I think I’ve been prepared all my life for talkshows. I’ve been prepared all my life to be a radio show host even though it hasn’t yet happened. It would have happened if dad didn’t stop me because I had just finished […]
I think I’ve been prepared all my life for talkshows. I’ve been prepared all my life to be a radio show host even though it hasn’t yet happened. It would have happened if dad didn’t stop me because I had just finished secondary school when I got my first chance with popular tv and radio presenter, Mr Gboyega Lawal at Ibadan.
I still went ahead to NTA Ogbomoso to intern freely in my spare time. It was there I entered the studio for the first time and saw how news are being delivered. The only problem with TV is the paparazzi-spending one and half hours to do make up and tie gele for a 20mins show. It has never made sense to me.
My book took me to a radio station in ibadan two years ago but it didn’t feel as if I was doing it for the first time. Why? Because my favorite programs on TV are talk shows. I somehow knew I would be on air from when I was young so I rehearsed and watched. I love TVC’s Your View and loved Mo Abudu’s Moments with Mo years ago.
…I guess it still doesn’t stop the butterflies from flying in your tummy when it eventually happens.😊
I was informed the previous night at about 9.30pm that I’d be speaking at Rhythm FM, SILVERBIRD radio via Instagram. No prior notice. Not even a preparation for the topic.
“I trust you. You can deliver. I’ve boasted that you can do it”, she said
I was supposed to be glad but I was faced with trepidation.
This person is someone I work with. She hired me to write for her. We’ve done a lot of work together. I edited her recently published book. I’ve handled her Twitter conversations on rape and gender issues using her handle. I’ve helped her hold a WhatsApp teaching class for professors, lecturers and other professionals posing as her.
I’ve handled her Instagram and Facebook pages writing stuffs on relationship and marital issues. If she’s someone you follow, I’m behind most of her posts on Facebook till now. I kind of ghostwrite for her. She’s the one always bringing this huge jeep to my gate that makes my neighbors wonder just who I am😁.
She believes in me more than I believe in myself. She’s always hyping me endlessly. She gave me the platform to moderate and speak at her event two years ago. She’s a public speaker. We’ve been to places together.
The other day, we went to Aso TV together. One day, I was at her place and Aso TV called her to appear on their show again and she said she couldn’t make it. She was about asking me to go in her stead but I rolled my eyes.
I didn’t know she’d really still go ahead and mention me another time without my knowledge. Well, she did and it was too late to say no.
I couldn’t sleep over the night. First I stayed up late to read up law issues on marital rape. I decided to bring in the angle of law based on court experience. I called lawyer friends to get their angle but none picked.
I woke up and started looking for a good angle in my house to set up my chair and table since it was an Instagram live. This was my first instalive. No one does it on a couch😁. People are fond of using their bookshelf as background. My shelf is in my bedroom facing my bed besides, I’m a rebel. I don’t like following norms or trends.
I wore a pinafore dress, looked at myself in the mirror after 20minutes and changed my mind. I removed the dress, settled for a black turtle neck top and I loved it better.
My wall is white so I settled for the entrance for lighting and visibility. There was no light. It was slated for 9am. I had my laptop in front of me. It was 8am. So I sat down watching the hands of the clock turn nine.
I connected at nine and I heard myself being introduced. I spoke with the presenter the previous night and she asked how I would like to be introduced so I sent a bio.
I couldn’t notify people on Facebook because it was already after 10pm before I spoke with the show host and I had many butterflies in my tummy that made me unsettled. I just put it up on WhatsApp status.
Again, while preparing mentally, I remembered my near rape experience and decided to chip it in. I was able to steer the conversation away from marital rape for a while.
Because to be honest, I wasn’t too comfortable speaking on that topic because when I researched, I discovered that the law is practically silent on it.
Culturally, there’s no thing called marital rape. Once a woman is married, it is culturally believed that she has given over rights to her body to her husband. Yes, marital rape is happening. It is sad but it has no legal backing yet. Only Lagos State has recognised it. Hence, my reason for hammering on the angle of law. If we are going to make it a topic, it has to be appropriately legalised or recognised.
When I tagged two lawyers to the post on Facebook, one spoke to me privately on this same submissions and decided to also shy away from publicly discussing it. They are men too😁😁if you get my drift-strong Igbo and Warri men. Wetin be marital rape? O gini?
