My name is Kenneth, my story is about life in a typical naija university as a young and smart young man trying to make a little dough while in school. Since I no get money as capital for business or special skill to use make d money, what else could I have used to make money? Guts and plenty luck, yes my friends, the hustle is real and as jungle don mature, only the fearless will make it.
Journey with me, lemme tell you about the intricacies and complexities involved in been a full time IMPERSONATOR (our English people go sabi this one) or what we call in local parlance “MACHINERY”……
Growing up, I always thought of myself as ordinary, I am a quiet and reserved guy, not much of the friendship kind, always enjoyed my own company (with my headphones)… Finishing secondary school brought a huge sigh of relief and I was looking forward to university education but it took a couple of years after jamming with jamb and overcoming dire financial crisis for me to finally get admission to study computer science in Nnamdi Azikiwe university, Awka, Anambra state.
I always had it in one tiny corner of my mind that “oboi na wetin u know,u go take make money for skul o”, how I was gonna achieve this, I really didn’t know, it was just there. On the day of my post ume exam, I noticed two things, while queuing outside beautiful gate, d guys who were controlling us (prospective students) were heavily built and carried pump action assault rifle….mehn make I no lie,my mind begin cut from that point o cos I wondered how these guys could carry this kind of weapon with ease.
I later found out those guys were members of the dreaded Anti-cult group/ security personnel, and we were told by old students that its in our best interest to stay away from them and not do anything that will attract their attention because once you are in their bad books,its DOOM….
How was I going to make additional money to compensate for the meager pocket money I got from home?…i asked myself this question everyday but the answer came in the weirdest way……..
EPISODE 1 – THE STEP UP
After 100 level, I had just one friend in my class of about 185, and we had a very smart ass ibo/benin guy as our class rep, his name was chizzy. I hardly talked to him but little did I know we were gonna be partners in crime….
In second semester of yr 1, we did a course, mat102, it wasn’t too difficult, just an extension of some topics in further mathematics but ehn the lecturer was a crazy old man who should have retired. After making threatening remarks during lecture days(which I attended just twice), where he said, more than half of us will fail the course (sadistic fellow, he was), time came for exam, I was seated amongst people who I wasn’t too familiar with, in utility building, i sha did the questions I knew (N:B: We had over 5 different types of question papers, so your neighbor might not have same questions with you), I used ogboju,(common sense) to answer the rest, submitted and walked away, fairly satisfied.
Fast forward yr 2, I was still my reserved self, always with my headphones blasting rap music, walked into class one morning and met my classmates having a meeting which was heralded by chizzy himself, long and short was that, Mat102 result is out and half the class had F,for my mind I say chei,this winch man don do wetin talk,aniways sha….my friend Becky came to me and said “congrats Ken”, I was like,shey I win lottery ni,she just kept smiling like person wey dem dey totori,after the meeting concluded, chizzy approached me and said,”na u b Ken abi,with reg no ****”, I said “yea”, the he goes “bros how u take do am, who run am for you”, I just smiled in ignorance without any inkling of what he was talking about and then he goes, “bros na u get highest for 102 o”, I just went blank for a minute and for my mind ehn,I begin cast the lecturer onto say e just make person mind dey cut,after all said and done,chizzy knew I did it myself and as per say we b old bendel people,naso we take become paddy o.
Timetable came out for second semester exams and as i was trying to prepare i got a call from chizzy requesting to see me after class, he asked if I could write phy102 for someone, I told him point blank,”bros I never run this level b4 o” and he said, “forget,na small thing, we go dey together”.
I was calm since my guy was gonna be there,and that’s how the journey to the land of taking different identities started……
EPISODE 2 – THE GAME
On the day of the said exam,which was for 3pm, I got to the exam venue(physics lab, science village) around 2:45pm,lo and behold I saw about 10 guys from my class partaking in same exam, for my mind ehn,I was like “so all this guys now na machinery dem b o” cos they are fairly intelligent and we had very few F in our own phy102….
The students who were gonna take the exam were almost 300,so we all went in,seated and waited for the question paper and answer booklet to be shared. Mah no lie, I was prepared bookwise but I was kinda scared because if you are caught, well….the exam started around 3:45pm, and me, chizzy and my other classmates colonised two seats, as per machinery colony.. The checks for id card and school fees receipt wasn’t too serious because of the crowd, at some point tho, one of the invigilators who is a yr2 physics student saw us (machineries) and raised an eyebrow,like ” see this men o” but chizzy as per leader spoke with him and the guy bone, naso my mind sweet like, oboi c confirm level, little did I know it ain’t always rosy.
The exam went well, I pocket my 4k afterwards and went home grinning like a kid who just discovered porn.
About two weeks later, we had our own course phy202 (Electronics), its an easy course and the lecturer was a clown who uses his lecture time to crack jokes and yab students, according to exam regulations, any department that borrows a course from another department must send at least one invigilator on the day of the exam. It so happened that for phy202, statistics and computer science departments were borrowing and after we had seated, fully prepared for the exam, the lecturer came in, saw the crowd and asked for representatives of the other departments, unfortunately there was none and the man cancelled the exam, oboi naso we begin beg o,promised him we weren’t going to make the exam hall a rowdy place,we were going to coordinate ourselves,yada yada yada, even the class reps tried convincing the man but he didn’t budge o,mehn I was disappointed and angry cos my head don full with calculations and formula wey i wan download give am.
Coincidentally, a yr1 exam was going on same time, in the same vicinity (science village), STA132 (statistical method), almost 35% of my classmates had this course carry over but due to the clash in schedule,they already forfeited the sta132,omo as d man cancel the phy202, they started running towards the building of the sta132, praying for luck and hoping for the best since God has smiled on them. For me, na house sure pass, had a Manchester United game I wanted to go and watch since exam don cast,then i heard my name,”ken howfar”, it was chizzy accompanied by another guy, and I had a feeling like, “this ain’t gonna be good”
He came towards me with the guy, didn’t recognise him tho, pleaded that since phy202 has been cancelled, I should help the other guy write sta132, I was like, “bros me no open that course at all”, the guy spoke up and said he had faith in me and believe I could do it for him even if I didn’t read the course at all. Naso plans change o, I quickly took his last 3 digits (reg number) and memorised his full names, collected my 4k (no time to waste), hit the venue of the statistics exam which was already in full force. Lo and behold, I saw Lotta classmates who didn’t pass the course the first time and others who were machines like me, naso I block one babe (Cynthia) and I was like, “how far, u dey write this course as c/o”, she replied in the affirmative and even mentioned she prepared for it adequately since the phy202 isn’t too difficult. Oboi my belle sweet o,chai but as per sharp delta man, I quickly asked her to remind me of some major formulars in the course and she did so flawlessly.
We were finally ushered into another class since the first hall was filled and i was lucky to sit behind her (God loves me), question paper and answer booklet was shared and also attendance sheet, which I filled accordingly but with fear since the names and reg number on the attendance dosent correlate with the details on the school fees receipt and id card i had with me. Exam started and i was carefully answering the questions and waiting for the babe to fill her answer booklet b4 i began spy,all of a sudden, she stood up, went to the invigilator and submitted, I was like WHAT!!!!!, see hearbreak. Hope lost, or so i thought…..
The invigilator was surprised as well because we had spent like 30 mins in the hall and its impossible to finish all the questions in such a short time, the guy called the attention of the lecturer incharge, and when the lecturer came, she recognised the student (they have had an unfortunate meeting in our year1), the lecturer ordered the girl back to her seat with her answer sheet, since the answer sheet was empty. Naso the girl begin cry o,knelt down and was begging the lecturer because she didn’t want to get another F apparently she skipped writing her name in the attendance sheet as well, i guess her brain reformat inside exam hall and she forgot all she had read (cramming things,not advisable).
She came back and sat down,sniffling and cleaning her eyes, my heart started beating hard because the lecturer might use that scene to start checking everybody’s answer booklet and attendance sheet to make sure all is in place, naso i do the one wey i remember and i jejely go submit after counting the ceiling multiple times (joblessness).
Thank God it went well, i called chizzy and told him it went well and am out, naso he begin hail me for phone, “baddest ken”, “i believe your ministry”………
I told my cousin who also happens to be my roommate about the game and he was impressed, a few days after, his friend came to visit us and asked if I could write mat102 for another friend of theirs who didn’t pass the course, my cousin was in building technology 300 level (faculty of environmental sciences), aside writing for the friend, they wanted me to pass the solutions to three other guys in same hall, that’s like killing 3 birds with one stone….
I agreed but billed them 8k since na multiple people and the risk go plenty, i met with the guy i was writing for, we spoke extensively and had an agreement. The downside of this particular deal was that, building department in my school don’t have much crowd compared to other departments, so the possibility of the lecturer recognising every student was high, coupled with the fact that each level in the department have a standby invigilator aside the lecturer in charge. My cousin’s friend (obyno) assured me that most of the lecturers don’t have wahala except few and they can easily relate with their year 3 invigilator about my presence so that i will be comfortable, naso i gree and the upside was that, they don’t really do credential checks since everybody knows everybody.
On the day of the exam, we got to the venue (stat hall, science village), arranged ourselves according,my two attaches were arranged in such a way that one was behind me and the other in front of me, obyno sat adjacent to me as per moral support and back up (incase yawa gas). Exam started, things were going well, my mind was settled and a man came in midway,went to the lecturer and invigilators in front and was chatting with them, obyno called my attention and said, “guy this man wey enter so na troublesome man o, just dey on low-key till he go”, in my mind, i was like, “Kai naso my mind go dey cut everytime for this business”, i quietly faced my question paper and didn’t raise my head till the man left.
My mind was beating fast and i was scared because i have heard tales of how people who are caught impersonating are made to face a panel and most are suspended for 2 academic years, after like 25 mins, the man left and the exam went accordingly. Obyno was proud and praised my calmness (little dis he know my mind don cut tire), the other guys took my number and thanked me profusely for the ease with which i could solve the questions and pass the answers to them.
My main exams went smoothly and during that period, i started thinking of the path am taking and the risk involved, so am per say i b man of my words, i made rules which will act like an ethos for the game and they were
- Never accept chicken pay (less than 4k)….. Am a businessman and i give guarantees.
Never take a job without sufficient time for adequate preparation…. He who fails to plan, plans to fail.
Whoever am going to write for must not be a popular person…. A popular face will be missed in class and that might put unnecessary need for scrutiny of the people in the exam hall.
I must get sufficient information about the course, lecturer, past questions, if they did quiz or not….. Some lecturers can be crazy and will start asking you questions especially if your face isn’t a regular one.
I must know the course rep of the dept am writing….. Back up is very very important.
Chizzy found a way of preparing fresh id cards, no matter the department because without a form of identity, a machinery is not protected. There is this shop in unizik junction where we do it (N700) for both school fees receipt and departmental id card for any department.
Fast forward, 300 level, I started coming out of my shell little by little, mingling with people in other departments, guys and girls alike, but i was careful because i needed to always keep a low profile for my game, a popular and well known face is a recipe for trouble when impersonating.
Exam time meant business time, chizzy had spread his tentacles to almost all the departments (baddest course rep), the week time table came out, he called me to come to his hostel for an important discussion….. When i got there, man looked busy making phone calls (customer service things) , he had copies of our year 1 and year 2 results and a notebook where he was scribbling records of different people (names, reg no, courses failed and missing result), then he said “ken business don show o, we gats hammer for ds level”….. I knew i was in for a more different and deeper level of the game
In the book, he listed the names of almost 20 people (classmates) who had over 5 carry overs between yr1 and yr3, then we started talking
Chizzy: Ken you know say you be my guy
Me: sure na, how e dey b
Chizzy: I go like make you run level for some people, this time na contract things because the c/o plenty
Me: ok na, u know my way, I no dey do play play package
Chizzy: Yes na, that’s y I call u, make we plan am well but….
Me: but wetin
Chizzy: U gats remove money o, as e plenty so
Me: bros no b tomato and pepper b ds, u know say if e cast, na my head o
Chizzy: No worry
Me: Ok based on say u b my guy, I go run am 3.5 each, so u go tell dem 4k, d 5h ontop na ur cut
Chizzy: 5h ke!!!!!!….
Me: smiles guy me know say u go tell dem 5k sef, so calm down.
Chizzy: Ok, I go hala Emma and kizo (some of my cool classmates) make dem run some, u know say only u no fit run everytin…
Me: Nothing spoil, let them know say dem gats read o because you know how their way be
Chizzy : laughs u know say those guys na pa men (weed smokers)
Me: I don tell u my own o, i no wan forfeit my admission because of person
Chizzy: Ok, my plan be say, those unserious people wey get c/o, i go push their work give dem kizo based on say dem no go wan pay better money
Me: Ok na, any which way
We formatted a grand plan which is: Anybody who had more than 6 carry overs, we wont write all the exam, we go skip like one (evil grin), but we go collect complete money. I tried compelling chizzy to change the plan but ibo man with Benin sense, lailai, he was like, “if them pass 5 out of 6, dem go happy na, else make dem write d exam by themselves”….
Chai see wahala, make person no swear for me…that was the thought going through my mind as I walked home that evening…..
But the money ehn, the figures were just swirling in my head, at least I was sure of between 30k – 40k in two weeks but mehn, I was uncomfortable because I had to write different courses for different departments.
