ACT 7 SCENE 1
Dandy’s bar- Tamuno and Lanky are drinking together
Tamuno: so Lanky! I understand things are pretty rough with you right?
Lanky: My Guy! I never knew women could be so selfish and wicked! Well it’s just a temporal set back sha, I will bounce back! I am still young and strong.
Tamuno: (Puffing out Cigarette smoke) I understand your Company is waiting on the Government for new Contracts? What if the new Government does not favour you guys? What would you do?
Tamuno: how what? Are you not listening to what I am saying? You see, don’t you have a plan B? No wonder your wife dey sex starve you!
Lanky: oh! So Dandy has told you that too?
Tamuno: yes he told me, he also said I should try and see what I can arrange for you.
Lanky: (Grabs Tamuno’s hand) Guy can you do anything to save my face? Please! I will be forever grateful to you! Things have turned from bad to worse for me! My wife has gone to the extent of changing the Locks and keys to the Kitchen and our bed room! All the Cupboards and Freezers in the house now have new locks! Old boy I cannot hide my shame from you o! Na die I dey so o!
Tamuno: but wait a minute! How could your Wife be so cruel? Were you mean to her when the going was good? (Dandy joins the duo with a bottle of Heineken beer in his hand, he wears a three quarter length Jeans and blue denim short sleeves Shirt with a blue Papa’s cap to match)
Lanky: Dandy how far nah? I see say you don tell Tamuno wetin my eyes dey see with Tombra! He is asking if I was cruel to her when the going was good! I beg help me answer that question!
(Dandy sits down)
Dandy: ha! No o! Lanky na the ideal husband o! He established the Woman and even got her two Cars! One for the business and the other for her private runs. Lanky is the only Man that hardly come here with other Women unlike You and Brian and co..(Tamuno interrupts)
Tamuno: Shut up!
Dandy: Lanky is one of the few stupid men I have seen that still put his wife on monthly pocket allowance even after opening a business for her, a business that she runs solely without giving accounts to him! What does she do with her money? Dandy used to pay up his Kids School fees in advance! He pays for all three terms upfront in January. But unfortunately, he lost his job in January this year. No! Lanky was never cruel to Tombra, not at all.
Tamuno: wow! Wow! Impressive CV! Hmm , ideal husband indeed. I bet she knows what you earn monthly?
Lanky: (Grinning) of course! I hid nothing from her!
Tamuno: (Looks Lanky up and down sarcastically and mimics him) of course! I hid nothing from her! Look at you now! Does your Wife declare what she realizes from her Shop to you? Does she tell you how much she realizes weekly or how much she has in her bank account?
Lanky: No! No! I don’t need to know! After all I opened the Shop for her. It’s hers!
Tamuno: chai! Chai! Chai! Lanky, I never knew you could be so stupid! (He throws away the Cigarette stud and lights up another stick, takes a long drag and exhales thick smoke from mouth and nose. Lanky looks shocked, he looks at Dandy for support) yes! I will say it again and again, Lanky! You are a big fool! I hate fools! And if not for the respect I have for Dandy, I would have walked out on you right away! In fact you be Woman Wrapper! Number one! Your Wife is smarter than you are! That is obvious. Secondly, how could you be working for a private construction Firm without having a plan B?
Lanky: Plan B? How?
Tamuno: are you the owner of the Company?
Lanky: of course not!
Tamuno: apart from the house you built and this Car you drive about, what other thing do you have?
Lanky: My wife’s Shop!
Tamuno and Dandy: (Shouts) shut up your mouth!
Dandy: wetin dey do you?
Tamuno: (Takes a long drag on the Cigarette and exhales) look! Lanky or what ever they call you, it is better to be quiet and appear stupid than to open your mouth and clear all doubts!
Dandy: how again? You and this your ‘how’ ‘how’!
Tamuno: na you get your wife Shop and owu dey worry you like dis? (Lanky looks at Dandy)
Dandy: can’t you see that you have lost it as the man of the house? (Lanky looks at Tamuno)
Tamuno: your wife sex starves you! She does not prepare food for you! She does not give a damn if you exist! (Lanky looks at Dandy)
Dandy: she has put everything in the house under lock and key! She is building her own house behind your bank! A woman you call your wife! My friend you have been hypnotized!
