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8 Odd Truths about Nigerians and the Economy!

Hey people, the exchange rate for a dollar is now 407 freaking naira! I was just shaking my head about the Nigerian economy and how everything is so expensive. I recently asked a Lagos babe on Instagram with a human hair online wig store for the price of one of her wigs and she sent me her price list in dollars! I laughed out loud and faced my business.

Who dollar epp?

Certainly not the Nigerian economy!

Someone I know was doing an online masters and chose to pay for his course per month but with the new dollar rate, he is paying almost triple what he was paying before! #badmarket

An egg is now sold for forty naira and the adamant market woman insisted on mixing the big ones with the pinchomic kekeres stating that no one was gonna buy the small ones from her if I picked all the big ones- like I care. First come, first serve abeg!

Why does the economy seem to get worse but Nigerians still find a way to adjust? The structural adjustment program of the late 80s has become the Nigerian nightmare! 

Fuel is where it is, 141-143 naira per liter, people have quit complaining since it is at least available. 

Everything is pricey but really I didn’t come here to rant. I haven’t said anything new. We know this and we hustle to survive each and every day and sometimes we get lucky!

I wanted to instead blog about eight odd and maybe even hilarious occurrences that are now rampant in the name of the hustle! It just makes you wonder…

1) Magas are still paying because they are above the economic crisis! Ask any taxi driver. A couple of days ago I needed to take a cab to UBTH because I really didn’t wanna drive and after haggling with the guy for what I considered the best price, he relented. Dude was as loud as he was fast and I couldn’t help chuckling in between prayers for my safety when he announced that it was the ring on my finger that made him agree to that price. “Sista for Bini we know say na those small, small unifasity gehs get all the money. If na them, na 5k last. You know dem get haccess!” So if you have ‘access’ you are above the Naija wahala!

2) The upcoming elections have made some people in Benin mega rich. While politicians are spending loads of money to get people on their side, the carpenter in charge of the wooden structures for the posters and billboards is smiling to the bank every day not giving a  rat’s arse about who actually wins. Making money out of national headline news good or bad- is what the true hustlers are doing now.

3) People are now gay for pay! Forget that it is an offense, we see guys on Instagram who boast about bae paying them truckloads of money for services rendered and it’s all just part of their hustle. Aristo chicks move aside, it seems the boys want a piece of the action too and they’d go to any lengths and it really seems like a lucrative business in this harsh economy especially since the mega rich seem mega kinky.

4) Houses are still springing up everywhere at alarming speed! While the average Nigerian is counting his precious naira notes, builders, foremen and construction engineers have not stopped thanking God for the booming business because ‘built in three months’ mansions are still cropping up every where you turn. Where EFCC oh?!

5) Still on property, everybody is suddenly into property sales in Lekki near the new trade free zone, just beside the next International airport and across the 4th Mainland bridge ;-). This utopia of sorts has more sellers than buyers and one begins to wonder just how much they have been promised as a cut. If you need a new hustle join the band wagon and for those relentless sellers; no thank you people ahn ahn it haff do!

6) Windscreen washer boys are not smiling! The other day a friend was in traffic when some dude attempted to wash his windscreen (we know the drill), he refused and washer boy got mad, he stood in front of the car, pressed the bonnet as hard as he could (he for try leave dent sic) and with a menacing expression kept demanding to wash the windscreen with an ‘I go wash am oh’ threat every 5 seconds till the traffic light turned green. Abeg when in traffic make sure your windows and doors are securely locked, not just for them but for all the other uniformed troublemakers lurking everywhere!

7) Local government boys have become the absolute worst. They have zero chill, zero filter and hustle or die attitudes. They are the area boys, the community boys and even the band of riff raffs hired as traffic law enforcement officers and then fired after years of menace. If you own a shop or you are building a house in a developing area or you are a traveling sales man, you know these people and fear them even more than the police, VIO and road safety combined! Where’s your roof-repair permit? Or your sit outside your house license? Where’s your switch on generator permit or your drive on our roads certificate? They chase, deflate tyres and make trouble like a legion of demons and their permits, receipts and licences never finish so your papers can never ever be complete! ‘Oga you no get this other receipt, na 10,000 naira, na yesterday dem make am, oya park’. The hustle never ends.

