I was at the St Peter’s Hall, a huge smile on my face, as I watched the Starfish girls audition for the Music and Dance class. My phone rang, but before I could plug in my earphones and answer the call, it went off. Accustomed to the ‘culture’ of ‘beeping’ over here and curious about the person on the other end of that unknown number, I called back and was answered by a deep male voice. First alert: all my male contacts here didn’t have voices that deep, so my curiosity heightened. What ensued for the next five minutes left me gaping in wonder at the absurdity of the whole incident and a bit paranoid about talking to a stranger for so long. I enjoyed the drama for a while and thought it’d be great to share on here. Below, an attempt to reproduce our conversation with all the bits I can remember…
-Hello. How are you?
-I’m great. Er, I got a missed call from this number. May I please know who you are?
-Oh yes! I’m Oustass ….. from …….
-Umm, okay. Er, yes?
-Are you the owner of that phone?
-Yes I am. I think you’ve got the wrong number.
-No, no. Please listen to what I have to say. Young woman, you shall be a great person.I don’t know where you are, but you’re not very well known there. I just called to tell you that’s about to change.
-Er, I don’t understand. (At this point, I think I could tell where the conversation was going but I still held on. I tell you I’m a curious person)
-Young woman, God loves you very much. He has seen your struggles in life and is ready to change that. See, all the great people in this country have offered this sacrifice. It is your turn to enjoy this greatness too.
– Er, okay.
-This is why God sent your number to me in my dreams. So listen carefully and I’ll tell you exactly what to do.
-This is what you do. You should get 4 kilos of white kola nuts… they should be very white, no stains at all… then give them to an Imam xx, Do you know what that is.
-Nope. No idea
-That’s an Imam who was born to inherit the position from his dead father.
-Find one of those and hand over the four kilos of white kola nuts. How much will that cost where you are?
-I don’t really know. I don’t live here and am not very aware of the cost of things anymore.
-Where are you now?
-That would be D200 for the kilo… makes D800 for the 4 kilos okay.
-Er, alright. What exactly do I gain from this?
-Do you know (insert name of high-ranking political figure here)?
-Have you heard about her?
-Really? How is that possible
-Well, I just don’t know her
-How about (Insert name of well-known Gambian musician here)?
-Yes, I do. And?
-See, both of them followed these same instructions and are now very great people in the country. Now, do you know what a suitcase is?
-Sure, I do
-Great. Get a suitcase and drop a kola nut in each one of the four corners then close it. After a few days, open it and you’ll find your gift from God.
-I don’t understand
-I know you won’t. For this reason, I need to come where you are so we’ll both sit down and talk. I’ll then explain everything and help you carry out the sacrifice.
At this point, I’m thinking ‘Okay Jama, you’ve fed your curiosity enough already. End this call now’, but then I just had to ask again?
-What did you say I’ll get from this?
-You’ll get money… a lot of money and shall never want for anything again.
-Well, I don’t want money (while muttering ‘Dear God, you know I could do with some notes right now)
-You don’t? Really? Okay, what do you want?
-I’ve already prayed to God and asked for what I want
-Just tell me what it is that you want
-Like I said, I’ve already asked God for it and I’m sure he’ll provide for me
-Okay. So does this mean, you won’t carry out my instructions?
-I’m afraid yes
-You won’t give out the 4 kilos of kola nut?
-No, I won’t.
-Okay, you may hang up then
I ended the call and stared at my phone with a look on my face that said ‘WTH’. A million things raced through my mind and for a moment there, I got paranoid. Picture me feeling my body for missing parts and panicking when, on the journey home, I felt a sharp pain run from my chest to my tummy. You would feel the same way too. Yes? No? Oh well.
The episode went by and I was grateful for the call. I’m still curious to know what would have happened if I’d agreed to his idea of coming down here and helping me carry out the sacrifice. I may have decided not to pay heed to what the man said, but I was thankful for the material he provided for these chronicles. There’s always something around me to inspire a post. For an amateur writer trying to find her place in the web of professionals, I’ve got to say this is just one of the Joys of Jollof (word to MG)!
P.S: Erm, if anything happens to me in the next few days, you know where to look. Ciao