ACT 5 SCENE 1
Dandy’s Bar Arena, Customers are seated and getting entertained. Soft jazz music plays on the back ground. Ogiri is ruminating over a bottle of Legend extra Stout at one end of the Bar in solitude. He did not notice Dandy’s presence until Dandy taps him on the back.
Lanky: (surprised) oh Dandy! How nah?
Dandy: old Boy, na so the thing don bad reach? You just dey deep in thought so tey you no know when I reach your back.
Lanky: my brother, I just tire! I don search for work tire, every where wey I go na the same story!
Dandy: no vacancy?
Lanky: no vacancy!
Dandy: it is over five months now nah! Any word from your former Company? (Notices Ogiri’s drink) wait a minute! You are drinking Legend? Wetin happen? No Star for my Bar?
Lanky: old boy forget that thing o! Na when I get money be dat o! Under normal circumstances I fit take three bottles of Star on a good day, but now I just need a bottle of Legend to give me the effect of three bottles of Star. It is called cost saving! (Laughs)
Dandy: na wa o! Before we know wetin dey happen now, you go begin drink shekpe and kaikai! All na cost saving with more highness abi?
Lanky: me shekpe? God forbid bad thing!
Dandy: no worry nah! Na small small e dey start, when you reach that stage you go still find reason to justify am! I don tey for this business! I have seen Customers rise from drinking Alomo Bitters to drinking blue Label and exquisite wines here! I have also seen big boys go down from blue label to sachet whisky! Back to the matter! Your company, how far?
Lanky: old boy I don lose hope for there o! Government don change hand nah! Our connection na from Abuja before and since the ruling Party don change now that means no hope of automatic ticket for our Company again. The new Party stalwarts would have their own Candidates too; you know how it works in Nigeria!
Dandy: hmm, do you remember my friend Tamuno the Banker?
Lanky: Tamuno that smokes cigarette like a chimney?
Dandy: yes! Yes! I told him about your condition, especially your Wife’s attitude.
Lanky: can he help? I don’t have any experience in banking o! I read Agric engineering in school, but I can adapt to anything sha, anything as long as it is legitimate!
Dandy: (Laughs) don’t worry Lanky! Tamuno is a big boy! You don’t know anything about him other than the fact that you see him here smoking and drinking. He will help you, just bring your CV to me and start praying and fasting so that those wey dey follow you from home no go see road block this one for you! (Both men laugh) meanwhile don’t breathe a word of it to any body until it clicks!
Lanky: (Brings out a folded envelope from his rear pocket and hands over to Dandy) here! My CV!
Dandy: (Surprised) shuo! You dey carry am waka?
Lanky (Brings out two similar envelopes from other pockets, waves them at Dandy and pockets them back) my Guy! Dem no dey tell man o! (Both men laugh)
Dandy: so what is the situation now at home?
Lanky: I have paid the Children’s school fees. Now I don’t have a dime on me, I survive by engaging in any menial job that I come across. You won’t believe my wife came to me three nights ago and told me to provide money to replenish the food stuff in the house!
Dandy: kai! This woman will not go kill you so? Upon say she sabi say you no get work!
Lanky: and the most annoying thing she does is that she chooses to embarrass me in the presence of the Kids! But my Kids are smart, they know her game and they console me after words. She can’t influence them.
Dandy: kai! Your wife dey fall hand I beg!
Lanky: (Empties the content of the bottle into the glass cup) real falling hand my Guy!
Dandy: you don chop?
Lanky: I wan thief am? For where? This Stout will serve as food and drink for me o! If I reach house for night, I go check Kitchen for any left over food to eat, if I see any, then I am lucky else I drink water and go to sleep in hunger.
Dandy: old boy! This your case na like ‘living in bondage o’!
Lanky: (Exclaims) in my own house o!
Dandy: (Calls out) Akpan! Akpan! (Akpan appears) Bring another bottle of Stout for Oga Lanky and tell them for Kitchen to prepare rice for am (To Lanky) you prefer Jollof or white rice?
Lanky: Guy! No vex I beg, I no need alcohol again, and as per the food, my own kind of beggar still get choice o, because we no be strangers to each other. Give me strong Fufu or eba, I take God beg you! Rice na bird food!
Dandy: okay Akpan, tell dem to prepare yellow garri with native soup and Cow belle. You hear me?
Akpan: yes sir! Fufu plus yellow soup and (Dandy interrupts)
Dandy: shut up your mouth! Idiot! Get out from here!
Lanky: (Laughs) you and this your Akpan sef!
Dandy: you no hear wetin he dey talk? I told him to order for yellow garri, native soup and cow belle and what did he say when I asked if he understood?