A certain boy who was in my class in uni went to the post to talk in the nonsense and in the rubbish. But I have emotional intelligence enough to not respond to him, just because I’m not the solution to whatever marital problem he has.
A certain boy in my class also did that talking in the nonsense on my birthday post one time while trying to make a dry joke. Another colleague answered him.
I’m ashamed that I was actually in the same room with these boys for four years studying biology. Is this what spirogyra, E.Coli, Enterobacter does to people? I’m not you people’s mother. I’m not your wife. I’m not living in your house osiso. The post wasn’t even supporting anything. Ewo ni temi?
But sha, we move.
Barely one or two weeks later, she called me again in the night to inform me she gave my name to AIT and i’d have to go to the studio.
Since lockdown started, I haven’t stepped out of my area in three months not even to the office when they called me. I haven’t even seen Milord in four months.
As usual, there was no time to prepare. When I called the show host and I heard the topic, I nearly jumped. But she graciously changed the topic from why marriages fail to why relationships fail. That made me happy.
I didn’t even realize I didn’t know the road to AIT. So I called OBF 1. He clearly didn’t know it was me so he was speaking serious hausa. I cut him off and called OBF 2. He was on his way to Imo state and was driving. We couldn’t talk.
I called someone who could have been OBF 3 and he directed me to ASOKORO, very close to my former ASOKORO office. However what I didn’t know was that AIT sits majestically on a hill. I could have ordered UBER from A.Y.A bustop, Asokoro but I heard taxis calling AIT so I joined. That was my greatest undoing.
After being dropped off, I climbed the mountain abi hill sotay my legs nearly gave way. My thighs were suffering yet AIT was not in sight. Until I reached the end of the hill. It wasn’t a journey for the faint hearted.
I later recalled that Aso TV is set on the most dangerous hill I have ever seen. Even though we drove through it, I was scared in the car. I feared we would tumble down. It was a James bond move. I swore never to go with her to Aso TV again.
I also recalled that most radio or TV stations at ibadan end their jingle with “a station set on a hill”- one in Mapo another in Mokola. Now it makes sense.
AIT was heavily manned by security operatives. I had to call the show host before gaining entrance.
I still suffered the hill climbing on my way back. I looked for a cab to no avail. I was ready to pay anything. When I came down from that hill, I was in serious pain. I called someone from the office who called her husband to pick me along the way. He was coming from National Assembly where he works and waited for me at Aso drive. He was there before me. I half hopped into the car😁😁😁.
Men and brethren, this was how I went back home and didn’t walk for almost one week. After using some balm I got from our office clinic a while ago, I began to look for the balm of Gilead. No kidding, my legs were heavy and full of pain. What an experience!!!
The day I regained full use of my legs again, I danced like a war, like the lion himself, like the liquid metal.
My cooking gas finished yesterday evening so I went to bed with a very heavy heart. There’s a tightening around my chest each time I have to fill gas. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it always happen unexpectedly. So I […]
My cooking gas finished yesterday evening so I went to bed with a very heavy heart. There’s a tightening around my chest each time I have to fill gas. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it always happen unexpectedly.
So I called gas man this morning. One of the things I did after moving was to scout for another gas man around this area. I found one, got his number.
He said he was still at home but that he’d come. He called around mid afternoon that he was on his way. I tried to describe. He missed the way, took a wrong turn. I tried to describe again and this time, I went to wait in front of my gate.
Only to see a Jeep afar off, parked close to chief’s house. Chief is the Igbo man I wrote about earlier who called me a child. He is the chairman of landlords.
I dialed the number again and to my horror, the hulk hogan stepping out of the Jeep picked his phone as I watched in bewilderment. I started walking backwards, trying to dodge so that I could enter my gate and run.
But he had seen me and was walking towards me. I was confused. Gas man…Highlander jeep. The gas is just 3800 egbami ke. Wait, did this man just bring a Jeep to pick my 12.5kg cylinder that cost only 3800 to fill? Ayemitemibami.
I didn’t wait for him to reach me. I carried the cylinder with all my strength and met him quarter of the way. He smiled. I wasn’t smiling. “Bros, no dey play with me like this again abeg. Next time, carry bike or use leg, mbok”.
I hope you know that I only said that in my head sha. I forced a smile, nodded and asked “I hope you don’t mind a transfer. I don’t have cash at home”.
He took it and left.