Lanky: (Holds unto his head as he shakes it vigorously) haaaaaa! How? How? How?
Tamuno: the next thing she will do is to start bringing her male lovers to your house! And she will lock you out!
Lanky: How can?
Dandy: dey there dey ask question! When last did you touch your wife? Several months ago! And you live under the same roof! (Lanky stares at Tamuno)
Tamuno: can you vouch for her that she has not slept with a man all this while?
Lanky: which Man?
Dandy: any Man but you!
Lanky: (Hysteric) how? I will kill some body I swear!
Dandy: you can not do jack my man! How old are your Kids again?
Lanky: twelve and seven!
Dandy: good! They are not too young to understand, you can still change the game to your advantage!
Lanky: really? (Stands up) but how?
Dandy: Mr. How, sit down!
Tamuno: leave the house for her for now!
Lanky: I have thought of that before but where do I go? What do I do? How do I feed?
Dandy: Lanky! Tamuno and I have been talking, he has a large Farm at Okirika, and the Manager of the Farm is running for the seat of the local government area, he will win, Tamuno is sponsoring him. (Lanky stares at Tamuno open mouthed)
Tamuno: you will be in charge of the farm, you will live there, there is a three bed room apartment there for the Managing Director of Tamuno Farms and Agro allied Industry! The pay is better than what you have ever earned plus the fact that you may never have to buy food, fish and meat again. So when I see you in a month’s time I expect to see a fresher you! (Lanky stares at Dandy)
Dandy: The farm has palm plantation, poultry, Ostrich, Piggery, grass cutter, Cat fish pond, rice plantation and over eight hundred cows being shepherded by Fulani herdsmen! It is a herculean task for you as Managing director! (Lanky stares at Tamuno with mouth agape)
Tamuno: the Fish pond has a capacity of fifty thousand mature fishes with average weight of two kilogram’s, upon maturity the marketing supervisor sends SMS to our existing Clients and in three to four days, the Pond is empty! Then we replenish the Pond! The Cockerels and broilers are booked in advance by over fifty eateries and retail Outlets in out clientele. The plantations are being run by different supervisors, they report to their Managers and the Managers will report to you. You will report there next tomorrow and start your induction; you will need to go round the various sections for two months before you assume your official position. I will bring your letter here tomorrow and inform them to expect you on Saturday! Congratulations! Lanky you are welcome to my world!
(Lanky falls down and starts to wail like a baby.)
ACT 8 SCENE 1
Ogiri’s apartment, he enters the house to se Tombra discussing on the phone, she is seated on the Couch and facing her on the centre table are bundles of naira notes. Immediately she sees Ogiri she cuts the call and begins th garther the money into her hand bag.
Tombra: (Surprised) ahan! Can’t you knock before you enter the house? (She packs her money hurriedly)
Ogiri: I should knock before I enter the house? Why didn’t you lock the door when you know you don’t want to be interrupted! And by the way why are you packing up your money because I came in? Do I look like a thief? Or have I stolen from you before?
Tombra: that is your business! I can do what I want, when I want and how I want!
Ogiri:: In fact madam! You don’t know how you disgust me! My hate for you grows by the day! You are hiding money from me! The money that is the proceeds of my labour and sweat! So I have fallen so low that you will see me and start hiding your money? You have changed the keys to the Kitchen so that i will not eat! You changed the key to all the Lockers and Cupboards! Even the key to the bed room door you changed it! You turned me to an out cast in my own house! You have sex starved me for almost eight months now! (Raises his voice) well, I know you have a man some where that is servicing you! All your actions since I lost my job show that you have been unfaithful to me all along!
Tombra: yes shout! Shout let the neighbours know that you are a frustrated man!
Ogiri: why wont I shout? What else do I have to hide? I am down and he that is down fears no fall! All the neighbours know of my condition already! They all know about how you are treating me too! Is it not the neighbours that take me in when you lock me out some nights? Is it not the neighbours that feed me some times and give me stipends on which I have survived thus long?
