Housing Palaver In My Country

A short series on the hurdles of a 24 year old first daughter/child in a Nigerian family.

"Your phone dey ring," my kid sister Danny told me. That was how I rushed from the most amazing kitchen I have ever seen into the equally most amazing parlor I have ever seen in real life! I went to where I plugged my phone, saw it was my step mum and I picked up immediately and answered in my usual jovial manner... "Woman, how your way an?" "Where una dey?" She replied in a serious tone which got me worried. So I told her we were still at my aunt's house enjoying ourselves in the palatial mansion; what was the problem? "Becky, our landlady don sell our house o. The people wey buy am dey here now as we dey speak. Make una rush come house, una father no dey... Make una rush come o because me I no know wetin I go talk again."

That was when I entered flight mode in shock... I responded that we were on our way, dropped the call, gathered my siblings, and apologized for the hasty exit to the right people, and we rushed home to check the situation out. All the while, I kept thinking... Sold the house? A house we just packed into less than two years ago? For God's sake, we were still in the month of May ... the month where our rent was supposed to expire! Where would we get the money from? Because of this crazy strike, I haven't gone for my NYSC service yet... My salary currently is barely enough to keep us afloat... Where would we get the house sef? To find a good house in Nigeria to pack into these days no be a day's job... I took a deep breath and sighed in the Keke(local taxi)... life sure ain't easy for a 24-year-old first child with seven younger siblings.

On getting home, we saw step mum already in an agitated state, the other neighbor was shouting and screaming threats at the men...and then I saw four hefty men walking out of the gate(one was the owner, another one was the brother, and one was allegedly a lawyer and the last didn't introduce himself...this was what mum told me later on). So I gathered my morale, put on my best accent (thank God I was dressed impeccably as always), and walked up to these men. I was blessed with a beautiful, innocent, and smart face that makes people pause and listen whenever I speak. Thank God it worked with these men!

So I walked up to them and introduced myself confidently as my father's daughter, and that was when I heard the story. The landlady officially sold the house to them on the 1st of May 2022 after assuring them that we were not paying tenants but people living freely in the house. She also told them that she was helping us out and that we would pack out anytime they asked us to. To say I was shocked was an understatement! Ike gwuru'm! So I asked mum for the receipt as evidence and mum said that my dad trusted the woman, so when the woman said she had no receipt, my dad didn't push the matter!... Unbelievable!

I pleaded with the men to increase the time from the one week they gave us to pack out, and after a series of 'Abegs' and 'Please sir' and so on... They gave us three extra weeks! Three weeks! They said they were from Lagos and wanted to develop the area and that their contractors and equipment had already been organized... Blah blah blah... The end of the story was that they knew they were richer than us and knew that we did not have a choice! So in three weeks' time, we're supposed to be out!!! Please, no one should ask me about that Judas of a landlady who sold the house behind our backs... I don't want to talk about her! Lemme stop here for now... I'll be back with updates!


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