Plan in motion, all set
EPISODE 3 – NEW DAWN
Exams in unizik is pretty straight forward, you present your school fees receipt and id card (either departmental, Gs or library) at the entrance of the exam venue and you are ushered in and allocated a seat. The invigilators are usually the lecturer in charge of the course, maybe a graduate assistant and 2 or 3 members of school security (hefty guys). As the exam proceeds, attendance sheet is passed to everybody to fill their necessary details and sometimes these invigilators will crosscheck randomly the name of the attendance with the name on your answer sheet, God help you if it dosent tally (na gobe be that). Most times if its the lecturer or graduate assistant that checks, you are made to fill the exam malpractice form and of course, be expecting a memo to be pasted in that department summoning you to a panel.
If you are caught by the security personnel, the kin slaps wey you go first collect ehn, e fit reset person medulla, after which they will take you to their office where more slaps and beating will be meted out to the person and finally na money you go take settle the case (lowest is 20k, if you get guys inside anti cult wey know you).
Its always advisable that, if you don’t have a receipt and id card which will correspond with the details of the person you are writing for, don’t fill the reg number on the answer sheet till when the coast is clear (end of exam) but fill the attendance with the details of the person you are writing for (very very risky), and if they are crosschecking, you just fill the reg number of the id card with you on the answer sheet and tell whosoever that is checking that you forgot to fill the attendance sheet when it passed through your seat (sounds simple abi, na mind o)….
Enough of the background information, back to my business
I had familiarized myself with some guys in Becky’s hostel and one of them, sunny was in marketing department, 200level. On one of my visits, he called me aside and said he needed my assistance in one of his exams Mkt204 (business maths), i said ok, told him about the terms and conditions for business, which he agreed and he promised to get the textbook and course outline for me in a fortnight. Becky was like “ken na management science sunny dey o, if dem catch you nko”, i just laughed feeling like superman and replied, “no worry, God dey with me” and she just shook her head in frustration and warned me against the action i was taking.
Fast forward to the exam day, i requested sunny to come to school and introduce me to his course rep (i no wan hear story that touch), having studied the topics he ticked in the textbook, and substituted his passport with mine in his Gs id card (laminated), i felt ready. We met with the course rep (who didn’t know sunny that well), i spoke with him and he agreed to cover me incase of any mishap.
I told sunny to hang around, not too close to the exam hall incase someone who knows him comes around, we entered the hall, alas the course rep has spread the word that a ‘machine’ was in their midst, i just smile. Naso the lecturer and invigilators came in, after threatening to expose anybody who didn’t belong there (machineries), they checked our credentials ( I was covered), and those that couldn’t produce both receipt and id card were taken aside by the security personnel (only God knows their fate), question paper and answer sheets was shared and i got the bombshell of my life…
You know that feeling of despair and total brain shutdown you get when you think you have everything on lock down only to find out that what you knew don’t count….
That was what I felt after browsing through the questions, which comprised of 20 German obj (fill in the gap) and 5 theory (to answer 4), i found out that from the 10 topics sunny told me they treated, only 5 questions came out from them and these questions were in the section A (fill in the gap). I just begin sweat automatically, lost in thought and really pissed.
Any machinery worth his salt knows that you cant start stretching neck in an exam hall, or asking your seat mate solutions to the questions because it means you are invariably drawing attention to yourself and that is an invitation of wahala, I just tire inside that hall, begun scratch head and i just dey swear for sunny inside my mind, ‘where i wan start from now’ i thought aloud, at a point i wanted to submit and just leave thereby giving d mungo park sunny a resounding and astounding F but pride wouldn’t let me, the pride of a confirm machinery is that, whatever the condition, however the situation might look, way must come out and so far the client no fail the course, u are cool and i was a CONFIRM MACHINERY…
Naso i sharply do the 5 wey i sabi, then sat back and started thinking and strategising while pretending to solve the other questions, N:B: Its not a course i have done before, hence the strategy.
On a second and third look at the theory questions, i found out they were kinda similar to what i read but somewhat deeper, sharp man like me, i just solved 3 questions halfway and smiled like a cat who just cornered a mouse, naso the course rep begin signal me to assist some of them o, for my mind, i was like ‘which kin yawa be this na, dis men wan fall my hand’, i told him i was still writing and just gave him a brief solution without tipping him off about my ignorance and discomfort, while my strategic thinking was going on, i heard a loud voice saying “Hey that guy in white shirt and the guy behind him in blue, stand up”…BHIM BHIM BHIM, sound of my heartbeat as i knew immediately poo is about to hit the fan, naso i stand o because i knew the man was talking to me and the pest of a guy behind me who has been a thorn in my flesh all through, the man came to us and asked what we were doing and i said, ‘sir am sorry, he was asking me for calculator and since i was busy with it, i told him to wait but he persisted and that was why you saw us’ (lies of course, the guy dey try dub my work), naso the man begin para for the guy o,” all this unserious student”, “block headed idiot”, “am very sure you didn’t come for my lectures”,”how can you come for an exam which involves calculation and you didn’t bring a calculator” and the pest of a guy was trying to make a case for himself to which the man got angry and asked him pertinent details about the course and lectures which he couldn’t answer, the man just vex collect him paper, and said “get out of here stupid boy, come back next year”, chai for my mind ehn, na warning signal be that o, time to round up and roll out before water pass garri.
I just did the few I could, stretch neck small, fill in the section A and quietly submitted, and walked away. As i reach outside ehn, i first do sign of cross, heaved an heavy sigh of relief and started looking for shuttle that will take me to bus stand while the anger i had earlier supressed came out in full force and i just dey hiss inside shuttle, sunny must be a fool and an unserious idiot, i said to myself. I just put my earpiece, select my dope rap songs and let it soothe my frazzled nerves as i found my way home.
ONE WEEK LATER, SATURDAY MORNING
My Saturdays are usually lazy, i wake up late, warm my food, then hit the football field to play the round leather game. On this fateful Saturday, something made me wake up before 7, i decided to warm my soup, before indulging in whatever the day brings, while i was in the kitchen (self contain), my phone began to ring, in my mind i was like, ‘ooooo which kin early morning call b dis na’, entered my room and it was chizzy, chai this won’t be good news, I spoke aloud, picked the phone and the conversation went thus:
Me: Bros how far
Chizzy: I dey, abeg where you dey
Me: I dey house, i just wake sef
Chizzy: Abeg I need your help, you fit show school sharply, level dey ground
Me: Oooooo, guy i no reason comot today at all and y u no tell me since
Chizzy: Guy e get as the mata b, abeg na 8.00 exam, just fly bike enter school abeg
Me: Guy ehn, which course sef
Me: Ehn, guy u wan kee me, dat course strong o, na manage I take pass am sef
Chizzy: Guy no worry, just show abeg, make we run am anyhow, na MPH be d venue
Me: Ok i dey come
As i entered the bathroom to bathe, i had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach
As a machinery who wants to protect his integrity and also his head, you have to always listen to your guts and follow your instincts always, no matter what. Even though the service you are offering should be done satisfactorily, you have to know some days ain’t just your day and not let sentiments, emotions or stubbornness put you in a deep hole. That’s why i never wrote any exam for my close friends, girlfriend or those i was toasting, cant coman kill myself for another person o.
Back to the present
Finished in the bathroom, dressed and hurried to bus stand to catch a bus to school, it was past 8 and my heart was beating fast, didn’t know what awaits and i know chizzy will be waiting for me before entering the hall. I got to the hall by 9am and chizzy immediately came to me and we proceeded to the entrance, the invigilator didn’t complain (thankfully) and chizzy sat in front of me, naso them share question paper and answer sheet, i first chill and observe, was trying to catch my breath and calm my nerves.
Chizzy started pretending to solve (he suck at mathematics), while looking left and right to know if he could get the answers from any other source aside me, i began to crack my brain for some formulars (compound interest, annuity, simple interest, amortization et al), could remember just one or two and that course is fvcking bloody because the questions are different (about 5 different types in the hall), German obj (you have to solve and fill in the answer), the whole scenery was just a crazy and tension filled one for me.
Just as i was solving some questions, some security guys were at the window observing us and they saw chizzy trying to be a smart ass, naso them call am outside o, asked for his credentials but he didn’t show them because that will spell trouble, at first i was really scared because they might link us together but i just use one mind jare, me na nondescript kinda person, don’t do or have anything that attracts attention to myself. He found a way to settle with them (he knew some security guys and has probably made some calls) but he wasn’t allowed back into the hall, kept up with my struggle and still found a way to solve more than half of the questions (as per bad guy wey I be), rolled outta the hall and chizzy was nowhere to be found. Dialled his number and he told me to come to science village, got a shuttle went down there and met him at a joint, we got a few drinks and started talking
Me: Bros na high risk we take today o
Chizzy: I tell you, those AC guys be wan obtain me o
Me: Wetin make you enter the hall sef
Chizzy: Na two people i wan run am for
Me: Guy ehn you gats dey plan am well o, because if say e cast ehn, e for bloody
Chizzy: I tell you, you just bone for hall like say you no know me
Me: Guy nawa for you o, at least we run am for one person and i no wan implicate myself
Chizzy: That’s y i dey like dey with you, you sabi arrange yourself
Me: Naso, no be today na…laughs, why you no call Emma na
Chizzy: Emma dey do ich111, that’s why i dey here,make we wait for am
Me: Ehen, chai I hate that course o, e no make sense
Chizzy: You na anything calculation, I dey always believe you
Me: Which time be the ich
Chizzy: Na 9 dem suppose start, so dem go don dey round up now checks time
phone rings, it was Emma, calling chizzy to know his location, chizzy told him and he replied he was coming
Me: Oboi Emma fast o, e never write reach 1 hour sef
Chizzy: Guy bone o, d tin fit pass Emma power o, see the pa man sef dey come
Emma approaches,walking dejectedly
Me: Bros how far na
Emma: slow hiss guy i dey, chizzy how far na
Chizzy: Bros i dey, this one wey your face be like this, wetin happen
Emma: Guy na luck i get today o, i for don fill malpractice form
Me & chizzy: Ehn!!!!!
Emma: I tell you, i just tire as i dey here so
Chizzy: How e take happen
Emma: Guy as we dey write, dem don catch two people, give them malpractice form, and them begin check each person answer sheet with attendance seat by seat, naso i say make i go submit shaperly, as i reach front,make i submit,naso the mumu man say make dem bring the attendance sheet make he confirm my names b4 he go collect the answer sheet from me, naso i change the reg number for the answer sheet to my own o
Chizzy: laughs out loud, so wetin come happen
Emma: As the man bring the attendance, na ICH dept own,i tell am say na csc i dey, he come bring am,e no see my name, i come tell am say i no know wen d tin pass my seat, as dem check my credentials and id card,naso dem check d answer sheet,come c as i paint the space for reg number,i come lie say my biro been dey Bleep up,naso dem make sure say i write my names for the attendance….
Chizzy: Guy you get luck o, i know say you go don dey fear
Emma: Guy I no fit use my admission play o,my papa go just disown me sharperly
Me: Hahahahaha, Emma calm down, na d same thing do chizzy na, naso e dey b sometimes
Emma: Guy bone, my mind no carry am,infact i no do again abeg
Chizzy: Ahan bros, we still get arrangement today o,remember say u wan help me run csc for praize (his babe) and ken get 3.00 paper
Emma: Guy my mind don spoil, once i comot here, na house straight, i no do again abeg
We both begged and tried to convince Emma to change his mind but his decision was firm and mind made up. Emma left after awhile, and chizzy turned to me and said “ken abeg i no say i don Bleep up and you no like rush tins but as Emma don comot now, na u be my last hope abeg”, i just sighed and wished i hadn’t picked his call that morning, the day was turning out to be a bad bad day, i still had the that feeling at the pit of my stomach….
Turns out I would spend my whole day from one exam hall to another, one course to another without even reading or psychologically preparing myself. Nawa o, i wondered if i would survive this day since that sinking feeling still persisted.
Praize came around 10.30 for the csc (simple course o but as per na girl, freaking lazy), the exam was for 11am and the plan was,I would enter and front as a comp.science student while filling her details (normal way), i had to memorise her details because their departmental code is different from ours and no room for mistakes. The time came for the exam, i took my time to study the lecturer and invigilators, i just felt cool because the lecturer (Mr majesty) was my favourite (i dey always smash him course and he has a good heart) so i just smile enter d hall with strong mind, not knowing wat awaited…..
brief description of Mr Majesty
I first encountered the man in 200 level, he taught us one course and i noticed he was very punctual to class (unlike other lecturers), he was soft spoken, easy going, hardly raises his voice, takes time to explain and expatiate on the topic, dosent mock or insult students,forgives easily (even if your phone ring for class or you come late or u no submit assignment). Infact everybody liked him and the feeling was mutual, to top it off, his exam questions are straight forward and he marks with good mind, mehn who wouldn’t love him….freaking intelligent yet humble, perfect combination. All the courses he had taken us (about 3 in total) na A i get dem…..
back to the present
Exam start, i was sitted close to the lecturer, since we were just five from comp.sc dept who were writing it (even tho praize is in geology), the others were from other departments totalling about 120 students and he arranged us according to departments to ease attendance and also submission. That rang a warning bell but i sha bone, no be today yansh don dey back.