8) The two months salary human hair wigs, weaves and bleaching creams are still hot cake oh. The theory is simple, you need to spend money to make money. Uncle likes what he sees, uncle pays to see it again, the circle of life! So stop asking yourself who is buying all these things (face your wage)!

The list is endless, hate the hustle but put some respek on it! People are doing whatever it takes to survive and even in this dire economy, holidays in Maldives, first class tickets and tear rubber cars are still the order of the day, seems like some people couldn’t be bothered about the dollar! 

What weirdness have you encountered around you in the name of the hustle?

TGIF #friyay (hope money to turn up dey?)

Have a great day Chutzpah fam, may God bless your hustle!

xoxo

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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Urban Culture

 

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EBOLA VIRUS- The Serial Killer Gets Shipped To Lagos!

EBOLA VIRUS- The Serial Killer Gets Shipped To Lagos!

TOPSHOTS-GUINEA-HEALTH-EBOLA

 

His name was Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian who died yesterday in Lagos from a suspected case of the newest epidemic- Ebola. May his soul R.I.P.

Ebola is a virus which causes the Ebola Virus Disease or Ebola Hemorrhagic fever; the symptoms of the disease include fever, sore throat, muscle pains, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys and as the disease progresses, the affected person begins to bleed from any or all of the following – mouth, nose, ears, eyes, skin, internal bleeding, prolonged bleeding from wounds etc. Death inevitably occurs in about a week, as there is no known vaccination or cure at present.

Can you catch Ebola?

Yes! A person can get Ebola by eating contaminated bush meat or touching a contaminated corpse or coming in contact with contaminated blood or body fluids of an infected animal such as a monkey or fruit bat (farmers and hunters beware) and even pigs but that isn’t why we are all worried after all how many average Nigerians get to do any of these things.

Well here is the problem: EBOLA IS SPREAD FROM ONE INDIVIDUAL TO ANOTHER BY PHYSICAL CONTACT!

–          If you touch a person who has Ebola virus, you will be at risk. (Think about the health workers who treated the Liberian man and initially didn’t know he was infected and then think of all the other people they could have touched- in the hospital, at home, in the bus etc.) THANKFULLY, DOCTORS OBEY UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS and wash their hands after seeing a patient. The question is, do you?

–          Men who survive an infection with Ebola (yes, a few people do survive, the disease kills 50-90% of infected victims) may be able to transmit the disease sexually for nearly two months. GIRLFRIENDS, WIVES and SIDECHICKS BEWARE!

Ok so now you see the magnitude of the problem. The dude who shook your hand could have Ebola. The lady who touched you may be infected. The caretaker trying to get that body to the morgue may be joining him soon and the doctors, nurses and the other members of the health team are very much at risk. The brave doctor who was spearheading the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has been infected by the virus and his predecessor died of Lassa fever (Ebola’s brother). If you felt the Nigerian doctors were being greedy by asking for a meaningful hazard allowance, think again. The money won’t stave off death but at least it would show the risk they were taking was duly compensated!

So how can you prevent catching the disease and how can you help curb the epidemic?

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water and if you can help it carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your bag so that every time you touch an individual, you disinfect your hands.
  2. Forget about bush meat right now. Do not visit joints that offer exotic meat. Yes I know it tastes great with palm wine but dead men don’t drink remember? (Libation doesn’t count!)
  3. If you suspect your neighbor has Ebola or even your family or friends, do not take them to a chemist, please take them straight to a teaching hospital AND DO NOT TOUCH THEM OR THEIR BLOOD, FAECES, URINE, TEARS, SPUTUM OR SWEAT and if you have been in close contact with them, avoid contact with others till you are sure you didn’t catch it.
  4. Health workers please observe UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS abeg!!! Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected individuals.
  5. Don’t touch the dead body of an infected person.
  6. Do not travel to a place where an Ebola epidemic has broken out (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan)
  7. Avoid touching contaminated materials and utensils used by an infected person.
  8. Call 08057886636, 08023169485, 08033086660, 08033065303, 08055281442, 08055329229 to report a case or ask questions.

Ebola virus is highly infectious and contagious and it has no cure. Please stay safe!

Don’t panic, just stay calm and wash your hands, thank God it isn’t air-borne!

Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,

xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Health

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 8

cheating
This was a mess and frankly it couldn’t get any worse.

