Tuesday, 22 December 2015

STORY: Man Wey Dey Reason…Part 5

“Flow na the site be dis, na me be the chief
kponpkon officer, shebi una carry una work cloth
come?” Man said as we got to a deserted bushy
place.

“we carry am na, na wetin dem wan build
here sef?” Brainbox asked. “na big filling station na,
and we go chop money here well well, because na
me dey in charge here” Man said. “the woman wey
dey build am her pekin dey abroad, her name na
Madam Ifeoma, she dey come here everyday come
supervise wetin we dey do and pay us our money
after work” Man said. “na she put me in charge of
all the labourers wey dey work here. She go soon
come sef” Man added.
We removed our clean clothes, put on our working
clothes and sat down waiting for Madam Ifeoma.
Soon, a labourer came. He introduced himself as
Igbakwambo. In Igbo language Igbakwambo means
a hustling fellow. A name that sure befits him. He
was stunted, muscular and fair in complexion.
Then came another labourer. Ochagbuorie was his
name. In Igbo language Ochagbuorie means
Someone that works “hard” and eats “harder” i.e
Someone that spends his money on himself. He
was sure spending his money on himself because
he was wearing a fine perfume.
Ochagbuorie and Igbakwambo were not their real
names but names they gave themselves because
of the kponkpon job.
Madam Ifeoma came sooner than expected and
Man told her that we were his friends, that we
came to join the “white colar” job of kponkpon.
Work started. As Madam Ifeoma was instructing us
on how the work for the day would be like, i caught
a glimpse of how beautiful her face was. I never
knew there was something more beautiful than her
face behind her. Though she had some gray hair,
facially, she was not all that old. She turned
backing us and showing us how we were to cast
the concrete. I wasn’t paying attention to what she
was saying, rather i was staring at her “television
shaped” a’ss.
One bag of cement is to twelve headpans of sand
is to Ten headpans of thick gravel, was the ratio of
mixture.
Man and Ochagbuorie were to dress the concrete
floor, while the rest of us were to mix and pour. It
was all man for himself because the number of
bags you mix would determine the amount you
would be paid at the end of the day. The
“international standard” price for mixing and
pouring a bag was 600naira.
It wasn’t as easy as i tot. Though i was
inexperience in mixing, i quickly learnt from “the
master” Igbakwambo. I saw from the corner of my
eyes that Brainbox was still packing sand, while i
had already started mixing. “so naso u lazy” i
almost shouted at Brainbox. Madam Ifeoma stood
close while we were packing, she counted the
number of headpans we carried, making sure no
one cheated. Igbakwambo was working as fast as
the speed of light, as if he was a graduate of first
class in “kponkponology”. “Igbakwambo!! N’agba
mbo nwanne!!” Ochagbuorie hailed.
Before i could say Jack Robinson, Igbakwambo was
on his fourth bag, he did the work with so much
dexterity and gusto. Meanwhile, i was on my
second bag while Brainbox was still on his first
bag.
My legs were getting hot due to the effect of the
moisture on it. I was working fast so as to catch
up with Igbakwambo, not knowing i would soon
regret ever coming to do kponpon.
Mehn!! The mixture was very heavy to carry.
Though i was putting on a face cap, it was as if i
was carrying it on my bare head. My neck couldn’t
move again, i was walking like a Robot. I was on
my Fourth bag, Igbakwambo was on his Seventh
bag, Brainbox was on his second bag. Instead of
me to give up the chase oweing to the fact that
there was no way i could catch up with
Igbakwambo, i was still pulling “Superman” stunt.
I was tired and hungry, but i still endured. As i
placed the headpan full to the brim with “rice and
beans” on my head, i heard a bone crack in my
neck, “abi my neck bone don break?” i asked
myself. Before i finished asking myself that
question……………………………… “puuuuuuuuuaaaaarr” the
rice and beans i was carrying on my head poured
on my body making me fall to the ground.
To Be Continued…
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