You shouldn’t blame me. All the gas men in my former area used to come with bikes(ero alupupu). Those type of bike that you’d kick continuously before it roar to life angrily, emitting dangerous black smoke from diesel(or maybe it’s kerosene mixed with petrol they pour inside it) making embarrassing, idiotic noises that’d attract passersby.
My former gas man used to enter my kitchen to fix it after filling, but when my Jeep gas man came, I humbly collected it at the living room, made his transfer and thanked him. His jeep did all the magic. It didn’t matter that I’ve never fixed it myself. I was going to figure it out. So I used all my muscle, flipped it off the ground and fixed it all by myself. I just added another feather to this premium baby girl life.
That jeep gas man legit scared me. It’s just like using a Toyota Corolla to sell akara Ogbomoso or selling zobo or kunu aya in a rolls royce.
For the first time since this lockdown started, I’m tired. I’ve got no appetite again. I’ve cooked all sorts, so much that my mum would be proud.
She used to pity whoever I end up with😁. She used to ask God what she did to deserve a very lazy daughter like me😁😁😁. Yes, I am the laziest in the kitchen. I hate to cook. I hate to go to the market. It’s either I do one, I can’t combine both. She knows that if she sends me to the market, it’s not me that will cook the food. By the time I survive the trauma of visiting orita challenge to buy efo, iru, eja gbigbe and the likes, izz nor me that will cook. I will be too tired or complain of headache.
However, if I decide to cook, I do it like it’s actually my calling in life😁. These past days, I’ve cooked moin moin elewe consistently. I’m still going to cook it tomorrow. I bought leaves today. I made pounded yam in my former house. Not like I won a jackpot o. I just woke up one day and decided to pound yam. I ended up pounding yam almost every weekend. I bought yam today so if I find my appetite, I may pound this week.
I’ve learnt and made white soup and ogbono soup. I want to try ofe nsala. I started following friends to eat at iya kabba close to my former garki office and that was where they initiated me into eating white soup with pounded yam. I’ve gone with a barrister to eat it at food court close to my office too. I miss Port Harcourt crescent. I miss 24/7. 24/7 is where Jonathan Eze used to eat. If you ever see me walking anywhere around garki with a Mike Tyson type of man, who walks with a swagger, or around first bank, Ahmadu Bello Way, which is where Mama Cass is located, it’s J.E I’m walking with. He looks like a rich sugar daddy. Today, he told me he has moved to Maitama. How can you come from Lagos to Abuja to start living a baby boy life? The other day, he was supposed to come to my office and he said his driver was fixing his car. So, you have a driver now?
I had such great plans for 2020. I just got my admission letter for a postgraduate study in Public Administration in March before the world went on holiday. I was already looking towards lecture and exam. First semester exam was supposed to be in May.
My good friend, JJ all the way from Lagos had nominated me to attend an exclusive programme for distinguished women in career and business at Wuse Zone 7 on the 22nd March. I told her that I’m just a child, not a distinguished person kankan but she wouldn’t budge. She took my details and submitted it. I don’t know how I was selected to attend such a high profile meeting with the conveners coming in from London. I decided to attend because of the free lunch😁😁😁 and somehow because JJ believes I’ve distinguished myself in shouting ‘court’ for almost three years. Who am I to say no when JJ says I’m a big girl?😁😁
The court ladies and I were planning my birthday on the 24th. My Lord was going to sit in Yola and it was perfect. Someone had pledged to bring drinks, another person small chops. We were going to have fun….but covik..1-9 said no.
My cousin was supposed to come live with me. I got an IT placement for him in my office at the maintenance department. Dude was looking forward to it. I was imagining all the night crawling we’d do together including the suya and sharwarma nights. No more rushing to close from office. He can go ahead and cook before I arrive. I was going to travel more. I was looking forward to this premium life but covik said no. It’s not certain that dude would even come this year. He only did first semester registration before covik struck.
I was warming up for election too. I had plans of running for office in the judiciary. I was going to be Assistant General Secretary of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria. We could have gone to Eagle square in May to oversee things. I was going to ride on the wings of Mr Banji’s popularity at the polls because the election would be across all the judicial divisions and registries in Nigeria. Covik spoilt that too.
I was supposed to write my promotion exam in March. Our names were pasted first week in March and I remember sourcing for past questions to read while waiting for date only for covik to strike.
