I Obaz reporting once again for Lagos happenings, don’t get it twisted I am a Lagos boy confirm, don’t dull I know the ins and outs of Lagos like the back of my hand and one other thing I love to see the happenings of Lagos and tell their stories because in Lagos there is always a story to tell.
So this faithful day I go out with my Peugeot, yes I love that beast like I love my Lagos, its ruggedness and endurance is next to non and it is also durable and long-lasting, one of my dream is to get the 3008 model coming out soon, the sad part is its going for 18.8M, and before u say anything, can’t a man dream in peace again hian to all haters, ama shine when ama shine lol. Anyways back to the story, so in my hood I have this Akara seller (bean cake) that has been saving lives since 1842 LMAO!!! In the morning she is there when no one can cook but have to get to work very early, in the evening she is also there when you are too tired to cook anything after the hustle and bustle of Lagos and you just need a snack to eat and head to bed. She spices the akara up with Bread, sometimes pap, she also as the side attractions like the sweet potato fries and fried yam. Trust me when I say she has been saving lives from way back, and I have been patronising her like kilode lol.
So this faithful day Mama Fatima, as we fondly call her, was not her cheerful self, she was withdrawn, not talking to anybody but was still going about her usual business, the akara seemed off too in taste and luckily I was on leave so I had time to actually talk. So I waited for everyone to leave first and I decided to talk to her.
“Mama Fatima, what is the problem you seem in your own world, you are not talking or playing with your customer what happened?” “Hmmmm Obaz nothing is the problem ooo, I am fine sigh”, “Mama Fatima I have been patronising you for months and I know when you are fine or when you are not and trust me you are not fine besides your akara today seems off, maybe it is the salt, maybe it is the person that grinded it, maybe it is the oil or maybe it is lacking in your cheerfulness and ever smiling personality” I replied, and that brought a smile to her face. “Thank you Obaz I appreciate your effort to cheer me up, but you know how Lagosians can be now if you tell them your problem it would look like you are pouring it on them and I don’t want to lose a customer because of that”, “Why don’t you try, don’t just conclude we are all the same, yes there might be recession but hey people still care for their neighbours you know and I want to listen”, “No work today Obaz?” “No work oooo”, “Hope everything dey okay, dem no sack you sha?” “Why does everybody think that, whenever someone stays back home and is not sick?” I countered laughing, “You know how Lagos can be atimes now, the hustle is so real you hardly find people resting even when they should”, “well I am fine ooo, just took my annual leave, so I have some days to rest and no I am not going to hustle while resting I cannot come and die or use my money to pay medical bills in old age lol. So back to you Mama Fatima, what seems to be the problem”, “Hmmm, may God bless you Obaz, it is Fatima ooo, she needs N10,000 for schooling so she can write her final papers and also pay for JAMB and all the plenty exams and you know I have tried to give her the best of education because I don’t want her being like me, I want her to be better and her children after her far more educated, but I don’t have that kind of money right now and I don’t know what else to do, she has been crying all day every day and it kills me to see her like that”, “I am so sorry to hear that Mama Fatima, this life is just a pot of beans” “tell me about it Obaz, na God hand we dey”, after much thought I needed to help her “I will give you the money so Fatima can go to school” “haaaah!!!! Oga Obaz you are serious!!!” “Yes I am serious, everyone needs access to education and Fatima is no different, I have watched you train her from your business and I know you are one good woman any child can ask for” “Thank you Obaz my son, God will bless you and I promise you give me two months I will raise that money and pay you”.
True to her word she did gather the money and wanted to pay, but her commitment alone was touching and provoking I was compelled to let that money go though it was hard on me. This was a woman who worked so hard for her children and she still kept her promise, she was a true Lagosian, a true Nigerian, an honest being and she deserved much more. And before you ask the other questions, yes I get akara free from time to time, but I also force payment most of the time.
Fatima is now in the University, University of Lagos and she followed my advice and invested the money she wanted to return for fatima’s education. I feel very proud and fulfilled every time I hear about Fatima’s successes and challenges in school and I cannot wait to write about her graduation. Mama Fatima is still under the shed doing what she knows how to do best come rain or sunshine, selling the Akara with joy knowing her children’s future depends on it and I am here going through the hustle of Lagos dreaming of my dream Peugeot singing Davido’s IF… only if that 30million was in my account lol, until next time watch out for the people of Lagos….. Obaz over and out….
Categories: Short Stories