change in nigeria
Humour, Short stories

Do you have change in Nigeria?

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You walk into the nicely painted and strategically positioned
restaurant to eat. The waiter comes to attend to you. You place an order for your preferred meal and as she walks away to serve you, she turns around and asks you,” I hope you have change o”

You shake your head, “I don’t have change. It is even because of change that made me come here. I am with N1000 note”, you pull out a crisp N1000 note from your pocket and show it to her.

She shakes her head, ‘sorry, we don’t have change. Since morning change no dey, even customers here dey wait for change” she makes a slight wave around the room and you look round. Three customers are sitting with toothpicks in their mouths. The look on their faces indicates that they are impatiently waiting for change.

“But you can go outside and look for change na,” you tell her.

“Nobody has change, I have searched everywhere for it”

You shake your head sadly, get up to your feet and walk out of the restaurant.

There is a recharge card vendor just in front of you. You walk up to her to solicit for change. If she breaks down the money you will then return to the restaurant to eat.

“Excuse me, please can you help me change this money?” you inquire from her.

She shakes her head with a frown, “I don’t have change”

Really? Maybe you should buy something from her so that the change will magically appear from her purse.

“Okay, give me Mtn N200 card”

“I don’t have any change o, don’t you have N200 note?” the vendor asks you.

You shake your head sorrowfully and walk away.

A supermarket is just over the side of the road. So you cross the busy road and walk into the supermarket.

The salesgirl is sitting behind the counter. A half-eaten meat pie and a canned coke lie beside her on the counter.

“Hello good day, please can you help me change this money?” You request with a smile.

“Change no dey” She rudely replies to you.

“What should I buy to get change?” You look swiftly across the counters. “Alright…give me one bottled coke and two gala, I hope there will be N800 change”

“Sorry, I don tell you say change no dey. Since morning we don’t have change. We are even owing many customers change, some of them are coming back to get it and I don’t know where I will find it” the salesgirl replies you.

You just can’t take it anymore, the whole situation irks you, you flare up…

“What is the matter? Nobody has change in this town! Nobody seems to have change in Nigeria! I mean, why are you people in business if you don’t have common change to give your customers? I came here because….”

The salesgirl is not listening to you. She is busy devouring her
meat-pie as if her life depends on it.

You walk out of the shop irritated.

You don’t have any change with you, all the money in your wallet are five N1000 notes. You decide to board a tricycle to the junction. There will surely be change at the junction. The fruit seller at the junction will have some change.

The sun is blazing down on your smooth head that had been barbed the previous day. Your shirt is of a dark hue and thus retains heat. Beads of perspiration form on your forehead. You are very thirsty but you can’t buy sachet water from any of the roadside hawkers because they won’t have N990 change.

You flag down a tricycle,

“Keke, I dey go junction…” The driver halts and waits for you to hop in.

“I hope you will have N1000 change”

He shakes his head and suddenly drives off.

You flag down three tricycles in quick succession but the moment you mention N1000 change, they speed off as if they are being chased by the devil himself.

The next Keke driver you flag down hisses and swears at you for wasting his time when you asked if he has N1000 change.

Standing by the side of the road, you realize that nobody has change in Nigeria.

You are left with no option but to trek down to the junction to look for change. As you stroll down the road, you wonder if change will ever come your way.

Do you have change in Nigeria?

Iniobong Leroi Umoh is a storyteller, a satirist and creative writer. He blurs the line between reality and fiction and seeks to create a connection with the reader through engaging content. His works have been featured across various online and offline platforms. He hopes to one day travel around the world on a luxury yacht, sipping expensive wine and documenting all his experiences in a journal. You can send him a mail at infoleric@gmail.com.

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