Tombra: I hope you are sleeping with their Wives too?
Ogiri: oh! You think they are like you? No! They are human beings with clean conscience! Haven’t you asked your self how I fuel my Car and still try to look as if all is well? Have you seen me come home drunk at night since I lost my job? No! Yet I still hang out with my friends and they take care of me! The same friends I had before I met you! The same friends that attended our wedding ceremony! They did not abandon me! No! Not for a moment! They have been helpful and surportive.
Tombra: Please go and sit down! You are only jealous of my success! You can not face the fact that I am now richer than you, that’s all!
Ogiri: Jealous of you? How myopic you think! Is it a competition? And how do you measure success? Is it in monetary terms alone? (Laughs sarcastically) woman let me tell you what you do not know!
Tombra: (sits tight clutching her bag to her Chest) what do you have to say? I am listening!
Ogiri: good! I like that! You are listening! Today you go hear word from me! I can choose to chase you out of this house this minute! But I will not do that yet, not now!
Tombra: (Flares up) for where? You can’t! Try it and see!
Ogiri: even your so called business, I can set that Shop on fire without you or any one suspecting me! I can arrange with Boys to burgle the Shop and wreck you! I can pour salt into the engine of your Car and knock the engine! My dear I can wreck you! There are many ways to kill a rat!
Tombra: (Jumps up clapping her hands and shouting) thank God you are confessing! I will report you to my Father! I will report you to the Police in case anything happens to me or my Business!
Ogiri: see mumu! See mumu! If I want to do any of those things do you think I will tell you? I wont tell you nah! You will just be sleeping at home and you will receive phone calls that your Shop is burning, and as you rush out to drive to the Shop, you Car will not start and never will, have you forgotten I am a typical Port Harcourt boy? I grew up on the streets and i dey bam!
Tombra: if you dey bam, I go show you say me I dey well!
Ogiri: oh Tombra, Tombra! You don’t have foresight at all, you no get sense and I think it is because you did not finish your School! So you think I can not rise again or what? Have you forgotten I am still young? I am just forty years old! I have my first and second degree! I am a hustler which means I can do anything to survive! Tombra I am every woman’s dream man! I adored you! I pampered you! I spoilt you! I loved you Tombra! But you stabbed me in the back; you insulted me in the most unforgiveable way! You made me a subject of ridicule in the whole estate, amongst my friends and my family! Even before my Children! You want me t loose my respect before my Children! And by the way, (Calls out) Joshua! Ella! (He goes into the room and comes out) where are my Children? I understand they closed for the term yesterday?
Tombra: Tyhey are not around! They went to spend the holiday with my Cousin at Abuloma!
Ogiri: when are they coming back?
Tombra: until School resumes!
Ogiri: (laughs sarcastically clapping his hands) Tombra! You sent my Children to spend their holiday with your Cousin without telling me let alone get my approval? Even if I am jobless and broke, you do not have to disrespect me that much! Where and how did I even wrong you Tombra? I do not have a say in this house again because I don’t have a job abi?
But how could you have pretended so well for fourteen years? You are indeed a good actor! Nolly wood must be missing a star! Well I thank God that it happened this way! I thank God that I still have my health intact! What would I have done if I was incapacitated? That means you would have poisoned me for good so that I don’t have to be a burden to you! But I thank God that I am complete and my senses are okay! You should have waited for a better time to show me your colour! Not now that I am still hale and hearty! Yet every other evening you dress up and go to Church! How am I sure you are not even sleeping with your so called Pastor? I have not been going to Church for over six months now because I do not have money for offering or tithe yet none of the Pastors or Ministers has called me! How daft I have been all this while! Even Pastor Kelvin that I used to give financial assistance never called me on phone for once to say how far? At least they know I am out of Job! Yet you go to this Church every other day! Which kain Church be that I beg?
Tombra: I can see that your condition is beginning to affect your senses! You don dey Kolo Ogiri!
