Sungura Gets A Job
by Ernest Bazanye
-So Mister Ngura, It says here that you have a Masters degree in Communication.
-Yes indeed. A Maastus from Oxfudd. Brilliant time I had there. Those British are sow intellectual! Astoundingly educated and tremendously qualified for jobs, you know?
-Well, it says so on your CV, but I don’t have actual copies of the degree certificates or any academic papers at all.
-Yes, it was frightful what happened, you see. I was on the chube, you see. The chube is what they call the taxi in London. And I had all these documents in my attaché case – an attaché case is what they call a briefcase in London, and these three immigrants came up to me and wouldn’t you know it? Robbed me of it. It was quite startling. Took the case completely. I recommend that if you ever go to London that you avoid chubes with immigrants on them.
– But Mr Ngura, how will we verify that you actually went to these universities you mention?
– Oh, I could emayl Oxfudd and aaask them to find and send copies to you. They have loads of copies. Enough copies for your satisfaction, but those blighted immigrants – west Indian, I deeply suspect—made off with my attaché case that also contained my blackberry and my iphowwn. I was distraught beyond estimation I assure you. When you set me up with a computer in my new office I shall lob off an emayyl to Oxfudd and have them whip up a set of copies for you. I have friends in the copy department in fact. There is Cybill. She is single and says it’s because she is fat, but really it’s because she is too picky. Only wants to date Idris Aaalba, you see. Women! Hah hah!
– Mr Ngura, as impressive as your CV is, it is going to be a problem hiring you without those documents in hand.
– Oh, but you must hire me. You must, of coooss. What type of company will you be running if you downt give me this job?
– But we have not seen your papers…
– Papers? Why do you need to see my papers aaaafter you have heard my accent? Isn’t it just frightlyfully posh and snotty? Some of my syllables are so nasal you would almost believe I was a rabbit, or some cunning breed of hare. Have you not noticed the accent? This is a publicity and marketing job. You need a person with an accent!
– I did notice the accent, of course.
-And I took the liberty of checking, and there is no one on your team who has such a spectacularly English accent as mine. There is that one girl with the international school accent, but those are just not competitive any more. You need a real English accent and mine is glorious and magnificent.
– I see you want to object again. Do not. You know that the entire marketing and advertising industry in this town is built on the supposition that people don’t care at all what is being said, but they care deeply about whether it is said in a fancy way, and many people believe that there is nothing fancier than the way a white man talks.
– But your accent, I don’t even hear the rrr’s.
– No, no. You see how little you know? How much you need me to teach you? It’s the Americans who do the rrrrrr. Them and the South Africans. We English shun the Rrrr. We call it aaaaaaah as a matter of fact.
– I urge you to listen to Piers Morgan, or the fellow on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire when your Digital TV subscription is paid up. You will verify this.
– But Mr Ngura…
– Or as I like to say it, “in-ngoo-ruh”…
– Yes, it takes more than an accent to get a job!
– Not this job, shoeeeurely. This is PR and Marketing, sir. The evidence of years points to the fact that any moron can do it. Most who do it are. I could be a fluffy mauve throw cushion and still meet the industry standards intellectually.
– Don’t be foolhardy, sir. The next time you come across and accent as posh as mine, the user will be more interested in a job in a bank. As we say in England, you had better get ‘em while they’re hot.
“Paukwa!” “ Pakawa!” “ Sahani!” “Ya Mchele!” “Giza” “La Mwizi!” “Kiboko!” “Cha mtoto mkorofi!”
A long time ago, relatively speaking, the animals of the forest held a meeting. They had a problem to discuss and that problem was man. His activities were encroaching on the forest and the grassland and if he kept this up there would be nowhere for the animals to live. The animals met to see what their king, the mightly lion, would tell them to do.
Actually that is not rcorrect. He was not exactly a king, it was not really a kingdom, he wasn’t really in charge and you often heard animals say stuff like, “Screw the lion, I didn’t vote for him.”
This meeting was actually going to be about that they were going to tell the Mighty Lion to do . If he said no (He was the mighty lion after all. You don’t just tell a mighty lion what to do) then they would be a lot of complaining and grumbling and the forest would proceed on its way to extinction.
“We have had enough of man. Why don’t you just eat the bastard?” cried the gazelle, whose graceful and elegant appearance belied a surprisingly bitchy nature.
“We already tried that. In the Tsavo, remember? He just shot a bunch of us and went off to make a movie about it,” lion said.
