Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gateman Drama

I was inspired by a post by Atilola on a similar subject matter, to do this post.

In this year alone, I can't recall how many gatemen we've had at my parents' house. They come and go like a revolving door. We outsourced our security needs to a security company and I am now convinced that the only criteria for getting a job with this security company is that you must be a lunatic. It is the one thing all of them have in common. Oh, another thing is, they all look about as fit as a sack of potatoes, with the exception of one. The roll call of gatemen in my house reads like a pageant roll if the pageant was for inept, unfit and psychotic people. They are all remarkably insane but I will use the four most interesting to give you an idea of the characters we have been housing. You have the gossip, the pothead, the thieving and destructive sugar daddy and the borrow-borrow-make-me-shine. This is not the sequence of their employment but I've gone from mild to severe in the reasons for their termination.

Meet my ex-gatemen:

1. The Gossip: He was employed after the theiving and destructive sugar daddy. He actually revealed a lot of the thieving and destructive sugar daddy's underhand dealings to us. Of the lot, he was the most honest. He was young, agile, relatively up and doing. His problem was that "enu e o ni rapport" as my aunty would say. If you mistakenly wander into the compound; from the main door to your car, he would have given you enough nonsensical gist to last you a lifetime. In addition to being a famed gossip, he was an attention seeking alarmist! Let me give you an example. In my area, we have a lot of huge rats wandering about the place. One day, a stray cat came into the compound, possibly in search of a night time snack. I'm not a cat person by any stretch of the imagination but I also do not go about condemning local and hungry cats as witches, ghosts or whatever. The next day, this guy called my mum to the side and with a sombre look told her that there were starnge goings-on in the compound and the presence of a cat in the compound was something that had never happened before as such the cat must be a spirit. The clincher is he had been our gateman for less than a month at this stage. How had he deduced thet this had NEVER happened before???? My mother, who is a praying woman, just eyed him and went about her business. If you encourage such rubbish, maybe the next time, it would be a kind whisper about inviting his local dibia to come and cleanse the compound of foul spirits! Oshi!! But anyways, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, n'est pas? So we didn't hold his rumour-mongering ways against him. We were actually sad when he left. He left to go back to his hometown and that was that.

2. The pothead: He was employed after the gossip. His was simply a case of Y.O.L.O. He chopped the life of his head with reckless abandon. If the need to smoke pot seized him, on duty or off duty, he smoked it. Period. Nothing more to the story. His eyes were ever blazing and he did not have time for useless activities like smiling. My father is a Reverend gentleman, and even if he wasn't, it would be irresponsible to have a pothead manning your gate. Why? you ask, well, all pot does is make you hungry and make you sleep. So as our house is not Snow White, we cannot have Dopey or Sleepy on duty. He was politely asked to excuse us.

3. The Thieving and Destructive Sugar Daddy: This one even stayed a while and in the process, committed numerous atrocities. He was a much older man. We had a parade of younger boys before him and when they bought an old man, my parents figured he couldn't be better or worse than the young'uns that had been there before him. Amean, my parents are not olodos, they knew he would be unable to secure a padlock store, let alone our house. If his stomach was anything to go by, he couldn't chase anything and his age indicated that his favourite past time was to gba ategun (enjoy breeze) and sleep. But we needed someone to open and close the gate after us, so he stayed.

I thank him because he opened my eyes to the ways of sugar daddying in Nigeria. I used to think Sugar daddies were rich men enveloped in swathes and swathes of voile lace agbada...but no. Sugar daddy also has category.   For every girl with shi na in their eye, there is a sugar daddy available in each size. He had a family in Ibadan or Ilorin; I can't quite remember which now, but he also had a young babe. He would sneak her into the kiosk at night until one day she got pregnant. He came to beg my parents to allow her stay. He was like these dramatic sort of men you would see in AFMAG Yoruba movies. He would dramatically kneel and speak very fast, calling on all the deities he knows to help him beg you for a favour. Get the picture? Anyway, my folks allowed her stay, on the condition that he must house hunt and find a place before she had the baby. My mum went as far as employing the girl in her salon as manager because she was a graduate. He was so proud of the fact that he was dating a graduate.

We put on the generator at 7 p.m. He would sometimes refuse to put it on to conserve the diesel, grumbling aloud that he didn't want them (my parents) to think he was selling diesel. He never tried this with me but he would do it all the time to my cousins who lived with us.As Yoruba people would say eni je fuku l'ara n fu. If you are not doing an illegal act, you won't be exhibiting suspicious behaviour. It turned out that he was indeed selling diesel. He attempted to conserve the diesel to cover up his shady dealings. When he left, some guys rocked up at the house to buy diesel. They are presently cooling their heels at a nearby police station as my house does not in anyway resemble a filling station.

In the period he worked for us, I can't count how many times we had to repair the generator. It was a brand new generator, installed during his tenure. All he had to do was turn it on, turn it off and ensure the diesel does not run out mid-use. He was never able to manage this. The diesel would always run out when the generator was mid-use. He would never accept responsibility and would get defensive like it was someone else's job to ensure that all was in order. He was a menace and I truly do not know how my parents tolerated him for so long. Anytime I was home, we would always get into it. I got back from Abuja one day and rang the bell for almost 10 minutes. He was nowhere to be found. When he eventually got to the gate, belly first, he proceeded to tell me some silly story about why he wasn't where he was supposed to me. I cut him off mid-story and gave him the dressing down of his life. Guess what his rebuttal was? "Did I know you were coming?" I lost it at that point! I asked him if I was meant to send him letters of my intent to arrive at my own house, or if he didn't see the flare that was launched to signal my arrival or if my coming was not foretold in the legends. Your job, sez I, is to open and close the gate. A demented monkey can do it and not break sweat. I'm even angry as I remember that incident. Anyway, his cup eventually ran over and he was also told to leave.

