Unizik’s popular comedian Prince Neche writes a beautiful story. It’s long but worth it. please leave a comment.
GOD IS NOT DEAD…
“My boss is not around”
The Secretary said as she stepped out of the office.
Sam was confused.
“What do you mean by that? How can he not be around? I’ve been sitting here for the past 6 hours waiting for him like you told me to. You said he’s in an important meeting. How can he not be around all of a sudden?”
“I said my boss is not around. Come back tomorrow”
Sam couldn’t believe his ears.
“But you told me to wait. I’ve been sitting here for hours now. The phone on your desk just rang and you went into his office after taking the call. Who did you go to meet inside then? There’s only one door in and out of this place and I’ve been sitting close to the door. How come I didn’t see him go out? What are you saying?” He said trying to control his temper.
“I’ve told you what I want to tell you” she said and went back to the game she was playing on the computer on her desk.
Sam was so angry. He stood there not knowing what to do.
All at once the anger left him.
“Please help me” he pleaded trying to hold back the tears brewing “I beg you in the name of whatever you hold sacred. I’ve been coming here for the past three months now. You need to help me please I beg you. Let me just see my uncle, your boss. Please have mercy on me. I’m sure you have a heart too. Haven’t I tried already?” He said trying to control his emotions.
“Please too. Shebi you have a heart. You want me to lose my job? Please go and come back. Tomorrow, next week, anytime” she said.
Sam stood there for a minute, took one last look at the door to his uncle’s office and left.
His mother was in the kitchen when he got back.
“Sammy honey, how did it go?” She asked.
“I didn’t see him…again” the look on his face must have spoken volumes because she left what she was doing and came up to hold him
“It’s well my son. You’ll get a job soon. God is not dead” she said trying to hold back tears herself.
Sam pulled himself together. He couldn’t lose it now. He wasn’t allowed to cry. He was supposed to be his mother’s strength.
At 26 years old, he wasn’t a baby anymore. He was a man now and no matter what, he couldn’t cry. Life is hard.
“But mama, are you sure uncle James is my father’s brother? Are you sure?”
His mother laughed dryly.
“Of course he is. Don’t be absurd. He is your father’s one and only brother”
“Then what is the problem? Why is he doing this to me? For months now he hasn’t been taking my calls. I’ve been going from his house to his office. What kind of wickedness is this mama?”
“I told you Sammy. I told you when he was promising you heaven and earth during your NYSC not to get your hopes up. I told you the only person you can trust hundred percent is God Almighty” she said shaking her head.
“But mama, are you sure my father didn’t do anything to him before he died? Something to warrant all these?” He asked.
“No way. On the contrary. Everything James is today, he owes to your father.”
Sam was confused.
She cleared her throat
“Your father didn’t go to school. You know why? Because he was training his own brother in school. When they lost their father, my husband, your father, did every menial job you can think of, struggled to send his younger brother to school” she said.
“But…mama, it doesn’t make sense”.
“Well I know. Your uncle is wealthy today because he went to school. He’s sitting on so many companies today because of the education your father made sure he got. One time your father went to meet him to give him a job. Guess what your uncle said to his brother?”
“I’m guessing he said no since my father died jobless” Sam said without any form of emotion in his voice.
“He said it was a multinational company and there were rules and protocols and he can’t employ someone without any kind of education” she stopped to catch her breath.
“He helped out with money whenever your father needed it. In fact he paid for everything during your father’s funeral. Made sure he got a befitting burial” she said trying unsuccessfully to keep her emotions in check.
“Mama it’s okay. I’ll never call him or go to his place ever again. God will have to do something for me through someone else” he hugged his mom who was wiping traces of tears from her eyes and tried to change the topic.
“What are you cooking by the way? Smells so nice. I could smell it all the way from uncle James’ office”
She smacked him jokingly on his cheek and went back to her food.
That night Sam couldn’t sleep.
He thought about his days as a youth corper when his uncle would always reassure him and tell him to hurry up and finish NYSC so he can come work in his company.
He thought about his uncle’s three kids. They were all studying outside the country.