Lanky: he said Fufu and yellow soup! (Laughs out loud)
Dandy: please let me give your order to them at the Kitchen (Excuses himself)
ACT 6 SCENE 1
Exterior: Ogiri packs his Car by the road in front of Uncle Joe’s house, as he opens the door, little Children come running to him shouting ‘Uncle! Uncle! He brings out sweets from his pocket and shares to them and they disperse in different directions. Uncle Joe comes out to the front of his house pulling a chair along, he is dressed in wrapper and white Singlet, and he sees Ogiri.
Uncle Joe: Ogiri! Na you? Let me bring out another Chair! It is so hot inside! No Light for the past three days! (He goes back inside and returns with a plastic Chair accompanied by his wife)
Ogiri: good evening Sir! Mama well done o!
Uncle Joe: how are you? This one wey you visit us today, hope all is well o?
Ogiri: uncle all is not well and you know it!
Mama Joe: Ogiri na wetin you go chop? Starch dey o! Make I warm banga Soup for you?
Ogiri: yes ma! I dey hungry, thank you! I(He pulls off his shirt leaving only white singlet on his jeans trousers and he attempts to fan his body with it) kai! This heat na wa o! See as every where dey hot!
Uncle Joe: ahan! You no use AC for your Car?
Ogiri: (Exclaims) AC? For this my condition? Na manage I manage the fuel to take me reach here because I know say any how e be, you go fuel my Car for me. Or how you see am?
Uncle Joe: To fuel your Car no be wahala Ogiri (Laughs) so how far with the job hunt? Any show yet? This one wey your Oga political Party no win elections, any hope for una so?
Ogiri: Uncle! I have put my fate in the hands of God o! I don loose hope for our Company. I am looking for any kind of job, even if it is security job I will do!
Uncle Joe: don’t worry my dear, it shall be well. So how are the Kids and their School? Have you and your wife taken care of the fees?
Ogiri: Uncle they are okay and in school! I had to empty my bank account to settle their fees!
Uncle: so you mean Tombra did not pay their fees upon all the pleas?
Ogiri: for where? She did not pay o! (Two little Kids wearing only Pants runs to meet Ogiri for sweets, he gives them a piece each from his Pocket. They run off) all these grand Children! They should be about nine or ten now o!
Uncle Joe: no! Na only five of them be my grand Children o! Most of these Children wey you dey see so na born throway O! Their mama just come drop dem for village with their grand Parents, na different- different strange names dem dey bear! But all of dem like you sha, any time wey you come home you dey give dem sweets and biscuits! Well done.
(Mama Joe enters with small table and places it between the men, a teenage girl emerges with a large tray, she greets Ogiri and she place the Tray of food on the table while mama Joe dish out the food and leaves while the men wash their hands and begins to eat)
Ogiri: kai! (Mouth full with food) you too much! Home na home I beg!
Uncle Joe: Una dey see this kind food for Town at all?
Ogiri: How? Who want to cook am? These our modern women have been spoilt by civilization, they would rather patronize Genesis restaurant and Jevinik instead of to learn how to cook good food for their husbands! (Mouth full) and if their husband starts cheating on them and eating out at the residence of a mistress that cooks well, they will say the mistress have charmed their husband (Mama returns with a Keg of tombo) mama de mama! Na tombo be dat?
Mama Joe: yes nah! Original tombo from water side
Ogiri: kai! Mama de mama! You too much! In fact i am sleeping here tonight! I will retire back to live with you people in the Village (Laughs)
Mama Joe: you fit? When Mosquitoes and sun flies finish your body ehn! You go run go back to town! (She retires inside)
Ogiri: Uncle, some of my Friends are trying to arrange something for me, I hope to be back on my feet soonest!
Uncle Joe: good! But I hope you have learnt your lessons?
Ogiri: Ha! Uncle, dem dey tell man? Not with all that I have experienced with Tombra! I can never fall mugu to any woman again! To imagine that a Woman I paid her bride price and married! A woman that swore in the Church to go through thick and thin with me! A woman that has Children for me! I sacrificed my comfort to establish her in business! (Agitated) Uncle what did I get in return? (Exclaims) denial! Betrayal! Sabotage! And insults!
Uncle Joe: (Mouth full) she denied you like Peter denied Jesus Christ! Is she a Jew?
Ogiri: Uncle this one pass Jew o! She be witch!
Uncle Joe: she is wicked! Even unto her own Children! Imagine Tombra building a duplex for that her drunkard father! And imagine how her stupid father was talking rubbish at your house last time. Like father like daughter! Look, you better send that woman out of your house! She is not a wife!
Ogiri: no Uncle! She is the mother of my Children, my Children need her now and at least she feeds them in her Shop and she takes care of some other needs of theirs. It is me that is her enemy for no just cause.
Uncle Joe: that is why we tell our youth to always come back home to look for Wife! At least we know who is who in the Village. We know the good and the bad families in the Village here! But when you people get to Port Harcourt, you think our girls here are uncivilized and timid. See what a civilized woman has done to you! She has shown you civilization! When last did you even sleep with your wife or any woman at that?
