Martins stared confused and utterly at a loss on what to do. His rent was not due yet and although the landlord had been harassing him about it, he shouldn’t have gone as far as locking his room since he did not owe yet. Martins wanted to ask Rotimi if he had an idea of why the landlord locked the room but he was long gone. He stamped his feet in frustration, upset he had to walk down to the landlord’s house which was three streets away since the man didn’t stay in the same compound himself.
He knew he probably looked like a school boy throwing tantrums but he didn’t care. He however advised himself that the earlier he got started on the journey, the quicker he can get into his room and the comfort of his bed. Tomorrow was another working day and he needed to rest properly. It took the last ounce of strength in him to get himself up and head towards the landlord’s house. This was why he needed a car. If he had one, he would not have been harassed by the fat woman in the bus and going to the landlord’s place wouldn’t be costing him so much energy but with the knowledge of real estate he had now, he would rather build his house first and get a car later. He occupied himself with thoughts of being a landlord who treated his tenants with respect until he got to his destination
“Is daddy at home?” He asked the landlord’s 8-year-old grandson who ran out of the building just as he arrived.
“My daddy is not at home, grandpa is at home” the young lad answered and quickly dashed off. Martins wondered where he was running to at that time of the night but he was too occupied with his own issues to care for too long. He stepped into the building and knocked gently on the door even though the door was slightly open.
“Who is that ooo?” A woman’s voice answered from a room inside the house. Martin’s recognized the voice; it was the landlord’s second wife.
“It’s me, Martins. I wan see baba landlord.”
There was no response for a few minutes and Martins was beginning to get agitated when the landlord appeared from an inner room.
“Oga Martins. I don dey find you. Na you wan pursue me for my house abi?” The landlord queried as he opened the door ajar and glared at Martins
“Baba landlord, I no understand you? How can I chase you from your house?”
“I sabi people like you na. You go dey act gentle. 419 all of you. I will send you away before you use your omo ibo sense to hijack my house from me” the landlord stated, in a heavily accented Yoruba tone.
“I no sabi wetin you dey talk o!”
The landlord went to a shelf that looked like it had seen better days and began searching through some old CD plates he had atop his TV set. “I kept this thing here now! Hey! These children!” After a few minutes, he withdrew something and shouted triumphantly. ”E-ehn!” He turned back to Martins. “If you say you no understand, I go explain to you. We go sabi who dey lie” The landlord handed over what he had with him to Martins.
Martins received it only to realize it was his business card. He stared at it in confusion wondering how the landlord got his business card and why his room was locked because of it. “Baba landlord, na my card be this. How my card wan take hijack your house from you?”
“Turn to the back” The landlord ordered and Martins did as instructed. “Wetin dey for there?” He asked.
It was then Martins realized what was happening. He wanted to burst into laughter, but he knew he shouldn’t even smile. It would be utterly disrespectful and would only add more to the issue at hand. Without looking up, he gently whispered “Sack Your Landlord!”
“When you talk am dat time say you go soon pack comot, na lie you dey lie. So, you don dey work for where dem dey encourage una to sieze house from your landlord. No be so?”
“Oga landlord, no be wetin you think ooo…”
“I resemble mumu? Abi because I no go school, you think say I be nonentity? Sack your landlord, wetin dat one mean? See before you sack me, I go sack you. Na only one month and three days remain for your rent. I go pay you off. I no need you to pay me for another year. Go pay another landlord, the one wey you go fit sack.”
“Baba landlord abeg calm down.” Martins stated when he saw the man was getting worked up, Besides, he wasn’t ready to move out yet so he had to find a way to convince him he was not at risk. “Baba landlord, ‘Sack your landlord’ na my company slogan. Na house and land we dey sell. Na tenants and middle class citizens we dey target. We wan make everybody get roof for him head so that one day, tenant sef go become landlord and he go fit pack comot for the house wey he rent. As he dey pack comot na him we dey refer to as ‘Sack your landlord’” Martins explained, hoping it was enough
It wasn’t. The landlord frowned at him as he spoke, “If you wan pack comot, go now! You wan kon encourage all the tenants wey dey my house to pack comot abi no be all of dem you give card? Ehn…. before you cause trouble for my house, make I sack you first.”
The Brouhaha of Oga Martins continues next week…
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