MY WONDERFUL LANDLORD
by Egume Oghenekevbe
My father is a very proud man and would rather part with cash than beg our landlord for more time to pay his rent. He never owed.
However, Mr. Okenna, our landlord always had a way to make my father hiss when his rent was almost due.
Sometimes, Mr. okenna would send a letter three to four months in advance as if to say, “you this man, I know say you no dey forget my money o, but I use God take beg you. In the next four months, your rent go due. Abeg pay”.
The funny thing was, unlike some of the tenants in the compound, my father always made sure to pay his rent immediately it was due. Nevertheless, good old landlord never forgot to remind him.
He could forget to repair the leaking roof that kept on turning our living room into a bathroom with showerheads at intervals. He could also conveniently forget to pay the land use charge levied on us by the Lagos State Government on that property.
Last year the government locked up our gate, saying that the man was yet to make payment that year and that he had owed for a while now. You know how embarrassing it was for every car owner in the compound? The ‘debtor’ in question resided somewhere far away from that vicinity and was conveniently absent during the period. Every car owner parked outside. Walk in with your legs. And even at that, you get to go under huge chains like an armed robber, sneaking into your own compound.
He eventually made the payment (grumbling of course) after many complaints. Apparently, “it was his house and not ours and if we did not like his actions, we could leave at any time”, or so he grumbled during the compound meeting he was finally almost dragged to.
As I said earlier, Mr. Okenna, our landlord always had a way to make my father hiss when his rent was almost due. This year was no different. I watched my father read this year’s letter with disgust etched painfully on his face. I couldn’t wait to read it.
I pounced on it the minute he dropped it and the opening line sent me into fits of laughter.
Our landlord, Mr. Okenna began his letter with the line:
– Egume Oghenekevbe
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