Memoirs of a Bolt Guy: The Hebrew Man

By Victor Kwame Sampong

My weekends are usually stacked, and I mean from personal leisure activities to business. There is never anytime to faff around.

The plan for this past Saturday was to just wake up, drive to the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, play football, return home to rest and resume work later in the afternoon.

I did the first parts just fine but did a little detour on my way back. I stopped by the market to get a few items for breakfast. It was a rude awakening. Plantain isn’t what it used to be. Anybody buying plantain now in large quantities should be invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC or the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, because no be clear eye dem dey use to pay for that thing.

I bought four fingers of Plantain and I was made to pay one thousand, five hundred naira. In fact, I couldn’t get any at Rumuola or Rumuomoi markets, so, I had to drive down to Rumuigbo market before I saw some. Now wey fuel dey cost…I felt like I paid Six Thousand Naira (N6,000) for it sef.

Na when I wan buy eggs I realized the damage we’ve done to Nigeria. A crate of eggs for Three Thousand Naira (N3,000)? Ordinary eggs? I stood there and made calls to five different people (three girls and two women), just to be sure I wasn’t being robbed in broad daylight.

Just when I thought I had seen it all, I walked to the tomatoes section, not too far from me and my discovery almost sent me into a rage. Five pieces of it for Five Hundred Naira? Even tomatoes kwa?! Na to leave E-hailing work begin sell tomatoes and eggs next week. Well, I don come out be sey I don come out. I don already buy the plantain na. Abi I go carry am go house begin peel am eat like banana? I paid for the eggs and tomatoes, including a big sachet of groundnut oil and returned home to prepare a sumptuous egg sauce with fried plantain. At that point, I felt like a woman who just held her newly born in her arms after the pains of labour and the delivery process.

There’s nothing ‘Hebrew’ about my experience at the market sha. I was in ‘Sifia Pains’ all through.

I woke up feeling refreshed. By the time I was done and ready for work, it was almost 3 pm. I just tell myself sey make I go find the least 10k (Ten Thousand Naira) then return home. The first ride was to Hartford Hotels was for one Thousand one Hundred and I swiftly got a second for a delivery to Oyigbo which was Four Thousand Naira (N4,000) on the app. Nevertheless, I successfully negotiated for five thousand five hundred instead, due to the distance and all that. I run the matter my way (if you know, you know).

I got yet another ride that brought me back into town before a regular client sent me money to get him food from his favorite joint and bring it to him at his hotel. It was while I was heading there I got a call to go pick up a client for an urgent trip to Enugu. I checked the time and it was almost 5 pm. For a four-hour plus trip? My contact said the client is ready to compensate adequately for the inconvenience, but he needs to get to Enugu ASAP. We discussed terms and conditions and finally agreed because he called back a few minutes later and asked me to move at light of speed to Rumuola for pickup.

I delivered the package to my other client and made my way to said pickup point. I called my most trusted comrade to go home and pack a few things for me and meet me at the pickup point. Pinky as he’s fondly called, did just that. The boy always comes in handy.

My client with his babe and his brother were ready for the journey. I re-emphasized certain conditions that had been discussed earlier, just to be sure we were all on the same page.

We took off at about 5 pm and I told him 9 pm or thereabout should be the estimated time of arrival. Usually, I don’t leave for a different city or state once it’s 4 pm except on very rare occasions. Driving at night across Nigeria is not for the faint-hearted. However, the bills won’t clear themselves.

I took the Etche route to Ngor Okpala, came out at Owerrinta and hit the Umuahia-Okigwe-Enugu expressway. The potential security challenges notwithstanding, visibility was also abysmal around the Okigwe axis of the road due to a thick fog that usually engulfs that area because of its hilly nature and high points perhaps.

Also, your lights are never too bright at night too, so one must have to be extremely careful. Then those boys who usually block the roads to collect tolls from trucks and trailers, you don’t know the ones that might stop commuters to rob them. This particular scenario usually happens at the Ogoni section of the East-West Road, between Tai Junction and Ikot Abasi Junction, like sey you dey go Akwa Ibom.

The good thing is, about eighty per cent of the road has been tarred very well with no potholes. Na after those places wey ‘Aboki people’ dey stay, the road begin get ‘k-leg’.

I was scared, but I was more determined to get through it. So concentration was at 110%. There have been a few security challenges on that route recently, kidnappings most especially, and in the daytime. So imagine me doing this between 7-9 pm. Well, thankfully, I’m still here writing this as evidence that I scaled through.

We got into Enugu itself at about 9:17 pm and quickly stopped at Ntachio-Osa for food and drinks, before searching for a good hotel to spend the night. I suggested Bridgewater, which was where I stayed on my last trip to the Coal City State, but their rooms were fully booked. A contact came through for us and we settled for The Ritz-Carrington, off New Haven Road.

In the next episode, I’ll share with you guys how the night went down. You don’t wanna miss it!

One thought on “Memoirs of a Bolt Guy: The Hebrew Man

  1. Wow, it sounds like you had quite an eventful day! I can imagine the frustration you felt at the market with the inflated prices. And the impromptu trip to Enugu definitely added an extra dose of excitement to your already busy schedule. I’m glad to hear that you arrived safely despite the potential security challenges. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more about your night in Enugu. Let me know when you’re ready to share the next episode of your adventure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *