Desperate Times and Desperate Measures

Worried Black GirlImage: Naija News Agency I always use every opportunity to learn from life. Some of the lessons are easy to swallow but others are just bitter pills. Take my house issue for example. Immediately after my service year, I got a nice apartment in an upscale neighborhood. The rent should have been cut-throat but because one of my Pastors was related to the owner, it was very affordable. I was told the owner was out of town and wanted someone to ensure the house wasn’t empty. The house was a 3-bedroom flat and I was given one room. The owner’s nephew was in one room and the other room was leased out from time to time. I was okay with the arrangement. I was hardly home so I never had any run-ins with my housemates, neighbors or their family. A week after I had moved in, I had the desire to return home early and when I did, I could not believe the scene that met my eyes. The neighbors’ kids were playing football inside the living room. I was livid! The dust they had kicked up and the dirt they brought in turned the room I had swept that morning into a refuse dump. Turns out that the neighbors wanted me to settle in before showing me how things were done. From that day, things changed a lot. I would come home to a messed up kitchen with the sink filled with days of unwashed dishes, pots blackened from improperly set stoves and pieces of food on the floor. Rats had a field day in the kitchen and one had the effrontery to chase me one day! The owner’s nephew had the kids from the other flats do his cooking and dishes, so he could not be bothered if the dishes were done or not. He didn’t go into the kitchen except to fetch water so he was okay with the smelly, dirty and nasty excuse of a kitchen. I wasn’t and I raised the issue with him many times until we were at a point where we were barely speaking. My compulsive nature wouldn’t let me take that! I had kids coming into my room and taking stuff when I so much as stepped out to get something. I caught one little girl going through my bag one evening. I stood behind her quietly to give her the benefit of doubt. I was right; she was a little thief! She snuck in after I had seen a friend off and left the room open. When she turned and saw me, she could have died! I called her much older sister and had her handle the issue; but not before banning her from entering the house whether I was there or not. All of these weren’t as bad as when the person in the next-door flat bought a rickety I-pass-my-neighbor generator. He put the generator right at my window, with the exhaust facing my room; because he DIDN’T want to face the church we shared a fence with. Night after night, I would be poisoned with carbon monoxide and disgruntled with the irritatingly noisy generator set. It got worse when he came into some money and bought a bigger generator. Since we had problems with electric supply, the generator would be on for almost 24 hours! As a result of the constant drone of the generator, I always woke up with a nasty headache which only dimmed as the day wore on. In fact, the man came to me one day said, ‘You dey try for this noise oh! Thank GOD my room is really far from the generator.’If you know me, you probably know the facial expression…and subsequent reaction I gave him. I desperately needed to leave that house. The sky spirits *in King Julien’s voice* were in agreement. The owner of the house died and his wife needed money to bury him. She left Lagos and came to Yola. She didn’t expect to find people in her house. Yes they had tenants in the other houses but the thought of tenants in her house shocked her. She said her husband would never have given the house to tenants. Turned out the nephew was the one who gave the house out to make some extra money on the side and he told no one of it. The entire house deal was a shoddy affair. And said nephew had left the country for school…if that is what it was. I was stuck. I had no receipt, no evidence of payment and quite frankly, no reason to be in that house! After much discussion, the widow agreed to let us stay in the house if we were willing to pay a 50% raise on the house rent her nephew in-law collected. When I told her I could not afford that, she told me to either pay up or leave…in two weeks! I weighed the messed up kitchen, lousy neighbor’s kids, horrible power situation, the constant poisoning and noise pollution and I knew I would not pay 50% extra to continue living like that! So I started going up and down and blowing up people’s phones for agent contacts. I was looking at houses for a whole week after the ultimatum. My radio shows were suffering, I wasn’t eating or sleeping well and I was dropping weight by the pound but I wasn’t going to give up on my house search. The houses were either too expensive or in neighborhoods that were not friendly. Even though life was bashing me, I knew I had no option but push on. Two days to the end of the ultimatum, I headed out with my friend to look at some houses. We got to a neighborhood that was neither upscale nor completely ghetto. They were offering two rooms for a little above the price of my house. Yeah, it wasn’t great, I had to share the toilet and live with mostly uneducated people but

Quick Links

Find Us:

Beaufort Court Estate,

Lugbe, Abuja.

Call Us: