Sapa walks along the road with an unsteady gait and glancing widely around him with his sunken eyes. His faded brown shirt clings to his back and begs for a replacement. His tattered jean has a splattering of black blotches all over it.
Sapa is hungry and thirsty, his stomach is growling as the worms bite deep foraging for non-existent food. Sapa has not eaten in 24 hours and has no idea of where to get food. He is broke and without a penny in the whole wide world.
Poverty has taken complete hold of Sapa and it holds him in a tight grasp. Sapa has tried to fight off poverty to no avail and has come to accept and moves around with it like Siamese twins. Back in the days, Sapa used to own a good smartphone where he used to listen to lots of music but these days Sapa only has one favourite song and he sings it every time.
“I don suffer no be small
Upon say I get sense
Poverty no good at all o”
He sings the Nkem Owoh track to himself and to anybody who cares to stop by and listen to him. The song gives him consolation and hope for a better day. It also brings ideas to his head, most of which are illegal.
“Oyibo man, I go chop your dollar!” Sapa exclaims as a scheme comes into his head.
His perpetual state of poverty and neediness has made him bitter and antagonistic towards people with means and wealth, so he tries to scam them of their money anytime he gets an opportunity. But he has achieved mild success as a scammer, his schemes are amateurish and easily busted.
Sapa didn’t use to be this broke.
Two years ago, he had a steady job, working as a cashier in a Vegetable oil production company. He wasn’t rich but he had money to feed himself. But one day, greed took over and he started cooking the books, falsifying figures and stealing from the company. His looting was discovered after an audit and he got fired. The economic situation of the country ensured that no job opportunities were available for Sapa. So Sapa found himself on the streets struggling for survival.
The rays of the African sun glares down on the land in intensity and is very draining. Sapa seeks comfort and shelter. He sees a restaurant and walks into it. He takes a seat and gazes at the menu on the table.
“You are welcome sir, what can I offer you?” The saleswoman asks.
“Bring white soup with goat meat and fufu for me” Sapa orders.
In two minutes the food is placed before him.
Sapa washes his hands and digs into the food with a ravenous appetite. He swiftly finishes the meal and requests extra serving and extra meat.
“Here is an extra plate for you” The thick saleswoman announces.
Sapa almost swallows the plate. He licks it clean and licks his finger. He then proceeds to wash his hands in the washing basin.
Suddenly, Sapa sprints out of the restaurant at top speed.
“Tiff! Ole! Give me my money!” The saleswoman screams as she chases after him.
The idlers and passersby join in the hot chase. Ambushed on all sides, Sapa has no place to escape to. A heavy stone thrown by an agbero lands on his head and as he falls to the ground, the song plays in his head:
“I don suffer no be small”
Poverty no good at all o”