It’s a slow evening tonight. Mallam Hassan has been on a phone call for hours. Mr. Cele isn’t in the right mood to socialize. Tokunbo and I are having a light banter over red wine. Eddie is watching skits on Instagram.
Eddie looks up from his phone and swears Mr. Macaroni makes the best comedy skits on Instagram. Tokunbo says she finds him cliché. I suggest he needs to change his wardrobe.
Eddie is having none of these. Eddie insists he can watch Mr. Macaroni videos all day. I ask him why. He says I will not understand. He asks if I have seen the enormity of the backsides of women Mr. Macaroni features in his videos. Tokunbo is shaking her head.
We are in the middle of that conversation when a middle-aged man walks into the lounge wearing a sleek kaftan. He recognizes Mallam Hassan and walks to our table. Mallam Hassan takes a pause from his phone call and rises to greet his friend. They shake hands and exchange warm pleasantries in Hausa.
Mallam Hassan introduces the slender man as his friend Alhaji Dikko. Alhaji Dikko salutes the rest of us before taking the table at the opposite end of the lounge.
Shortly afterwards, two beautiful, voluptuous Amazonian women join Alhaji Dikko at his table. Their aura automatically fills the lounge, and all men in the lounge who aren’t as uptight as Mr. Cele suddenly have their testosterones raging.
Eddie suddenly stops watching his Instagram videos and gets restless. He winks at me and nods his head towards the ladies. I pretend not to understand.
He asks us on the table if it will be a good idea to leave us to join Alhaji Dikko and his angels. Mallam Hassan wishes him good luck. Mr. Cele is shaking his head judgmentally. Tokunbo is trying to ask him to have some shame, but before she opens her mouth Eddie is alright gone.
Eddie is charming when he wants to be, so we weren’t surprised that he could talk his way into making Alhaji Dikko let him join their table. They’re having a good time. We all know that tonight, Eddie is definitely going home with one of those ladies.
Mallam Hassan starts to talk to us about his service days. It’s his favorite thing to talk about. A few minutes into the conversation, we notice a scuffle at the other table.
A high-ranking military officer is wagging a finger at Alhaji Dikko, admonishing him about something. He looks agitated. From where we’re sitting, I can see some anxiety crawling over Eddie’s face. He has inadvertently roped himself into a landlord vs. tenant debacle.
Eddie tries to intervene, but gets summarily dismissed from the table by the officer. So he picks his food tray and crawls back to us.
Tokunbo is falling over herself, laughing her guts out. Even Mr. Cele shares in the amusement. Mallam Hassan asks Eddie what the altercation is about.
Eddie explains that the military officer is Alhaji Dikko’s tenant, and has been trying to get through to Alhaji Dikko over the state of the property. The officer is mad about the lack of maintenance. Alhaji Dikko’s excuse is that he has been too busy to attend to the property’s most immediate needs. The officer is not hearing it. They’re still locked in the argument.
Eddie says what’s hurting him the most is that he has lost contact with voluptuous ladies. Tokunbo wishes the officer had left a palm-print on Eddie’s philandering face.
Mallam Hassan is concerned that his Alhaji friend doesn’t have a facility management plan for his properties.
He explains that he doesn’t have time to personally attend to the maintenance needs of his properties. That it was the job of his facility managers, who he contracted to handle the most attendant needs of his property. He stresses that every property owner needs facility managers who would take the pressure off of the landlords, and they’re the ones the tenants get to reach out to.
Eddie asks Mallam Hassan if he knows any beautiful and voluptuous facility manager he can hire for his “facilities”. Mr. Cele doesn’t get it the first time, so he asks Eddie what facilities he’s talking about.
Tokunbo looks at me. I look at Mallam Hassan. Mallam Hassan is looking away and laughing coyly to himself.