Mamus had just caught me lip-locking her ex-fiance. Ex didn’t make it any better and the icing on the damn cake was that she had come into the room with guess who? If you thought Barry then you are an evil person geez! Anyway it’s not like you were that off the mark, she walked in with Ifedayo, Barry’s nosy P.A who happened to have a message for me from my hubby.

This was bad…Azeez seemed annoyingly unperturbed! I needed to fix this like yesterday. I slapped Azeez hard. I swear this slapping thing never gets old. Azeez howled, his eyes round like saucers but thankfully he was too stunned to thwart my plans. Mamus seemed shocked and Ifedayo jumped, he didn’t do much to hide the smirk on his face.

“How dare you Azeez? Mamus imagine this useless man, he walks into my house asking me to help get you back and the next minute he is jumping me like a hungry ape. Hisssssssss”

I held my breath…

Ifedayo didn’t look convinced but for now he was small fry. I needed Mamus on my side.

“Azeez I am ashamed of you, please leave now.”

I had never seen Mamus like this. She seemed eerily calm and Azeez obeyed her immediately without even looking at me. When he got to the door he looked at Mamus and with a voice that sounded very sincere though you can never tell with Naija men, he apologized to her and then left.

Mamus walked to the bar and poured herself a drink. I took a deep breath and faced Ifedayo.

“Come with me Ifedayo, Mamus please excuse me.”

I picked up my purse on my way out.

“What was the message you had for me?”

“Oga said the man that wants to service the generator will be coming at 12.30 instead of 4pm and he couldn’t reach you on the phone so he sent me to come and tell you so you don’t leave the house before the generator man comes.”

“OK thank you…Take this…”

I handed Ifedayo twenty thousand naira.

“What is this for madam?”

“That man in there would have raped me if you and my friend hadn’t walked in. I am just showing my gratitude. You know we women couldn’t have stopped him but once he saw another man he had to stop. Also I wouldn’t want your oga to hear about this because he has a heart condition and this might kill him if he doesn’t kill that man first.”

“AH, Olorun maje oh. Ese ma. I promise that oga will not hear a word about this but ma please be careful oh. The world is wicked.”

“Thank you, take care.”

As he walked away I took another deep breath. This was Lagos for crying out loud. I knew Ifedayo hadn’t bought a word of what I had said but he would not spill because I had paid for his silence besides this wasn’t such an uncommon occurrence after all, I was sure he had seen worse.

I know you are wondering how I got here. How I became part of the large percentage of majorly undetected, Lagos married women who were having extra -marital affairs? God knows I tried to resist Azeez but damn that guy had all my mumu buttons and he was bloody persistent. I think the turning point was when Mamus had called off the wedding three weeks ago. Yes, I had been having an affair for three whole weeks. Barry hadn’t suspected a thing because I was if anything, more loving, caring and attentive now and no, I did not do all those cliche infidelity things like buying new lingerie. Mamus too hadn’t suspected a thing because she was too blissfully in love with Gerald coupled with the drama and gossip that ensues after a wedding is called off. Speaking of Mamus, let me give you her gist. After weeks and weeks at the gym, Mamus had lost tons of weight and gone down to a size 14 (there wasn’t enough time to get to her beloved 12). She had set up a meeting with Gerald while Azeez was outta town and the hours before the meeting I had hooked her up with a stylist, a makeup artist, the works. Mamus looked like a yummy mamalet. According to her Gerald had barely recognized her and couldn’t stop staring, they had had a nice evening and when he hugged her goodnight, she had kissed him. She swears the alcohol gave her Dutch courage and that she had carried a knife in her purse to slit her wrists if he had rejected her advances (yeah right). Anyway he hadn’t rejected her. Apparently Mamus had always had his heart and now they were a couple. Azeez had been hurt when she broke off the engagement or rather his ego was wounded as he always imagined he would be the one breaking things up if that ever happened. He had come after me with a vengeance, what was a poor girl like me to do ehn?

I walked back into the house. I couldn’t stand outside day dreaming much longer. I didn’t want Mamus to come outside and make a scene before the whole estate would be discussing me at dinner. I closed the door and Mamus got off the phone. I figured she had already reported me to Gerald sweetheart. Geez!