4. Borrow-Borrow-Make-Me-Shine: I had to go home in August for my cousin's wedding in Abeokuta. On getting home, this young man with a mild mien opened the gate and assisted with my bag. My cousin proceeded to tell me he was the latest one and she actually thought he was the best so far. I wasn't too sure. I knew there was some crazy lurking underneath that mildness, he was afterall from the same company as the others. Anyways, we left for Abeokuta for the weekend. This is when things got interesting. You see, my parents are largely at home by themselves. My dad is a Reverend and his parish is outside Lagos. Every Sunday, my folks would make the journey to their church and won't get back till evening. It is an easy schedule to study. The gateman has been at the house for about 3 weeks at this point and had noticed that. In my house again, we are kinda trusting; at least my parents are. So in the mornings, we would bring out the keys to cars for the drivers. The gateman would usually have custody of the keys till the drivers arrive. Long story short, they had access to car keys and other things. But my dad sensed in his spirit that all was not as it seemed with this guy. In my opinion, this was the Holy Spirit at work, because if you go by appearance, he looked so trustworthy. So when my parents left for Abeokuta, my dad sealed up the house like Fort Knox, put away all the keys and even had his driver (Uncle T) take the key to his newest whip and my sister's car to Abeokuta with them.
We left Abeokuta for Lagos on Sunday morning. We didn't go with my parents to their church. Uncle T drove my cousins and I home. We got home to meet the front gate locked. The gateman had gone to church. We finagled our way in somehow, somehow and the following ensued:

Uncle T: Where is my car????? (a bit of history. Uncle T {my dad's driver} has been with us for over 15 years. My dad recently bought my mum a new car and as a means of de-congesting the compound and appreciating his loyal driver, he gave Uncle T a Nissan Pathfinder. This is Uncle T's pride and joy. He takes care of it, polishes it, services it etc. Turns out Uncle T had taken the car for a tune up and told the mechanic to deliver it to the house. It was so delivered and the gateman even called Uncle T to confirm that he had taken delivery of the vehicle. Small wonder he was perplexed by the seeming invisibility of a burgundy Nissan Pathfinder in the compound)

Uncle T was understandably furious. He placed a call to the gateman and from his stammering voice, you could tell he wasn't expecting anyone home till around 4. He eventually turned up at the house but he turned up sans car. Let me describe him to you: Slim, dark, impeccably dressed, cuteish. I'm sure some sisters had eye-balled the hell outta him in the church and even used him as focal point for their husband prayers.

Uncle T: Where is my car???
Gateman: *falls to his knees in a dramatic fashion* Oga I beg.
Uncle T: Guy, I go wound you. Na wetin I ask you be that??? I say wey my car???

He got up and sprinted to the top of the street. He had parked the car at the top of the street. Why? We would never know. But if the manner in which he was drenched in sweat was anything to go by, my educated guess would be: confusion. He drove the car back to the house amidst a lot of jerking and clutch burning. Uncle T was almost in tears. He (the gateman) came to me to beg like it was my property he had taken without permission. Which one concyn fish with raincoat, abeg? All I wanted to know was if it had been my dad's keys in his possession, would he have driven my dad's car too? All he had to say was he just took it to church, like that is sufficient reason to use something that doesn't belong to you. Needless to say, that was the end of that.

I don't know how the new one is faring as I haven't been home since August. But shey you can see what we've been working with??? Walahi whoever came up with the saying "good help is hard to find" wasn't lying.

Enjoy the rest of your week dears!

P:S: Today is my dad's birthday guys! I love my daddy so much and I am just so thankful for his life and how far God has brought and helped him. Happy birthday daddy. You are such an awesome person and a selfless father. May the Lord bless you and reward you for all the love you give and sacrifices you make. Amen. #mydaddyrocks!


  1. Happy birthday to Daddy Cherrywine. Wishing him more amazing years in good health.

    Orosirisi gatemen o. You truly have had them. The dramatic begging cracks me up so bad. I can just imagine it

  2. Cherry happy birthday to your dad. I can't resist many cars for the reverend? ;-)

  3. sure have gatemen tales!!!! Lmaoooo. Orisirisi.
    happy birthday to Rev. PAPA Cherrykoko. I tell you, only great people were born in this month...honestly! :D

  4. Lmaoooo..that snow white bit got me cracking u guys have indeed have some series of gatemen sha.asinnn

    Happy birthday to your daddy. May he live in good health and strength and the grace to see his children's children

  5. I wish you dad a happy day and a long life and prosperity
    Please ask him to say a prayer for my dad
    I am believing God for his salvation.

    You people and gate men sha!

  6. Happy birthday to your dad. I like him too, lol.

    As for the gatemen, I believe many of the people would have become far better people in life if they had more integrity

  7. This na serious tales by moonlight. You are a very good writer and i love reading our posts. Happy birthday to Daddy Cherry o, we wish him many more years to come with long life and good health.

  8. Happy birthday Daddy Cherrywine, long life and prosperity.
    Ehen so I hope Uncle T did not beat the living daylight out of the last gateman afterwards o? I don't know how he can boldly take someone's car out without fear. Gatemen- the good ones are hard to find. Poor graduate - even more reason why she shouldn't have allowed the sugar daddy gateman enrol her on the 9 month course eish. Have a good week cherry


    1. I'm actually just reading this comment after almost a year. It made me happy. And I will start writing again so you have something to read. I appreciate you!!!

  10. Lmaoooo, you write good, reminds me of my mom's house helps and assistants.
    They always have a story to revel you with, or act in some shady, and funny manner.


Say What?