Cheta Igbokwe: Let’s Remember Our Togolese Housemaid

When our Togolese Housemaid told us ‘Au Revoir’ in the Douglas residence, we waved back at him, and continued licking our oranges. “He has gone to see his kinsmen for the weekend,” I said. But we did not know that there were more to Kofi’s ‘Au revoir.’ How could we have known, when he has gotten his master, Alhaji drunk at the 4th storey?

Kofi Tenji, for that was his name. A tall, slim, and easy going young man who cooks for Alhaji, and feeds his dogs in the Douglas residence.

Whenever Kofi goes to the market to buy food stuffs for cooking, the men and women would be sighing. The condition Alhaji’s government has kept them is worsening, and becoming unbearable by the day. The prices of goods in the market have gone high, and when Kofi asks the market women why, they reply him quickly in a French Phrase, “Votre Maitre, Votre Maitre, Your Master.” Each new day in the Douglas residence presents Kofi with another story of how poverty has refused to stop holding Alhaji’s subject on their scrotum.

Nights later, Alhaji came back home with bags of money. Kofi was happy because of the inscription written boldly on the bags, ‘Bail Out Fund.’ He has heard many stories about the fund, and how it is proposed to save the people from their poverty and penury. That was Kofi’s happiest night. For him, he would now go to the market without the cries of ‘Votre Maitre.’ Kofi helped in carrying the money to Alhaji’s room at the 4th storey, from where it will now be distributed for the ‘bail.’

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six months passed. There was no distribution. No circulation. Not even stories of hope for the masses.

One night, Kofi did the unexpected. He waited patiently for his master to become drunk on a new wine, and when it happened, he carried the bags of money and fled successfully. When Alhaji woke up from his slumber, he called the press and told them that the stories were all lies. “There is no Kofi. There is no Housemaid. There is no money,” he said.

But we all know Kofi. We know his ‘Au Revoir.’

My People, My People!

In few days, $119 M will arrive Enugu, $145 M will land Ebonyi, $151 M will pull in Abia, $162 M will turn up in Anambra, and my darling Imo will receive $185 M, the Lion’s share in the entire South East. It is the Paris Club Money Refund –a payment of excessive deductions from creditor nations like Nigeria by the Paris Club.

As we await the arrival of these Million Dollars, let’s always remember our Togolese Housemaid and his ‘Au Revoir.’