“For how long has this been going on?”
“Mamus I am so sorry…”
“FOR HOW LONG?”
“Barely a week, it wasn’t what it looked like…”
“Toke do not lie to me”

Sigh…Mamus was one of my closest friends and she deserved the truth. I told her about how Azeez had been my one true love but fate had kept us apart and how I had had nothing to do with him till after she broke up with him. Well that was basically it! I held my breath.

“I have two questions for you Toke. One, did you advise me to break up with him because you wanted him? And two, what is gonna happen to Barry?”

“Of course not Mamus, I advised you to break up because it was obvious your heart was with Gerald I swear. I love Barry Mamus, I know it may seem like such a joke now but getting caught with Azeez brought me back to reality. I don’t wanna lose my marriage please…”

“You should have thought of that when you started cheating on your husband. Gosh I can’t believe you were the other woman my instincts kept shouting about, the one I was so sure had Azeez’s heart. SO much for friendship.”

“Please forgive me Mamus, I should have told you about my past with Azeez, maybe that would have helped keep my feelings in check. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”

“Forgive I shall, but it would be quite hard to trust you again. You hurt me Toke, I am not gonna lie about that. Barry is a good man and I hope for your sake that your act of infidelity does not ruin your marriage. You don’t deserve him anyway.”

Ouch…I deserved that sha. I hung my head in shame.

“I am sorry for hurting you with my actions Mamus”

Just then Amaka burst into the room, tears in her eyes. She looked like her heart had been ripped out of her chest.

“What’s the matter Amaka?” Mamus and I asked in unison, concern written all over our faces. Our quarrel momentarily forgotten.

“My husband has impregnated our maid…”

“Jesus!!!” Mamus and I exclaimed.

Just then I got a text message. I glanced at the phone and froze…

“YOU WILL HAVE TO TRY MUCH HARDER THAN THAT TO GET RID OF ME LUV, WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS! STILL HAVE A HARD-ON…X”

I clenched my fist, e gba mi oh! “Father Lord help me”, I whispered.

….To be continued….

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 6

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I opened my mouth and closed it again and then opened it again. I must have looked like a fish gulping large volumes of air in quick succession. I was frantic. Words failed me. I looked around for the nearest exit. The room was too quiet. A show down was definitely about to go down! I could feel the sweat on my brow.
‘OK snap out of it Modinat; there’s nothing Toke can’t handle!’
The quiet encouragement by the diva in my head helped me switch persona remarkably fast given the fact that I was about to wet my pants.

“Mamus I think we should have this talk in private.”

My response was short, calm but confident. I had definitely regained control. Acting so cool would surely make Mamus have a rethink. Mamus seemed to blush, she was obviously not expecting that. Geez, polite society was so different from the back streets where I’d grown up.

“Y..you are right dear! Forgive my ill-manners, love does make us do some foolish things. Hahaha…Let’s talk outside. Excuse us ladies”

Her nervous laughter and forced cheerfulness didn’t have me fooled for one second. Something serious was about to go down. The others were quiet but looked both curious and disappointed. I guess every one loved a cat fight. I flashed them a wry smile as I followed behind Mamus. Nothing prepared me for what happened next.

“I am really sorry Toke but I am going out of my mind. Azeez has asked me to marry him but I think he is still in love with an ex. I have tried to do my research and find out more about her but she was in his life a very long time ago. He refuses to talk about her and asks me not to worry but I can’t help worrying. I have been single for so long and to now allow a man into my life, I have to be sure he won’t mess up. All I know about the woman is that her name is Modinat!”

She paused for air and I looked at her incredulously. Was she toying with me?

“How do you know her name?”

“He called me her name by accident one day while we were laughing hard about something. I asked him who Modinat was and he denied saying the name. I let it go but I am convinced that’s her name. I don’t wanna live a lie but in all fairness we are great together and I know he cares deeply for me. I am just scared that if this woman ever comes back into his life, I may not win if he has to make a choice. That’s why I need your help. Please don’t deny it but I think you know more about Azeez than you are letting on. Please help a friend here.”

I couldn’t believe I was about to tell a big, fat lie…

“Honestly Mamus, I don’t know Azeez. After I saw him at your house, I went snooping on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I know I shouldn’t have but you are my friend and I have to watch out for you and you are obviously smitten by him. That’s how I got the extra info I have. I could show you my ipad so you could check my browser history for the stuff I looked at after I left your house that night. I was a real Inspector Gadget. Sorry babe, didn’t mean to pry but really I don’t know much, at least not more than you.”

Mamus laughed half-heartedly.

“Ok I won’t lie, I am a little relieved because it took me a while to work up the courage to ask you cos I was so afraid of what I would hear but I am also a little disappointed because the mystery still remains unsolved. Do you think I should ask Amaka to use her father’s connections to investigate him?”

“Nooooo!!! That’s a very bad idea. What if he finds out? He would never forgive you for not trusting him. Besides I have seen you guys together and I think what you have is for real but remember that marriage is a big deal. I wouldn’t want you going into it with doubts so you need to sort this out in your head before taking the big step. How are things with you guys at the moment?”

“Fine actually. Azeez is such a romantic and I feel thoroughly cared for. I guess you are right. I won’t mention it to Amaka. Please let’s keep this between us. I guess I am just being paranoid. You know I am not as young and sexy as I used to be hahaha”

I felt like crap. Mamus was my friend. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Now I knew how Judas felt. I hoped I wouldn’t end up hanging myself.

“Toke I am so blessed to have a friend like you. Thanks for always having my back. Love you babe”

Mamus hugged me and tears stung my eyes. I was a good person and I was going to prove it. I hugged her back with a new resolve. Azeez was history.

“One more thing babe. I know the others are gonna kill me but would you do me the honor of being my maid of honor?”

I froze. Kai karma’s a b*tch. This was gonna be harder than I anticipated.

“I would love to dear.”

She hugged me again and I could have sworn I heard laughter from heaven. Even the angels were laughing at me. I was in big trouble!

…….to be continued…..

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 4

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Siki opened her mouth to say something but her voice was muffled by the anguished exclamations of three women. They had arrived! I looked over Mamus’s shoulder hoping that I would not see the very person my heart longed to see. This was crazy, I felt like a teenager. I was brought back to reality by Amaka’s accusation.

“Amaka I know what the nurses said but I have spoken to Siki, her husband didn’t do it.”

My declaration started another burst of market-square chatter as the threw women aired their views at once. I knew that my usually cultured friends were still in shock about the degree of assault on Siki but I also realized that if they didn’t quieten down, the nurses would come and chase us away.

“Siki can I tell them?”

I knew it was unfair to put her on the spot but I also knew her confession was beyond me and she was definitely going to need all the help she could get. Siki shrugged and nodded obviously too weak and defeated to argue. Amaka, Mamus and Zainab looked at me expectantly.

“The monster who did this to Siki was her first husband. I don’t have the details but somehow he found her at home and did this to her. Her husband doesn’t know- frankly I don’t know how much he knows…”

I looked at Siki and she looked away, her eyes filling with tears. I continued…

“All I know is that our friend needs our help. Mamus you will have to convince her hubby that his wife was beaten by an armed man who broke into the house just to corroborate Siki’s story. Amaka you will need your father’s connections to ensure that this man is found and made to pay for his crimes and that he never has access to Siki again…”

“What will I do?” Zainab asked. I had gotten so wrapped up in my master plan that her question momentarily threw me off balance.

“You and I will take turns watching over Siki at the hospital. We must make sure that there is someone with her at all times. I know you work but please while at work tomorrow see if you can contact Siki’s sister. The four us, Siki’s husband included will run shifts watching over Siki. Mamus and Amaka will also chip in. We do not want a repeat attack.”

“I have an idea, why don’t I get my fiance to organize some mobile policemen to watch over her instead of us running compulsory shifts?”

“I thought he was a fashion designer Mamus?”

Mamus stared at me awkwardly.
“I never told you what he did for a living”

“Sure you did”. I laughed a little too loudly. “Don’t tell me you are starting to forget our little chitchats?”

Mamus exchanged glances with Amaka. Zainab sensing things were getting a bit awkward glanced at Mamus with a look that said drop it and announced that Mamus’s idea was splendid.

I couldn’t care less about what just ensued. If Mamus probed deeper, I would just let her know that I had checked him out on Facebook out of curiosity as I didn’t want my friend to fall into the wrong hands. What I did care about was the fact that Mamus had used the word ‘fiance’. She wasn’t wearing an engagement ring but definitely something had gone down. I needed a breath of fresh air and told the girls I would be back.