I was not informed about 2020 honestly and I’m tired.
I was trying to collate the quarterly returns of three courts to submit to the National Judicial Council web page when covik stuck.
I miss Milord. W has been sitting with him to deliver judgements and ruling.
Okay, let.me end it here. It’s getting too long already. I’m sleeping in the living room these days. A wall gecko chased me from my bedroom three days ago. I may write about it, or not. Dinner is served here. Kunu Aya and egg roll. #okbye
Once in my life, I was nearly raped. If we continue to keep quiet about these things, it will happen to someone you know or even you. Your daughter will be an endangered specie since they can be raped in a church, […]
Once in my life, I was nearly raped.
If we continue to keep quiet about these things, it will happen to someone you know or even you. Your daughter will be an endangered specie since they can be raped in a church, school, park, office etc
It happened while I was working with Compass.
This guy, a staff whom we only barely exchanged greetings whenever he sauntered into the newsroom had approached me one day asking about work and if I was enjoying the office.
It was my second month there. I didn’t know his department. Maybe he was at the printing section but I only saw him once in a while. Only journalists sit in the large newsroom. I was sharing a desk with my goon, Jonathan Eze who was the head of features desk. Sometimes, I’d be on that desk alone while Eze would be on the field scouting for news(mostly high profile gigs).
I responded that I was enjoying the office.
“Have you been paid?”, he asked
“No”, I haven’t.
“Come, let me take you to account section so that you can complain”, he said
So I followed him. I was almost two months old but I had never gone beyond the news room and the secretary to the MD’s office upstairs. I also discovered another smaller newsroom downstairs which looked like a common room. That was the place I usually went to transcribe interviews, being a very quiet place.
We kept walking. We went down a hall, passed some offices down another hall, walked into a very dark passageway that was deserted. I kid you not, I kept walking behind this guy for close to 20mins and we were still within the building. Later he took me through an underground tunnel and that was when alarm bells started ringing in my ears. I kept asking “are we not there yet?” He said almost.
I was already tired. We were no longer seeing any offices underground. We were not meeting people on the way. I never knew the office was that big. So I told him I was going back. I didn’t want my salary again. Just as I made a u-turn, he grabbed my hand forcefully and held it tight. His face had changed. I could see the look in his eyes, the raw hunger, he turned to a beast in nanoseconds. We both knew what was going to happen but he didn’t want violence unless I refused to cooperate. So he first begged and said ‘please’. Just ‘please’.
I began to struggle to set my hands free. Then I agreed with him and said okay. So he loosened his tight grip on my hand. Then I ran as if my life depended on it. I didn’t even know where I was going. I didn’t know how we got underground. I ran till I saw someone who directed me back to the newsroom. I never saw the hediot at the newsroom again. I was too shaken. I left compass at the end of that second month. Not because of him. I got another job at a FMCG company just behind compass but I was already done with Lagos. I had other plans.
Let me tell you the funniest thing about the guy. He was a Muslim fanatic. The ones whose trouser stop above the ankle. A Tabliq. Fair skin, harmless as a dove. Always wearing a Taqiya(skull cap worn by Muslim men) with native buba and sokoto. Always walking alone(disaster always walks alone).
This happened at the office, in broad daylight. If God wasn’t on my side, if I hadn’t pretended for him to release me, it would have happened and no one would have known.
The apologetics/the narcissists/other he-goats would have made him the villain while painting me black for following him(even though I was tricked first, by his pious look and two, by the fact that he was helping me). Following him means consent.
Being female in Nigeria is hard truly. I’m writing all these because of the young lady who was raped and murdered in redeemed church. It left a sour taste in my mouth. May history never be kind to such men. God didn’t take permission from anyone before he dealt with David for sleeping with Uriah’s wife and killing him afterwards. David paid for the rest of his life. His own child also slept with his wife on his matrimonial bed. Some people don’t believe in karma but I’m talking about God that takes vengeance.
You can’t even be kind to a man in Nigeria, he thinks you are interested in him. You can’t give a man a cup of coffee in the courtroom, he begins to harass you with seductive messages.
One time in court, I helped a man type a court order, facilitated the fast printing, Milord’s signature, endorsement and payment through remita. This man said thank you all right. But he got my number and the next thing he said was ‘do you stay alone? When can I come and greet you?’