Ogiri: yes! I don dey Kolo! The truth they say is bitter (he walks into the room still nagging, Tombra dials her Phone and begins to discuss on the phone, Ogiri returns with his travelling bag fully loaded) madam heavy weight! Look this Man well, well! Look me! You dey see me? Good bye!
(He walks out while Tombra stood looking wide eyed and dumb founded)
ACTS 9 SCENE 1
Office meeting setting: There is a projector beamed on the wall and Ogiri is wearing a smart blue suite addressing a Staff strength of about twenty female and male executives all resplendent in their corporate attires. Ogiri addresses the attendees with the aid of a flip chart and projector.
Ogiri: The desire of Management is to take this Company to the next level! Though the Company has had a steady annual growth for the past three years, the marginal increase is small as far as I am concerned! 1.4% annual growth is too small for us amidst the vast market we are operating in. What is out marketing Team doing about this? Prie! You are the head of marketing! What is your plan for Tamuno farms this financial year?
(Prie stands up, a beautiful svelte dressed in black skirt and red blouse. She proceeds to the front of the hall and collects the projector remote control from Ogiri, Ogiri steps aside as she uses the flip chart to make her presentation.)
Prie: two years ago we grew by 1.5%, last year we grew by 2.0%. The growth rate is marginal I know but there were circumstances prevalent in the economy that stalled our growth! There was the devaluation of the naira, there was a fall in international oi price which adversely affected the national G.D.P and consequently the national disposable income was cut down! There was also the issue of the insurgency up north and the havoc caused by the Fulani herdsmen at our Buguma plantation. Unemployment rate is on the increase, our competitors also are not sleeping! It is like a war front there sir!
But there is hope! For Tamuno farms, this year promises to be a favourable one because it is an election year! (Round of applause from attendees)
Yes! First of all, we must congratulate ourselves for producing the new local government Chairman in the person of Mr. Alalibo Adokie, our former managing director! (Another round of applause)
And because we have Mr. Adokie, all the eateries in Okirika Local Government Area and environs will patronize us! It is not by force o! But they have no choice! (Round of applause)
We have also proposed to management to embark on the preparation of Barbecued Chicken and bag it! People are used to frozen Chicken! Let us give them something different! Well spiced barbecued Chicken would appeal to the elite class and most of the Oil workers not living with their families here in Okirika and environs can easily buy this Brand for quick stew or they can use it to drink beer with their friends! (Round of applause and Cheers) we can sell into Provision shops and Super Markets! Big beer parlours and Night Clubs in G.R.A are also our target Markets! We need to plant our products into the minds of people! (Applause). We are having problems meeting our demands for Cat fish! Our forecast for this year was a total of Five million Cartons of fish, but the capacity of our ponds can only produce a total of two million Cartons! The gap in demand created will naturally be taken up by competition and substitute brands! The market is there! The demand is there! We need to exploit these opportunities! We need more Fish Ponds! (There is loud ovation, Ogiri claps continuously as he ushers Prie back to her seat)
Ogiri: Great Marketers! (Chorus, Great!) Wow! Wow! Wow! I am impressed! We are prepared! Yes! We are prepared! But, wait a minute; are we all as prepared as the marketing team? Purchasing department, how far? Do you have the best sources of supply of our raw materials? Do you use the most cost saving channels? Do you buy the best quality? Are you cutting corners? Are the suppliers bribing you to overlook standards and receive whatever they supply to us?
Quality department! What about your end? Do we still live by our watch word “best in quality?” a satisfied Customer will only tell his experience to a friend but a dissatisfied Customer will report you to the whole word! Including witches and Wizards! (Laughter in the house) Are we still maintaining proper hygiene in all our processes? Remember we are a food company!
Public relations department! How far with you and the community youth? Are they happy? Do we still give them preference in labour recruitment? Do we still support them with products during their Carnivals and traditional ceremonies?
Finance department! How are we doing? Are we spending within our budget? Are we still saving cost by avoiding wastages and wasteful spending? Are our workers happy? Are they paid on time and in full? Are we managing our loan facilities properly? (Continues till fade)