“Well, you should try again. Harder this time,” gazelle insisted, being that sort of character undeterred from an idea by the death of others.
“And when he is shooting us, what will you herbivores be doing, eh?” lion put it to them.
“Strategy and recon,” said bush buck.
“Yeah. You guys are really good at strategy,” said cheetah. “What is your strategy when we hunt you again? Oh yeah. To just run and not be the slowest in the herd.”
“That is their strategy,” said the vulture. “They herd. Never graze without a bunch of guys around who the cheetah might conceivably prefer to eat.”
“Hi guypth,” said a loud honking voice whose arrival was accompanied by the cracking of tree branches.
“Hi Elephant, so glad you could join us,” said the tortoise. Tortoises are sarcastic animals.
“Phthory I’m late. Man’th pbeen thtealing my tuskphs again, but thipths time he uptheth tranquiliptherpth. He thinkphths itpth more ‘humane’,” explained elephant.
“So, you overslept,” said tortoise.
“Can we get back to the meeting?” said gazelle.
“You know, man isn’t so bad once you get to know him,” said python. “And by get to know him, I mean swallow him whole as a child.”
Meanwhile in the back of the crowd of animals, a small group of hares sat munching on stems of grass. Iculi, Sungura and Wakaima listened to the animals bicker and squeal and moo and rant until Sungura said, “You know what, you guys? Fuck this shit. I’m out of here.”
So he went to his home under a large tree. He tugged at his paws to make them longer, he trimmed his ears, he smeared his body with the exfoliating oil of the dundu bush (if the humans, particularly some of the female humans with hairy legs, knew about the exfoliating oil of the dundu bush, the forest would be in even worse shape than it was now) and he stretched his back.
Then he went to a nearby logging camp, stole some clothes, and headed off to the city to get a job.
-Hey, you guys.
– What is that? Yamawe! It’s massive!
– It’s the biggest mouse I have ever seen!
– I’m not a mouse, dumbass. I’m a hare. Go and learn your culture.
– A hare? Really? What’s a hare doing here in the city? I thought you guys lived upcountry.
– Well, if you must know I am here looking for a job.
– Wow, the unemployment rate for urban youth in the nation is growing fast!
– Good thing I am not a youth then. So, you mice live in this office building, right?
– It is our home, our kingdom, our place in the world.
-I need you to help me get in tonight.
– We are mice, not rats, but we are still going to ask what’s in it for us?
-Well, if I get a job in this building you will have one employee in there who, instead of wanting you dead, will actually disable the traps, delay the fumigators and even leave food around on a regular basis. You need a man on the inside, and that man should be a hare.
– Our mice brains don’t take long to come to obvious concluisions. Okay. It’s a deal.
I shall now tell you that Sungura was at the HR Office late at night when the office was closed and deserted. Sungura was in the HR office when the… oh wait. As as a human reading this, you need certain elaborations. Such us one about how they got into the office in the first place. Well, it was the mice. Mice don’t use doors, not even doors with electronic swipe cards, but they still manage to get in and out of buildlings with ease. They were able to get Sungura into the HR office I was trying to tell you about and to which we shall now return.
As Sungura manipulated the open software files on the computer to click and log and verify his appointment, virtually giving himself the job, he thought, this was very simple. An extremely easy task with no hurdles except the annoyance posed by the mice that kept asking questions.
– What did you say the thing was called again?
– A Dell Computer
– No, the one next ot it, with the tail coming out of its head.
– That called the mouse
– But is it a mouse?
– No, it isn’t, no.
– Then why is it called a mouse?
– Because that is how humans refer to such objects.
– Why do humans call things mice that are not mice and even have the tails on the wrong end?
– Because humans are not good at communicating.
– Humans are stupid. I am going to eat a human’s shoe tonight, just out of spite. There is a wardrobe where the janitor keeps his work clothes. I am going for the left boot.
– Yes, you do that, while I get on with this work.
Sungura was glad to be rid of the mice. They were such pests.
And that is how it came to be that Mr S. Ngura (B. Comm, Oxford) was installed as the newest employee at the iMuze Advertising and PR Management Agency. He strolled in confidently passed the sad, huddled office drones in the cubicles, hunched over from the oppressive weight of a Monday morning, and Sungura greeted them, cheerfully cos he didn’t care.