Halfway through the exam, a very tall, muscular and frightening security guy came into the hall, walked round and somehow somehow, while examining some peoples answer sheets he found a guy who’s details looked fishy, i didn’t really pay close attention at first because some students can be kinda daft and unserious while filling their answer sheet, i heard GBOSA and a loud cry, oboi naso i raise head up, omo the security guy just landed a factory reset slap on a guy and jacked him up from his seat, for my mind i was like ” e don b for this guy today”, as we looked on, he dragged the guy forward towards the lecturer and instructed another security colleague of his to bring the guys answer sheet, oboi naso i leave my paper, open ear to hear tori. When he got to the lecturers seat, he gave the man the guys answer sheet and we heard another commotion in the adjoining hall, another gobe, the security guy left the boy who was kneeling close to the lecturer to check the other hall. Mr Majesty just smiled, checked the details and compared with what was filled in the attendance list, he just shook his head, picked his phone, dialed a number and called the office of ANTICULT/SECURITY for a bus because there is a criminal that he wants them to come and pick up. The guy started begging and crying, Mr Majesty with his soft voice asked the guy who he was and the guy called his name, and it so happens that the guy isn’t a student of unizik, he came to write the exam for a girl (maybe his babe or wannabe babe), the guy continued begging, blaming the devil and all what not, Mr Majesty just smiled and told the guy that he shouldn’t waste his breath, since the relevant authorities are coming, he can explain himself and hope he doesn’t bag 21 years (na wash sha) in jail.
I really pitied the guy who seem innocent enough but unfortunate, after like 10 mins, Mr Majesty called them again to enquire about the location and from his conversation, it seem they were close by. They later came and picked the guy,also picked two other guys from another hall and this action seemed to galvanise the other invigilators who got some funny heavenly ‘vision’ that more machineries were in the hall and in a bid to leave no stone unturned, they proceeded to check everybody’s answer sheet with their names on the attendance by calling the names on the attendance and you signify by raising your hand once you hear your name.
That feeling i had earlier on came back and my heartbeat increased, i quickly told Mr Majesty that we hadn’t seen the attendance for comp.sc since we were few, he then looked for it and passed it to us (seem 3 outta 5 of us were machines), naso i crest my name in full and reg no to avoid story that touch, inputted same details on my answer sheet and smiled, guess what, praize don get missing script be that. Their Fada, na me dem wan put for wahala abi….
As time went on, i mastered the art of impersonation and with luck on my side, it was going smoothly. Once it’s exam period, chizzy goes through our result sheet, finds the people (guys and girls), who have numerous carry overs, calls them up and provide a shortcut solution to their problems.
We knew the lecturers who collect sorting (bribe), for those type,no need to find a ‘machine’, we just collect 6k,pay the lecturer 4k and pocket the remaining. Good business with its own kind of challenge and wahala.
I had a friend in my department but she was in a lower level, they were preparing for mat201 and one of her lazy classmate contracted me to help him write it, i was comfortable with that, it was my forte: a course i have done, my own department, crowded hall, a less popular client….easy right? Didn’t work out that way tho.
I prepared adequately, even tutored my friend who was writing the course,(her friends also), i was raring to go, the exam was set for Friday,3pm…. On the said day, my brain was full, i was all smiles, and confidence with great belief in my abilities, experience and ofcourse, my best friend,LUCK.
Since it was a general course with loads of carry over students, the venue was school auditorium, permsite, i got to the venue early, my ‘client’ was already waiting, i reached out to give him assurance only for him to tell me, he is going inside the hall as well, i was perplexed and surprised because none of my clients has ever displayed any form of doubt towards the service i provide. I tried to persuade him, to make him see reasons why that move would be disastrous but he wanted to form ‘ibo man’, based on,he can’t pay 5k for something and not have hands on supervision, i just tire and shrugged like,’its your money,whatever you wanna do,your choice’
The auditorium was filled to the brim, with machineries, carry over students, over stay students and students who were taking the course for the first time. My client’s plan was that,we will sit together, i will solve the questions on my paper while he does gibberish on his,then when am done,we will swap answer sheets (since its fill in the gap kinda exam), and he will fill his details on the correctly solved paper, i just shrugged at his naivety and agreed, since he’s the one paying but i knew in such situations, levels dey always change, nothing ever goes according to plan.
Exam started, God first catch am, dem stone am go 3 seats adjacent to mine, i just smiled sadistically, like ” see this obolo, na my body he wan put pressure abi”. He was using his eyes to communicate to me, as i solved the questions, his earlier plan has been thwarted because there is no way i would exchange the paper without been caught (too risky), the number of invigilators and security in the hall sef, na to just face your work jejely, after a while, those security guys started going seat to seat checking everybody’s details in correlation with their credentials, chai c Bleep up, i swore inwardly, recipe for trouble.
I just begin vex because it means i will have to fill my own details on the question paper which is just one paper (front and back) containing 25 questions. I had no choice but i figured once they have checked, i can risk it and swap his paper with mine, i quickly sent him an sms about my plan and he should be ready cos its a one time, sharp and crisp kinda movement. On my own i had a plan B, just incase it dosent work out that way, i wrote my name in faint letters and the reg number too. Omo i miscalculated in my plan A o, the hall was tighter than a virgins pvvsy, i had to signal him to chill, while i put plan B into motion. At the end of the exam, the hall became rowdy and rough (perfect time to put plan A into motion but alas), we had to queue before we could submit our papers.
The guy just kill my motivation and deep down, i knew he wont pass the exam and his result will be withheld but who gives a Bleep? I just collect my money, waka comot…..got a calm from him when the result came out and guess what
So he called me and said the result was out, but he didn’t see his own, i was like ” guy na missing script na, go the lecturer office go sort am out since you were there when i submitted”, he just grumbled and dropped the call, i just laughed like, see wetin mumu sense dey cause, next year make he go write am by himself.
We finished exams and resumed a new semester, since i could only do exam related hustle, it meant that during lecture period, brokeness na my middle name since i didn’t have any other option because of my lack of skill set (blah blah), anyways, i was just chilling at home on a boring Saturday with basically nothing on my mind when Emma called me and asked if i knew about a certain awareness program they wanted to embark on for E- tranzact, which was made known to him by Bond (a classmate of ours who also lived in my street), that him and some other classmates of mine had done their registration for the job, collected the sim cards they will use and d job kick starts on Monday. The pay was 30k for 2 weeks.
My head just spark, like, see beta opportunity wey pass me by, i begin Para for Emma like, “guy why you no give me dis info on time, even ik wey b bond roommate sef just dull me”, Emma then said i should go see bond to find out if he can include my name or if it was too late. I sharply wore shorts and shirt, went to his hostel with red eye, and when he opened his door, i went on the offensive immediately,
Me: Bond u Bleep up o
Bond: Guy wetin I do na
Me: So job come out, u just dull me, later now, na u go dey ask me for handout and make i assist you for exam
Bond: Guy no be so, i bin think say you no go dey interested for that kin level
Me: Mtcheeewwww you call me say this kin level dey and i tell you no? Shebi you call kizo, Emma, ik, okoye, even Becky (my bestie), you call all of them but sideline me, god dey oooo
Bond: Ken abeg no vex, i know say i Bleep up, but i wan go see the supervisor tomorrow afternoon, your mind dey d level?
Me: Guy ofcourse na, anywhere money dey, count me in, legal o, illegal o, any which way na way
Bond: Hahahahahaha, Ken Ken, you too like money, no wahala, you go follow me go tomorrow, he dey one hotel for town, i go reason with am and i believe say e go gree
Me: No wahala, if e no gree, i go chop from your 30k sha o…
Bond: Guy no reason that one o, i don plan that money down
Me: Better begin fast and pray now o, cos I mean am
Sunday came, by 3pm, we took bike to an hotel in eke awka area in awka town, met the man, and after some nervous moments, he asked if i was ready for the job because he wants serious minded people who are hardworking and i replied in affirmative. He brought out a new sim, which was already registered and told me i will be using the sim for the job and asked bond to explain what the job entails.
I was ecstatic because in my mind, 12 working days equals to 30k, chai see confirm dough, i was half listening as bond explained what we are supposed to do and how we will do it.
Got home, called Emma and thanked him for looking out for me, he was happy that I was joining the train and we will all run the job together. Monday morning bright and early, we were to converge in the hotel which was the take off point, meet with the other people who are part of the team, get our customized t shirts and start fully, me and my guys were all smiles and back slapping because of the 30k we were gonna be paid but alas, nothing ever works out the way we envision and that particular hustle turned out to be the WORST ( OR 2ND WORSE) i ever indulged in…..
We got to the hotel, Monday morning, feeling fly and happy. Met the other group of people who were going to partake in the awareness program and we were given two buses, customized with the service we were promoting.
The service called POCKETMONI is an innovation of E tranzact, which is a mobile wallet, a wallet that can be operated by a cell phone, through which you can pay bills, buy airtime, send money to other bank accounts amongst other services as well. It was designed in such a way that even without an internet enabled phone, you can open, maintain and use the service. With an internet enabled phone, the app is either sent to you through a Symbian phone, or u download it online. Most of the people we met wanted the first choice, so they will see what it looks like and how to operate it, we the agents also accepted that choice because it saved us time. For phones without internet, you just dial a certain code and after series of messages, u are registered and can use the service.
The SIM given to us contained N5,000 in the E-wallet, which we are supposed to use to show registered and interested clients how the service actually work and they have to pay for the amount they want us to send from our POCKETMONI account to theirs in cash.
Our actual job was to meet people from different works of life, traders, hoteliers, students, etc and tell them about the service, sell the idea of the ease and fast mode of operation and close the deal by registering them. The clincher is when you can get them to request for transfer of funds from you, but it was not compulsory.
After the necessary introduction and appointment of team leaders, we had two teams of 12 people each, and a team leader, coincidentally my team leader was Bond and my team comprised of my friends, and some other people who later became friends as well. That first day, we proceeded to the popular eke awka market, and suffice to say, it was fun and interesting. I learnt how to talk to people, approach method, got funny responses from different people and genuine interest as well, all in all, it was an above average first day performance and i was looking forward to subsequent days and ofcourse the 30k, without minding the sun and the fact that i was gonna miss 2 whole weeks of lecture
Did my second day and subsequent days go as planned
After the first day, i was became used to the job. On the second day, the bus came to meet us at unizik junction, from there we proceeded to oko poly, in oko, a town in anambra state. That was the first time i went to that part of the state. We got to the school by 11am, dropped by the roadside and started our job, after talking to people around, we proceeded to enter to school and we found out they have a strong security presence, so we had to seek their approval before doing anything so as to avoid stories that touch. I met alot of people, guys and girls alike, most were receptive and warm, others were frustrating, some actually told me we were fake and wanted to collect their money….like wtf
I met a girl who really impressed me, from her spoken English to her attitude, we had a long and good chat, she told me about the school, herself, her family and i thoroughly enjoyed myself, at the long run, my day at okopoly was a tiring yet fulfilling one. We left the school by 5pm, got to awka around 6 or so, i tiredly trekked home to take my bathe and relax, na the 30k just dey resonate for my mind as i dey waka.
Got home, as i was about to shower, i got a call from a past client ( exam things), a mat course he paid 5k sorting fee for, the result came out and he got an F, so the guy called me to rant and Para, like he needs a refund, blah blah, that he has security connects so if me and chizzy wan chop him money, we no go succeed, i just sighed and calmly told him like, “guy runs no get refund, u sef know say na 50 50 level”, he vehemently rebuked me and said that if not for the respect he has for me, i would have been in police cell…bros with the headache, cracked voice (from talking all day) and tiredness, i just told him to give me a few days to speak with chizzy, he agreed and said we better find his money for him. I went to shower, made eba to eat and drafted a long SMS to chizzy, explaining the current situation to him and telling him that, lets refund the guys money, not because we ain’t legit or we are scared but because ‘he who leaves a fight, lives to fight at a later date’,…….
For most part of the week, we were going to different parts of anambra state, trekking in the hot sun, using our mouths,cracking our brain to answer some intelligent questions people threw at us, and ofcourse, our return trip was always wild with my crazy friends yabbing and teasing each other vulgarly, most times, i just chill with my earpiece, and reminisce about the days stress, plus ofcourse the money.
We went to anambra state university igbariam, it was the first time i was visiting the school, i had heard alot about the school and i was excited to finally visit, even if na work visit. We got there by 3pm, the security refused to let us drive in, so we had to park outside the gate and meet the students in the open space where they pass to their bus park. Mehn, most of the students i met were nothing to write home about, bland dress sense, horrible English, ugly assed babes and low level of understanding. I have never been soooo frustrated in my life, just imagine, you meet a girl and have the following conversation
Me: My name is Ken, I work with E tranzact and would like to tell you about our service
Girl: Ok, she stands and pays attention
Me: Ok, pocketmoni is the kind of service that will help you make transactions easy, once u credit it, you can transfer money to any bank in any part of Nigeria, you can buy and send airtime, you can pay any bill online….all this from the comfort of your home, whether you use big phone or Nokia torchlite, its easy to use and understand, all you need to do is register for free, which I will do for you now and credit it at your own convenience and viola, you are good to go
Girl: smiles like a mumu,so with this my kpalasa techno, I can do it
Me: Yes na,gives her the flier and engage in another long epistle of the different codes for the different transactions
Girl: Wow, its good o, hope they will not remove my credit sha
Me: Nooo, its just N10, small money, for registration and after that, its free
Girl: Ahhhh, I thought everything is free
Me: Yea,you wont pay me a dime
Girl: Ok, please o, I don’t understand something
Me: What’s that
Girl: How can i use my kpalasa techno to send money to bank, its not possible
Me: I told you, you fund your pocketmoni account and use your phone to control it
Girl: Account kwa, I have bank account o, I don’t have money to open another one biko
Me: sighs patiently launches another long epistle like I earlier did
Girl: Nna this process is long o, phone to control account in Nigeria, *laughs like a dunce *
Me: It’s not as difficult as you see it o
Girl: Biko am hungry, lemme go home, I will think about it, shebi you people will come back
Me: *chai thunder go fire this girl o”, smiles….no wahala
Imagine having same conversation with over 10 different people, plus the ones that don’t even grasp the use of simple English, mehn i almost had an aneurysm, it was the most frustrating day coupled with the fact that the sun that day was out with a vengeance…..
