Published on November 3rd, 2011 | by thetoolsman21
43 Fafunwa: Episode 4: Money Matters
Evenings at 43 Fafunwa are really something to experience. The birds didn’t chirp much, or maybe they did but they were drowned out by the sounds of old and new fuji music blaring out of Isla’s music shop from the next compound. Several kids, mostly non-residents, would join the kids of the compound and together, they would unleash chaos at the entrance of the house. Mr. Andrew would sit on ‘his chair’ which was always placed in ‘his spot’ while he took sips of an ‘unknown’ transparent liquid from ‘his glass cup’.
Yes, unknown indeed.
While entertaining himself, Mr. Andrew was also to be found having conversations with the voices from his transistor radio or any unlucky individual who mistakenly engaged him.
This evening, that individual was an unusually high-spirited Sparrow.
“Old Soldier! Old soldier never die…”
Mr. Andrew looked up from his radio to acknowledge Sparrow. As he did so, a stray rubber football narrowly missed his face but before he could turn to find out where the ball had come from, Sparrow picked it up, juggled it a bit and kicked it in the direction of the kids who had all started to run away.
“See them. The..these these devlishi children. I no fitti blame you. It is your parents who tolerate indiscipliny I…”
Irrespective of the weird pronunciations, Mr. Andrew’s spoken English was considered pretty kick-ass in those parts. Yeah, what?
Sparrow interrupted him to deliberately switch subjects: “Old soldier free that one jo. Wetin dey happen, dem don sack Siasia?”
Mr. Andrew’s livid expression immediately gave way to one of interest as he brought Sparrow up to date on happenings in the sports world.
“Na to go find which ex-Super eagles player me sef go nominate for coach make I chop small money.” Sparrow commented. “This one wey we dey ember month, money don dry everywhere. Even for us transporters. E just be like say people no wan commot for house sef.”
Yes, Sparrow is a transporter, not a tout.
“It’s thosi bloody civiliansi. When the military haddidi power….” Mr. Andrew whined. A world without military rule, for him, was imperfect.
“Old soldier, leave story jare. Make I enter yard. I dey expect special guest wey go change my life, na why I close early today. We go yarn later.” Sparrow excused himself.
Ifeanyi felt a headache as thoughts swirled round his mind. It was past 6pm and business had been really slow. He pulled out his money drawer, straightened and counted the few notes he found there. He shook his head knowing it had been another bad day for business.
‘One - two. Just one two since morning’ he thought to himself. How was he going to be able to save enough to marry Ibiyemi before the end of the year with these kinds of figures. Memories of a conversation he had with a customer earlier in the day flashed through his mind.
“Biko, a chorom that thing…” (Please, I need that thing)
“You know now? You no be chemist?”
“I don’t understand. What do you need drugs for? What are the symptoms and who is the patient sef?
The customer had hesitated before drawing closer to Ifeanyi to whisper: “I want to do emergency birth control for my woman.”
Ifeanyi’s reaction was not only surprising to the man, it was also scary for his loud shriek got the attention of almost everyone around them. ‘But I cannot take a life, no matter how lucrative it is. I can’t. Mbanu. Not even because of Yemi.’ With that, Ifeanyi began to pack up for the day.
Amen! Amen! Amen!
“In Jesus’ mighty name we pray.”
With the last “amen,” Laide let go of Ibeyemi’s hand and smiled at her.
“Just two more days and we will be through with your deliverance. Shey we can quickly go to break our fast so we won’t be late for evening service.”
Ibiyemi responded with a simple nod and bent to pick up her Bible. Agreeing to deliverance and giving her life to Christ were the conditions Laide had given her if she wanted her to keep her ‘not so little’ secret.
Laide herself had encountered Eddy a couple of times and she knew her ability to resist lusting after him was only as a result of the presence of the Holy Spirit in her life. Laide had offered to join Yemi in her fasting and she had gladly accepted even though her real reason for offering was her increasing shortage in cash. Salaries hadn’t been paid for three months at her office and things had been very tough for Laide. Peeping into Ifiok’s room that day, had been her miracle from the most high and as Ibiyemi placed a hot plate of rice and fish stew in front of her, she was more than thankful.
Sparrow looked quite conspicuous as he swept dirt from his room into the long corridor that ran through the building and towards the main entrance. The door to room eight opened almost immediately after Sparrow hit the base of his broom on the wall. An expressionless Mrs. Alabi peeped through the open door and yelled out: “Kunle! Kunle! Oya ma bo ninu le o.” (Kunle, enter the house.)
Sparrow shook his head as the young boy ran past Mrs. Alabi into the room. He was clearly irritated by the Alabis’ approach towards their son’s asthma. Left to him, the best way to face one’s fears was to attack it head on. Ifeanyi’s singing, delivered with a thick accent, brought Sparrow out of his thoughts…
“…Time na money eh.. Time na money…”
“Omo yibo. Na you we see before seven today? Na your baiday?” Sparrow inquired.
Ifeanyi threw Sparrow a cautious look and merely replied with another verse from his song as he proceeded to knock on the door to his room.
“…No hurry hurry – oli yando…”
“Ha! Ma wo e le yi. O ti gawk e baje. With all this bia bia wey full your face, you think say you still get time?” Sparrow mocked.
“Anyway, na your own be dat. My own time don come today.”
With that, Sparrow packed up the dirt and half-ran towards his room, his guest was going to arrive any moment and even though they had been childhood friends, he wanted to make sure everything was perfect.
Generally speaking, this translated into three words: “Hide the weed!” The sweeping thing was a bonus.
Moments after Sparrow got into his room and checked round to make sure everything was in place, he heard the voices getting louder and louder as they peaked into a fight.
Well, not so much a fight as an argument.
Una too like fight sef.
“What exactly are you getting delivered from? Ehn?” Sparrow heard Ifeanyi yell, “Can’t you see what’s going on here?”
At first, Sparrow hoped Ifeanyi and Yemi would lower their voices and settle their argument peacefully but as things got louder, he burst out of his room, only to meet his guest at his door.
“Padi mi Crown!”
Footnote: Read more about Mozilla Crown here.