Dear aunties and uncles,
As the full-time Chief Operating Officer of the Usman household, I happen to have some free time on my hand from time to time.
So imagine my excitement when I got a call from my Bank – Access Bank – informing me I qualify to win big money as part of their on going cash raffle draws.
See, my village people thought they’re about to subject me to having very little money! It’s a lie, I must win this 1 million Naira today.
I quickly informed the Nigerian Husband and in fact, I made him some promises. I air-marked some money for bills ( our electricity bill grows faster than a toddler. Each month, it doubles. IKeja Electricity, what’s up with that?)
The day came, I got a text saying the time had been moved from 10 a.m to noon. No problem, we go show there, no be free money again? It was just by divine intervention that I didn’t wear the George wrapper my mother in-law gifted me. I had my bath, donned one of my favourite Chief Operating Officer outfits and dashed out. The distance to the bank is walkable, but no, I’m about to win 1 million Naira, what is a 50 Naira kekenapep charge in the grand scheme of things? Abeg, poverty mentality, be gone.
I got to the bank promptly at 12, if there’s attendance, I must be number one.
I was ushered to a waiting area, where I sat down and had a good time observing other 1 million Naira hopefuls like me.
I thought I was dressed to blind, but there she was:
An elderly lady came strutting in fully dressed in iro and Buba, blinged out with shoes to match.
Ah, mommy, please don’t distract this people from picking my name.
One by one, other aspirants of the money trickled in. All of them had straight faces pretending they’re not firing prayers in their hearts!
Please move let me be excited in peace.
Their chief came in with her face screwed tighter than the screws and bolts on the prison doors at Kiri Kiri Prison.
Aunty came and without greeting anybody, she goes
“They’ve not started?”
I almost replied, “yes, they’ve started and all of us here have won and we are just counting our win.”
But don’t worry, I’m learning to respond like Christ, so I kept quiet.
“What? So they think we don’t have jobs, Shey?”
She kept complaining but ‘las Las,’ Sha, she gave someone her number to call her when the raffle starts. She left. She came back later and waited like the rest of us. Aunty cannot come and go and carry last.
Then the general came;
Mama was decked out in her Girls Guide outfit ready to punish the people if they didn’t call her name.
“Is this where they’re doing raffles?
All of us quickly answered in the affirmative. Me too joined in the chorus of answer. I refuse to be the one she’ll order to roll in the puddle forming from the light rain shower.
Mama General immediately took her place at the front of the canopy, asserting her para- military presence.
One by one, more of my fellow 1 million naira aspirants filed in.
After an hour of waiting, I think the Access Bank folks began to sense the restlessness among us, their esteemed and best and elite bankers. They sent one of their staff to come bearing gifts – sweets in paper plates. At least, we can’t claim we didn’t win anything.
“We will start in another ten or fifteen minutes,”she said as she served the 10 naira sweets around.
I immediately went to use the bathroom. God forbid, I will not soil myself when my name is eventually called to claim my 1 million Naira.
But when I came back, I really began to think, it will be nice to win 1 million or the other cash prices, but my life isn’t bad at the moment. I have most, if not all that I need and many of my wants. God is really good to me and my family. It will be nice for someone who really needs it to win something substantial. Like a widow, a single father or just a parent who needs to have their kids’ September school fees paid.
I resolved to being a cheerleader for whoever was announced winner of anything. We all win.
After nearly an hour and a half, Mama General called Access Bank.
“Ah ah, we are here for the draw, when will you start?”
She wasn’t having any of the waiting, but like other 1 million Naira hopefuls no one had the guts to leave.
“We die here, we must win this money.”
Then the time came.
The Emcee began by praying
“Anybody that doesn’t want us to share this money….”
“Holy Ghost… Fire,” we all chorused.
That guy’s prayers didn’t work for me, or perhaps it did but my 1 million naira will come in the future.
Las Las, I still dey wait my 1 million.