EPISODE 4 : My supervisor and his suspicious movement
The first time i met our supervisor, it was the previous Sunday, day before the job actually started. Lets call him Mr Henry.
Mr Henry is dark, from Edo state, with average height and slim build. First thing i noticed, he smokes alot, then his eyes was never steady, always moved from place to place, he was restless too. I just felt a bit uncomfortable with his general demeanor but i shrugged it off, like, it don’t matter since its a temporary job.
At the beginning of every workday, if we meet him, he reels out instructions to the respective team leaders and comments on the previous day’s data, if it was good, if it was average, if the data’s have been verified, etc etc. He follows us sometimes to the location, he has a great personality, cracks jokes, teases us. But if you are used to been around illegal people, you will have learnt how to recognise the signs of illegality, you will know if a person is as straightforward as they claim, and my antennae told me Mr Henry is as crafty as crafty can be.
I told my friends about my suspicion and they affirmed but said since he wasn’t the main boss, the only thing he can do is skim a few thousand off our dough. On the 6th workday, he took us to an IT company in udoka estate, we met the manager and staffs, the manager was gracious enough to grant us audience, he told us about the seriousness of the job, how they want to expand the awareness to other parts of the east, the importance of making a positive impact in anambra state and ofcourse, we don’t have any reason to be afraid if we are going to be remunerated or not. It gave us respite and improved our countenance towards d job.
We proceeded to ifite gate to create awareness, went to each hostel, met students, shares fliers, it was a grueling experience to say the least. Walked like never before, down down ifite, almost to the catholic hostel (cant remember the name), this walk took almost 2 hrs, I was dirty, dusty and tired, all in a bid to make a major impact.
On our way back, we decided to tell Mr Henry we wanted half payment, quarter even, the reason been that, we have spent alot to and fro the hotel he lodged in and its only fair we get something to keep the motivation. We told Mr Henry and surprisingly he promised to tell his superiors in Lagos and would give us a feedback the next day, i was shocked and thought, “maybe you are wrong about him”
Remember the line we use for the job has 5k on the it, not airtime but the pocketmoni account associated with that line and if you can manage to get a customer who is willing to test his/her account to know how it really works, then you will have to transfer whatever amount the customer desires to his/her real bank account and the person will give you the same amount in cash which you have to remit to your team leader who in turn will give the supervisor.
We met Mr henry, on a bright Wednesday morning, he said our destination is Onitsha and since the town is big, we will go there two or three times. We proceeded that morning, with the mindset that at the end of the day, we will get part payment of our remuneration. Most guys had spent their skul fees with the mindset of replacing it with the payment we were due to receive in a few days.
A journey that started well, someway somehow ended crazily and well…..
EPISODE 5 – TELL IT AT ALL
As a group of young men and women, there is the tendency of interpersonal relationships and attraction between them, so it happened that we the guys were been friendly with the babes, trying to chose who we can have something to do with after the job since most of us were students of unizik.
Mr Henry wasn’t an exemption to this rule and we suspecting he was already hitting it (if you know what I mean), even though we didn’t envy him, we always asked the babe for information.
On our first trip to Onitsha, we got to the hotel as usual, met with him, after dishing out the necessary instructions and praising us for the wonderful job we had done so far, he said he had some business to do in Onitsha, which meant he was going with us. We were happy because this means we can squeeze him for small change to buy some chewables while on the field, we proceeded to the bus and left for Onitsha.
He dropped by the roadside while we proceeded to our point of business to start for the day. On getting there, we split into groups of two’s and three’s and began in earnest, moving from shop to shop, talking to people, and generally making our presence felt. It was an hard day, the sun was really pissed and shone with fury, our customized shirts were soaked, our feet dusty and our movement a lethargic one.
Emma met a well learned man who put a call through to his friend (a bank worker), to confirm the authenticity of the service, the friend replied in affirmative and the man asked Emma to transfer the whole 5k to his bank account and in less than two mins, he got a credit alert and he was really impressed with the service, its fastness and simplicity was a big surprise, of course this means that the man gave Emma 5k in cash. Emma was ecstatic and literarily bounced on his feet, talking off our ears about his marketing acumen and how he’s the first to achieve that feat.
Onitsha is quite big and mehn, the walking around wasn’t funny at all, my groups last point of call was a tutorial centre where we met young guys and girls, and we were able to get a few registered before an interruption by members of the NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE, ahhhh, immediately i sighted their truck which contained about 6 heavily armed men, guy i sharply told my people,”omo c police o,seems gbege don happen here earlier,make we shift b4 dem carry us join”, ofcourse na, without wasting time, we moved away and observed 4 guys been harassed and dragged into the police van, oboi for my mind, i was like “work don finish today be that”, quickly went to our bus to chill and wait for others before moving out.
Usually work closes by 4 but in a bid to cover as much area as possible, we usually leave by 5pm, Mr Henry had promised to meet us before 5.30, so we had to wait for him in our tired state for an extra 30mins, 5.30, we didn’t see him, 5.45, we didn’t see him, our team leader tried calling, he didn’t pick, omo we told the driver to move because its would take at least 45 mins to get to awka and the drivers were still going to abagana that night which is an extra 30 mins from awka, so imagine the stress.
We had gone past nteje when Mr Henry called Bond, to enquire our current location, he started screaming invectives and hurling insults through the phone because we didn’t wait for him like he instructed us to, i was like, “this man mumu o, so na by this time (6.30), we go comot for onitsha”, when the call ended, Bond relayed the conversation to us and said Mr Henry has terminated our appointment, lol…imagine o, we all started laughing because we felt he was upset we didn’t wait for him and was just been reactive, we concluded that Emma shouldn’t give Bond the 5k, instead we will use it as a bargaining chip the next day after he might have cooled off.
What will the next day bring, peace or war?
By nature, am not a very punctual person and ever since we started that job, i always got to the hotel later than normal time, my friend Becky always complained about it but i always told her that, since people come from different locations, the time for arrival isn’t always strictly adhered to.
Morning came, i showered and prepared for work, carried my customized shirt on my shoulder, and moved out. Just felt like taking bus instead of the usual bike, because i wanted to get there when most of the brouhaha would have died down, my mind was relaxed and that internal antennae that always alerted me was quiet. Got to the busstop(st Paul’s university in amawbia), got down and started my long walk, which would take give or take, 30 mins. I took it slow, enjoying my rap songs through my headphones. Many of my co workers used bike and they all hollered greetings as their bike drove past, i chuckled when some exclaimed that “guy see as u dey stroll,na u get POCKETMONI”, on i went, without bother.
When i got to the street where the hotel was located, i increased my pace because it seems like i was really running late, got close to the hotel and i saw Becky sitting in an abandoned shop,looking down, i paused my music and said hi, the she rose her head and said…….. “Ken we are finished”, i was like,what does that mean, Becky can be a bit dramatic and emotional about occurrences so it didn’t immediately register what she was driving at, i then asked her to explain, to which she said, “Mr Henry don run”………. Goddamnit, i first swore, my heart begin boil, then Emma and kizo alighted from a bike and i quickly told them the news, kizo asked if i had entered the hotel, to which i said no and he suggested we go in to know what the actual issue is and to get a clearer picture.
We got in the hotel(me, kizo and Emma), i got the second shock, the buses were nowhere to be found!!!!!!! Choi, this man don play us sha, we then saw other members of the different teams, looking dejected and mumbling amongst themselves, we approached Bond and asked the 411, he claimed that a reliable source told him Mr Henry went out as early as 6am and when the source asked for his destination, Asaba was the answer. The source been a guy that works with us and lives in the vicinity of the hotel, Bond then said though he had put a call through to Mr Henry earlier in the morning and the background was extremely noisy to which Mr Henry had affirmed he had an appointment with a top brass of E tranzact in asaba and would be back before 11. The story don begin get sides and as more people converged, we began to think of the way forward. We asked the hotel receptionist if Mr Henry checked out of his room but she said no.
We tried calling and his lines were not reachable, some of us decided the deal was off while others (team leaders) tried to assure us it wasn’t since he didn’t check out, we kept trying his lines till it rang and we told Bond to put it on loudspeaker so we can all get the message/information and the conversation went thus
Bond: Hello sir
Mr H: Hello
Bond: Its Bond sir, we are waiting for you in the hotel
Mr H: The job is over, am on my way to asaba
Bond: Over How do u mean sir
Mr H: U are deaf,right? I said the job is over, be going to your different houses
Bond: Ahhh sir, this is not good o,how about our money now
Mr H: Look Mr man, you are disturbing me, job is over, go home
The hotel compound as was quiet as a tomb, you could hear a pin drop, i guess we were astonished and still processing the conversation we just heard, and then all hell was let loose….
You know the feeling you get when your expectations have been dashed, when you feel your heart has been ripped from your chest, when it seems your total plan has been killed…..
That was how I felt, was yanked out of my reverie when one of the girls screamed and sat on the floor, with tears running down her face,other ladies joined the crying crew while some just started cursing Mr Henry. I couldn’t really think or decide, i was blank,empty, too many thoughts running in my head. Emma was just thanking God because he still had his 5k, which represents the only thing he gained from all the trekking,talking and suffering. Someone immediately mentioned that since we could transfer money from the pocketmoni account registered with our work sim, we can equally do the same by sending the money to our respective bank accounts.
We argued back and forth, reason been that, they could block ones bank account since the money belongs to the company and the job has been suspended, others said the line would have been blocked already, a girl tried hers,it didn’t work, omo see gobe, another girl tried her’s by purchasing airtime,viola, 5k airtime enter her phone, mehn see rushing na, most of us started trying our own o, while others felt we were robbing the company (bunch of idiots), imagine the other girls used their’s for airtime (girls mumu sha,not all), while some couldn’t because their pocketmoni line has apparently been blocked or something. I tried mine, it apparently opened but i had a big challenge, my atm card was at home and i don’t receive alert from my bank, i wanted to withdraw the money asap to avoid stories that touch, i sha transferred 4k, it was deducted from the pocketmoni account, i was happy despite the dire situation, i sharply buy airtime N750, no time to waste. As e enter, i put a call through to my cousin who is also my roommate,and instructed him to immediately go to the nearest atm machine with my card and withdraw everything in my account, he asked why and i gave him an abridged version of events.
After doing all that, some succeeded while others didn’t, we started planning on what to do because we cant just give up without a fight, so we decided to meet in the hotel the next morning and if by then we haven’t heard anything concrete from Mr Henry, we will proceed to the company he took us to and lay our complaint there……we all dispersed with the intent of gathering the next day
Me, Emma and kizo were together and talked at length about the unfortunate situation and vehemently vowed to pursue the matter to the end.
We set out for the hotel, chizzy came along with us after listening to the miserable situation we found ourselves, we got to the hotel and found that Mr Henry never came back to the hotel and the buses and speakers have been returned to the original owners. We met other people there even though most of the ladies and a few guys didn’t turn up. We then proceeded to udoka estate, where that office was located to voice out and also get information on the current situation.
Due to brokeness and probably anger, we walked from amawbia to udoka estate (through inner roads sha but the distance no be small). Got there, the security man was been an ass, we held our ground and demanded to see the manager, after waiting for almost 3 hours, because we were told the manager went out, he finally drove in and we started speaking loudly and threatening fire and brimstone, part of the reason we took chizzy was for such, dude has got alot of ginger and a strong presence, finally the manager came out and asked what our issues was, we told him about Mr Henry’s sudden disappearance and demanded to know the reason plus the possibility of of been paid for the days we actually worked. The man tried to placate us by saying Mr Henry has been suspended, that he is guilty of gross insubordination. Omo our head scatter and trust chizzy na, the whole street knew people came to that office because we were ready for whatever, just wanted our goddamn money, at the point the manager pointed at chizzy and asked, “who are you”, the four of us (chizzy,me,Emma and kizo) walked towards the man as a group and chizzy answered “am nobody, i wasn’t part of the job but this guys are my friends and we are ready to go any length”, guess the man was impressed with his guts because the next thing he said was,”come inside,lets talk”.
The four of us proceeded with him while the others stayed back, he took us to an office and proceeded to ask us questions, general and personal questions. He commented that he was impressed with the personal traits chizzy displayed, he actually thought chizzy is a military person, that our group seems tough and we had each other’s backs even in time of challenges. Long and short of it was that, Mr Henry is gone and the probability of getting our money is less than 40%, but he had a deal for us,he would like the four of us to work for his company directly……..
Smiles and shakes, its an IT company,we are comp.sc students….who wouldn’t be happy? Did it work out or is it another promise and fail, find out
We went home feeling fulfilled, without telling the others about the deal we were given (stab in the back,yea), we were asked to come the next day with our passport for registration et al. Next day came, we got there and was ushered in, got seated and the man came in and welcomed us. Gave us form to fill and proceeded to tell us about the job description….
