“Bow down to me and I won’t destroy your land!” A man on a horse said. He was of the black race and had a funny looking piece of metal on his head which was assumed to be a crown.
“Never!!!” The person he was talking to screamed in response, “my people would rather die than bow down to you!”
“Hmmm… Very well then. You shall all perish before night fall!” He turned back to his second in command who was patiently waiting for an order and said the three words he had been waiting to hear in a while, “Kill them all.”
The second in command just smiled and bowed in response. He looked over his shoulder to have a quick glance at the millions of blood thirsty soldiers who were ready to kill and with the loudest voice he could conjure, he screamed, “attack!!!”
And then Henry stepped in and screamed, “Cut!!!” Just like that, the lights were turned on and the actors on the stage all stood and turned to wait for Henry’s directions.
Henry glanced at his wristwatch, “take ten you all, when we come back, we would stage the war.”
The actors all mumbled words of agreement and stepped out of the stage to rest and so other stuffs before the shooting continued.
Henry on the other hand turned went to the extreme right corner of the studio to seat. A table and chair had been placed there and it was his supposed office during the shooting of the movie. TOP believed that giving his office in his studio would make him think more about the movie and produce a better content.
After making slight adjustments to the script and handing it going through it, he raised his head and stared at the door of the studio. He was worried. Zainab was supposed to be here and she hadn’t even passed by once. Was she avoiding him? He asked himself but immediately responded in the negative, he had done nothing wrong yet so there was no reason for her to avoid him.
He decided to go and check on her in her office for the second time that day.
He dropped the scripts and the little microphone attached to his shirt and headed to her office. He got there soon enough and instead of knocking or entering straight up, he stood at her door for a while, just admiring her.
In the real sense, she wore a dark green skirt which could be mistaken for black if not looked at properly and a light green top with a sexy looking dark green jacket to match. She initially wore black heels but after considering the discomfort it rendered to her, she removed it and replaced it with a flat she had brought from home. Henry noticed all this and even more noticed that she was concentrating on her phone so deeply that she didn’t even notice he had been standing at her door for nothing less than five minutes.
He thought clearly of his approach, he could approach angrily asking her why she wasn’t present at his shoot or he could go in warmly and crack a couple of jokes… He decided to go with the latter.
He knock just once and without waiting for a response he barged in to the office. “I’ve always wondered why women loved to stress themselves. Why bother where a high heeled shoe to work if you would change to a flat once you get to the office?” Henry asked as he walked to the chair.
Zainab was startled at first but almost immediately gained her composure back, “I’ve always wondered why you don’t ever wait for me to invite you in whenever you knock. You just barge in, you may as well not knock at all…” She mischievously replied.
Henry wanted to fire back but Zainab response had put in on a tight spot and he had no reply, he just smiled and changed the topic. “I was expecting you at the studio but you never showed up?” He said in a tone that made it seem more like a question that a regular statement.
Zainab quickly sent Boniface a “cwyl,” message which meant Chat with You Later, and dropped her phone. Without any argument or mischievous reply which Henry had expected she stood up and said, “I’m sure you still have thirty minutes left, so let’s go.”
Henry remained in his seat, looking surprised.
* * * ** *
As he stepped out of a four story building IT company which specialized in providing internet services for firms and individuals, Taofeek was pretty sure he would receive a call from them within the next twenty four hours.
He had just dropped his C.V with the personnel manager on the third floor and even though the receptionist on the ground floor had told him there was no job vacancy, he felt that with a C.V like his, someone would be sacked so as him to replace.
He had two degrees from Canada number one university and another from Oxford in England, let alone the different professional degrees he got from both online courses and from Yale and Harvard. How and why he attend all these schools still surprised and better yet annoyed his dad up till present. All his dad wanted was for him to get a B. SC and join the family company but due to Taofeek keen interest in education, he had gone ahead to bag a B.Sc., masters, Ph. D and an endless list of degrees from the best universities he could lay his hands on. Then to top it all he had more than enough working experience as a manager in one of his father companies which happened to be a very huge and popular IT company too. So when he expected them to call in 24 hours, he was bragging or trying to sound cocky.
