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Ex-convicts??? - Literature - Nairaland

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Ex-convicts??? by ElSherriff: 3:32pm On Sep 14
This is a complete fiction, no name or character is real, only used to depict a story and no offence is intended.
If this makes front page, then I'd post the second part, if not...Enjoy this alone.

It’s been a long time. Long enough to recollect this episode of growing up in the streets of Ekpoma and learning the ropes that lead down south.
During the long Strikes imposed on AAU students in 2007, by the State Government, my goons and I rallied round to kill boredom. We had played all street football and lost money playing against Emiala Street. This had to stop fast. Plus, in 400L, you wouldn’t really fancy moving around trying to kick a ball and then lost money. Because when I played in the team, well, we always lost.

So, I brought up the idea of playing Whot. Yes Whot. It was a simple idea to keep boys indoors. Yet the boys took it with two hands and made a cartel off it. It was in keeping with the spirit of monetizing everything on the streets, and simple whot playing got into the 'agbo'. It was Tobo's idea sha, to start staking N50 on every round so that the boys will be serious. And within a week we knew all the slurs that the new cartel had to offer.

It's not everywhere my luck shines really. Having been a Chache cartel owner for a while with relative success, I mostly found money to stake on the board. And as soon as I took to the game, I realised the skill set required were in the region of those for a senior Chac[i][/i]he office owner. Some cards didn’t just pop. The days I made any money at the table, it seemed to be transport fare the next day. And because I knew when to fold 'em...or so I believed, I fared better than most on the job.

By the third week, something had to change for me. I had some money than most of the floor guys so I could be a side lender, adding corner betting to my plate. So, I’d be guaranteed my money, fun while the guys sweated for me. My rates were fair, really. I could get a 20% on N500 and 30% on N1000. My 'cola' was your Nokia torchlight battery for N500 and your phone for N1500. Payment was by the end of the week, otherwise phone was up for sale. Sometimes the owner even got to buy it from me. It wasn’t straightforward always though, because other complexities could arise from my corner betting. If I bet on you to win on the side and you lost, I knocked off a 50 from your debt and when you win, I could either increase your loan, or take it straight from the floor. It required mathematics.

Cartel would open at about 9.00am when the kids had been dropped off in school, and close at 4pm or 5pm depending on when I got up to go pick them. Usually, we 'washed' faces at Mama Salome's place and started with three guys per table. You tendered all you brought to the floor so we knew if you were worth registering, or in need of a loan. My new angle to the floor paid better; I had several Nokia phones, several pam slippers and watches and money. And it was good.

But street thing is not a closed thing. It draws interest. Usually, the more the boys, the more the money and who really wants to filter out guys like Okito who sold cement? or Bobby who was still active in the e-street? these guys brought more dough and always increased the stakes. Some days, staking got as high as N200 per hand and at this rate, N5,000 was easily blown. Again, the more the people, the more the noise and then the side businesses. Mama Salome had competition for binge and for kus[i][/i]h already. For all the refinement of my goons and I, binge and B&H always found a way with the cartels in Ekpoma so we flowed with the tide.

Our 'floor' was in an open living room within a flat, and in my days, people rented the individual rooms and maintained them exclusive from the palour, so the palour still belonged to the landlord and Kito our host, was the landlord's son. Despite the noise and the fights and the shouts, the inner tenants had very little say, that is if several reporting to Mama the caretaker was 'very little say'. There were older guys within the other rooms behind the flat who joined on the floor occasionally so we had cover from them too.

Cjay's interest beyond girls and music was not much and he lived in one of the inner rooms too. We all looked up to him for referrals for chikolos because they always seemed to come steady. But he wasn't one of us. He was a medical student who was just taking advantage of the strike action to 'warm beds'. When he asked to join one day and declared N2000 as his 'investment', I was suspicious but hey, we all needed the money and here was money. In less than 15 mins, Bobby had dawised his whole N200 and Cjay wasn’t even bothered. Then he asked if we were going to be on the floor on Monday the next week. I remember Dr. Negro's response was clear "player come, player go, casino no de run". End of Week Four.

"See am, na now e de come, na him them for catch I swear, shebi e papa get money, e for bail am, but this e small eyes for see pepper today" It took me a while to understand what the ladies were saying about me when I hardly spoke to them. I was just walking into the casino compound with the three phones I was coming to exchange because the boys were willing to 'claim' them. The compound was quiet, Mama Salome's shed was half broken and I even saw an expended cartridge on the floor. I replayed the events of the last 10 mins and recalled that I had seen a police van at the street junction and someone had waved at me from inside which I ignored...
Re: Ex-convicts??? by meneski: 5:11pm On Sep 15
come were u? Come finish dis tin oh.

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