The job was similar to what we did,but isn’t called POCKETMONI, it was called something else (can’t remember) and since we were going to be working with the company directly, it wouldn’t end like POCKETMONI did, guy, the four of us just deflated, we felt it was something different, something that will involve computer skills and knowledge but alas,its same kinda thing we just came out from, we told the man we will think about it and get back to him, which he agreed.
On our way back home, we decided to reject the offer, once beaten twice shy, readily comes to mind and we weren’t eager to jump back into the field and do more talking when we had not recovered from the last ordeal.
After a few weeks, exams approached and i was eager to get started, having missed lectures and tests due to some crazy hustle, i had alot to catch up on and i was working hard to meet up. Didn’t really put in mind that exam hustle will come, even though i was sure it would, my own personal exams were the most important at that moment and i felt i was pushing my luck too far by taking on too many runs thereby exposing myself to great risk.
Exams started and i felt some relief when chizzy didn’t holler me, at least let other guys go for the job even though they can’t deliver what i could, its about time some other person takes the risk. Little did i know i was going to undertake one of the hardest runs i ever had to do…..
Chizzy called and requested for us to hang out, he wanted us to talk etc, so i went to his house and he told me, he knows i wanted to stay away from the halls, and he respect that but this particular runs, he can’t turn it down because the lady in question is a good friend of his and she has been on his neck about this particular exam and since he can’t give it to just anyone else, he begged me to accept the offer, even though it went against all my rules for impersonation:
- The person is a girl
She is pretty and popular in her class
Her course rep isn’t the free minded type
She is in economics dept, faculty of management science
I have never done any course in that dept before
It looked a daunting task, but i have always been a sucker for challenges, i demanded a meeting with the girl, so i can gauge her myself and make my own observations..
The day came, we met in management science faculty, chizzy said i should tell the girl am in business administration department (so she wont have reason to doubt my abilities), the meeting went great and she agreed to pay 5k per course, 8 courses together…see funds
Quickly forged the necessary id card and school fees receipt and exam started…..
foreign man in a foreign land
The economics department in unizik was located in perm site, but was later moved to management science. The building is a structure to behold, the architectural style a masterpiece and their classes, very conducive and airy. Well tiled, with working fans to cool you while receiving lectures, all in all, aside faculty of law, i think this eco dept is second best in terms of comfortability.
I had never gone to that department before, whenever i went to management science, its always bank fin, accounting or bus admin depts, they had all the fine fine girls lol. I told my client (lets call her Linda), to bring me their time table and the materials for all the courses she’s offering for that semester. 8 courses in total, mostly mathematical and calculation courses, hence her need for a ‘machine’, mehn she brought them and i swore inwardly, “na die i dey so”… Big handouts, with crazy and complex calculations, most are not self explanatory and Linda didn’t even provide course outline for me to follow.
If not for my penchant for keeping my word, i would have backed out of the deal because truth be told, you are as good as what you come up against and since i have never been against such tough and untested waters, i was scared, aniways,after going through their timetable, i told her i might not be present for 2 out of the 8 courses because they clash with my own normal exams to which she agreed to source for alternative means.
I got to the exam venue and tentatively walked towards the hall, heart beating like crazy and the desire to bolt out of that environment a very strong one. Manned up, and stepped in, got to know it was upstairs, and i sighed, “no escape route”, one door served as entry and exit, finally got in at exactly 3.pm (time for the exam), they had shared question papers and answer sheet, and in my mind, i was like “oboi this guys serious o”, the invigilator called my attention and summoned me to the front, where he stood
Man: Are you for this exam
Me: Yes sir
Man: How come you are just coming
Me: Sorry sir, i didn’t get shuttle in time (even though i wasn’t late)
****heart beating like crazy*****
Man: Ok, take your question paper and answer sheet and go sit down
Me: Thank you sir
I was told to sit somewhere close to the door, back back, used two mins to observe the other people in the hall and I realized that, most of them didn’t even know much because some were chewing their pen, while some counted the ceiling, others were writing once every 30secs (sign of small preparation). Smiled, heartbeat was normal and i proceeded to go through the questions, they weren’t too difficult but some were very foreign to me. Sharply started writing, and even after 25mins, some people were still coming for the exam, the invigilator was mad and furious,(that dept they don’t take rubbish o), and made those students stay outside for some mins beforeo allowing them to come in and take the exam.
I wrote for awhile, raised my head up,observed my environment for some minutes in a lazy, languid and relaxed manner, feigned like i was thinking or cracking my head, then resumed writing. All this, to make anybody who’s attention is in me to shift because once attention rests on you as a machine, doom beckons. Halfway through, i heard a booming voice, HEY MR MAN, STAND UP!!!!!!
That moment when you feel you want to be invisible, unnoticed, vanish…. That was how i felt, i felt the man’s stare without looking back, seems the man came in silently and noticed me, i slowly stood up, halfway up and he said, “Mr man not you, the guy behind you, in blue shirt”. Goddamn, at the rate my heart was going, its surprising the man didn’t hear my heartbeat, i sharply sat back down and continued with my work, naso the man enter the guy o,
Man: Young man, what were you doing
Guy: Sir, nothing o
Man: You are very stupid, i have been observing you for more than 5 mins now
Man: Keep quiet, your neck almost disengaged from body because you want to copy that guy in front of you
At this point, i was really upset, ‘this guy wan coba me sha’
Guy: Sorry sir
Man: Sorry for yourself,how am i sure you are in this department
Guy: Ahh sir, i am o
O poo, heartbeat started galloping
Man: Let me see your credentials ****reads the name aloud****
Course rep course rep,
Other students said the course rep was in another hall
Man: Young man,follow me
Guy: Sorry sir
At this point, my heart was almost out of my chest, how do i survive this department for the remaining exams That was the question i asked myself.
I waited for three mins after they left and went to submit my answer sheet, turned and walked out of the hall. Bros my leg ehn, turned to powerbike as i briskly walked far far away from the exam venue, sighed a huge relief when i got to the point i will get shuttle back to ifite gate.
Chizzy came to see me the next day, we talked about other things relating to our normal courses and exam, he then told me some people in my class were specifically asking for me to help them ‘tidy’ their exam, i sharply declined and gave him a lowdown of what transpired in my economics sojourn, he laughed all through my tale and commented that,he has always admired my ability to manage crisis and the way i don’t buck while under pressure.
Exam day two for economics approached and i believed i could go through it with a better disposition compared to the first time, off i went, funnily their exams was always 3pm, same venue, so it could be upstairs or downstairs, depending on how early the student comes. I got there 2:55pm, lo and behold,exam don start, i was like, ‘which kin rubbish be this na’, when i entered, an anticult guy was giving a speech about impersonation in the hall and how he will surely catch whosoever doesn’t belong there, i just smiled, and sat down while the invigilator came to my seat and gave me the question paper and answer sheet.
I muttered “thank you sir”, to which he said, “can i see your school fees receipt and id card”, I just shrugged, brought them out with my calculator and presented them to him, at this juncture, you might wonder, how come he’s a guy and impersonating a lady, we used same surname but instead of Linda, we used lucky, smart right? Anyways, he left after watching me slowly input the correct registration number without glancing at the credentials (memorizing things). Settled down, did my visual survey, there were more girls than guys and it was pretty quiet, with everybody trying to look busy while the anticult guy prowled from one end to another, barking fearful words to defaulters of simple exam ethics and threatening to collect their paper if they persist, i quietly went through my question paper, ticked the ones i could do and started in earnest.
It was 5 questions to answer 4, each question has children and grandchildren, i wasn’t in a rush, didn’t want any form of attention, good or bad. More people came after 3pm, they were made to answer pertinent questions about the course and lecturer, mehn i was lucky o, decided to always come earlier than 3pm to avoid wahala. Midway through, i noticed my seatmate trying to copy from my work, i just shrugged and murmured, “guy code am o, i no want wahala” and he was like, “no wahala”, from that moment, i deliberately slowed down to enable the guy get up to speed with my work, and continued while he waits, the lecturer in charge of the course came in and asked the students how the exam is? If it was too difficult? To which most of them replied in the affirmative and the lecturer proceeded to lambast them for been unserious, i just shook my head and watched them.
The lecturer bellowed “30MINUTES MORE”, omo naso i begin arrange my work o, signal to submit and then the guy in front of me asked me to pls wait because he hasn’t done anything and wants to fill up his answer sheet, omo i just weak because i was on borrowed time, chilled and left my work open but he couldn’t copy well because of the lecturer and invigilator in the hall, next thing, i felt a tap on my left leg, looked down and saw his hand clutching two squeezed Azikiwe notes followed with a plea,”guy abeg, write two answer in your question paper and give me”, damn!!!! Who does this poo? Omo devil is a liar o, even though for a minute the money enter my eye, i quietly told him i couldn’t and he was adamant o, was becoming loud and then the lecturer commanded me and him to stand up…
Mehn, this is the end, all my journey in school, my sleepless nights, countless handouts, frustrating lectures, all for nothing…… These were the thoughts that ran through my mind as i stood, the man came forward and asked, “what is going on”, i waited for a second and said, “am sorry sir, he is asking for my calculator and since i was coming to submit, i told him i can’t give him”, he looked evilly at me and said, “have u finished”? i nodded in affirmative and then he asked for my script, which i gladly gave him, he checked through, nodded and told me to leave.
Bros ehn, truth be told, i thought that was the end, because my client (Linda) didn’t provide me with adequate information about the individual lecturers and if they gave assignments, quiz et al. I quietly and quickly moved out of that zone to avoid any form of confrontation with anybody.
My hostel is located in old inec road, Regina (for those that are familiar with awka), i lived a quiet life, mostly on my own, even though i am cordial with most of my neighbours, i always mind my business but it didn’t mean i didn’t cultivate relationships with the chicks. My babe occupied same floor as me (upstairs), an Ibo girl from imo state, called Owen (strange name,right?), she was in business administration department, one level behind me. Owen is a chubby, friendly, outgoing girl, with great physical attributes, average height, chocolate in complexion, with a sweet round face, soft beautiful lips, average sized boobs and best of all, Well shaped, rounded and bad ASS. Every guy in my hostel wanted a piece of the ass but of cos, it was for yours truly alone, always felt like a boss whenever we go out or when she comes back and the first name she calls is KENNETH.
Back to the matter, she had challenges with mat111, remember that course? And since she knows her boyfriend is a ‘machine’, she begged me to help her write the course, ehn me, write for my babe,lailai…i remember the evening we had that conversation, i just came back from my economics sojourn and we were chilling in my room
Me: Mehn that your faculty nawa o
Owen: Wetin do them?
Me: With all the fine fine gehs there, na block head dem be
Owen: frowns are you saying am a block head
Me: Ahan na, you no be block head na, i cant date a block head
Owen: Go jor, you are feeling yourself abi
Me: Noooo, this economics runs tire me, most of the people in the hall hardly write anything
Owen: You are doing for other people, but if i tell you to do for me, you will be bringing up excuses
Me: Babe its not like that,
Owen: Shebi you will use my name, and my name is unisex, it will be easy na
Me: Lol, with this bad ass of yours, your classmates will notice if you are absent oo, lecturer sef
Owen: See you, am saying something important, you are talking about my ass,long hiss
Me: The ass drives me crazy jor, no worry
Owen: Ken am serious, i cant write that mat111 again jor, its too hard
**** who send you go bus admin if you no sabi maths******
Me: Babe who’s taking the course?
Owen: That woman na, on low-cut, that uses one small portable jeep
Me: I know her, she dey collect sorting, don’t worry
Owen: You will pay for me shey
Imagine your babe wants you to concur with a financial obligation without excuse, what will she do? Your answer is as good as mine
My cousin and his friend obyno always ask me about my exam exploits, and sometimes I do give them machinery jobs, not serious ones tho, there are some kind of job you will be required to just enter the hall, write attendance and leave, its always 2k or 2.5k sha, those were the kind of jobs i gave to him and obyno. Obyno came as usual that day, we played soccer on his lappy (winning 10), i spanked him and my cousin back to back to back (using France), am from the old school, so i learnt PS using winning 7,8 and 10, old squad of France (zidane, thuram, trezeguet, henry, wiltord), Brazil (Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, robinho, Adriano)… Aniways, after the game, obyno said he had a job for me, confirm job and i told him i was quite busy with different stuffs, mind you, obyno and my cousin were in finals, one year ahead of me, he didn’t take no and tried convincing me
Obyno: Azuka (my native name) abeg help me, the person wey you wan help na my personal person
Me: Guy ehn, too many exams dey my neck and i don too show my face for this school
Obyno: Guy forget, na QS (quantity surveying) she dey and na final year
Me: Ehnnnn, babe again, guy abeg o
Obyno: You no trust me again, you know the way our faculty be na
Me: Guy your dept na building, her own na QS, e no fit be the same na
Obyno: See ehn, i no fit give you runs wey go cast
Me: I know, but this time, no be your dept and you fit no dey dere
Obyno: Forget, this babe wey i dey talk about so, her mind strong pass my own, no be dulling girl o
Me: Which course sef
Obyno: Na mat102
Me: Ok, she go pay well so, women dey sabi stingy o
Obyno: No worry, anything you bill am, she go drop, na final year we dey talk so o, no time again
Tempted, should i give it a go or not?
Most times one’s sense of reasoning is usually balanced with the need to fulfill some sort of obligation.
