The events of the previous day were baffling but it was indeed very true. I once read a story ‘Lagos….. And my polythene bag’. It was very popular on Twitter at the time. The story centred on a young unemployed man who came into Lagos with only a polythene bag, he squatted with a friend in Lagos, walked the entire length of the city scouting for a job. He found none. With nothing to do, he took solace in social media, Facebook and Twitter and within a short time, he had gathered a strong followership. He was soon contacted by a Governorship aspirant to head his social media team, after a massive social media blast and rigorous campaigns, victory was achieved. He became a big boy and got hooked up with one of the most beautiful girls in the city. The story gave me hope until the writer twisted it. The guy was actually dreaming while on the long journey to Lagos. He discovered he just arrived in Lagos with his polythene bag still as his only possession.
That story was annoying but the reality jolted me, how many come into Lagos everyday with big dreams of becoming rich but end up becoming wretched, returning to their villages worse than when they left. Infact, many don’t ever return to their village because of the shame that accompanies it. My story is different though, I had always been in Lagos and I have parents who can continue to feed and clothe me if I allow them to but I had chosen not to let that happen. They were irritated when I left home without having a steady source of income. They felt I should stay at home until I found a well-paying job but I didn’t want any of that; to be pampered by my parents when people of my age are busy influencing the world, no.
So I got a fat cheque from Modupe and later that very evening she called that she was sending a driver to pick me up to meet her dad. I went with the Driver. The house was gigantic. I was kept gaping around like someone from Olorunda village. Once in a while, you get to see real wealth and you know you don’t know anything about it. Merely living in this kind of environment, even as a servant, would change one’s worldview. I am sure the servants consume what some rich men can never dream of eating.
Anyway, I met her dad. He was such a simple man; you would think that someone that wealthy would be sophisticated. He wasn’t. There is a sickness that seems to plague most of the rich men in Nigeria, an abundance of wealth causes them to lose their ‘humanity’, and they metamorphose into Zeus; while every other person becomes grasshoppers in their eyes. Chief Alabi remained human and humane. I met him watching a replay of an Arsenal match.
“Good evening sir”
“Etuhu, Mr Twitter” he said laughing.
“Interesting, your daughter told me you follow me on Twitter. That’s amazing sir. Really amazing”
“You know, I intentionally didn’t use my name because I want to be on a low key on the platform since my companies have verified accounts and are doing well”
“You think otherwise?
“Yes Sir, many of the World’s top business moguls and influencers have verified accounts and they manage it personally. Even the Pope is on Twitter”
“Yeah that’s true. Daily Mail reports that his tweets are retweeted 17,000 times. I followed the 2014 Twiplomacy report. Obama came second with 14,000 retweets. Ok I will open a new account. You will help manage it though. I won’t always have time for it. So you’ve got yourself a new job”
“Thank you sir, but I doubt if that’s the main though”
“It’s definitely not. Modupe’s boyfriend is running for a seat in the House of Representatives and I want you to create and manage a personality boosting account for him on all social networks” he said.
So I got engaged to promote a guy of my own age. The dude was a spoilt brat. His dad and Modupe’s were friends. Grew up, went to school and began a business partnership together. He lost his dad while he was studying at the University of Pennsylvania. I deduced that the relationship between Deji Obadele and Modupe was arranged. Of course, Chief didn’t say it that way but erm, I wasn’t born yesterday. I saw them together that evening and my intuition told me something was wrong but that was none of my business. We sat down and discussed strategy and formations and I asked him to mail me details of his life.
“Why don’t I just say to you now and you develop it” He said like the brat he was.
“I don’t like this guy”. Maybe I should walk away from the deal; after all, politics has never been my thing. However, life is not always about what we like. So I insisted that we work on my terms.
“We’ll send it to you” Modupe offered.
“Ok, thanks Ma’am. I will look at it and then work begins tomorrow. What should be priority please? I mean I am working for you, for Chief and for Deji”
“Deji takes precedence” Chief said.
“Alright, I will have to close my other engagements and dedicate my time to the Alabi’s social media business” that made everyone laugh. Modupe has such charming laughter.
That night, Chief wrote me another jaw-dropping cheque. My fortunes just got bigger. As I entered the car to be driven back to my apartment, I heard Chief asking Modupe why her one of her drivers was taking me home. “He doesn’t have a car” she whispered to him.
“Etuhu” he called.
“Someone will bring you a new car tomorrow ok?
Looking at the ocean as I was being driven home, I could not believe my luck. Politics brought me so much in 24 hours. Who would have believed that? Shopping for work materials is the first agenda tomorrow. _________________
My shopping list: generator, air-conditioner, printer, an IPhone, scanner, original beats by Dre, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, Microsoft surface pro 3, Samsung K zoom camera, three new suits, ten H&C shirts (my favourite designer), fridge, yes fridge, I will be sitting by the laptop all day, come on, a chilled drink every hour is not a bad idea. And off course plenty foodies. I was finally able to richly tip Mama Ada. It had always been on my mind, but my pocket didn’t help. I gave her N50,000. She danced like one who just received a million dollars. I told her to vote for Deji. Having just received N50,000, she had no choice. She didn’t even know who Deji, I told her his posters will soon be everywhere. Work had started after all. I could do some offline influencing.
I tweeted “get your PVC, vote Deji Obadele”
Immediately I saw
@Etuhu who be Deji?
@Etuhu, when you start to dey tweet political stuffs?
Na lie!!! @Etuhu wants us to vote a certain Deji. Who be?
Indeed work had started, I smiled as I settled down to reply them one after the other, with evergreen song Öta mi deyin leyin mi by Ebenezer Obey music ringing loud in my ears.