Real Estate is a broad field with a lot to explore, but not a lot of young people find it easy to grasp. Whether you are a student, an investor, a developer or an enthusiast, one of our aims at Nigeria Real Estate Hub is to make sure you can understand how real estate works and how you can begin to tap into the potentials. So, we started a fiction series. The first one was titled The Brouhaha of Oga Martins, and we also had Oga Martins and His Kettle of Fishes. Now, we are in a third series, and it is titled ‘Bad Market’. We hope you find this interesting as the previous two, and learn from it as well.
The most important position in life is not where you are but in what direction you are headed. Stepping into Mile 12 market on a Saturday morning I ought to be be resting after spending Friday night and the wee hours of Saturday in church, I realized for the first time that the majority of the visitors in Mile 12 market had no bearing. Worse still, I was no different from them. In fact I could swear they were all following my lead.
I still couldn’t fathom why my mum thought I would be the most suitable person to go do shopping on this very busy Saturday morning. Is there even really a day that markets in Lagos don’t get pretty rowdy with directionless people walking across the entire sphere like horses without riders?
On this very day, I could swear the entire 180 million + Nigerians were shopping in the market. The throng of people that swarm around me was mind-blowing.
As a matter of fact, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai won’t be so far from the truth if he were to come out and tell us that the Boko haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, who reportedly fled his hiding place in Sambisa forest was now hiding in the market never to be found again.
Though I was one of the early birds to the market, that’s if there is any word like that as far as Lagos markets are concerned, albeit it took me another half hour before I got wind of why I was actually in the market that day and another half hour to start shopping with the list my mum had compiled with sleepy eyes.
The thought that the pathological liar and ‘Jagunlabi’ I had as siblings were still having a good rest at home whilst I got caught in the bee-hive of activities in Mile 12 Market made me drag my feet around the market like the teenage suicide bomber who was yet to decide if he was prepared to tie the nuptial knots with the seventy two virgins awaiting their groom in Jannah(heaven) as promised by the Sheik.
My younger sister Ebun had feigned sickness to evade the market craze, while my elder brother Timilehin was not even the type mum could tell to tidy his own room, talk-less running errands without meeting a high-tension resistance.
I was always mum’s saving grace when it comes to doing things within and outside the house whenever she was losing steam, yet I was the most learned and promising child in the house.
Mum always accused my good old dad of favouritism, she wondered why dad would have a strong bond with his other son when the eldest was being avoided like a plague. Even Ebun never really got along with Dad. But Mum wouldn’t have put herself in a state of hullabaloo if she took time out to really know her kids. She condoned too much misdemeanour from Ebun and Timilehin to even understand Dad’s pain.
“How many times do I have to remind you that I had three kids for you and not one? How long do you have to continue acting like Ebun and Timilehin are not yours too?” Mum would voice out her grievances whenever Dad scolded Ebun or Timilehin.
Mum knew I loved Dad more than I did love anyone else in the house. In fact from a distance, her attitude towards Dad and Mum’s leniency with Ebun and my elder brother Timilehin irritated me.
There was a day I actually yelled at Mum for talking down to Dad in front of my other siblings. Mum was bemused when that happened, from that day onward she held me at arm’s length and Timilehin’s loathing for me took another dimension.
Just like the properties we had scattered around Lagos, my family was far from united, and I would blame it on Mum. Though my siblings were no longer teenagers, they still acted like children in crèche who had to be told what to do at every second of the day that passed by.
My Dad had done a lot to mold us to become meaningful people in the society in the early days of our childhood, but now that he was approaching his prime, it had become difficult to remedy the situation. These days he is at our mercy and Mum does more harm than good.
Dad still had to manage his numerous properties and getting help from Mum and Timi would be shooting himself in the leg. I was the only one that seemed to listen to him, so tell me why anyone should accuse him of favoritism.
I finally made it to my street, having spent the entire morning in the market. It was past 2pm when the bike I took at Ojota bus stop stopped in front of the mammoth gate that stood tall and proud at the entrance to our compound in Ogudu.
Our Duplex stood separate from the rest of the buildings that housed about three families, two Bachelors, two spinsters and a single mother. The entire building was located on 2 plots of land and was probably the biggest on the street.
I was having a hard time dislodging the two huge Bagco sack that accompanied me from the market. By the time I lifted the sacks from the bike, my phalanges had gone sore. Still I managed to carry the loads as I walked towards the gate with my hands full.
I heaved a sigh of relief as I put one of the bags under my arm while my hand struggled to find the handle of the gate. I was glad I could finally get some rest after yesterday’s vigil.
I was still making attempts to open the gate when it was flung against my body by an intruder within the compound and as if that was not enough, a medium sized figure bumped into me with immense alacrity. For a moment I thought a keke marwa on top speed, driving through the Third mainland bridge had thrown me into the lagoon beneath as I attempted to cross the road from the adjoining walkway.
Yet what really happened was that Timilehin hot on his wayward friend’s heels had run accidentally into me, and the velocity at which he ran and his body weight threw me and the contents of the bag I brought from the market into the murky waters in the badly constructed drainage that ran through the front of the buildings on our street.
The last thing I heard before I became unconscious was Timi’s insensitive and cruel comment; “Who be this fool?”
A tear escaped my eye as I went blank.
Bad Market continues next week…