AFRICAN MASK
Enitan woke up suddenly in the middle of the night perspiring heavily,
the white bed spread, was heavily patched and wet from the excessive
sweat coming out of his body. The water coming out of his body was not
normal as he had slept in his boxer shorts and singlet, and the OX
electrical fan and the split AC in his room were working at maximum
capacity.
It was not his fault that he couldn’t sleep; these cycles of insomnia
had become a regular feature of his life in the last three weeks or
so, particularly since the gale of job cuts and retrenchment started
at Dodonkodi Bank where he works. Within the last three weeks, Enitan
has watched helplessly as the gale of retrenchment swept away his
manager, and even close confidants at work. At the last count over
twenty five members of staff had been laid off at the branch where he
worked in what the management said was the first batch of the
retrenchment exercise.
Enitan got up from the bed dripping with sweat as if he had just taken
a shower. He pulled off his singlet and went into the living room
where he proceeded to switch on the light. What he saw further
depressed him, his living room was tastefully furnished with a 32 inch
plasma TV firmly glued to the wall complemented by the large home
theater multipurpose audio- visual musical set with giant speakers.
The dining section of the living room had imported glass dining chairs
and tables. The whole living room was rugged in Arabian carpets while
2 split air conditioning systems adequately ventilated the living
room. Enitan shivered and wondered how he was going to be able to
maintain his present type of lifestyle supposing the inevitable
happens. He sat down on one of the sofas and he put on the TV. He
checked the wall clock and he discovered it was just past midnight. He
attempted to change the channels on the TV in an effort to steady his
nerves by watching TV, he soon discovered he wasn’t making any headway
he threw away the remote control and sank his whole frame into the
sofa with his face buried in his two palms.
His mind raced fast to the past. He remembered how he had struggled
through school having lost his parents when he was still a child, he
had been raised by a distant aunt who also struggled through life that
most of the time she had found it almost impossible to provide him
with essentials talk less of anything extra while he was growing up.
He had gone through the University by his own sheer will and
determination. He had suffered indignities and deprivations but he
persisted. And his efforts were crowned when he graduated and secured
a job immediately with Dodonkodi Bank as an Executive Trainee. This
period marked a turning point in his life, as his emoluments which
were in the realm of a six digit figure per annum completely
transformed him.
It had been two years now that he has been in the employ of Dodonkodi
Bank, and Enitan had transformed into a swashbuckling, haughty and
rich twenty six year old young man. He had completely embraced the
good life, he drives one of the best automobiles in town, he had
rented a 2 bedroom apartment in the upscale section of town, he
travelled first class, he drank exotic wines, he ate outlandish
cuisines and courted the most beautiful girls in town, and he
seemingly enjoyed the good life while it lasted. But before one could
whisper “economic recession” the good life he enjoyed became
threatened with the “gale” and “tsunamis” of job cuts in his bank.
Enitan’s case had been made worse by the fact that he had contacted a
soothsayer at the onset of the retrenchments and he had been told in
no uncertain terms that he would surely be sacked before the end of
the retrenchment exercises in his bank
Where do I start from, he muttered out from his recumbent position on
the sofa  aaah! Igboro ti daru ! He exclaimed nervously as he
remembered that although so much money and opportunities had passed
through his hands in the last two years he had not achieved any
transcendental transformation in his personal life talk less of in the
lives of people who were close to him. Suddenly his old aunt’s
constant chorus of “ranti omo eniti iwon se” which were admonitions to
him to remember his humble roots but which he unfortunately never took
heed off began to make sense to him. He jerked as the alarm clock from
his bedroom began to make its presence felt subtly across the whole
apartment. He suddenly realized he has not slept at all and he needs
to start getting ready for work as he looked at the wall clock in the
living room and discovered it was 6am. He shrugged and shivered as he
remembered that the last batch of retrenchment exercise in his office
was slated for today. As he made straight for the bathroom, he brushed
his teeth and stepped into the shower.  With cold water splattering
all over his body while he stood under the shower motionless and lost
in thought.
Pon! Pon!! Pon!!! His neighbor’s car horn jolted him out of his
reverie as he realized that his neighbor was already set for work and
was waiting for him to come and pull his car that was parked at the
rear of his neighbor’s car out of the way. He dashed out of the
bathroom naked with water dripping all over his body straight into his
bedroom where he quickly got dressed up for work with his neighbor
still pressing his car horn as if he was rehearsing for a musical
concert. He got out of his apartment apologizing profusely to his
neighbor who ignored him with so much disdain written on his face.
On getting to work, he went straight to his desk.  Surprisingly he
discovered he could not gain access to the computer on his desk. He
shivered and a creeping cold sensation knocked his spine “perhaps the
inevitable has finally happened” he muttered incoherently as he began
to sweat. And almost immediately he was sent for by the new manager.
He almost peed in his trousers when he heard that his attention was
sought for by the manager. He walked to the manager’s office dazed and
as he moved his legs they felt so heavy like logs of wood. In what
seemed like eternity, he finally arrived at the manager’s office. The
manager didn’t even look at him as he was busy working with his
computer but proceeded to hand a brown envelope to him. By now
Enitan’s eye balls were almost popping out of their sockets as he felt
everything in the manager’s office swirling round, he burst into
hysteria as he started crying, shouting and pleading…
No sir! “You can’t do this to me I beg you in the name of everything
you cherish”
“Don’t do this to me”
“ I have nobody to turn to!” Please sir…!
As he was saying these he was rolling on the floor and his hands held
the manager’s feet. Embarrassed and astonished, his boss shouted
“Do what to you?”
Ah! Ah!! “Sir I beg you don’t sack me”
“Sack?”  The manager squealed more astonished
“But you have just been promoted and this is your letter”, he waived
the letter which Enitan had refused to collect aloft.
“P-r-o-m-o-t-i-o-n?” Enitan asked like a drunk
“Yes”! The manager reaffirmed
On hearing this Enitan passed out!
@babsiwalewa
Babsson74@hotmail.com
END

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE

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