Even though i was in a situation which i couldn’t tell how the end will be, the trust placed on me by obyno and my cousin swayed my decision towards the positive. I agreed to the deal, demanded to see the girl so i can gauge her myself. Obyno promised to give the girl my number. The exam was slated for the next week so i had time to get things done, two days later i got a call
Unknown: Hello, is this azuka
Me: Yea, who am i speaking with
Unknown: Bethel, obyno gave me your number
Me: Ok i remember now, so what sup
Unknown: He said you wanted to hear from me
Me: Yea, i need information about your department, the lecturer who took the course, if they had any quiz or assignment, etc
Unknown: Well i don’t know the lecturer because he is from maths dept, don’t think he gave them quiz, even if he did, there is always an excuse since am a final year student, also we have departmental invigilator and he no get wahala, na my man
Me: Ok, i guess you have everything covered because if yawa gas, e no go funny
Unknown: Don’t worry, na year1 course, so people go plenty small, so how much?
Me: I don’t charge similar fee for ladies as i do for guys
Unknown: Tell me first
Unknown: Ok, no wahala…shey na pay before service
Me: Anyhow you want it
Unknown: Ok, i will text you the exam venue the day before the exam
Me: Alright, take care
I felt relaxed after the call, because the chick seem to know what she’s doing and that means there won’t be surprises when the exam rolls by.
The economics runs was ending the same week i was going to take the mat exam, so i needed to get my act right and be strong because whenever am in that eco dept, my mind dey always cut,the lecturers no get joy at all.
The last day came, a Tuesday, hot afternoon, as i approached the door of the exam hall, i heard the lecturer instructing the course rep to physically identify every person in that hall, mehn naso i sharply pause o, pretended looking at the notice board while other legit students walked in for the exam, different thoughts were just going through my mind at that moment, STAY OR GO…..i waited for almost 15mins outside there, and it seems the lecturer was really serious with the physical recognition thing, bros i didn’t wait for any prophet to tell me to vamoose from that vicinity before person come ask me wetin i dey find, make Linda c missing script there abeg, i can’t coman lose my admission because of one girl.
It shook me and i slightly considered calling off the mat job but since bethel don give me mind, i didn’t shake. Prepared adequately for it and the day before the exam (Thursday), i got a text which read, ‘the exam venue is bakassi, QS hall 2, be there before 3 pls’, i just smiled and memorized the information. Friday came, by 2.30, i was at bakassi, which is where the faculty of environmental sciences is located, immediately i dropped from the bus, walked in and placed a call to her, she said she is under the mango tree after the first building and she also told me her dress code which would help me to recognize her easily.
Approached the tree, saw a fair, slim pretty lady sitting and i guessed it was her, judging from what she was wearing, we chatted for awhile and i noticed alot of younger looking guys and girls, trying to cram some formulas at the last minute, she excused herself and said she wants to greet somebody, i watched her approach an older man, and as they talked, she repeatedly pointed me……
poo, have i been set up? what’s going on??
Do i walk away? Do i stay? These questions ran through my mind but wait a minute, its not a crime to be in an environment na, at least exam hasn’t started, so why the fuss? I hissed at myself, was been unnecessarily paranoid, chalk it up to my most recent experience. I sat back down, and watched other people, walking agitatedly, looking uncertain, probably because of fear, fear of the forthcoming exam, inwardly i smiled, i have felt that kind of fear before, its nothing new.
After some minutes, the students started walking fast towards the different classes and halls, exam wan start be that, i looked towards bethel, she shook the man and was walking towards me, i braced myself as she got closer, she then said, “lets go, exam is about to start”…really We walked towards the third hall, guess that’s where QS use for their examinations, we got in, unchecked, sat down and guess what? The man she was talking with earlier was in front of the class, with question papers and answer sheets. Once i sat down, bethel occupied the seat in front of me. The class is small, can’t contain more than 30 students, sitting 2 per seat, which is the sitting pattern they used.
As the man started sharing the papers, he just warned us not to be rowdy and to behave ourselves, when he go to bethels seat, he gave her the question paper with answer sheet and said, “is that the guy”? With a finger pointing in my direction, she calmly nodded and i was dumbfounded, what the hell kind of department is this? I wonder if that is the man’s normal attitude or she has probably motivated him, if its the latter, is it in cash or kind?…devilish mind abi, that’s what a relaxed mind gets you, i was relaxed and enjoying every moment of it.
Exam started in earnest, after half an hour, the guys behind me called my attention
Guy 1: Bros i hail
Me: How far na
Guy 1: I dey o, we dey feel you bros
Me:*****smiles***** how you mean
Guy 2: Bros we know the level na, abeg no forget us o
Guy 1: We fit motivate u o
Me: Na small thing na, forget motivation
Guy 1: Confirm, you be correct guy
I just smiled, then bethel turned and asked if the solutions were forthcoming and if the guys were disturbing, i replied they weren’t and the questions weren’t difficult. She just smiled and said she likes my disposition and confidence, i smiled and continued writing.
Halfway through, i heard a familiar voice, poo, Mr Ugwu, from maths dept, seems he’s the one in charge of the course, goddamnit. Mr Ugwu has lectured my class almost four times in different levels, so i had some form of familiarity with him, having visited his office countless times. I was a bit scared,partly because the class isn’t crowded, so i can be spotted easily, then its not even for comp.sc, its QS… Bethel noticed my discomfort, then asked if the lecturer knows me very well, i answered in a probable form, since he might not know my name but i was pretty sure he knew am in comp.sc which means am not supposed to be in QS. Luckily, he just breezed in, asked the invigilator a few general questions, then asked us if anyone has any problem with the challenge concerning the questions, which they replied negatively, all this while, my head faced down, in deep concentration.
I supplied a couple of people answers while bethel made sure the attendance sheet skipped me, at some point, she felt i was been too generous, she requested i submit so.we can leave, i didn’t hesitate o, cos na she dey hold d dough.
We stepped out, she was all smiles, saying that she’s sure the least grade she will score in the course is a B, i was like, “i like your faith”, to which she replied, “i did the necessary checks before deciding to use a machinery, since the lecturer doesn’t collect sorting”, i just smiled. She gave me my dough, we shook hands and parted ways. Job done,hassle free…God is good
Next session, Final year….thinking of retiring, maybe not
EPISODE 6 – FINAL YEAR…FINAL HURDLE OR RETREAT
All through the long holidays, i constantly thought about the different paths i have taken, all the risks, the challenges, the near misses, wondered if i have pushed God to the limit, should i get out while i can? Or push one final time….
We resumed with lots of expectations, most of my classmates planned on crossing all i’s and dotting all t’s, nobody wanted extra year, all carry over must be written and written well, by hook or by crook, coupled with project work and seminar, no one wanted to leave anything to chance or fate, you know what this means for me right? winks
Luckily for us, we had courses for first semester only, while second semester was just for project and seminar. A list for grouping of students under different supervisors was pasted and people started pairing themselves since in my dept, you do your project work in two’s, i paired with a guy named Collins. Collins is a great guy, who used to be razz and rough, but he gave his life to Christ and became a staunch born again, always coming to class with a big bible, always engaging most of us with messages of repentance and urging us to change our ways. ******mark the name*****
We got busy with school work, coupled with project work, i had not made a final decision about whether or not i will push for one final hoorah in my runs game or give it a rest, i waited for fate and fate bleeped me in the ass.
Right from yr 1 till finals, we had borrowed over 12 maths courses, and almost 80% of my classmates were deficient in maths, coupled with our usual ‘demonic’ departmental lecturers, alot of people had stacked up carry overs amounting to 12 or more, putting into consideration the crazy way timetables are been set, courses clash all the time and those morons don’t wanna budge, they wont even listen if you plead for a change of time, in the long run, you have a carry over and for 2 years, you wont see a good opportunity to write it.
You know what that means for a guy like me, right? Business business business, if i play my game right, my project money and flexing money suppose fall out without wahala na, shebi…. Luckily our final year courses were kinda easy with very good and understanding lecturers, it was one way traffic, my project work going well, life couldn’t have been any better, till exam came.
Timetable came out, our courses were evenly spaced out, those with carry overs could do it without fear of clash, but most didn’t want to chance it, therein lies my expertise, moping up loose ends, giving people the easy way out, removing the responsibility of writing exams, especially difficult ones. Immediately, everyone affected with any form of challenge started strategizing, putting things in place, meeting students in those classes for the current handout or material, but for people like us, we wait for calls and they came in, chizzy’s call was the first
Me: Chizzy Baba,how far na
Chizzy: Bros i dey o, how your side
Me: Bros i full ground, na hunger just dey play me
Chizzy: Hahahahahaha, bros shebi u don see timetable
Me: Yes o, thank God say them space am, man fit relax well
Chizzy: Bros, relax ke, business dey o
Me: Ehen, based on?
Chizzy: Normal level na
Me: Bros ehn, my mind dey double o, u know say i don too do
Chizzy: Bros this one na departmental courses and maths, so na the normal way na
Me: Bros make we see first, make i know how many courses
Chizzy: Ok, come my side later, i dey somewhere now
Me: Ok na
What a twist of fate, just when i thought my mind has been made up and i was out of the game, now this, my phone rang again and it was Collins,
Me: My Oga
Collins: Bros how far na
Me: Your boy dey o
Collins: Hahahahaha, how you go be my boy
Me: You be boss na
Collins: Lol, how your side na
Me: I just dey,hope say you dey arrange our project work small small
Collins: Yes, na small thing
Me: Confirm, i believe you
Collins: Bros ehn, i get small problem o
Me: Wetin happen
Collins: Na mat411 o, i bin get am F that time and i don check timetable, e no clash with any course
Me: Ok, so…..
Collins: Ken i want make you run am for me, i go pay you
Me: Ahh bros, i bin don comot hand for that level o, you know say this na final year, if anything happen, na wahala o
Collins: Bros abeg na, na just one, we go run am together, nothing fit happen
Me: sighs….ok na, when we see for school, we go reason well
Collins: Correct, i know say you no go fall my hand, thank you
At this point, i had no choice, fate has decided…game on
How do you gear up when your mind isn’t ready for battle? When the expectations from people seem overwhelming, when do you draw a line?
All these went through my mind as i ruminated over the decisions i just made, silently prayed for one last chance because if anything goes wrong, how i go take talk am? Who go wan hear say na for final year i face panel, come chop 2 yrs suspension, reality set in and i knew i had to do it right one last time, no guts no glory.
Exam came like lightening, everybody geared up and rearing to go, i had prepared adequately for both the runz and my own course, thank God our main courses were easy and the lecturers incharge of them had good mind, it went well and we were thankful but for those who had carry overs, their journey just began. I often found myself in different halls, at different days and times, from yr1 till 400level exam halls, i graced a few of them.
The runs chizzy gave me kept me on my toes and since I couldn’t use my GS idcard, i didn’t have departmental id card, i was left with just library id card and school id card. Neither of them could be tampered with, so i used to old way of entering the halls as me, then putting the persons name on the attendance sheet and answer sheet, luckily my faculty as a whole don’t have do alot of security checks,(due to too much sorting), it only happens if someone makes a mistake and is caught, then they will start verifying everybody in the hall, it gets really ugly.
All through the runs from chizzy, i didn’t run into trouble, i made sure i was invisible in the hall, i don’t dress loudly, always on jeans and tshirts, and God was always on my side. I couldn’t believe my luck and it felt like i could continue for as long as possible. I was writing the carry overs while writing my own exams since our exams were evenly spaced, time came for the mat411 exam and i met up with Collins outside the exam venue, it was in statistics building, science village. I saw almost half the guys in my class in the vicinity and i began to wonder, even the very brilliant ones were there, omo boiz are not smiling.
The exam started and me and Collins already had a plan in place, we will both enter but i will fill the correct details both in answer sheet and attendance sheet, while he will write unrecognizable details. I sat somewhere at the back, middle row, Collins was like 3 seats behind me but at the adjacent row, two of the most brilliant guys(dave and prof) in my class sat closer to each other, somewhere at the front area while others were scattered around the hall. Prof was bleeping one girl in my class and it was because of her he appeared in that hall, apparently her pvssy has powers to move mountains, Dave came for another girl as well, funnily they were both rookies in the game.
As the exam continued, we had all filled the attendance sheet and we were halfway into the exam. Some guy stood up to submit, probably he looked suspicious or the invigilator just had a hunch, he called the guy and asked for his credentials (id card and school fees receipt), the guy produced them and the man crosschecked in the attendance but the name was conspicuously missing, see gbege, closer checks showed that the details on the answer sheets dosent correlate with credentials, lol you know what this means right? It spelt doom for us in the hall because they would be closer scrutiny.
The invigilator quickly called the lecturer incharge and reported the case to him, while the guy was bundled out, several invigilators took the different papers we used for attendance and started calling names and it must follow sequentially, in the sense that, if a name is called and a person answers that name,the names that follow must be for the people that are sitting closest to that person. Now Dave and prof supposedly wrote false names in the attendance sheet (school boy error) and when the name prof filled was called, he didn’t answer because he didn’t even remember, the smart invigilator called the next name and the babe answered since she sat close to him, they asked both of them to stand up and after going through their answers sheets, prof’s was carrying the girl’s details while the girl’s own was something different from what was on the attendance sheet. Both were walked out after their credentials were seized, this in itself means doom because without your credentials you might not be allowed to write any exam and we had our final paper in two days time!!!!!