“Lovely morning new colleagues. Yes indeed it is. I am Mr Eeeeengooorah, your new colleague here. Yes. Indeed. I join you from England, as you can tell, it is rather obvious from my nose and the sounds that come from it. This is a splendid office space and I am sure we do magnificent work in here.”
They all ignored him. Well, they didn’t. They just didn’t say out loud that, “Shut the fuck up shut the fuck up shut the fuck up before we have nervous breakdowns and just all, as one mass, commit arson in a desperate bid to find freedom from this. The edge is close. It is in sight. It won’t take many pushes to get there.”
Settling into the new job was not difficult. Human beings have trouble acclimating to new work and social environments, chiefly because they are worried that the people around them will not like them. For Sungura this was nothing to worry about. Sungura absolutely did not care what the other workers thought. This could be the first moral of this tale. If you ever have any fucks to give, divest yourself of them when you get into a new social environment. It will help you settle in much easier.
Sungura freely stole pens, and used mugs, and made comments about the weight, hairstyle and sex appeal of his workmates, all in a loud and nasal accent that sounded like the Queen on cocaine trying to record a dancehall album underwater.
“Agnes, are your hips trying to escape from one another? Each day their edges seem to be further apart! One would think there is something between them they are trying to avoid. What a naughty sexual innuendo that is that I just made. Har har har har har!”
“Francis, Francis, stop swaggering like that as you walk. You cannot possibly have the penis volume to warrant such a gait. Walk like the poorly-endowed man you are, why don’t you?”
“Oh, is this your mug, Mark? It is a very good mug, and I have enjoyed every bit of the coffee I have just drank from it. Of course you can have it back. Let me just have one more cup. Sit down and wait.”
“Oh, Flavia, was that your coffee that I just finished? It was very good coffee and I enjoyed every bit of it.”
“Festo, was that your pen I used to stir the coffee? It was a terrible pen. Very poorly engineered as far as waterproofing goes. I threw it away. Did us both a favour.”
The office hated him, but they were office workers. What harm can they do? Unlike in the jungle where one’s adversaries could eat one, in offices, all they did was cast snarly passive-aggressive glances around, or seethe behind the back of their foe. Nobody ever even tried to get their pen back.
Well, Festo tried to try.
“Mister Eeeengoorah, please. I know it’s the fashion, but there is no need to be so informal.”
“Mister Ngura, please, excuse me. Mister Ngura. There is something you need to understand about this office, eh?”
“Do you mind sending it by the email? You talking to me is quite uncomfortable. You spit prolifically.”
“What do you mean … I am trying to make a…”
“Whatever it is you are trying to make, you are succeeding much further in making a small tsunami of saliva instead. You might get electrocuted with the amount of moisture you are putting in the air between yourself and this computer’s screen. I would advise that you stand back.”
“Are you saying that when I talk I spit?”
“I am saying that repeatedly. You utter forth floods.”
“How dare you!”
“I dare many things, Festo. One of them is I dare to not get drenched in your digestive juices as if I am a stick of cassava and am all you could afford for lunch, having wasted the bulk of your salary on poorly-judged sports betting odds again.”
“I … I… I…”
“That is a safe syllable. It does not come with spit. Stick to that.”
“I believe we have already covered the topic of daring. Now, I am sure there is nothing else on your agenda, so you may leave now.”
“You cannot dismiss me from here! This is an open plan office!”
“I can at least try to dismiss you from these few square feet of it.”
“Before you turn them into knots or whatever the measure is of seas and lakes.”
Being popular was not a vital component to work, or to staying employed, Sungura knew. Neither was actually working. This is why for so long he didn’t even do any work. In fact, like a lot of us, he didn’t even know exactly what it was that an ad and PR account executive was supposed to do. He attended meetings, though. He did that very well. And that was one of the ways in which he cemented the impression that he was a very serious worker at the firm.
Now, a lot of humans find meetings tedious and dreary. They find these things hard to endure. But that is because a lot of humans are not as clever as hares, which are adept at analysing the situation and finding out what weaknesses about it can be exploited. You put a hare between a rock and a hard place and, very quickly, the hare will see the sharp corners and the parts where the rock hollows out a bit and then find the least uncomfortable spot. Because hares know, though humans don’t, that when you are making the most of a situation, that spot is actually the most comfortable, not the least uncomfortable. That spot is the five star hotel suite.
So rather than sit in meetings to be unceasingly slammed about the ears by boring and brainless workmates giving inane, circular, nonsensical speeches, Sungura quickly leapt into the position where he was the dominant giver or those speeches.
