Memoirs of a Bolt Guy: Ikwerre meka

By Victor Kwame Sampong

It’s been a turbulent 12 months for everyone since the new APC government came on board last year, as the extremely high fuel prices have tripped the prices of goods and services across the country.

For e-hailing drivers like yours truly, the availability of this particular product and its pump price cannot be overemphasized.

Buying at about N850 per litre isn’t profitable at all. The last time I tried this rough play, I almost fell sick. It was as if I was having a bad day and moment with everyone that boarded my car. In the end, I just use vex go park the car for house before me and client go fight.

So since then, I try to avoid buying fuel at exorbitant prices.

Now, to buy at a fair price, you also need connections. Yes Oo…even fuel too.

If I show you the number of pump attendants and filling station security guards on my phone ehn…

NNPC (N591), Mobil and AP (both at N660) are my favourites during these harsh times. Na so I go begin call them to find out if and when they’ll sell, make I go position. I don’t even like queues.

It’s been a struggle thus far.

That’s how I found myself inside Mobil Filling Station, Garrison on Monday morning during the first week of June. I was already at the pump when my phone rang. I moved one side to answer it because it was a familiar contact…Annabel. I hastily listened but cut it short after telling her my location.

Immediately I left, I called her back.

Annabel said her Sugar Daddy is in an apartment hotel in GRA and needs food, good food. She said native and wanted me to call him, get money for the food and my services and deliver it.

Wetin I go do na? At the right price, I fit even cook for ya wedding. Money is a great source of motivation.

I called Sugar Daddy and we both agreed on Native Soup, away from the fisherman’s soup he initially wanted. I asked for a few minutes to make inquiries which he agreed to.

Now, my regular joint, Madam Itoro of Praise’s Kitchen doesn’t do Native Soup on Mondays. Hers, at N3,500, is one of the best bargains in food business anywhere on Earth.

Time was running out, so I needed to act fast.

I called Sugar Daddy back and told him the meal and transportation would cost 8k. But somehow, he heard and repeated N8,900…me sef kukuma answered in agreement. He asked that I send my account details and in a matter of seconds, I received an alert of Twelve Thousand Nigerian Naira. That’s a statement of intent. Daddy has forced my hands.

I put a message across to one of our e-hailing drivers platform that I’m in dire need of Native Soup. My guys responded swiftly, with two names standing out…Ikwerre Kitchen and Calabar Kitchen.

My landlord na Ikwerre man, my oga na also Ikwerre man. So, out of respect, I decided to give the Ikwerre joint the first chance. I drove down there at Abacha Road, but the soup never ready. The guy who attended to me said it was N4,500 and It’ll be ready in 40 minutes. A fair price, considering I just received a windfall of 12k.

In the spirit of fairness and equality, I thought about Calabar Kitchen. Moreover, the twin tribe (Akwa Ibom & Cross Rivers) have been kind to me in more ways than I can count. Their people have always handled me with care and so, I have fond memories of yesteryears. Make of this what you wish, but on this basis, they too deserve a shot.

That’s how I found myself at the joint beside Charlie’s Total Fitness Center, off Stadium Road. Theirs was ready as I got there. However, the price almost gave me seizures.

N8,000 for Native Soup? Abi na native doctor dey cook am?

I was feeling dizzy, so I excused myself to take fresh air outside. Na so I rush enter car, on AC, headed back to my Ikwerre people Oo. Luckily, I called the guy again and he said the soup was now ready for pick-up.

I picked it up and delivered to Sugar Daddy and made my way home.

N7,500 gain for all my troubles.

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