Another Tale of Two Cities… 2

Day twenty two…6:15am


“You and this your life sef. You go just dey wakabout everywhere pursuing job wey no dey find you”…

Just shut up…shut up…  I had become worn out from his constant pestering. Tolu. There was no day he did not force into my ears the theory of how Nigeria is not a place to find job, how bad the economy is, how companies prefer machines to human beings, how companies are closing down… And then, after the long epistles, he’d say in a little sorry way…those words I wished desperately were not part of my identity

” And you know you’re ex…” Then he’d stop abruptly, not wanting to add salt to injury. Wasn’t that what he had already done?

I don’t have time for Tolu now…I mutter under my breadth, as I carry the bucket of water I had fetched yesterday. Tolu has actually been nice…allowing me to stay in his makeshift under bridge plank and zinc home. The space was only enough to contain two mats…as in two very small mats…like those that could only happily contain ten -year olds; and our buckets. Regardless of the cool weather, the house was always stuffy, not because there was just no breeze…but because this bridge didn’t belong to us alone. Many similar cubicle- homes also existed…killing the breeze and suffocating the air.

“Anyway sha…good luck”

I don’t pay attention to his remark this time, as I head for the little shack outside that is the community bathroom.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***


“Hello. Mr Donatus Okocha…right?” the lady sitting across the table says. A charming lady with the cutest smile. But her beauty is certainly nowhere in my mind now. I must get this job.

“Yes ma’am”

“Your CV is quite impressive. Can you introduce yourself?”

I do that smartly.

“Wow…you do sound like a natural marketer. First class, Entrepreneurial and Business studies… National Open University… Hmmm” She says as she scrolls through my CV, as if searching for something wrong with it.

“You’ve been convicted once”

My heart skips a thousand beats and my head aches hard and I feel dizzy and she stares keenly at me.

I didn’t tell her! How did she know?

“Of course after the written test we did a background check of those who performed impressively. In fact you were the best performing.

“But you know it’s a really bad history. An accomplice in a robbery case…”

“Ma…please give me this chance. I know I did wrong …but that was ten years ago. I’ve paid for my crime and I’m now a better person. It was in prison that I got the degree, because I wanted a better life for myself. I was even commended for my good behavior in prison by the warden, that’s why I was pardoned earlier this year. Please ma… I don’t want to go back to that life…”

I see her pitiful eyes.

“Listen,… Our company sells products with the  personal-selling strategy. It demands a great deal of trust worthiness…”

I sink. There… No job. Just cut the long story short




“I really wish you could get the job… But my hands are tied. I’m also an employee…and they could sack me for that. Yet the reason I still called you up for the oral interview is because I believe in you.”


” Yes. So I have a proposal for you…”



To be continued…












Another Tale of Two Cities…

Day twenty-two

I wake up this morning with more headache, partly because of jthe booze last night and partly because of what is before me. I don’t know what is before me, and the fear of this unknown robbed me of my drunken sleep last night… It defeated the effect of Gulder and kept me awake till 3 this morning! Foul spirit!!

The air is still humid, and chilly…the rain that fell yesterday evening refused to help someone’s life from the rugged habitat under bridge… I mean literarily and figuratively. Literarily because I live under bridge… I mean third mainland bridge, that bridge that connects the island to the mainland and unites the whole Lagos, that bridge is my home. Or more appropriately my shelter. On the figurative angle… I live under  the bridge between prison and the society.. The bridge one embarked on from the first day the prison warden parted me on the back , with a big grin, and said: Donatus…you’re now a free man…

“Oga Dona… Mr Executive.. You no dey go for interview again?!” This coarse, mocking voice jilts me back to reality. I stand up drawsily from my raffia mat…

“Bros…no start this early morning” I glimpse at the well worn watch on my wrist… 6:15

This is the first episode of this series… The next will be coming up real soon. Watch out!

Wawuu! It’s feels good to be here. What would I be doing? I guess I don’t know. Not that I have no ideas… But I don’t want to restrict myself. Anyway, for now I’ll focus on creative writing… Particularly those short stories that are more real than reality and yet we choose to ignore. Maybe we’re afraid. And at other times I may get a little philosophical. That’s right. Maybe some poems now and then will do… But the key stuff is that this blog will never be boring.. Neither will it be shallow.