That was the third company he had dropped his C. V in that afternoon and decided to head over to the last company which was at the other side of the Lagos Island to drop his last one before trying to look for an accommodation. He didn’t like the fact that he stayed with Zainab as that indirectly put a pause to his search for independence. He knew Zainab cared too much about him that she would ask him tonnes of questions each day after he comes back from work, he wasn’t ready for that, he had already answered more than enough questions during his years of acquiring the degrees which rested comfortably in the suitcase held firmly.
Taofeek headed to the bus top and waited patiently for a taxi, after waiting for a short while, one stopped at his front.
“Where you dey go?” The driver asked staring at his through the rare view mirror.
In his foreign American accent, Taofeek replied, “shey you know where Christ Embassy dey?”
The driver was angry at first thinking it was just a joke considering the fact that there were thousands of Christ Embassy churches all around but after turning to face Taofeek directly and see his face was straight, he assumed Taofeek just didn’t know what he was saying. “Which one?” He calmly asked.
Taofeek had google possible IT companies all around Lagos Island where he could drop his C.V and although others had a specific address, the last one – the one he was about to head to didn’t have one. Rather, a phone number and direction to a Christ Embassy church was on their website. The only reason Taofeek was interested in them was the amazing salary range they offered.
He picked up his phone and checked his saved pages on his browser where he had saved the website of the company and handed it over to the driver.
The driver took it and starred at it for a few seconds then looking confused, he turned to Taofeek and asked, “You wan dash me your phone abi wetin?”
It occurred to Taofeek that the driver could either not read or had no idea what to do with the phone, he took it back and gave him the comprehensive address of the church.
“So na wetin you no fit talk since be that shey?” The driver asked in disgust as he heard the address and knew it, and it was also obvious Taofeek was a “JJC” aka Johnny Just Come, so the driver decided to make some extra cash of him, “oya enter make we dey go, your money na one thousand naira for thirty minutes oh!”
Taofeek bursted out into an uncontrollable laughter. He couldn’t exactly believe the driver thought he could cheat him that much. He didn’t know the price but he was sure that Nigeria drivers don’t charge based on time but distance and here this driver was telling him to pay half hourly… Simply ridiculous.
“Oga, if na play you wan use me play, abeg carry you scatter scatter car commot my front make better person come, na five hundred I go pay for the whole journey, if you no gree, dey go abeg!” Taofeek replied, and although he still sounded funny with his American accent, the driver could easily tell he was serious and he knew what he was doing.
“Oya make we leave am as one thousand naira, I no fit take five hundred for this kind long journey.” The driver replied.
“I no get one thousand oh, you go take eight hundred naira?”
The driver sighed, the original fee was actually six hundred naira, “oya enter.” He said and Taofeek entered.
The driver deliberately spent and extra fifteen minutes on the road taking a longer road instead of the usual shorter road to make the journey seem longer and in his naivete?, Taofeek had no idea all he wanted to do was get there on time so he could do what he had to do and then go house hunting before night fall.
The driver eventually arrived at the destination and after pointing at the Christ Embassy church across the road, he took the money and zoomed away happy over the extra two hundred naira he had just ripped of Taofeek.
Taofeek on the other had stood on the road side, carefully scanning the environment with his eyes and searching for a huge building that could possibly be the IT company considering they paid that much, he expected the company to be huge. He saw none.
He picked up his phone once more and dialled the number on their website. After the third ring the call was picked.
“E gbon, ta lon soro?” The recipient said as soon as he picked the call.
“I beg your pardon?” Taofeek said in response, “please is this Gingernet?” He added.
The recipient immediately readjusted and switched from his initial Yoruba to Queen’s English, “yes, sorry about my earlier response, how may I help you?”
Taofeek sensed something suspicious about that but just played along, “I saw on your website that you guys were employing new staffs and I also saw an address to your company so I followed to the address and I’m right where the address in the website says but I can’t find your company.”
The recipient went silent for a while as if he was trying to think of what to say or was whispering to someone in the back ground, after a few seconds he replied, “Sorry for the inconveniences. Ginger net is a new IT company in Nigeria and we operate in a different way. We love to treat or staffs in a special way and at the same time be anonymous, thus the address on the website. We would send a driver in a car to pick you up in a few minutes so please just hold on a while and put your phone on standby.”
Taofeek was confused but impressed at their style of operation, “okay, I’ll wait.” He said excitedly.
But maybe he shouldn’t have waited.