Dave who was occupying the next seat was visibly shaking, and i guess he was smart because he quickly changed the details on his answer sheet to his real details and while mist of the invigilators were dealing with prof and the girl, arguing back and forth, Dave quickly submitted to a quiet invigilator and practically ran out of the hall. We couldn’t help but laugh at the whole scenario because it was obvious that they were naive and didn’t seek advice from us before they ventured into the game, the name calling continued and we all answered easily till the name Collins filled was called and he didn’t answer, wtf, dude didn’t remember the name he filled till the person next to him was called and then he was asked to stand up and as he was been questioned, i just couldn’t help but feel upset, which kin wahala be this na
Collins engaged in a fierce argument with the lady who was baffled as to why the names don’t correlate, he said he didn’t know when the attendance passed his seat and she should bring it for him to write his name. He was quick to remind her that he’s a final year student and if she proves adamant, he wont hesitate to report her to our hod, i guess she was convinced because she gave him the attendance sheet and he proudly crested the name on his answer sheet which wasn’t his real details.
We finished that exam and i was glad because i was done for good, i was out and luck had been my close pal all the while i undertook different risks in different departments. One thing for sure, i wasn’t greedy, i just needed the extra dough for upkeep and other expenses. I always followed my instincts and didn’t take jobs for the sake of the dough, it was carefully thought through, i always asked questions about all there was to know and always prayed for luck. I never showed myself in the hall, always stayed under the radar, man needs to avoid attention because in that kind of situation, attention is a recipe for trouble, go in, do the job and get out, THATS MY MOTTO.
We wrote our final exam amidst jubilation and joy, at least no more assignments or quiz, no more classes. The celebration no get part two o, we hit the bars, drinking and partying, painting the town red, irrespective of those who still had a few carry over courses to write, we were in the red zone, where tomorrow don’t matter.
My project work was coming on nicely and i wondered what i will be doing with my time since they wont be lectures all through the semester. Well i believed when the time came, things will fall into place. Second semester started, in the typical fast way it always does, i took 3 extra weeks holiday chilling in Lagos, after all no more class, so i got notin to fear.
I engaged in private lesson, for some kids who were preparing to take common entrance examinations, that sorta made me feel better because it was a legit and legal way of making dough and also keeps my brain sharp. The dough wasn’t much but it gives peace of mind and also no risk.
I moved from Regina to ifite, a new hostel in miracle junction. The hostel was nice, big room, all tiled, the bathroom, chai words cant describe. I decided to keep it low, since my older cousin who was running a postgraduate program had decided to start kpanshing our next door neighbour (ewwwwww). Most of my neighbours were 100level and 200level students, i only greeted them whenever our paths cross and that’s it. Always spent time out, came home late always, am a nightcrawler.
During this legit hustle, there was a babe i was toasting, lets call her Blue. Blue is a beautiful, average heighted, chocolate skinned sexy looking girl. A student of banking and finance,final year. She struck that part of my heart that is rarely used, i became a mumu for love and did countless things for her, just to make her happy.
As exams approached, i was out of the game for good and didn’t want to engage anymore. God has been good to me and it’s absolutely foolhardy to abuse that kind of grace. Chizzy called but i gently rebuffed his offer, me can’t die for other people jare. Meanwhile, i had started rolling with my hostel guys and girls, we used to talk alot, play football too. At least there weren’t the drinking type, so its dandy and cool. I found out most of them were kinda unserious and talked about shortcuts towards exams and other academic responsibilities, they didn’t know i am the prof in making shortcuts easy. Little did i know my perceived retirement is simply PERCEIVED.
Hanging out with these guys sorta made me realize how youths waste away their time and resources, just because they have an easier alternative. They rarely went for lectures or do assignments, i didn’t preach to them neither did i castigate their actions, after all nobody holy pass.
As exams approached, i already told chizzy i wasn’t in the game anymore and wanted to concentrate on my project work and prepare towards defence. So i was not expecting any of his calls towards that regard, my cousin was serving so that channel has closed too, i was at peace with myself and spent majority of my time hanging out with my hostel mates or teaching the kids or visiting blue.
Blue is 5’5, chocolate skinned, she has cat like eyes, very alluring (picture Regina askia or Halle berry), smooth and fresh skin, her boobs are pert, kinda small but her derrierre is shapely and sexy. Her selling point is her voice, husky yet soft, the kind of voice that can make a man have wet dreams at night. Her dress sense is always dope, she favours trousers for outing but short skirts or bum shorts at home, those legs mehn, they kill me everytime.
My problems started when blue began giving me the stick, saying that she isn’t ready for any relationship because all guys care about was sex and stuff and she has been heartbroken too many times. I was ready to have a sexless relationship with her (IMAGINE!!!), i was ready to do anything for her but she still wasn’t moved to agree to my proposal. On one of my visits, she told me she has a carry over course to write and she is finding it difficult to understand the course, it turned out that it was MAT111(my nemesis). I kindly advised her to find a classmate of hers,preferably female who can put her through thoroughly but she wanted a machinery.
As per say love full my eyes na, i told her to find a machinery and i will foot the bills, she agreed happily. Finding a machinery turned out to be an herculean task(according to her), all the people she knew who did such have stopped. I took it upon myself to find a worthy person since its a tough task and requires an experienced head. The first guy i met, agreed to meet with me for discussion and i took blue along. We met somewhere in 2nd market ifite and discussed about the course. Though he could do it, he complained that his face is well known in that faculty and he doesn’t want to jeopardize his engineering degree since he’s a final year student as well, he really wished he could help but his hands were tied, i understood perfectly.
Blue was almost in tears, time was running out, exams was in less than 2 weeks, and she hasn’t gotten a machinery yet. I tried giving her hope, been positive, i believed that we will definitely find but she didn’t believe, on one of my numerous visits, she brought it up again….
Me: Why are u looking this way na, your final year exam is fast approaching and you are looking so downcast
Blue: Ken you wont understand, i don’t want to have extra year
Me: Who says you will have extra year
Blue: This mat is giving me sleepless nights and am worried
Me: Am here for you and i have told all my guys to help me source for a machinery, in no time we will find one, believe me
Blue: What if we can’t find one in time?
Me: We will, no be unizik we dey again, i know how the game is played
Blue: looks me straight in the eye I thought you will write it for me
Me: laughs hard am outta the game for good and moreover, i don’t write for people i care about
Blue: Ken please, i dont have any hope
Me: Don’t talk like that, hope is abound, just believe
Blue: Ok if you say so
I doubled my efforts in my search and luckily i caught a break. A guy who stays in the adjourning hostel of my previous hostel(located in regina), we played football together and we were cool with each other. He made a few bad decisions and had an extra year due to supervisor wahala (imagine that). I visited my former hostel and we talked about the issue and he said he can write it, he’s a gamer like me so it was easy to pass the message. Though he billed me high, i was happy and elated that evening, i quickly called blue and told her i was coming to her place. Got there in record time and gave her the good news, she wasn’t too happy and this baffled me and her roomate/coursemate, i asked why she isn’t happy and she said she doesn’t have money to pay.
Women can be very devious and manipulative, her friend gave her the evil eye while i smiled and reminded her of my promise to foot the bill. She lit up and thanked me profusely, i just asked her to get some past questions for me. She was happy all through my stay and i figured i have finally gotten past her shield but i was wrong, dead wrong…….
I had to pay part payment for the exam 3 or 4 days before the exam itself and i really dug deep to make it happen. Plus i also had to make fake id card and school fees receipt (another expenses itself), but the feeling of love was spurring me on. I had to pick up those documents the morning of the exam from the man who specializes in forgery, 6am i was up, left ifite to unizik junction where the forger’s shop is located, whilst the exam was slated for 8.
Immediately i left home, i called both the guy and blue, telling them to get ready. Picked up the documents, set out for the venue of the exam, which was management science hall 2. Wanted to get there early so i can meet with the course rep and have a tete a tete with him. Kept calling, monitoring their movement and making sure everything was going according to plan, it seemed like na me the guy wan do the exam for. Finally got to the venue with time to spare, got to know who the course rep is and approached him, i was a bit skeptical about how i would present the issue but i decided to be plain and straightforward, because time is of essence and i didn’t want anything to go wrong.
Thank God, the guy is a confirm guy, he had no scruples and was cool. Meanwhile its almost 8.30, blue wasn’t there, neither was the guy. Kept calling, the guy assured me he was close by and i would see him in a bit, blue was something else. Imagine babe wey i dey epp begin form vex for me for phone, that i was calling her too much and since she has told me she’s on her way, i should chill. My brain scatter, i felt stupid, didn’t sleep well the previous night because of this same issue and without food in my belly, yet this girl dey yarn dust. I wanted her to give the guy her correct details and also meet the guy personally but the it seems my efforts are not appreciated, Chilled and waited.
The guy came by past 9, luckily the lecturer in charge had not come yet, he apologized for been late. Asked for the girl he was supposedly writing the exam for and was surprised when i told him she said i should chill and wait for her,the guy just chuckled and said “women ehn”. I introduced him to the course rep and they spoke for a bit.
The lecturer drove in and hurriedly started arranging the papers in preparedness for the exam. Had to call blue again and she said “am at the gate in ifite”, imagine o, person wey her hostel na 10 minutes walk to ifite gate, told her the exam is about to start and the machinery needs to speak with her before he enters the hall. Finally she came, i introduced them and she gave him her correct details, i wished him good luck and he entered the hall.
Even though i was very upset, i didn’t say much, i moved her away from the exam environment and we sat somewhere where i could keep an eye on the activities of the exam. She was fidgeting and uneasy, i just smiled and wondered, women are very funny creatures, always thinking about their own and making sure their ass (figuratively) is covered. An hour later, a few guys came out of the hall, looking not too comfortable, i studied their countenance and facial expressions, couldn’t help but sigh. Trust woman na, she no ask me anything.
Finally the guy came out, i quickly approached him and asked how it went, he spoke well, was able to remember some of the questions(it was German objective sort of exam). I was glad and gave him his balance. Time check, 11.45, i settled him and couldn’t find blue, i was surprised because i didn’t spend up to 5minutes with the machinery. Called her and this conversation took place:
Blue: in a sexy voice Hello
Me: Blue where are you
Blue: Am in the canteen, am hungry, i went to get something to eat
Me: You went to eat? Ok na…take care
Bleep mehn, have been played and have been a fool, mehn i Bleep up sha….these were my thoughts as i tiredly found my way home
That single action by blue made me realize she was just using me for selfish reasons. I decided to focus on myself and stayed away from her, no text,no calls, nothing. Remember this was exam period, i was hanging out with my hostel guys on one of those days when we had nothing to do. Buzo was in 200level, biochemistry, he is lean, tall, fair and handsome guy. Soft spoken, respectful and courteous but very unserious. His admission was straight forward, as an indigene of anambra state, they are given lower cut off marks, he also has a few relatives amongst the security personnel, high ranking members for that matter.
Education for him wasn’t a strenuous activity. We got talking on this boring day and he remarked that he has observed me on a regular and since he feels am a brainy graduate, impersonating wont be a big deal for me. I was shocked at his assertion, i shrugged it off and said i had been in one or two exams here and there. He then said his uncle is looking for people who can write postume exams and the pay is cool. I replied him that i was out of the game and having pushed my luck so far, i didn’t want to seem ungrateful to mother luck. He then said i have nothing to worry about, because his uncle will manipulate the postume form in such a way that it will have my photo but the original names and details of the jambite will remain, hmmmmm it sounded intriguing and i told him i will think about it.
3 days later, i came back to meet them chilling and discussing, i joined them after changing into shorts. Buzo had been telling them about our discussion and it seems like they had been sensing that my ‘ways’ weren’t pure but they didn’t know the real deal. I smiled and just said, yea i did runs and stuff but that was then, i didn’t indulge anymore. They disagreed vehemently, each with different reasons why i shouldn’t stop, Ebuka’s own was what broke the camel’s back. He said he has been looking for someone trustworthy who can help him with GS105(Humanities) carryover since the exam is clashing with one of fresh courses, but he doesn’t have the cash for a typical runs man. It sounded tidy and stressless, since the course is very very easy and the exam usually don’t attract the fierce looking anticult guys, i decided to come out of retirement, adrenaline was already buzzing, easy 2.5k for less than one hour wahala. I was all for it
The feeling of been inside an exam hall; the pressure of delivering, the taste of invincibility is out of this world. I didn’t need to read it, i just asked him to get me past questions and i studied those with joy because its a very interesting course. Buzo kept asking me if i have made my decision in relations to the postume discussion we had and i decided to give in since i was out of retirement, why not add postume feather on my cap of numerous exams. He was very happy and said he will contact his uncle immediately, i said alright, whatever he says, let me know.
The day came for the GS exam, Ebuka said the exam is 12:30pm, and i calculated the time it will take from miracle junction to science village (venue), i figured if i left my house my 12:15, i will be there in time to sit unnoticed and get the job done, i was dead wrong.
By 12pm, i was in the bathroom when Ebuka knocked loudly on my door and yelled, “Azuka dem don start exam o”, i was like, what?. Quickly cleaned off, wore my jeans and shirt,and ran out from my room, i asked Ebuka how he knew and he said, a friend called him. Damn, that sort of thing you throws one out of balance, all my permutations flew out of the window as i walked fast from my hostel to the junction, with hope that i will get bike. In the scorching sun, i walked on till i got a bike and quickly paid him to take me to ifite gate since they don’t allow bikes in the school compound. Got to the gate, hopped on shuttle which took me to science village and by the time i located the hall itself, it was 12:30. Imagine been 30mins late for a 45 mins exam, seems like they started by 12:15, so i had small hope. Started shading Ebuka’s details on the OMR sheet since its an objective exam.