He learned the lingo fast.
“Before we go any further, we need to establish parameters, don’t you agree? Because as we all know, a journey of a thousand miles begins with what? With one step. So the first step is what? It is to plan forward. We need to sketch out a road map and clarify our goals and our objectives so that we can know what we are aiming for to hit our targets. We don’t want to be like chickens running around with their heads cut off.”
Sungura grinned at the assembled staff when he said this. They could see genuine glee in his eye. He was remembering the time he had been captured by hyena, back in the bush. Hyena was ravenous that day. As hyena carried him back to his home, he passed by a guinea fowl who laughed quite audaciously at him. “Hah hah! Check it out! Sungura, always bragging about being the smartest lagomorph in the jungle, he’s been captured by the dumbest predator in the bush! Hah hah! Be delicious, hare!”
“Your fur looks kind of mangy, hyena. Are you sure you are getting enough vitamins in your diet?” Sungura asked, after guinea fowl’s taunts had inspired the sociopath in him to cook up a quick plan.
“What are vitamins?” asked hyena, making the first mistake you should avoid when you meet a hare, which is to actually talk to it.
“Vitamins are things found in food that make you stronger and faster and give you a beautiful, soft, luxurious coat of fur. Like mine. Feel my fur. Nice, eh?”
The hyena run his paws over the hare’s pelt and felt that he agreed. He was beginning to consider eating the fur as well when Sungura continued to talk.
“You need to eat food with vitamins in it, instead of eating hares.”
“You just said you have vitamins. They make your fur so soft. I can’t wait to eat you. Then my fur will be as soft as yours and the lady hyenas will let me be friends with them during mating season. I am so lonely.”
Sungura hated it when his predators began trying to share their problems with him as if he was a therapist and not a meal. He cut in quickly.
“Oh, eating me won’t help. I already used my vitamins. You need an animal that is the source of vitamins. Like ostriches, or eagles or guinea fowls. I get my fur from eagles myself.”
“How the hell am I going to find an ostrich to eat? Do you think I am stupid? Those things are huge.”
Sungura demonstrated his legendary cunning by not answering the second question and only fielding the first. “You don’t have to find an ostrich or even an eagle. We just passed a nice plump guinea fowl down the path. It was brimming with vitamins, I could tell. If we go back I could show you.”
Hyena shook his large head. “Nah. Guinea fowls are too much trouble. They have beaks and they peck you when you try to pounce on them. I’d rather eat you. How badly do I need vitamins anyway?”
“When is the next mating season, hyena?” Sungura asked.
While Hyena thought about this, Sungura continued. “Is that the problem? Just the beak? Psssht. So easily solved.”
Hyena gave him that look. If you are ever fortunate enough to have a fool actually listen to you, you will know the look. Most of us are not so lucky. Fools never listen.
Sungura replied to the look with his elaboration. “Catch the guinea fowl, cut off its head, then it will be much easier to pounce on it because it won’t have a beak to peck you with.”
Sungura watched the hyena as his yellow eyeballs rolled upwards and towards the left as he considered this idea. Sungura tried not to laugh.
“That is actually a great idea,” hyena said.
Sungura tried harder to still not laugh.
“All I have to do is remove the head and then all the vitamins I want will be right there. And come mating season I will finally get someone to love me and accept me for who I really am inside. I won’t have to rape anyone like the other hyenas. Raping gets you scratched and bitten awfully.”
“And all you have to do is get the head off,” Sungura said in his special wise-friend voice.
Now, the hyena got pecked quite heavily when he attacked the flock of guinea fowls but the difference was that this time he was not going to let that deter him. A paradigm shift had occurred. Previously, he saw the pecking as an insurmountable obstacle. Now he saw the pecking as just part of the process, knowing that once he overcame that, the rest will be easy. So when a fowl thrust its head at him to peck him away, he didn’t flinch. He actually bared his jaw at said head with the intent of removing it from the fowl’s body.
Soon Sungura’s evil heart was being regaled by the sight of headless birds running around in circles, sputtering blood from open necks all around the hyena, who did not seem to notice that he was covered in open wounds from all the pecking he had endured before his decapitation spree was completed.
“Believe you me,” said Sungura to the assembled meeting. “I know what I mean when I say chickens running around with their heads cut off.”
