Rub and Shine

One would think I escaped all the ‘usual’ trouble I’d grown so used to in Nigeria — NEPA, especially — and since I came over, everything’s been as normal as you’d expect things to be.

I got out of bed this morning and rushed into the shower. I didn’t get any water when I turned it on. Alarmed that my suite mates had once again done ‘something’ to it, ie damaged it, I decided to go brush my teeth and wait until the handyman came around. I got a tiny trickle when I turned the faucet on.

I had some bottled water which I brushed with, then washed my face and hurried into my clothes. Urgghhhh.

Something reminded me of the time-honored tradition called ‘rub and shine’ in secondary school. On a cold harmattan day, some people [excluding yours truly, although he was guilty in junior class] would rinse their faces, hands and legs, or perform an ‘ablution’ before heading to class. Others who felt too lazy to do so but didn’t want to take a bath would just rub on some cream and look none the worse for it (cream meant petroleum jelly to most people, hence the tern ‘rub and shine’). The problem with this practice was that some people used ti as a substitute to taking a bath. Urggggh.

It was therefore annoying this morning that I had to rub-and-shine before sitting at my computer and typing this out.

The Mountain Whispers’ editorial board (our university magazine’s board of which I’m a member) is meeting in ten minutes. The dorms had better have the water flowing before then or Azuka will be sorely ticked off.

I can’t imagine I rub-and-shined (yes, that’s the past tense!)

Update: When I got back the water was running again. Before you ask, I’ve showered!


  1. uzo says:

    LOL. Rub and shine. LOL. Oh my goodness. Go and take a shower oh….

  2. go knock some heads around man, baseball bats were made for a reason you know, and it wasn’t baseball……

  3. Nna! You are bringing back memories of secondary school days 🙂

  4. Boso says:

    Rub and shine.

    Thank is bringing back some CRAZY memories !!

  5. Calabar Gal says:

    Ok, Since you said the water was back and running and you didnt do ‘rub and shine’, I believe you. There are some people in this diaspora that believe in ‘rub and shine’ cos its so cold!!! I think its just lazyness cos the heating is available to heat the water up.

  6. good. Alot of british people still do the rub and shine, especially the elderly people. Not becasue they are too tired to have a wash, it was just that it was a habit back when they were younger. LOL.

  7. Azuka says:

    I already have 😛

    Lol. The problem’s been taken care of.

    Em, were you a rub-and-shiner? You could give some tips to the amateurs :D.

    Please tell me you don’t do it anymore…

    Everyone seems to be rub-and-shining. Now I know one more person who did.

    Calabar Gal
    Yeah. Every morning it’s under scalding hot water for me.

    Oh really? You’ve got to give it to the Brits. They colonized us — how am I sure we didn’t pick it up from them in school? 😀

  8. Jem says:

    I remember rub and shine from secondary school back in Nigeria. You would see someone looking smart in an ironed school uniform, polished shoes, smooth creamed skin and smelling fragrant. Oh goodness, little did you know that it was all a fasade…

  9. Jem says:

    by the way, I have a new blog. Wonder if there is a target niche for it on blogspot – the inspirational lot …. we’ll see.

  10. nilla says:


    I remember rub and shine in boarding school too….Cold wasn’t the only reason why, lack of water also played a part.

    N.B I did not say i did it, just said I’m aware 🙂

  11. Vera Ezimora says:


    rub and shine is nasty. We all did it but when I think of it now, it’s just wrong!!

    Whoever invented showers sef…. it rawks!

  12. mack says:

    hehe. I remember those terms… we used to call school food “epe”, and farts “swords”, and ‘expo’we called babies, cos you carried ’em. Then rub and shine… lol

    Did I ever do that? I can’t remember. I used to form big boy/hard man… so I can’t really think of when I did it. anyways (:

  13. snazzy says:


    This has to be the funniest post I’ve read all year (it may not last though cos we’re only two weeks in) Don’t worry college will provide u with a lot of experiences to “Rub and Shine”

  14. Azuka says:

    True. Sometimes the people who indulged in it looked a lot better than people who didn’t.

    I hear you. I think I’d prefer to imagine you rub-and-shining though :lol:.

    You too? I’m shocked!

    Are you sure? Say the truth and ‘shame the Devil’ 😆

    I’ve seen funnier posts. Who told you I want to rub-and-shine even once in college?

  15. temmy tayo says:

    Rub and shine!


    I remember those days………..

  16. Afropinay says:

    I confes I did rub and shine 2 weeks ago.. my stupid water heater/hot water supply was malfuntioning.. I was pissed as hell that day and to make it worse, i was already inside the shower dying from the severe china cold..very very bad experience..twasnt funny sha..

  17. snazzy says:

    dude, I give complements like a whore gives kisses. So be nice. Though since fuel scarcity has kept me home I have seen a few funnier posts today. Anyway as far as this being the only time u rub and shine in college, i’ll take that bet.

  18. Azuka says:

    Temmy tayo
    All the ladies are owning up, lol. When was the last time you did so?

    Sounds tough. It’s winter here too. To turn on the shower and get onl drops of very cold water land on you isn’t funny either.

    I didn’t mean anything by that. I was just trying to be modest.

  19. lmao@rub and shine.. I never hear that one before… hehe.. I lived in a boarding school but I don’t even remember doing this(well except for that one time some stupid senior stole my bathing water and I didn’t have enough time to go and fetch another one before taking a shower… cos if I didn’t… then I’d have to miss breakfast and go late to assembly and our Vice Principal had it in for me at that time!)

  20. Azuka says:

    Ahem, she confesses! 😆

  21. babaalaye says:

    Something dey smell for here…

  22. MTB says:

    hilarious! funniest this year!

  23. Princess says:

    Too funny!! The way I rely on my morning shower to wake me up, I would have been half-asleep for most of the morning if I had to go without a shower.

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