Seemed it wasn’t only me that didnt get the memo because more people were coming. The exam consists of 40 questions and i quickly shaded the correct answers on the OMR, careful enough not to mess it up lest the result might be withheld. 5 mins to the end of the exam, Esther came in and i was shocked. The invigilators told her she is was very late and might not do much, since the exam is almost at its end point but she was adamant. I just shook my head and wondered,’who in his/her right mind fails any GS course’. I was in number 36 when they signalled that the time for the exam has been exhausted and we should all leave the hall after submitting the omr sheet.
I was satisfied with what i did and walked out, only for Esther to call my name, i stopped briefly and greeted her, then asked why she came late and if she wrote anything tangible in the exam, to which she said no. I left after exchanging pleasantries.
When i got admission, the first place i stayed while going to school was somewhere in Nodu village, an hostel called Savannah lodge. The hostel has alot of history from past years and at that moment, only guys stayed in the hostel. It was always fun, we spent long period of time gisting, playing football, drinking and just about any other form of debauchery one can think of. Afam was in engineering and he lived in an hostel close to ours, so he comes around often to seek for different things, ranging from food, matches, handouts or company. He was an ok guy and a chronic Chelsea fan.
When i started runs (200level), Afam was in final year and chizzy needed somebody to write alot of courses(both fresh and carryover) for one of our classmates. I told Afam about it and he readily agreed, 4k per course and it was almost 14 courses in total. Afam’s girlfriend was one level behind me, same department and her name is Esther. He loved her so much, he was always asking me for information with regards to our departments and always took my past handouts and textbooks for her. Since she apparently wasn’t good in maths, he helps her write her Mat courses.
Usually when somebody brings business for you, the person is entitled to some % of the pay, in this our game, its usually 1k per course. When we started exams, i had to give Afam my GS id card, which he removed my passport and affixed his own, gave him a copy of my school fees receipt also, this will aid him easy entry into the exam halls always. All through this period, Afam never gave me a dime, after exams, Esther was always by his side. I even left the documents with him since the person he’s writing for has some 100 level carryover and i traveled after my own exams. I never got those documents again till i graduated.
I was surprised at Afam’s action because he’s a gamer and knows the deal yet he acted ignorantly in sidelining me that brought good business to him. I was really angry and even though there was no way i could pay him back since he had graduated, i didn’t forget that event.
******end of flashback*********
2 days after the GS exam, my phone rang
Unknown: Azuka, good morning
Me: Good morning, sorry who dey talk
Unknown: Na Esther jor, so you no get my number
Me: Ahh, no be so, e don tey na, how you dey
Esther: Am fine
Me: Afam nko, e don tey wey i hear from am
Esther: He dey asaba, i see am last weekend
Me: Ok, halla am for me o
Esther: Ok, Azuka abeg i get small problem
Me: What kind of problem
Esther: Na that GS course we write the other day, I no write anything o
Me: Ewo, that’s bad o, na u Bleep up na
Esther: That’s why i call you, shey runs dey for the course
Me: sharply thought na that day dem do am o, why didn’t you tell me when we saw
Esther: I asked some people and nobody could help me, that’s why I call u
Me: Ok, call me tomorrow evening,make i find out if the lecturer don mark am or not
Esther: Ok, thank you. Please help me ooo
Me: No wahala na, you be my person
After the call, i started thinking of the excuse i will give her the next time she calls since i dont have any connects for runs in the course, then her boyfriend’s betrayal rared its ugly head and i smiled evilly as i saw an opportunity to get back at Afam.
Imagine say monkey dey on his own, person come drop banana for im front, na to chop am, clean mouth and then lock up na, no time to waste time.
Early the next morning, i quickly sent Esther a text that they want to compile the results on that same day and after that day, no hope again. Sent the sms by 6.30am to show i have been working on her request, immediately it delivered, i got a call from her, she began by thanking me and asked how much it was, i told her its 6k, since i have to bring out her script and shade the correct answers for her. She then asked if she gives me by 4pm, will it still work? I affirmed and said the lecturer stays somewhere not too far and i already have the agent incharge on standby.
4pm came, we met in unizik junction, she quickly thanked me, gave me the dough, plus her details (names and reg number). I bade her farewell and watched her take a bike to her house. Oboy i just begin smile for road like mad person, see free 6k o. Thunder fire devil, quickly entered a record shop to get some albums and movies that have been meaning to buy coupled with some chicken…***grins****
It felt good to get back at Afam, even though it wasn’t up to what i deserved, at least in my current broke situation, 6k na big money.
Buzo came to me one evening and said he has told his uncle about my willingness to write the postume and his uncle wants to meet me, i agreed to it and we booked the next day to go see his uncle in school. His uncle’s office is located in VC’s gate, a separate gate that isn’t really used by alot of people, prior to that day, i had not been to that part of unizik but since Buzo was with me and it was a business meeting, i was cool.
We got there and i saw two men inside the office that is close to the gate, one looked very familiar, average height, dark, fierce looking. I remembered i had seen his face in my different sojourns of various exam halls, i just smiled as Buzo introduced me tho his uncle, a light, tall and pleasant looking man. He didn’t have the stereotypical aura of a typical unizik security person but looks can be deceiving. The man asked me different questions, ranging from if i had done postume for someone before, to my department and level, to my general profile, trust your boy na, i gave false answers to all his questions, one should always protect his ass for any eventuality. After the Q and A session, the dark guy said i looked familiar but he cant pinpoint where he has seen or met me, i just smiled and gave the a very correct answer by telling him i had been to lots of exam hall and i have seen him a couple of times. He smiled and shook his head telling the other man, “this guy na correct guy”.
We agreed on 25k and the man asked me for the possible range the candidate will score, i had to think fast because the funds na key for the matter, since the dept the guy is applying to isn’t too intense, i gave a range of 65-70 score, based on the fact that from experience i knew that score can give him admission since he’s an indigene of anambra state with an above average jamb score.
Admission in unizik is 60% jamb, 40% post Ume, this means that the higher your jamb score, the higher your chances. The guy i was to write for scored 226 in jamb, not too bad for materials and metterullugy engineering (MME), since the course does not attract lots of crowd.
The man was convinced and asked me for payment plan,before or after the exam. I chose after the exam because i didn’t want to seem greedy, he then remarked that if i Bleep up in the business, i will have to return half of the pay or face dire consequences. I understood the latter because during clearance after graduation, every student of unizik must pass through security and those blood sucking demons can frustrate the life out of you if your name has been blacklisted for any conceivable reason. I wasn’t perturbed by his veil threats since he doesn’t know my full names, registration number or department.
We shook hands to seal the deal and me and Buzo walked off, back to our hostel.
Is this the final final of all hurdles or will I get caught in the mix again? Did the exam go as planned since its untested waters, do i have a reason to be scared?
I prepared adequately for the exam,of course it was kinda difficult because I had finished secondary school many years before. any which way,I was sure I could skin that cat without stress.
on the day of the exam,I had to meet my contact, the security personnel who is the uncle of my neighbor. met him at the gate,mehn the crowd was mammoth,bodies everywhere, I just smiled and looked for the man. omo na Toyota Camry he take pick me from gate o,I turn celebrity overnight.
he dropped me at new engineering building, which is the venue of the exam. the man instructed me to call him, in case of any eventuality.
I walked into the hall,saw a three men seated in front of the class with sealed papers and other documents,they were obviously the invigilators for the exam. I walked in,met a few people discussing, numbers were already written on the tables so I had to locate my seat. after a while,I went out to get airtime because I deemed it necessary to have some,because one has to be prepared for any situation.
immediately I got back into the class,someone tapped me and said,”the invigilators wants to see you outside “,I shrugged, walked out with him to the chair the invigilators occupied, with a blank mind.
what happened next shook me to the marrow
you are here for postume, the man in the middle asked, u answered in the affirmative. he then asked to see my printout, I gave him and I watched as he and three other men perused it. “you are a student of this school”, that was the statement that struck me to the marrows,wait a minute, that wasn’t a question, it was a statement. omo yawa don gas o,but I haven’t come this far to quit,I simply answered yes,with a blank stare. he then asked,” why are you here”,seems the man in the middle is the boss, I told him,am a student of geography and I want to change department,since engineering has always been what I had in mind to study. he then asked for my school ID,hell no,I ain’t giving that,I ain’t even gonna
carry that for any illegal activity. told him the id is at home,he just smiled and proceeded to ask my questions concerning the details on my printout. trust your boy, I scaled through all of them with ease,questions ranging from name to jamb score, to jamb centre, to break down of jamb result, to start of origin and local government, boy I was on fire but……..
he had an ace up his sleeve, in his hand was the broadsheet from jamb which does not have any form of photo id, but had every other detail, comparing the details with my printout and replies, all was legit except for the fact that the dude who came to call me was security personnel and am sure he would have told the invigilators he has seen my face in a lot of places which points to a simple fact, am in that hall as a MACHINERY but aside from his words, they didn’t have any proof and I was banking on
that. he finally asked me a question I didn’t have an answer to, “what is the name of your village”, mehn I was dumbfounded because that information is not in the printout but it seems its in the broadsheet.
gotta think fast cos am on the hot seat, told the man, I don’t know the name of my village because I was born and raised in Lagos, which is the main reason am schooling in awka, he then smiled and said,” you are writing this exam for somebody “, I exclaimed with a big NO, then he witheld my printout and said the only way he will let me write the exam is if I go home and bring my school ID, I then complained about the time it will take me to go home and return back to the venue of the exam, he promised to give me all the time I needed.
chai naso I want take miss this sweet dough, I racked my brain as I walked outside, one mind told me to count my losses and disappear,since I still had time,but another told me to stick to my guns, challenges are part of the risk and running away would damage my reputation as a man that keeps his words. I quickly called my contact and appraised him of the current situation, he promised me he was on his way to the hall to squash the issue. I decided to hang out by the roadside so it will seem am waiting for shuttle, in case anybody was watching, a keke parked infront of me,I quickly waved it away but the driver barked” my friend enter here, make we go office “, looking closely, the driver is the security guy who called me from class, what the hell?? this dude is getting on my nerves, I angrily told him I was going home to bring my ID, since they had seized my printout. he was adamant about taking me to the office and I didn’t show any sign of fear neither did I beg, I stood my ground and even flagged down a passing shuttle, all to prove I was leaving. I entered the shuttle and immediately, he drove away, I begged the shuttle driver to stop cos I forgot my money with a recharge card seller.
smart eh, 5 mins later, my contact drove in and I met him in front of the building. he asked me again what the issue is and I briefly explained the conversation I had with the men, he then told me to follow him inside. immediately the invigilators saw him, they greeted with familiarity and even exchanged banters, I breathed easy because the case us settled. he asked them to forgive my ignorance and even feigned admonishment towards me for refusing to take my culture and heritage seriously. it was settled and they promised to let me write, even though they held on to my printout. he told me to be calm, all has been settled and before the exam, they will give me the printout, I sighed as he drove away, my thoughts still on the security dude who could pick me out.
after a while, they instructed all of us to file outside, exam is about to start and once they call your name, you come up, show your printout and proceed to the seat already allocated to you. one part of my mind said, “perfect time to roll out bro, since you were not caught while exam is going on”, the other said, ” guy chill, you are a professional and fear shouldn’t be in your mind”….. its a no brainer the one I will follow. I heard my name, went up, collected my printout from them and sat quietly in my allocated seat.
well suffice to say, I wrote the exam with one eye in the window, watching for the security guy. bros as I finished, quickly submitted, ran as fast as my legs could carry me while thanking God, went to pick up my dough and………lights out
6 months after project defense, Lagos, Nigeria
phone rings, who’s calling,
caller: Bros how far
Me: I dey, abeg who dey talk
caller: Na Justice Bros
Me: ehhhhhhh oga mi, how far Na
caller: I dey o, how your side
Me: Bros I full ground
Justice is a guy who happens to be a member of unizik Anticult, he was also my classmate. I stayed away from him as much as I could all through my university days because of my dislike for those security guys. our paths do cross because we share mutual friends and he knew I was a runs guy. Meanwhile towards the end of our stay in school, he delved into advanced fee fraud or what boys in the street call “YAHOO YAHOO”. Bros made it big, in less than 3 months, he got a sweet Toyota Camry.
I did a job for him, of course he paid top naira, even dropped me in the exam hall and generally was a good client, no hustle no story, the result was good and since that business transaction, he always hailed me whenever our paths cross.
******back to the present******
caller: Bros I need your help
Me: based on?
caller: exam level na, I get like 5 Carol (carry over) to write
Me: ahh, Bros e go hard o, me don dey lag since we defend project o and I no dey plan come awka anytime soon, except for clearance
caller: Bros I believe your government, no worry. I go send tfare to and fro for you, plus your normal fee, if na flight you wan take sef, na small thing
Me: sighs, make I reason am, I go let you know as e dey go
caller: correct, you know say Na only you dey run level well
Me: no wahala
*****later that evening******
phone rings again, caller is Chizzy
Me: boss how far
Chizzy: Bros I dey o, how lag Na
Me: mehn e rugged o
Chizzy: naso, shey Justice call you
Me: yes o, the matter tire me
Chizzy: you no fit do am?
Me: Bros I don comot hand patapata for that level o
Chizzy: ehn I know but the guy dey ready to pay anything o
Me: I know, I still dey reason am sha
Chizzy: abeg reason am well o
Me: correct, we go talk later
damn what am I gonna do