If Abuja men tell you ‘when can I come and greet you?’, it means when can I come and sleep with you.😊
All these men are in churches and mosques. They hold key positions. They are respected. But they are ravening wolves. They are beasts in human clothing.
In church, pastors are fond of saying ‘walk up to three people and shake their hands. Tell them you are happy to see them in church”. Then, you begin to see rowdiness. Some men going to touch another man’s wife or young men grabbing any lady that catches their fancy.
One yellow brother in my church, let me call him Alabi yellow once tried this nonsense with me. He grabbed my hand in a firm handshake and started to fling it. It was so painful. I had to hold my upper limb to prevent it from falling but this Igbo man didn’t care about my discomfort. He kept on wringing my hands. Long after everyone had greeted, he was still holding my hand firmly. Sometimes, he would be passing behind me and touch my shoulders as a form of greeting. I hate these things. Why must you touch me to greet me? I reported him at the HQ.
A woman is endangered everywhere she finds herself. Who raised these men? Who formed them? Let’s not even talk about the ones who believe they are God’s gift to women. Who believe that your whole life revolves around them.
The funniest thing is women who protect their husband from other women. Who think it’s about the other woman. Who fight every woman that comes near their husband. Who vindicates their husband and maltreat their househelp after catching them together. These set of women are jokers. The day they discover who they really got married to, they will look like werey.
It’s about your community philanderer. You should come to the street and see what your precious husband is doing. It doesn’t matter that he goes to church with you. He cannot control his raging John thomas. Maybe you will have a rethink about the glowing Facebook tributes on his birthday and those seemingly perfect family pictures. Some of these men even have kids outside that they’ve not told you about.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is the author of Season of Crimson Blossoms. I follow him on Facebook and he wrote this on his page yesterday………..👇👇
“A friend recently told me how her colleague tried to drug and rape her in her office and now Uwavera Omuzuwa was raped and murdered in a CHURCH in Benin.
Being female in Nigeria, and most parts of the world, means you are not safe in your workplace, in your home or even in your place of worship. We all know of someone or have heard of someone, woman and girl, who was raped in her home, at school, in a place of worship sometimes by people who should look out for them.
One of the most shocking moments in my life was at Kabafest when a panellist asked any woman who had ever been sexually assaulted or threatened to stand up and all the women, in a hall of hundreds, stood up. Every single one. Those old enough to be my mothers, and those barely in their teens. As a man who writes women, who has heard such dreadful accounts first hand, this floored me”.
My phone has been on silence for a long time too. *************what I wrote last night 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇 On this day, three years ago, I went to bed around 12am. I slept off on the cold floor after praying and placed my phone […]
My phone has been on silence for a long time too.
*************what I wrote last night 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇
On this day, three years ago, I went to bed around 12am. I slept off on the cold floor after praying and placed my phone by my side. It rang around 2am and a stranger spoke to me. He told me to start coming, that my dad had just been rushed to the hospital. I asked him to pass the phone to dad, this stranger, his neighbor told me that ‘no, he can’t talk to you right now’ not knowing that the man was already stone dead. He didn’t even make it to the hospital. He died in his official car, his head on last born’s laps, on their way to the hospital.
It’s funny how both of my parents died in lastborn’s care. He was the last person who saw them alive/dead at different states and different situations.
I’ve had serious anxiety about picking calls or calling people since then. A lot of friends complained that I was sounding so off/irritated/disgruntled or whatever on phone. Some who couldn’t keep up simply stopped calling. I didn’t know when I developed the offhandedness at which I respond to calls. Moreso, I didn’t even need any condolences(because it made me depressive). I didn’t want to hear it. I was in denial.
That death also made me go into my shell after I was left alone to mourn. After the people I looked up to, all left me at exactly that time. I became stone cold, blank, unfeeling and unapologetic.
I don’t know if I’ve fully recovered but I’m better at picking calls now.
By 2am today, it will be 3years he died and left me alone in this cold world, to navigate it on my own. It has not been a pleasant experience. It’s something you never recover from.
I do not.know what is wrong with my barbers. I do not understand why they get excited when they see me in their salon. I do not understand why they ask for my digits so they can be my friend.One was saying […]
I do not.know what is wrong with my barbers.
I do not understand why they get excited when they see me in their salon.
I do not understand why they ask for my digits so they can be my friend.
