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Saturday, 9 January 2016


It was a well furnished two bedroom flat that housed the latest of furniture; an oval glass coffee table, a 55 inch plasma TV that hung lavishly on the wall and an air-conditioning system that sucked out every droplet of sweat and perspiration that formed on the skin. She owned a kitchen that provided everything that could make one salivate upon entry. It was a rare thing to find apartments as cozy as hers in this part of the neighbourhood. Rumors had it that she was the daughter of a millionaire who had run away from home to hike inconspicuously. But the road to achieving this feat in her life had not been a funny one as she had done countless unspeakable things with men to survive in this harsh world. To her, her current status and accommodation was a reward for her sweat and sins. Several thoughts of quitting the life had popped into her mind on several occasions but she always consoled herself saying that she had gone too far to turn back now. Except of course if she met a man that could provide her with all that she needed and more. This was the question on her mind as she constantly brought to mind memories of the times spent with her new lover Mustapha.

She had just swallowed a glass of orange juice when the door-bell rang. She looked at her watch and the time had struck 3:30 pm. She was not expecting anyone that early and so she arose and curtsied towards the door to meet the slim figure of her friend Anita standing in the doorway. Anita had not waited to be asked in before she walked in, threw her Michael Kors handbag on the settee and finally collapsed into a single seat. Common sense had told Dupe that something was off but chose not to inquire rather she just watched her friend in silence after ensuring that the door was securely locked. Finally Anita spoke.

“Dupe, my world is about to crumble. As in, devil wan wear pant give me for market.”

“Anita, wetin dey happen? Talk to me, I be babe like you.”

“My sister, na die I dey so o.”

“Ani, give yourself brain o. Why you wan come die for my house na?” Dupe exclaimed.

“Dupe, Jason’s father is back o. The devil himself is in the slum.” Anita screamed as she repeatedly 
 slapped her laps with her palms in confusion of what her next move would be. In annoyance, Dupe gave a long hiss and eyed Anita in the most despicable manner possible.

“So na that wan make you dey shout like woman wey dey labour room? I even think say you don get HIV abi your mama don die.” Dupe said in a sarcastic tone.

“Na you go get HIV and na your mama go die. I am saying something serious here Dupe.”

“Well, if you must know, James abi na Papa Jason has been around for about two weeks now o. That was why I called you severally the other day that you refused to pick my calls.”
Anita listened in silence.

“I saw him the other day Mustapha dropped me off at my gate after our regular hangouts. James approached me and told me to talk some sense into you for you to get back together with him.”

“God forbid. After all these years, he just comes back and wants to waltz in back to my life. I think he’s mad. Moreover you know I am in love with my Chinedu.” Anita replied.

"Foolish girl, sit down there dey do lover girl make I go bring Golden morn for kitchen make we chop". Dupe said as she handed Anita some tissue paper to wipe her tears that were already ruining her makeup.

With Dupe out of sight, Anita decided that it was time to come plain with the truth. It was time to explain to Chinedu how the little boy that she called her younger brother, claimed was a product of her mother’s late pregnancy suddenly turned out to be her son. Would he ever forgive her for lying to him all these while? Was his love for her that potent enough to overlook her shortcomings? These were questions she realized that only time could give answers to. 
Chanel 5 was a popular street club that served as a den to people that engaged in various vices both legitimate and versa. It was always fully packed during the weekends and served as an ordinary drinking parlour during the weekdays for those that wanted to unwind after a stressful day at work. It boasted of strippers, cheap and illicit drugs, illegitimate business deals and contracts. Destinies and fates of people were mostly decided in this one storey building that was separated into two halves; the upper part serving as the VIP section and the disc jockey’s arena.

The police had on several occasions raided this spot, but were always bought over by the management of the place. A lot of people had tried to discover the identity of the real owner of this ghetto club but to no avail because he maintained a low profile and silenced anyone that was too nosy.

It was a Friday and the doors of the club were waiting to be opened as heavily built men that worked as bouncers searched everyone thoroughly before allowing entry. It was no surprise to people denied entry mostly because they didn’t dress appropriately or had a bad aura around them. Chinedu was on the queue, but he was not here out of his own volition. Tunde his friend who worked as a DJ at Chanel 5 had convinced him to show up at the doors of the club and just mention his name.

Tunde had a good rapport with the security at the club and as such could not be denied anything. Chinedu had explained his predicament and his latest ordeal with the King of the Slum to Tunde, who advised to come around his workplace just to see where he could fit in. Chinedu was moderately dressed with headphones in his ears as he listened to Jay z’s “99 problems” waiting for his turn to be searched. It eventually got to his turn and he engaged in small talks with the bouncer who searched him like he was in possession of hard drugs.

“Baba, take am easy na. Na DJ Teeto say make I turn up for here o.”  Chinedu spat out in annoyance with the way the bouncer rough handled him.

“Na so all of una dey always talk. Shut up make I do my work.” The bouncer replied.

“Shey make I call am for phone ni make you follow am relate?” Chinedu inquired.

“Just enter inside. But if you no buy me drink, I go come for you o’’ The bouncer scoffed.

“You na main gee. Just use this one hold side.” Chinedu whispered as he pressed a crispy note into
 the bouncer’s right hand and headed into the floors of the club. He scanned around for Tunde who was busy cueing the next song that would lift the spirits of the dancers. Tunde was first to spot him and motioned at him with the wave of a hand to move a spot close to him, so they could communicate better as it was hard to hear each other as a result of the deafening sounds coming out of the Sony speakers hung at strategic points of the hall.

“Chinedu Chilaski, what the deal man. I think say you no go come.”  Tunde said as he extended a handshake to his friend.

“Baba, I gentle o. Low key as usual.” Chinedu replied trying to be as cheerful as possible.

“Welcome to my world o. This is what I am at night o.”

“You dey try o. Everyone here seems to know your name.”

“Well, that’s what you get for being a good DJ. Na small small sha.”

Tunde replied trying to be as humble as possible. He noticed someone walking to towards his spot to make a request for a song and immediately told Chinedu to have drinks on him as he had a job to keep. Chinedu grinned and checked his pockets to ensure that his phone and wallet were still in his possession because Chanel 5 had been rumoured to house all sorts of criminals who were not rookies at what they did. Luckily for him, he still had his personal items on him. He then decided to order a beer and probably sit at a table to watch the Ladies of the Pole do their thing.

Chinedu was just about to settle in his seat when a Lady dressed in thongs and a bra that revealed a large portion of her voluptuous breasts, wearing a pair of red stilettos approached him and inquired if he was interested in a lap dance. He declined politely and wondered why she had chosen this path as a means of livelihood. Well, that was sour state of things in the slum; he thought to himself. Anything was obtainable here. He looked around and saw Marijuana parcels and cash exchange hands, women laughing loudly at the dry jokes of the men they came with, bottles of expensive wines and alcohol. He was shocked to his bones when he inquired at the cost of a bottle of Ciroc. Someone in the VIP had just ordered seven of those bottles. He had envied this lifestyle for a moment but reminded himself that it led to nothing but destruction.

The vibration from his mobile phone jolted him out of his thoughts back to reality. He had two notifications to attend to. The first was a text message from his sister Gloria. It was to inform him that she had arrived late from the village and she was outside his door.
The second was a text message from Tunde telling him that an opportunity for the post of transactions and logistics manager had popped up. The last person that occupied had mysteriously disappeared for about a week and someone had to fill in that position as quickly as possible. Chinedu replied Tunde’s text message as follows:

“ Baba, tell whoever is in charge that Chinedu is in the building”

Tunde smiled at him to confirm his receipt of the reply to his text message. The heavens had suddenly smiled upon Chinedu his friend. He hoped Chinedu could fill this void that had just presented itself.

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