I was leaning on a car behind the hospital psyching myself to get it together and forget this Azeez of a person when I heard a voice that made me jump.

“Hello Modinat”

I looked up and there was Azeez with a smile playing on the corners of his full lips as he stared back at me with an intensity that burned my skin.

“H…how…I don’t understand…”

“How did I know it was you? I admit I never got a good look at your face but I memorized the sound of your voice and when you opened the door at M’s house I couldn’t immediately place why your voice was familiar but just now I was walking towards the ward when I overheard your laugh and suddenly it all made sense to me. Oh Modinat!”

I looked at him in what was a mix of shock, horror and pure longing. He took a step towards me and I froze.

…to be continued

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 2

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It couldn’t be Azeez. I blinked, was I dreaming?
“Hey beautiful, are you gonna let me in?”
I pulled myself together and forced a smile. Please come in.
“Azeez darling, I wasn’t expecting you so soon, was just rounding up my evening with the girls”
As Mamus gave her visitor a warm hug, I caught Siki’s eye, that was our cue to leave. I knew Siki would have loved to stay, she generally loved aproko but I couldn’t stand being there a second longer than necessary. Thankfully Zainab and Amaka agreed with me and despite Mamus’s half-hearted protests that we stay a little while longer, we were gone in less than five minutes.

“Didn’t he recognize me?”

I silently pondered about this on the short drive home. Thankfully Barry was working late so I had the house to myself. I poured myself a stiff drink. Barry had banned me from drinking since we were trying for a baby but I needed it. Where had Azeez been all these years? Was it a good thing that he couldn’t remember me? Why did seeing him still have such an effect on me? Was he the beau Mamus had been talking about finally getting serious with? Why would he want an older woman? I hated having so many unanswered questions. I had a brilliant idea and grabbed my iPad. These days, most people had their lives on full display on one social network or the other. I checked Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter and four hours and a full bottle of wine later I had answers to quite a few of my questions.

Azeez was a successful designer with a fashion brand called Azure. He had relocated to Lagos from L.A some months back and he was divorced (already) with a child from his previous marriage. His ex-wife and kid still lived in L.A. He had no pictures of Mamus on his Facebook or Instagram but had some interesting tweets about his new lady love. I scrolled through his older tweets and one dated on the 12th of August 2010 caught my eye.

“I wish I could have this night forever,  I wish time and circumstances would give us a chance…”

I had felt that exact same way that night. I remembered that night so vividly. I had hustled my way into a society owambe hoping to catch myself a generous toaster but had realised it wasn’t your regular party when all around me there were sounds of excited conversations heavily impregnated with deep British and American accents. This was forming on a new level and I had gotten weary of hearing people boast about how much money they had or where they spent their last holiday and had quietly retreated to the balcony. I couldn’t imagine opening my mouth in this kinda gathering and with the number of correct babes in designer clothing at the party, my chances of catching any correct bobo were slim. I stood there hoping Taiwo would hurry up with her work so we could leave, most guests had eaten anyway so I figured her job was almost done. That was when I heard his rich baritone. I have always been a sucker for a sexy voice. The balcony was dark so he hadn’t caught a glimpse of my face but his handsome features would be forever etched in my memory. He had come to the balcony to make a phone call and hadn’t noticed me which gave me ample time to study him.

“Remi this party is dulling oh, all the babes are forming like they never spoke Yoruba in their lives. Abeg come and pick me, I dont know why my mum refuses to let me drive in naija…”

I giggled at what I had eavesdropped and he noticed me for the first time.

“Guy I dey wait oh, let me call you back” “Hello were you laughing at me?”
“Yep, I couldn’t help it, the forming at this party na die”
“As in, omo I no fit shout, Hi my name is Azeez and you are?”