He thought about all his mother told him.
If anyone had told him that he’d still be unemployed after months of service, he’d have laughed then.
The next morning, his mother gave him some money as she was leaving for the little store she managed across the street.
“There’s food in the kitchen. Take this money in case you need something while I’m away” she said.
“Mama you need to stop this. I’m supposed to be taking care of you now. I really don’t need money” he said.
She made a silly funny face and stuffed the money into his shirt’s front pocket.
When she had gone, he went to take his bath. He had a lot of places he needed to go to.
Places he submitted his CV. In fact, almost every company in this city has his CV.
He hadn’t really bothered with them because he had been hoping on his uncle.
The first company he went to, the secretary welcomed him with a smile and ushered him into the manager’s office.
The manager welcomed him with a smile.
“Nice to see you again Mr Sam errrr…”
“Akanbi sir. Mr Sam Akanbi” Sam completed for him.
“Right. Mr Sam Akanbi. I’m sure you’re here for the job you interviewed for the other time”
The manager smiled and continued.
“I must say I was impressed with your interview. It was amazing. You’re qualified for the job”
Sam was excited. Finally!
“Thank you sir. God bless you sir”
The man nodded.
“Yeah…and that’s the problem”
Sam was confused. Problem?
“You see, we can’t give you the job because you’re more than qualified for the job. Too qualified”
A look of confusion replaced the smile on Sam’s face.
“But isn’t that good? Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that the main reason to employ me? I mean don’t you want your company to move forward? I mean with what I’ll bring to the table?”
The man shook his head
“Mr Sam, to put it plainly, we can’t afford to pay you”
Sam leaned forward.
“Sir, I desperately need this job. I’ve been roaming the streets of this city. I will take anything you pay me provided it is reasonable please” he said with a hint of desperation in his voice.
“That’s what you’ll say now but very soon you’ll be asking for more”.
“I promise not to sir. Please” Sam pleaded.
The man looked long and hard at him
“Do you want to know the truth Mr Sam?”
“You’re a graduate of Economics. You graduted with a first class. I on the other hand, graduated with a third class certificate. I am not the owner of this company. What do you think the C.E.O of this company will do when he finds out you’re more qualified for the job than I am?”
Sam was looking at him, mouth agape.
“To cut the long story short, I don’t want to lose my job to you Mr Sam. I already gave the job to someone else. Please leave”
Sam stood up like a robot and walked out in a daze.
It wasn’t until he got outside to the harsh glare of the sun that his senses came back.
What had happened there?
He had lost a chance to a job because he was too qualified? Too good?
Was he dreaming?
He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and left the place.
His next stop was a bit far but he decided to walk to the place.
He needed the exercise and the chance to think.
At the next place, he wasn’t even given a chance to say much, they simply told him there was no other vacancy.
The next place wasn’t any different.
The third place nearly made him cry. While he was waiting for the secretary to talk to the manager for him, he saw a copy of his CV in her dustbin while he was looking around idly. It was folded beyond recognition. He didn’t even wait for them to come with the bad news…he walked away with tears in his heart.
The next place told him they didn’t remember him. Was he interviewed? Yes of course. Sorry we can’t remember. No vacancies anymore anyway.
It was getting really late but he decided to check one more place before going back home.
There they told him they couldn’t employ him because he was yoruba. The igbo man who owned the company needed someone who speaks his language.
His mother was home when he got back. She took one look at his downcast face and sighed
“Before you give me the bad news, I’d like to tell you that the landlord came here earlier. Rent is due in 3weeks. I just paid the shop rent. I don’t know how we’ll do it” she said.
He simply sat down beside her and put his head on her shoulder.
She patted his head with her other hand and whispered words of encouragement.
“Mama I think it’s time you let me do that manual labour I told you about” he finally said.
“Which one?” She asked.
“That big building they are working on opposite your shop. I think they take labourers daily and I heard their daily wage is quite good”.
His mother shook her head
“No way. You’re a university graduate for God’s sake! In fact I won’t let you do it. That thing is too stressful. I can’t even begin to imagine you carrying those heavy pans and heavier bricks abi block. Whatever they call it.”
