These days, Ejiro keeps it fresh but life wasn’t always this way for him. I remember when hunger always made him angry. Back then, he always appeared scruffy. The soles of his shoes had seen the better of Lagos. Back then, we went to every company in Victoria Island in search of a job. He always had a brown khaki envelope tucked under his armpit. Sometimes you would see Ejiro hold on tightly to a sachet of water as we walked around in search of a living.
Even when I got tired of job-hunting, Ejiro was resolute in his quest to secure a future for himself and he sure did.
6 months after we completed NYSC, he secured a job that paid him 80k monthly. Of course, he now spends at least half of that on commuting from the mainland to the Island and back every weekday. Well, his parents are grateful that he at least leaves home everyday. On the more positive side of the divide, they believe this job will boost his CV and better position him for his next role.
These days, Ejiro walks around with a swagger. His arms always spread out like he is nursing boils around each armpit. Not like I really care about him anymore but I remember when we were both trying to make it out of the ghetto. I remember how we prayed, fasted and attended vigils just to hand our joblessness into God’s able hands. I remember how I celebrated when he got his first job.
Truth is I hate being a liability but I don’t understand what could be more stupid than one abandoning his family, his bestie and all those who truly care about him.
After Ejiro’s first month at the bank as a contract staff, I remember asking him to ‘wash’ his new job for me. He waved that aside and moved on to other things in a rush. What actually shocked and pissed me off real bad was hearing how he had to borrow some money from his Mom to cover for next month’s transportation cost.
“Wetin you use your salary do?” I asked.
“I give Pastor Jola”.
“How much you give am exactly?” I inquired while trying to mask the brewing anger.
“Everything I was paid. Abi you never hear of the blessings wey dey accompany first fruit?”
At this point, I had nothing to say to him. I simply walked away from my friend as I didn’t want to be stained by what I considered unadulterated folly.
I wondered how a man who couldn’t bless his friends, himself or his family thought it wise to bless his rich and sophisticated Pastor with his entire meagre salary all in the name of ‘first fruit’.
I walked home in silence as I didn’t want to say anything that will be considered ‘ a sin against the holy spirit ‘.
That night I lay in bed and rolled over each time I thought about what I thought was the foolishness of man. I wondered why everyone couldn’t be their own pastor and eat their own first fruit, be it pineapple or guava.