Ogiri: hmm, Uncle please don’t go there o! I have been celibate for over seven months now!
Uncle Joe: (Shouts) No talk am! You mean am? A whole you?
Ogiri: Uncle I beg no shout! (Looks around) talk am small small make mama no hear I beg!
Uncle Joe: You mean say you never wire for the past seven months?
Ogiri: na so uncle!
Uncle Joe: and you dey sleep with Woman for house?
Ogiri: Na so! (Mouth full) with woman wey I marry o! Well, there is God!
Uncle: Leave God out of it o! How you dey do when your body move you? As in when you are in the mood, how do you manage?
Ogiri: (Laughs) The only time I can be in the mood is when I am at The Beer Parlour and after taking a bottle or two I start seeing beautiful things around me. But I can not do anything since I don’t have money. You know Uncle, had it been that I kept a mistress outside my marriage this issue wouldn’t have pained me this much because I would have had an alternative! I can never be in the mood when I am in the house because the atmosphere is too tense. The only reason I go home now is just to see my Kids and sleep. I don’t even sleep in the same bed with Tombra! If my body touches hers by mistake na wahala be that!
Uncle Joe: (Mouth full) for what? She dey craze? You no fit rape her?
Ogiri: Ha! Uncle! to rape Tombra? You want to kill me? Abi you no see her size? I beg o!
Uncle Joe: so what are your plans now?
Ogiri: I will keep on hustling and searching until some thing turns up, but I have learnt my lesson, not withstanding all of these, I will not divorce Tombra.
Uncle Joe: what? You dey craze? What do you need her for?
Ogiri: no! I will not divorce her for the Children’s sake but what I will do to her, will be worse that being divorced! She will beg for divorce but she will not get it! Except if I do no get back on my feet! But I am a Port Harcourt boy! I am gallant! If worse comes to worse I will enter the Creeks and join the movement! But I am a survivor!
Uncle Ogiri: (Fuming) that her stupid drunkard of a father! That man is so irresponsible! I never imagined he could be so shameless! Imagine all the rubbish he said that day! I wish he had laid his hands on me; I would have dealt with him mercilessly!
Ogiri: (Shocked) ehn! Dealt with whom? Old Soja? You? Ha ha ha Uncle then you better thank your Stars that he did not touch you o!
Uncle Joe: He was lucky he did not!
Ogiri: no Uncle! I meant thank God for you!
Uncle Joe: how?
Ogiri: uncle, that man strong o! I sabi am well well, na one bone e get for hand! If he had touched you and you dared lay your hands on him in fight, hmm wahala for set o! No be wetin we dey talk now we for dey talk o! The man for beat you silly! I swear! The man for pluck your front teeth!
Uncle Joe: u dey craze? You don see me fight before?
Ogiri: uncle I do see you fight well well when I dey grow up! Dem dey always beat you! Na my Papa dey always protect you from Bullies! Uncle, are you not aware that Old Soja was a boxer in the Army? Didn’t you see his array of trophies in their house at the Village? I swear the man will beat you silly!
Uncle Joe: (Mouth full) na lie!
Ogiri: uncle, forget that thing o! (Mouth full) I know you well and I know Old Soja well. I have known him as a father in law for over twelve years now and I can not count how many times we have had reasons to go and pay hospital bills on people he beat up in the Village or to go and bail him out of Police station for assault! Uncle, no think am I beg! I just thank God say he no happen.
Ogiri: ehen! You mean am?
Ogiri: I mean am o! The man na strong man!
Uncle: na Stupid man! No wonder he dey do any how that day! Na God go punish am drastically! Thank God say he no touch me o! Na so I for go slap am come go put my self for trouble!
Ogiri: he for pluck you r teeth I swear!
Uncle: (embarrassed) why you just dey emphasize on his plucking my teeth! Na only teeth he dey blow? Or do you personally have issues with my teeth?
Ogiri: All the fights wey the man fight for Army, he had a reputation for plucking Peoples teeth! Two of Tombra’s elder brothers do no have front teeth! Even Mama Tombra does not have front teeth!
Uncle: na lie! The woman teeth complete!
Ogiri: na artificial teeth dey there! Na me do am for her! And we don change that artificial teeth a dozen times.
Uncle Joe: shuo! That man na beast o! He dey take blow pluck that woman teeth too? How come you go marry that kain man daughter nah? The father na drunken boxer and the daughter na giant!
Ogiri: the fact say Tombra giant no mean say I no fit beat her o! But na woman nah! There are several ways to deal with them.
Uncle: (Laughing) Ogiri! Ogiri! Don’t ever think of fighting that woman o! It is either she strangles you to death while you are asleep at night or she invites her father to come and deal with you.
Ogiri: I know nah! I dey craze before?
(They finish their food and wash their hands, Uncle Joe calls on mama to clear the dishes while they face the keg of tombo.)