One was saying ‘i like women who barb. Dem no dey give their men trouble. All these human hair girls, give me 120k for human hair, their men don suffer. See reasonable human being here”.
Honestly, that up there is an insult to me. Because it implies I’m a low maintenance female. I hate it when men judge me by my simple looks and say ‘this one no dey make hair. She’s not materialistic. She no go dey buy buy”
Ahhhhh!!!! You have missed it o. I am materialistic sir. Baje baje gan an ni sir. Na money I dey wait for sir. My taste is higher than my income sir, that’s why I’m lying low sir. Cutting my hair is for economic reasons sir. E keyin wole ke submit ete sir. E stop gbogbo shobolashon, shoboloyoke sir. Aja o nii gbeyin lomo lo sir.
The last time I went to barb, I don’t know if it was my hair he was cutting or if he was caressing my head. Or maybe it’s because I was sick and I imagined it as a head massage. The guy was just tenderly flipping the clipper across my head, asking me if he should make it lower or leave it. I didnt even want to stand up when he finished.
Las Las, I will manage to grow my hair and turn it to dada. Because I’m tired of barbers wanting to be my friend because they think I’m not loud.
Mom said to me ‘any job you see, even if the salary is little, just take it like that. Start from there and you will get something better’.That was what went through my mind when I got this job at Area 2, […]
Mom said to me ‘any job you see, even if the salary is little, just take it like that. Start from there and you will get something better’.
That was what went through my mind when I got this job at Area 2, Garki that year. It was the type of job I liked-blogging, reality TV show, serene office environment. The only caveat was that the take home pay could not even take me home. It was not even sufficient for transportation. Mom died in November and few days after she left, I got about(or more than) five job offers between Lagos to Abuja. I applied to those places months before she died. However, it looked like the heavens opened just after she died. It was so surreal. I really cannot explain how these things happen because it is one of the mysteries of life. Same thing happened in overdose when dad died too. A 24hour miracle, a major life change.
I remember a certain phone call I received from a close ally and sister. Let me even say her name-Ope Adeiga. Hers was the realest and most honest advice I ever got. She called me one day in the morning and said laughingly ‘i heard you lost your dad. Awww, welcome to the club😁😁😁😁.” Maybe she was even giggling.
When she asked me for detail, it was all too easy to let her in because she had been there before me. She is an orphan too. And when she lost her mom, I was working in Lagos and asked her to see me. She came to my small room at opic estate and we talked. She told me she was still yet to cry. She was serving in Abuja and had to rush back abruptly. I was working at Compass newspaper that period so we left my house together. We departed at Berger and that was the last time we saw physically before I left Lagos but we are still in touch till date. I felt so sorry for her that day.
So that day she called, after I gave her the details, she said “don’t worry. Do you know how special you are in the sight of God now? Imagine what it means when you are under the direct protection of the almighty, when God is now your direct father. God doesn’t joke with us o. So, take heart”.
I think there’s a truth in that statement because each of my parent’s death opened tremendous doors. Some doors I had knocked consistently for years opened on its own volition in those two separate instances.
This job I’m talking about was among the invitations I got. I declined the two invites I got from Lagos. I never showed up.
I resumed working at area 2 and continued to apply to other places. I had barely worked for one month and a week when I got an invitation to two other better places. I went to write a test at this new place this week and went for interview at the second place the other week. The first was a construction company in a quiet Wuse Zone 2 and the second was at a South African Travel Club in Apo.
I was the highest scoring female and 3rd or 4th overall at the construction company and was subsequently invited for the next stage-interview. It was a large room with five interviewers and I was standing at the middle. I aced it and was sent a message days later.
At the travel club too, I went for interview and aced it. So I was invited to start the training as a new intake.
I was so confused on which job to take.
I started going for training at the SA travel club. We were about 10 or so. One of the trainers, a lady was so impressed with me that she said ‘i’m sure our clients would like to close deals with you. You look just so perfect for the job’. I smiled. Then I cringed when I remembered the other juicy offer waiting for me.😊
During this training, they made us to know the job was flexible. They start work sometimes 11am and close by 5pm BUT their major working days were Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
According to the lady ‘if you are a churchy person, you can’t work here because some of us are Christians too but we don’t go to church because of work.
And we don’t talk religion here. We don’t want to know whether you are a xtian or Muslim. As a Muslim, you can’t got to mosque too because Friday is our peak period.”
