IT was Saturday morning, baba orakwe had
resumed to his usual spot and people were
rushing to fetch water, He never allowed any of
his children to help him in his water business.
This very morning, his customers were many and
that was because it was a sanitation day and
expectedly people would need water for their
house chores. Most people would have readily
proffered to fetch water elsewhere because of
the exorbitant rates and uncultured manner in
which baba orakwe treated both young and old.
But they had know option.
;That basin on your head is twenty naira and you
must not fetch full ,;he had told one elderly
,But you have sold this particular basin for five
naira before . Why the instant increase ?,,, the
woman asked in amazement .
,You better return to your house if all you have to
do is question my authority . Pay fetch or leave
for others to fetch,,”he said barricading the
“OKAY, take the money, but i want you to know
that water is free from God and even if you have
to sell it, it must be affordable to the people,,,”
the woman said as she climbed to fetch her
;” why didn’t you fetch at your back yard when it
free ? Or do i come knocking on your door to
fetch my water? Pleas do and leave this
environment,, STUPID FOOL,, baba orakwe said
, if you waste that water , God will waste your
life. Why didn’t you wash or rinse your bucket
from home? Mind you, you are fetching half.
You’ve used the remaining half to rinse your
useless and dirty bucket,, baba orakwe barked at
a boy who seem to answer him.
” i said fetch only half, are you deaf? He said as
he stood up to meet the boy.
;” YOU BETTER DON’T COME NEAR ME OOH OR
ELSE, I WILL BATH YOU WITH THIS WATER ,”
the boy said with rage in his voice .
” Okay, just fetch and never you come here for
water again,, he said feeling defeated that a
young boy had violated his orders .
“THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM . IF I COME NEXT
TIME, I WILL NOT EVEN PAY YOU A DIME. I
WILL JUST FETCH MY WATER AND GET OUT OF
HERE, ” the boy said as he lifted the bucket on
Another boy on the queue came to fetch giving
baba orakwe a piece of paper which he had
earlier given to him the previous day when he did
not have a fifty naira note to balance the boy.
He had written his balance on the paper and
signed it. He did this often whenever he had ño
change to give his customers.
;” WHAT KIND OF MONEY IS THIS? IS THIS THE
NEW NIGERIA CURRENCY ?” he asked the boy
who had thought he was joking.
“YES! IT IS THE NEW MONEY FROM BABA
ORAKWE CENTRAL BANK.” the boy said jokingly
moving closer to the tap to fetch.
” ARE YOU MAD?,,, AM I YOUR FATHER,S
MATE ? SO YOU HAVE COME HERE TO MAKE
JEST OF YOUR FATHER abi? MAY THUNDER
STRIKE YOU NOW! IF YOU DON’T HAVE MONEY
TO FETCH . BETTER LEAVE MY TAP RIGHT
NOW OR ELSE YOU ARE DEAD IN ANOTHER
MINUTES ,, baba orakwe said angrily.
” baba orakwe! That’s too much from you. When
will you learn how to treat your customers with
respect and humility? You are such an old fool;”
replied one of the angry customers on queue.
;” Look here Mr man, this is the paper you gave
me yesterday and it’s the one i am using to
fetch either you like it or not;” replied another
man. About ten people on the queue had raised
the piece of paper which had different
denomination of amount written on it and had
the same signature which apparently was baba
arakwe,s . They said that was what they had the
intention of fetching with that morning.
: You all held a meeting to bombard me with
piece of paper that had fake signatures, right? If
you don’t have the Nigeria money that’s
accepted everywhere, I Am AFRAID NONE OF
YOU WILL FETCH WATER HERE TODAY, baba
orakwe said as he stood up and locked the tap
and retired inside his compound.