OLADELE Daniels woke up with a start when he heard a knock on his door.
‘Who could that be?’ he wondered, a frown spread over his face. He looked at the clock on the wall and it read 10am as he lifted his tall frame slowly from the bed.
“Yes, who is that,” he asked.
“Good morning, sir. I am a representative of the Lagos Lottery Service,” came the reply.
“Lagos Lottery what,” he asked as he pulled the bolt from the door and opened it.
The man outside the door was tall and slim and wore a smile on his dark, handsome face, revealing a perfect dentition. He looked more like a model in a toothpaste advert than a representative of the Lagos Lottery Service. He wore a well ironed, and obviously starched, immaculate white shirt over a pair of black chino trousers. The logo of the Lagos Lottery Service was printed on the breast pocket of his shirt. A black baseball cap was balanced on his small head.
“Are you Mr Oladele Daniels with ticket number LL1456?”
“Yes, I am Oladele Daniels and that’s my ticket number. May we go inside and talk?”
Daniels ushered the official into his dingy room. The official’s eyes swept the room in a second. The room was small and had only one tiny window for ventilation. A six-spring bed occupied a corner of the room. Two small black pots and a medium-sized kerosene stove occupied another corner. Two shirts and a pair of blue trousers that had seen better days hung on the nail on the wall.
“So what can I do for you?”
“Well sir, I am happy to inform you that you are the winner of this year’s fifty million Naira Lagos Lottery,” the official announced, beaming.
Oladele Daniels just stared. Incomprehension etched boldly on his face. Suddenly, the truth hit him.
“Wait a minute! You mean my ticket was picked as the winning ticket for this year’s lottery?” He had to be certain he had heard correctly.
“Yes sir,” the official answered, still beaming.
Oladele Daniels was flabbergasted. He jumped up and then hugged the official. The smile on his face was bright enough to light up a dark room. He released the man and began to dance round his room. He moved like a drunk high on gin. But he was not drunk with gin. He was drunk with the wine of happiness. He raised a song…
Ose O Baba
Baba oma se,
Ose O Baba…
You could feel the happiness in his voice; the official from the lottery service joined him. Their singing attracted other tenants in the compound to the room. When he saw his neighbours, Daniels stooped singing and dancing to tell them the good news. His joy beamed on them like the sun from behind the clouds.
One of his neighbours raised another song, which they all joined in singing…
I have a very big God O
Who is standing by my side,
A very big God O
By my side, by me side.
While the singing and the dancing was going on, the official drew Daniels to a corner.
“Mr Daniels, lest I forget, we want you to come to our office tomorrow afternoon by 1pm to formally receive the fifty million Naira.”
“I will be there by 1pm prompt!”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to leave now. So see you tomorrow.”
“We must wash am O!” Sanusi, the local neighbourhood drunk, suddenly shouted.
“Why not?” answered Daniels.
He asked everybody in the room to follow him to Mama Ebuka’s beer parlour situated in front of the compound. What other way to celebrate success than with bottles of chilled lager?
At night, Daniels could not sleep a wink. He thought of a million things he would do with fifty million Naira. His brain was working faster than a computer. First, he would buy a duplex in Victoria Garden City or in Dolphin Estate, or perhaps book a suite at the Sheraton Hotel for one year…(To be continued next week).