It was a certain Musa(name withheld), a northern Muslim who spoke first in his heavy accent “but I have to go to mosque on Friday. Again, my family lives in sokoto and I have to travel by weekend to see them”.
“No, you can’t do that again if you want to work here. So if you don’t pray on Friday, will you die? There are Muslims here who don’t also go to mosque on Friday. You can do the prayers at home when you close”
Musa would have none of it. He could not contain his anger. He was livid.
“No, you can’t tell me not to pray”, he said
“And who do you think you are?” She replied
It was turning to a row. Everyone was murmuring. All of us were not happy. They even called their boss to address Musa and put him in his place. We all watched helplessly.
On our way out after the training, we all unanimously agreed it was not a place to be. You don’t do or talk religion ke?
It helped me seal the decision so I didn’t turn up the next day. Not even because of no religion alone but because the bosses talked like garrison commanders. They were too daring. The environment was too toxic. That was not how to start a career. And I would not even work Monday to Sunday anyways. Emi omo ola? ka ma ri ni poolu wi.
So I went to this next place-construction. It was in a very quite neighborhood that I had to hire a cab and we still got missing. I picked up my offer letter and it was so juicy. I resumed the next day for training. But that was where I met a narcissist. A small boy who was heading my team. He was also part of the interview and had seen our CVS and credentials. This boy was just a Bsc holder who just started his Msc at ABU. He saw that we had intimidating resumes with experience so he used hooliganism and running mouth to try to make us look lesser than him.
Not me sha. He focused on my friend Muri(not real name). He found every opportunity to wash Muri and to speak down at him. Muri had worked with a conglomerate in kaduna as a sales person. Besides this, he had other great sales experience from big companies around. I came with an intimidating Msc coupled with my Lagos work experience and brief Abuja work experience.
We had an official car-a sienna that we used for trips. Our jobs involved negotiating sales with architectural firms, Quantity Surveyors, Estate surveyors and co.
Let’s call this guy chimezie. He’s an Igbo guy. The first day we were all going out in the car, Muri sat beside him in front while myself and Otolo sat at the back. Only three of us were employed out of the hundreds who wrote their exam and attended the interview.
Chimezie began by saying he couldn’t be driving us all over Abuja o. He was not our driver o. Who among us could drive?
I exchanged looks with Otolo. They didn’t say driving experience was a must when we applied. They didn’t even mention it during the interview.
After my accident at ibadan while driving, I haven’t touched anybody’s car since then. A friend once bought a car and came to show me. He asked me to enter and move it forward. I said mba. I’m not driving anybody’s car again except it’s mine. Imagine now telling me to drive a company car. Job wey I never collect salary. Aa nii resu.
Chimezie drove us that day. He first did his own business. He went to the bank, saw a friend, parked us and stepped down to gist. He drove us to another place to pick something, maybe his cloth. He never told us anything, he just drove. He was our boss now😊(omo ale jatijati)
On another day, as we were set to go out, he asked Muri to come drive. Muri took the steering but could not steer it. He was moving rather slowly. He said it’d been long he drove(probably fear of jamming company car too dey dia). Chimezie flew off the handle and began to insult Muri-“so what do you know how to do? And you call yourself a man? You are just so dumb. You don’t know anything. Did they tell you people I’m your driver? From tomorrow, I will not follow you out, if you like, don’t drive the car. Even a child can drive this car, as tall as you are, you are so clueless……”
He said so much to the extent that I became angry. I was boiling. Muri just bent down his head and was stammering. I felt so much pity for him. That Igbo boy would be younger than him if they compared their birth certificate.
However, with me, I always gave it back to igbo boy so he couldn’t mess with me. Everybody disliked Igbo boy. He was rude to everyone. He was a narcissist. He believed he was everything.
We started plotting our exit from the company when we noticed that what they promised on paper was far from their reality. Besides, I never ever told Mr Banji I was working. The man was giving me monthly stipends and food so I was okay without a job but I just felt it wasn’t right to be living off my old man. I didn’t need that job because I was hungry or broke, I just needed it for my sanity. I was bored.
One day I told Igbo boy I wouldn’t be able to come to work the next day. I was home when he called and demanded why I didn’t inform him I’d not be at the office. I didn’t go because I had exhausted my pocket money on tfare and needed to get cash from Mr Banji. I said I told him now. He angrily cut the call.
