Living in a service estate…
I ran into my friend, Dipo who I had not seen for almost 4years. It was an exciting re-union as this cool dude, who was behind the wheels was checking me out(he confessed later) as I was about turning into the street that linked into National Industrial Court at Port Harcourt Crescent, Garki on one cool day like that.
He didn’t know it was me at first. It was the day when a valedictory court session was being held at the National Industrial Court for the late former minister of labour and productivity, James Ocholi, who died in a road accident. The road was jam packed with men of NSCDC, mobile police armed to the teeth, army etc so, there was a slight traffic jam at this major junction but the law enforcement agents didn’t hinder free movement.
I was still thinking of how to manoeuvre my way carefully when someone yelled my name. You see, I have acquired this uncanny habit of always wearing dark goggles to shield my eyes from the cruel sun of the north.
So, he had a hard time ascertaining that it was really me until I made to directly pass in front of him. Then, he screamed my name. I stopped in my tracks. Who knows me in Garki?
I looked into the jeep and saw his face. I screamed in excitement. We kept on talking as the cars started moving slowly. I thought the civil defence guys were even going to arrest me for obstructing traffic.
Dipo parked in front and asked me to get in his car, then we drove off to the hotel conference centre where he had a meeting. Guy works at the Federal Ministry of Finance.
So why I am writing all this epistle? That was how he told me he lives in a service estate in Jabi and I was like, you? How much do you pay?
‘Over a million naira. Although I share the flat with some guys totalling four of us’. He responded.
I was wowed but wasn’t shocked. Because that’s typical in abuja.
Now, when people down south( when I say down south, I mean folks in the south west) ask me how much rent I pay and I quote a decent figure. A decent figure for a 2bedroom is 600k and a 1bed is 350(it varies, could be more but that’s the average) which is even cheap as compared to living in Asokoro, Gwarimpa, Maitama and the likes.
Folks start yelling(laughing now) “Yetunde, how can you be paying such an amount? Jeeeeesus!, please, let me help you buy a land in Osogbo, among other reactions I get.
Now ROTFL, I wonder what their reactions would be about someone paying probably 1.5M for a decent flat in Jabi. Know what, I walked away after that conversation feeling I wasn’t going overboard by paying what I was paying as rent. The truth however, is ever since then, I started imagining life in a service estate too.
Now, where I live is pretty decent. At least, ‘Phillip’ comes to pick my gas cylinder for refill every 7 weeks and returns it. That’s the same service I would get at a service estate although at no cost. The rent covers everything including your laundry, gas, internet, 24/7 electricity, disposal of your trash etc. Well, apart from my laundry, hausa boys make a brisk business collecting trash every day here. So, I basically live a good life too(consolation).
Memo to my wellwishers- if I decide to buy a land, it is most likely not in Aregbesola’s state. I would consider the ancient city first of all. Shout out to those of us born and bred in the pacesetter state.