop without even a goodbye.

He hurriedly bought and filled his lottery ticket at the ticket shop. The queue had been unusually long that morning and he was dead hungry by the time it was his turn. His feet quickly headed in the direction of his mother’s roadside buka for breakfast while he daydreamed about winning the lottery with the 500 Naira he played. First things first, he would get a nice ride so the likes of Angela would stop looking down on him. Then he would pimp his mother’s buka as it was time she got a proper shop fitted with pretty waitresses and cooks, that sort of thing. Sweat dripped down his face and his football jersey clung to him. He would settle Vivian and Mercy, his two sisters who were away on youth service. And then he would start his own business venture called Udoh and Brothers. It had to be a transport and logistics company, the one he and his older brother talked about everyday. His hands moved listlessly.

“Udoh!” He heard his mother scream from a distance before he hit the ground.


  • Insulin injections are used to treat Type 1 Diabetes, it is injected into the skin of the thigh, arm or belly, depending on which is preferable. Insulin helps the body clear/use the plenty glucose that is in the blood. But it is used with caution and only when prescribed.
  • A glucometer is the portable machine used to measure blood sugar, the type often used during screening programmes to check your risk for Diabetes. It is useful to have your own glucometer and strips to monitor your treatment as a Diabetic. This is necessary to avoid complications and problems that would require hospital care.

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Dr. Akin-onitolo A. is a graduate of the University of Lagos whose mission is to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using health promotion and improved health literacy. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who had her elective at King's College London. Hugely interested in travel, meeting people and generally being creative, reading and writing fiction are a few hobbies you could find her engaged in during her spare time. Catch up with her on Twitter @Akinonitolo and Instagram @t_onitolo