Three boys and four girls were already living with Mama when Osas came to join them as the eighth domestics servant. She had a four room apartment in the Warders’ Barracks, Abude where she was the prisons Department head cook. At the end of every day, the remnants of the raw food stuffs from the kitchen were shared into three parts. Two thirds went to the Chief Warder’s house while Mama Benin had the rest. The same went for palm-oil, salt, mutton and firewood. So, food was not her problem mama Benin never spent a kobo of her salary on food stuffs. She was thus in a position to maintain a large number of domestic servants. All the seven boys and girls living with her were off-spring of her distant relations. Osas abalone was her nephew.
Mama Benin was a strict disciplinarian. She never speared the rod. The slightest offence by any of her servants a attracted heavy flogging. Even when a neighbor intervened, she never failed to use the cane. The only thing she did, if she like the intruder, as she always called person, was to reduce the number of strokes to be given out to any offender who had an interceder. The offender might be lucky to have just twelve lashes. Sometimes, she might be infuriated by the plea from a neighbour and so increase the number of strokes to twenty-four.
Tired to receiving entreaties from any one on behalf of any offending servant, she devised another method of flogging her offenders. She kept a number of canes in her bedroom. As soon as a servant committed any offence, she sent the culprit to fetch something for her from her bedroom. She was always obeyed. Seconds later, she would close up with the offender in her bedroom, lock up the door and empty as many canes she wanted on the culprit. The best the pleading neighbours could do was to pled for mercy for the would open the windows. Such pleas normally fell on deaf ears as she would open the door release the culprit only when she was satisfied that she had meted out of the offender sever punishment as she pleased.