“It’s good exercise. Plus I can do it. You always said life is not easy.”
She was adamant.
“I refuse Sammy. I’ll take a loan if I need to. I won’t let you do it” she said.
“I’ll tell you what mama. Lets strike a deal. A compromise. I’ll start tomorrow. If I can’t handle it, I’ll stop. If not, I’ll continue until I can get the rent then stop once I get a decent job”
“If you insist. I still don’t feel too good about it”
He gave her a forehead kiss and went to the kitchen.
The next day he started working as a manual labourer. The building was a very big building and no one knew what the owners wanted to do with a building that big.
Three weeks later, as he was working that day, the owner of the building came to check on the progress of the work, while he was going around inspecting the work on the second floor where Sam was busy working, he tripped on a giant brick and tumbled over nearly falling from that floor but Sam who was close to him broke his fall and fell over himself breaking a leg in the process of saving the boss.
There was panic everywhere as blood was gushing out of his knees. They rushed him to the hospital and informed his mother who came crying to the hospital.
“I knew this was a horrible idea she said. I warned him about this place” she kept saying.
He was discharged two days later and his mother took him home.
That day the boss came to the house to thank Sam for saving his life.
“I would have died from that fall” he said.
“Better my knees than your life I guess”
The boss nodded.
“My name is Mr Darlington by the way. I already know your name is Sam and I also know you’re brilliant from the way you talk. Will you tell me what you’re doing working as a labourer?”
Sam told him everything.
“You mean you’re a graduate? A first class graduate? In Economics? Nah. I do not believe you.”
“Excuse me then”
He stood up and limped into his room, came out almost immediately with his CV.
The man collected it and looked through it with his mouth hanging open. Then he stood up.
“You’re not just a graduate, you came out with a first class? I’ll be honoured. Do me a favour. Be my first employee. I’ll pay anything to have you in my company”
Sam was confused.
“What company sir? What are you talking about?”
“I have a company in Abuja. This building you were working on is where we want to open a new branch. I’d be honoured to have you as my first employee or if you want, you can work for the one in Abuja. Anyone you want. You’ll have the benefit of your own car and a house in Abuja where you can live with your mother and any other family you have. What do you say?”
Sam was finding it hard to assimilate.
“I don’t know what to say”
“Just say yes please.”
Sam didn’t know tears were in his eyes until they started rolling down his cheeks.
“Yes sir. I’d work for you”.
The man gave him a big hug.
“Awesome” he brought out his cheque book and wrote Sam a cheque.
“Have this money. Here’s my card. Let me know when you want to start work.” He said trying to hide his excitement while handing Sam the cheque and his card.
Sam colleced it, took one look at the figures on the cheque confused.
“You’re already giving me my salary before I even work? He asked astonished.
The man laughed.
“That’s no where near your salary. That’s for taking care of the hospital bills and any other expenses from now till you start working”.
Sam was stunned.
“I don’t know what to say sir.”
“Say nothing. Give me a call before Monday please” the man said and walked away.
“Thank you” Sam mouthed after him.
He was still jubiliating when his mother came in.
“Mama guess what?” He screamed before she could drop her bag.
She looked tired.
“Before you say anything son I have bad news”
Sam was scared “What happened?”
“Your cousin is dead” she said sadly.
“Which cousin?” Sam asked.
“Dave is dead. Your Uncle James’ only son is dead”.
Sam couldn’t believe it.
“But how come. He’s in the UK. What killed him?”
“I heard he overdosed on that white thing….errrr coccaine I think”
Sam was sad. Yeah, his uncle had been nothing short of evil to him but no one deserved this kind of karma. Losing your only son to drugs.
“You wanted to tell me something when I came in?” His mom cut into his thoughts.
“Yes ma” he went ahead and told her about his new job and the whole benefits that comes with it. She was shedding tears of joy before he could even finish.
“Sammy what do I always tell you?”
“GOD IS NOT DEAD” they both said at once and held each other.