The next day, I got to the office and he marched me to an inner office, gave me a letter signed by him without the knowledge of the HR or the management. It was a query. Igbo boy was querying me for missing job. They paid my colleagues and he outrightly told them not to pay me.
He said I should write why disciplinary action shouldn’t be taken against me for skipping office and that I should attach my birth certificate, degree certificate and probably an affidavit that I’d not do that again when responding.😁😁😁
I laughed at the impunity, the sheer madness and stupidity of a wannabe hired to work in someone’s company but behaving as a CEO. He asked me to leave immediately.
I picked my bag and left. Guys advised me to inform the management so that I could at least get paid. I said no need. I refused to shalaye😁 I went to sit under the tree outside. All the office staff came to sit with me under the tree o. Everybody was talking about him. Of course, I knew I was leaving at the end of that month but that kind of sealed it for me.
I never went back.
I got another job again. I went for the interview. While asking me questions, I mentioned that I write for bellanaija. They googled my name, saw one of my popular articles and the interview questions became the topic of the article. Their work involved a lot of travelling and meeting music stars and doing interviews. I didn’t see myself doing that. I was invited for the next stage but I couldn’t make it. I had to travel to the north.
I made up my mind that I was done with private jobs. Only that I didn’t know where or how I’d get a government job. I had gone to the Federal Civil Service Commission with Dad before all these and nothing came out of it.
However, I began to notice all these staff buses that dropped people off in my area every evening. I saw news agency of nigeria, state house staff bus, ministry of defence, ministry of agric etc and I began to long for it. It finally happened for me. And I’m not going back to private jobs ever. Except it’s a freelance gig, cash and carry. And I’ve never seen/imagine myself spending 35 years in govt either. That’s the most productive part of my life. I’d be in my sixties at retirement. Say wetin happen na. My mom retired at 40ish. My dad retired at 50ish. That’s why when I see people who hide other people’s file in govt office so that they will not go past them, I usually laugh at them. Or people who reduce their age so they can work for long. It’s not a do or die for some of us. I don’t want to die here. I don’t intend to spend the whole of my future being a servant. Is that not what they are called? Public servants? I love my job, yo but I don’t intend to die there.
Now to the end of this story, or a summary. I walked away from Igbo boy that year without saying a word. It is risky for you to offend me and I walk away without saying a word especially if you have cheated me. It’s better to draw me back so that I can at least vent my anger verbally.
I walked away but I never forgot Igbo boy. I had only one wish-to see him again, at a higher level. Both my friends left too.
My wish of seeing him again got fulfilled in 2018. I had just walked out of h-medix that Friday afternoon where I got this huge birthday cake and other nice stuffs. I was heading home when I saw this boy walking on my street in Garki.😁😁
He was sweating. He carried a backpack that had seen better days. His feet was dusty. No car to drive again. The mumu never even had a car then. It was just the company car he drove. He didn’t recognize me again. I smiled. I fixed my gaze on him. He looked at me and said
“Your face is familiar but I can’t seem to remember where we met”
Oluya😁😁😁. How you wan remember na?
“Let me remind you. You remember xyz?”
Immediately I mentioned the company, recognition dawned.
He said with tight lips “oh I remember you now. How are you? Are you into cakes now?”
I could see that the “werey”(craze)never fully left him. So I replied
“No, I just got it over there at hmedix. Turn around. Can you see that big office? That’s where I work now”. It was an epic moment for me. A day we all pray to live to see. The Lord prepared a table.for.me in the presence of my enemy.
“I’m just going home with this cake”, I added for effect.
He couldn’t talk again. So I asked again because I needed to know if he had killed the CEO at that company and occupied his seat. “Where do you work now? Are you still at xyz?”
“No, I left since. I’m just on my own now”, he said.
I laughed. Of course, it was very obvious that the guy “was truly on his own” walking all over Garki. We all know the meaning of ‘i am now on my own” in this present Nigeria. It means you are just on the street, looking for survival. And a cocky guy like chimezie would surely stay long on the street.
Muri went on to work with first Bank as a contract staff then he got this good job at EFCC. He called me while on training in kaduna. I was so happy for him. I told him that I saw Igbo boy. We laughed and laughed over the phone. All is well that ends well.
The first job I got in Abuja was at this foremost newspaper company. But I can’t talk about it because Jonathan Eze works for their CEO now. Adiye o ki n jefun ara won.