Modinat was what he knew me as and we had gisted for one hour switching from pidgin to Yoruba back to pidgin in obvious defiance of the party behind the glass door. We had tons in common, our ideas about life, favorite songs, childhood games. I had never been so real with anyone in my life. I was really feeling him and I knew it was mutual. When he let on that he had just finished his masters at a university in America and had come home to visit his mum, I felt the insecurity for the first time. Our lives were too different, I was a poor orphan, hustling for a living. He would never want to be with me if he knew who I really was. We bonded unimaginably and I tried to be as truthful with him as possible which meant evading any questions I felt were too personal. He told me that he had never felt this way about anyone in such a short time and that he wanted to be with me and see how far things would go even though he admitted that he had a girl abroad. I knew we could never be together and I told him I was engaged and in love with my fiance. His friend called at that very moment telling him he was parked badly and that Azeez had better hurry down. A tear pricked my eye as he asked for my phone number and I refused, how would I explain to him that I didn’t own a mobile phone? He took it as further rejection and had turned to leave and on a whim, he had grabbed me and kissed me and I swear down, no one had ever kissed me with such passion.

I hadn’t seen him again till tonight at Mamus’s house and he obviously hadn’t recognized me. I reached for my glass of wine and found it and the bottle empty. I groaned. What was wrong with me? I was supposed to be happily married and here I was agonizing about the one that got away. As if on cue, I heard Barry’s key in the door.

“Hi honey, I figured you’d be too tired to cook after hanging with the girls so I stopped by at Mandy’s and got us some dinner. Have you been drinking woah!?!”

Barry rushed to my side and instead of reprimanding me, he fussed over me caressing my hair and cooing into my ears. He had learnt early in the marriage that I didn’t like being questioned and as he silently reassured me of his love and carried me to bed, thoughts of Azeez began to dim in my head. When Barry served me dinner in bed I smiled gratefully at him. I would never know what could have been between Azeez and I but I was grateful about what I had in the present with Barry. Just as I finished dinner the doorbell rang, I wondered who could possibly be at my door at past 9. Barry got up from where he was propped beside me to check who was at the door. He came back in looking grim.

“Honey I think you had better dress up and come with me”

My heart skipped a beat!

……to be continued………

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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It’s all for the money $$$- A tale of one Lagos big girl….New beginnings: Part 2 Episode 1

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Hi Chutzpah Fam, due to popular demand, it’s all for the money has been continued…thanks for the feedback readers ♥

People say that when one chapter of your life closes, another begins. I sighed dreamily at the words ‘The End’ that signalled the concluding scene of our wedding video. The guys who did the video were incurable romantics and the priceless scenes captured on film along with the 80s love songs had me squeezing Barry’s hand in a way that clearly showed my emotions were on overdrive. They really don’t sing love songs like they used to…I really wished that was the end it would have been a most perfect ending but unlike real life, the end wouldn’t come till I was 6 feet under and right now I had way too much to live for. I couldn’t believe 6 months had rolled by so quickly. Marriage was beautiful. I had friends who would say otherwise but really life had a way of throwing you lemons and peaches and if I was eating peaches at this stage of my life it didn’t mean I hadn’t sucked my lemons dry.

Most of the women who had become my close friends had lived with a silver spoon all their lives. Amaka’s dad was an ex-governor and she had never worked a day in her life. The husband and the spa which were her two most prized possessions had been handed to her by daddy. She was your cliche fairytale princess. She reminded me of Bree in Desperate housewives, Barry had loads of DVDs and I’d spent a good part of my days catching up on the series I missed in my hustle days. I laughed because watching Friends or 24 now when people had moved on from them reminded me of the fact that even though late, I had definitely arrived. I couldn’t imagine any of the girls I had hustled with sitting down to watch Desperate housewives. The English would have been an issue and as for our mindsets, we would have never been able to identify personally with what we watched. Thank God for Bukky Wright and Yoruba movies jare. Anyway back to my friends. Amaka had a life everyone outside envied, she was regularly featured in magazines and was a style icon. Her yellow skin was pampered and spotless and she had a body that would make you jealous. Her husband was tall, dark and handsome and was the oga in charge of one of her father’s most successful businesses but things weren’t what they seemed. Amaka didn’t talk much but it was obvious to me that something was amiss. They had no kids and Amaka said they weren’t ready which was kinda odd to me cos they had been married for 5 years and then there was the little issue of Amaka’s love for coffee. She drank about 30 cups a day, I kid you not and while I used a teaspoon of decaf coffee downed in milk to make mine, she took hers strong, black and very bitter judging by the way she heaped the coffee grains into her cup like it was sugar sometimes I could swear she was high on caffeine. I had asked her once about it and she laughed in that way she always laughed, a laugh that sounded toosh and gentle like it had been practiced and perfected and told me that she needed the bitterness in her cup to remind her of the realities of life. Well like I said before she was perfect.    

