Nothing inspires me more than Balogun market, the hustle, the adrenalin and especially the affordable fashion. I first discovered the beauty of Balogun after months of squandering my hard currency on overpriced boutiques and was forced to face the reality that I had to find cheaper fashion options.
Now Balogun is like my backyard, from Bros Uchenna who always has very good skirt suits to Titi who has jeans that fit these size 16 bottoms of mine and of course Lady Fine Legs who always calls me once her consignment of latest last season shoes come in from the port- come to think of it, I don’t know her real name.
This time though, my visit to Lagos Island was not for shoes or clothes, it was for the money. After months of working on a proposal and searching for anyone who knows anyone in a bank that could loan me some money, here I was at the stairs of the UBA building saying my quick prayers until I heard.
But I don’t understand why I cannot go a day in Lagos and not see someone I know.
‘Oh hey, Uche! How far na?’ I responded as I turned to realize it was one of my many people from secondary school.
‘Ah ah, I knew it was you. You no tell me say you don get bank job o’ he said after a brief hug
‘Ma brother, bank job ke? You know that’s not my calling in life, I am here for a presentation jo, you know girls are hustling hard since I left that useless company’
‘But you sef Sunshine, isn’t that like the 3rd job since you moved back 3 years ago, this is naija o, you need to suck it up and kiss robust behinds to get to the top…which reminds me a friend of mine is looking for someone to supply some construction material maybe you can help out’
‘Ah and you didn’t call me since, once I’m done with this presentation, I will call you and we’ll talk eh’
This kind of news is exactly what I like to hear. As a Lagos hustler, you learn to take on as many business ventures as possible to make ends meet. That’s why my company is registered as a general contracting firm, one minute I’m an events planner and the other I am supplying construction material. You can never go wrong being a ‘general contractor’.
When my presentation was over, I sent Uche a text to know more about this possible contract. He couldn’t talk at that moment so we agreed to meet up for drinks at my usual spot. Nky often jokes that I must own shares in Bogobiri but in reality I have refused to renew my Internet at home and with the daily traffic heading back to the mainland on weekdays, there’s no other place to chill and work other than Bogobiri – plus I like their fried yam and peppered chicken.
After waiting for over an hour, Uche walked in apologizing for being late and blaming his lateness on the usual Lagos traffic.
‘You know I always keep to time but that traffic on Awolowo does not have part 2 and you insisted on meeting here’ Uche said
‘Whatever, let’s get straight to business… so this construction deal?’ I responded because I was not about to start convincing him on why I liked being at that spot and not anywhere else.
‘My friend Chris is on his way here so he can give you a proper brief, it’s his company that needs the materials so you know if you are on it, we both get a cut’
‘No wahala na, that’s not a problem’
We proceeded to talk about other things while we waited for Chris. Uche had just gotten engaged to his long time girlfriend Ada and was already stressed at the amount of money he had to spend on marrying her. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought her family hated him, which was why they wanted to draw blood in monetary value.
‘Oh boy we are here’ Uche said beckoning to someone who walked into the restaurant.
I could smell the fragrance of his friend’s perfume as he walked closer to our table while I responded to Nkiru’s BB message asking how the presentation went.
‘Sunshine, this is my friend Chris’
After clicking send, I raised my head up to see this friend whose fragrance had made quite an impression.
Snap! It’s Obi