Michael Ace: Diary of a Nigerian hustler

You woke up and realised you had slept off leaving the Bob Marley’s mixtape beating from your phone. It’s 2 am and in few hours time, some
fellas from your WhatsApp group would start sending ‘happy Sunday’ wishes and messages. Your bae would call. Your church brothers too.

Everything bored you.

“What exactly is special about this God?” You asked with fear written on your face. You are not sure about the myth that Holy Spirit doesn’t
forgive sins. Silence heals.

You wanted to stop the music to save your battery when you noticed even your phone AIMP player read your mind. It knew what you needed.
It’s three little birds by the Jamaican reggae god. You sat still, letting the lyrics sink.

“Don’t worry about these things. Cos every little thing is gonna be alright. I say don’t…”

You realised further listening would keep you awake and you had to sleep. You had to run. But what are you running from? Something mean, dark and voiceless asked you. What else but the reality. The fact that soon enough the sun would shine and teach your stomach the easiest way to get what it wants. Sometimes light is violence.

The reality that Airtel NG sent a message the previous night that your #100 for 30mb data was almost finished.

The reality that the usher will look at you in church with the kind of eyes that reflect how filthy and blur your life is.

The reality that your project supervisor doesn’t understand ‘God bless you, sir’. Something must drop.

The reality that Poly will not accept ‘letter for teller’ like you always did in secondary schools.

A lot of realities kept coming and coming, and they won’t stop coming until sleep eluded you.

“Hey Bob, nothing is going to be alright as long as a Congo of garri (a food that once belonged to the poor) sells for #500. Maybe not today, and perhaps not tomorrow. Though some symbols on your palm still stood firm with the inklings of hope.

You didn’t need what you actually needed. You needed what you wanted. So you scrolled through your playlist and hit Special by Akon. Just one line made you love the song…

“Don’t try to wake me up I’m happy in my dreams”.

But you didn’t succeed. You know why? Because if you hadn’t woken up, you won’t be thinking about how this week has ended again without a reason to smile in your pocket.

They say alcohol is a good antidote for reality. Maybe not for a lifetime, but a few moments of peace and no-worry do count.

You still have #300 in your pocket.

” Barman, give me a chilled bottle of Goldberg. God will understand.”


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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