 Then there was Siki, I had bumped into her at a supermarket one day and she had shouted ‘Modinat’ which had me quite embarrassed since I didn’t go by that name again. I had wanted to get rid of her fast and did all I could to form busy but this childhood friend of mine was not going anywhere. Ever the slut, she had used her bottom power to get herself out of the ghettoes and was dating a famous Ondo state politician whom she proudly pointed out was just one of her options. This girl knew me from way back and trust me when you’ve struggled to get a new identity the last thing you need is someone from your past wanting to be chummy. Anyway fate has a way of stirring things up. She’s the biggest drama queen in the universe and true to type, she brought Siki into my life a few months later. She moved into my estate, newly married to Tosin, Barry’s Nigerian boss. She had failed to mention that he was one of the people held spell bound by her powerful toto. I wondered why the yeye thing hadn’t slacked since. Her hubby had opened her a big supermarket around the corner and I had been forced to embrace her or make an enemy of her and trust me nobody wants a loud-mouthed Yoruba girl as an enemy. As a Yoruba girl I should know. Anyway I had to welcome her into the group to keep Barry happy since she was his boss’s wife and Amaka wasn’t too pleased. She was all for pedigree and pedigree was the one thing Siki and her expensive perfumes, bleached body and Brazilian hair did not reek of.   

      Mamus hadnt minded the new addition. We called her the mummy of our little group. She had lost her husband some years ago to cancer and her son lived abroad with his wife. She travelled a lot but when she was around she made us her business. She was nice and very accommodating and people said she was the first person to move into our estate and that she owned some of the other houses in the estate. Mamus knew everybody and everything. People tended to open up to her when left alone with her for a few minutes. She was the one who had warned Zainab that her hubby might be taking a second wife soon and also advised her on what to do and a few weeks later Zainab’s hubby had realized he couldn’t love two women equally and had called off the Nikkah. We loved Mamus and she loved us back. After Zainab’s incident we hid nothing from her and the more she knew the happier she was. She always teased me that I held back, I guessed she must have spoken to Barry at some point and realised he also had parts of my life he had no information about. I always wondered why Mamus needed to know so much, maybe her older age made her feel like it was her right but that secret was my secret and it was bad enough that Siki was in the picture, I wasn’t ready to let on anymore about me than was necessary.   

     Zainab was the last girl in our circle. She was also the only one with a 9-5 job. She left her twins at home with a nanny and drove to her job at Zenith bank every day. She refused to get a driver the same way she had refused to allow her widowed mother-in-law come take care of the kids. She hadn’t forgiven the woman for trying to get a second wife for her husband. When she had tackled her, the woman had said she wanted a wife who knew her place was at home taking care of her husband and kids. Zainab had been so outraged and would have acted rashly if not for Mamus’s timely advice. Now she had her husband eating out of her hand and was polite to her mother-in-law which only made the woman more afraid of her. She even sent the old hag a card and a basket of fruit every two weeks and nobody would have ever suspected that she detested her mother-in-law save for the woman. Zainab was ambitious. She was a goal-getter and a workaholic. Her husband was a business man but with the money she brought in from the other businesses she did outside her 9-5, her hubby was content lounging about and rarely brought home any money. She didn’t mind though, contrary to her mother-in-law’s opinion she was very much dedicated to her man and kids she just didn’t agree that a woman had to take the backseat in life just because she was a wife and mother. I agreed with her jare.     

     I looked around at the four women sitting at Mamus’s dining table drinking cranberry juice and vodka and gisting nonstop and I smiled contentedly. This was my new life. I was a responsible married woman and had friends who loved me. Even Siki had grown on me and sometimes I was actually grateful that there was another ex-hustler in the group. Mamus considered herself single and on nights like this she would regale us with tales of the men she dated. She was quite discreet especially since she had a penchant for younger guys but she always saved all the juicy details for us. Thursday nights were our nights and we took turns hosting the girls. That night as we sat drinking, the door bell rang and since I was sitting closest to it, I got up to open the door.

“Who is it?” I called out laughingly as I unlocked the door
“Mamus darling-”
Our eyes collided and time seemed to stop…

….to be continued…..

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in It's all for the money!, Series

 

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