Eyowo

Within Reach

Jul 30, 2018

Mondays are definitely some of the toughest days for Lagosians.

It’s another busy morning in the city that never sleeps. Somewhere in the Victoria Garden City area of Lagos, Cyprian has gotten into his G-Wagon and is navigating his way towards Yaba where he owns a tech start-up.

It’s just 5:30am, the roads are already busy but the traffic-flow is still smooth. He races through Ikota, Igbo-Efon, Ikate, Marwa, Lekki and now he is approaching the Lekki-toll gate.

At the exact fare lane of Lekki toll, he puts his right hand into the breast-pocket of his well starched and ironed shirt. He removes it and reaches for his trouser’s right pocket and then the left. Seconds later, the car’s glove compartment is wide open.

Vehicles behind the G-Wagon are composing a hit song with their horns already. The toll attendants are now raining curses on Mr. Cyprian.

“Oga, why you no pass alternative route as you no get money?” the mobile policeman on duty inquires.

“All these yahoo-boys sef! Na only big car una get,” one LCC staff laments while directing five fingers well spread apart at him.

Cyprian is short of words but still manages to explain he is up to no tricks. He tries to make a point about how he forgot his wallet at home while rushing out that morning but the blaring horns drown his voice.

“Mr man, leave this place now. You have been saved by the Good samaritan behind you,” an attendant orders.

As he drives away, an embarrassed Cyprian waves at the kind fellow in the Toyota Matrix and the chaos behind him. He can’t understand being so disgraced publicly not because he doesn’t have money but simply because his funds are not within reach.

He crosses himself and says a little prayer while hoping his financial incapacitation doesn’t land him in further trouble this morning.

As he descends the Third Mainland bridge, the car’s steering becomes less responsive. A flat tyre?

He drives slowly until he gets to a vulcaniser shop on the Oworonshoki axis of Lagos.

“Oga, abeg help me pump my tyre”

“No wahala Sah, na just 200 Naira,” the vulcaniser explained as he removed the valve stem caps.

“Just that I may need to make a transfer to you,” Cyprian responded.

“Ahan oga! You wan transfer 200 Naira?”

“What I mean is I forgot my wallet at home. I don’t have any cash or card on me,” a distraught Cyprian tried to explain.

“No wahala oga, you don hear about Eyowo before?”

“What’s that?”

“Oga, just dial *4255# on top your phone make I show you”.

As Cyprian slides his phone out of his tight pants, the vulcanizer kicks the tyre one more time; his own way of gauging pressure.

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