Lying alone on a massive bed in one of the rooms in my father’s house, thinking about almost everything that was there to be thought of in the world, a weighty thought pressed my spirit so hardly that it spilled out what I would refer to as a ‘way out’ of the predicament I happened to find myself in as at that point in time.
Having completed my National Diploma Program, I was unable to secure myself a job for nearly two years before I got a job as a software engineer in a computer firm in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. My monthly pay was good enough for a 20 year old who was still living with his parents and had no bills to pay. Three years later I resigned from the job and travelled to Ebonyi State in search of greener pastures which I foresaw, but it turned out I was too forward to see forever from yesterday. Everything I had foreseen became nightmares and daydreams, and I got very familiar with misery and depression.
When I had it up to my neck I decided to heed the advice of MISH, a singer from Akwa Ibom State who with the lyrics of one of his hit tracks titled; ‘AKWA IBOM AYAYA’ (Akwa Ibom is beautiful) urged Indigenes of the State to return home before they starved to death in another man’s land. My mother was over excited on my arrival, and her warm welcome almost wiped off the memories of my ordeal at Ebonyi for the past eight months, but I refused to forget even the tiniest detail of all. Though my mother was more than willing to house me until forever, I grew very uncomfortable with the idea of still having to live with and be fed by my parents at 24 years of age, so I tried all I could to become independent but it seemed like the more I tried, the more dependent I was. The first thing I did was to leave home to stay with an Igbo business man friend of mine who virtually fed me every day. Secondly, I turned myself into an OLX market where sellers would advertise their products for interested buyers to purchase, but it turned out that when there were sellers, there were no buyers, and when there were buyers, there were no sellers. So I resorted to selling off those properties of mine that were of little or no use to me which I had managed to acquire during the past few years. Whenever I sold any item, I would come temporarily alive until the money discovered from the sale was finished. Whenever I sold an item, I would suspend my friend from providing food for us and take over that responsibility to also show how capable I was and how independent I could be. But as soon as my wallet was dry, everything returned to the way it was, and for a longer time than any of mine ever lasted. Sincerely speaking, I was tired of all that and desperately needed a change. But what was I to do?
Many thoughts crossed my mind. I thought of fraud, which I eventually got involved in and made 10k barely three hours from the time I was introduced into the game. Walahi, if you’ve ever hit a mugu, you’ll despise even the highest paid jobs. To me, I had found myself a job that was gonna pay me enough to enable me measure up with my peers who were already swimming in the ocean wealth. But barely a week into the game, my boss committed a blunder that nearly landed us in the EFCC net. If not for the mercies of God, I would have been less than history by now. After then, I thought of hacking into a bank database to transfer some cool millions of naira into my account. So I subscribed to the Airtel Nigeria 4GB plan at ₦1,500 and started my research on how to hack into bank database. By the time I tried the first and second step I found in my research, which I wasn’t even sure if it was gonna work, my 4GB reduced massively to 1.7GB. Hmmm, na only God go punish Airtel oo. I spent approximately 30 minutes online and my data was over 50% gone? So I started wondering how long it was gonna take me to successfully hack a bank and how much I was gonna spend on data. I realized again that it took money to make money. And in this case, the money to be made wasn’t even sure to be made. I could end up spending my money on data for nothing, so I backed out and began to think of something new. The next thought that got into my mind was football betting. Seriously ehh, I no be football fan at all!! I have never sat down to watch a complete 90 minutes play except in cases where my beloved Super Eagles was the team playing. Even at that, 50% of my attention would be on the reaction of the people watching the match, and whenever Nigeria scored a goal, I would scream to the top of my voice G..ooO..aaA..llL..!!!!!!! Amazingly, I ventured into football betting and was as hopeful as a politician that I was gonna make it in that line because I saw an advert on Surebet’s homepage of a man who staked ₦400 and won over ₦7,000,000. Chai!!! My head scatter!!! What have I been doing all these while, I asked myself.
From then onward, all the money that ever came my way again went into my nairabet account for staking. I began studying football, and I did so more diligently than I ever did study any course during my time in school. Soon enough, I was known as a forecaster by nearly all my pals, even the ones wey don dey stake game before me. During my course of betting games, I discovered that I remained nervous for 90 whole minutes while a match I had staked my money on was ongoing, most of which never ended to my favor. So I settled for another option called ‘VIRTUAL FOOTBALL LEAGE’ where a match only lasted for 3 minutes. At least, this one won’t keep nervous for longer than necessary, as the result was determined at the end of 180 seconds. And I would keep making money every 3 minutes, but it turned out I was losing money little by little every 180 seconds. When the whole money was gone, I would sit in front of my laptop and stare at it like a lunatic who wanted to jump into the laptop screen to retrieve the money I had lost to football betting.
After that, I would take a very long nap to dissolve the pain of losing since I don’t do alcohol and weed anymore. Lastly, I thought of doing something tangible with my hands, but it wasn’t easy finding a job either, except I was ready to take on the ‘lowly jobs’. By lowly jobs I mean stuffs like security jobs, brick laying, and whatever I could lay my hands on just to make some money. Indeed I was ready to do so, but definitely not in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. That’s where I grew up for crying out loud! How was I supposed to do such jobs there after such a wonderful reputation I had built for myself over the years? I even got promoted to the position of a manager in the computer firm I worked with before I resigned, and all my peeps knew about that. During that time, I was privileged to interview and employ staff, and also sack staff. How could the mighty fall so low? Nonetheless, the fact remained that I needed cash and I had to do those things for cash, so a very intelligent thought entered into my heart. ‘Since you can’t do those kinds of jobs in Eket, why not travel to a place you are not known and do them until a mega opportunity comes your way?’ That was the thought that came into my heart, and I bought it. Yes!! That was indeed the ‘way out’ of the predicament I happened to find myself in at that point in time. But there was still a problem.
I needed money for the relocation. I had to rent an apartment at Enugu, which is where I had chosen to relocate to. I chose Enugu because I was quite familiar with the place since I schooled there. Raising the money was a major challenge, as I needed to make my move with nothing less than ₦100,000, which would at least be enough rent me a room that goes for ₦60,000, while the rest of the money would go for a little furnishing of the room, feeding and some minor expenses until I was able to find myself something to do, which I was sure to find in no distant time. Sadly, I couldn’t lay my hands on anything more than ₦20,000 which a kind hearted brother in my church gave to me after I had narrated my predicament to him. I knew that if I stayed back and tried to find more money to make it up, I would only end up spending the ₦20,000 that had been given to me. So I packed my stuff and prepared to leave for Enugu, not minding how far I could go with that amount of money in Enugu without accommodation. On a very bright Wednesday morning, I went to AKTC park in Eket, boarded a bus for Enugu, and off I went! About four hours later, I arrived at Enugu. I went out of the bus with my big school bag which contained all my stuff, walked out of the park and stood by the side of the road. First thing I heard was the voice of a conductor shouting; Emene!..Emene!..Emene!..Hahaha, Enugu, I DON SHOW! Not knowing where to go from there, I just started walking along Garden Avenue, hoping that thoughts of the next step to take would cross my mind in no distant time. By then, I was left with ₦17,250.
TO BE CONTINUED…