And so the office meetings would progress in that fashion. The humans would say things, Sungura would ignore them but still make it a point to utter a string of meaningless corporate jargon after every third speech. “Teamwork is best fostered when we work together. And to work together we have to pull together. And to pull together we have to have a common vision. You see what I’m getting at?”
Then another serf would say something, and her colleague would say something else, and then Sungura would honk his nose to kick his accent into gear (Just because I stopped typing out the accent doesn’t mean he stopped using it. I just stopped typing like that because you would find it tedious. Should I go back to doing it? Okay. Here:)
“Absuhloooootley. Absuh looootley. Brillian’ observayshin. Only let’s taik this a taynee stip foooothuh, won’t we, just thunk outsoid the box, wontwe, and see, what laaaais beyon, roight? Now if one, say, were to begin with, perhaps, the ideeeeeya my esteeemed culleeg — sorry, your name escapes me, is it Doris? No? Donald? Yes. As my culleeeg Thingy so inchuwited, the crux would be to nail the hammer dureckly! Right on the head! I thinkweshod just go and …” and then Sungura would just repeat what Dennis said in three times as many words.
This strategy was working great for him. It made him appear to be active and present during the parts that the bosses of the company thought constituted work.
However, it was not exactly work. When it came to actual work, Sungura, unfortunately had nothing.
This is the nature of hares. They rarely actually do anything with their brains except think of ways to get out of doing things.
So when the meeting chair decided that he was so impressed by their new Oxford acquisition that he should reward him the best way bosses know how, with more work, Sungura was in for a nasty realisation.
“We just landed a new contract, team. It’s a new brand in the market, and it is going to be a great challenge and I know this team can rise to meet it, right? YEAH! In fact, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go right ahead and give this account to the new guy. Mr Ngura, you are in charge of the Momo Cola campaign! Everybody let’s give a hand to Mr Ngura.”
And this was the realisation– that having nobody like you has a certain downside. At first it was the begrudging applause at the meeting about which, at the time, no hare-fucks were given. Ngura just assumed that being in charge meant that he could just tell other people to do the work.
The rub arrived soon enough when he found out that being in charge was being in charge of a group, and that group would have to be of volunteers. He didn’t know this was how things were done because, of course, he had never volunteered to be in any group.
And now he was to find that no one was going to volunteer to be in his group.
Sungura could almost hear the violins playing and looked up at the ceiling quite sure that it was about to rain on him. This was what he expected being alone would look like.
But since no strings played, and no rain fell, Sungura decided it was just another hurdle that he would have to trick his way through. He looked to his left and right and, noticing that in his human form he now had shoulders, proceeded to shrug them.
Then he picked up his phone and called Wakayima.
Wakayima was in Nairobi, working there at an advertising firm in one of the Kenyan city’s more fashionable suburbs. Wakayima had acquired the job using a brash and bullying New York accent which he swore he got from an Ivy League college, and laughed down anyone who tried to bring up the fact that Harvard was not in New York. He assured the managers of that firm that British accents were way out of fashion, and only Ugandan clients still fell for them. American accents were the new hot thing and without one such as his, they would be out of the market in two shakes of a rabbit’s tail. He actually used that phrase. Just because he wanted something to laugh at within his own mean and evil brain.
He was in Nairobi, under the name of Mr Kaima, pulling the same wool over the eyes of the Kenyans that Sungura was smothering the Ugandans with, so it was only fair that the two would collaborate.
“I need an advertisement, man,” said Sungura on the phone.
“I need one, too, brother. These humans somehow got the impression that I was competent and gave me an assignment,” Wakayima replied, rolling his eyes over the line.
“Why are they so unperceptive?” complained Sungura.
“Because we keep them in the dark,” Wakayima replied. “So, are you going to steal an advert from your firm and send it to me?”
“Of course. And you shall do likewise.”
“I have this advert that they were making to popularise a certain deodorant in the town. The clients didn’t like it, so Kariuki tossed the whole file away.”
“Was it a good advert?”
“Does it matter?”
“Not really. I’ll take it. Here I have this ad Mugisha wrote for a type of cooking oil. Maybe you can take that one for your deodorant.”
“Is it any good?”
“It is a furious insult to the intelligence.”
“I’ll take it. Let’s trade emails.”
The two hares did not even stop to ask the question you are asking yourself: the matter of stealing another person’s creative content, violating copyrights, this meant nothing to them. Hares had unique views on the idea of ownership and property.
They were not even worried about anyone pointing out their plagiarism. They already concluded that anyone who raised their voice would be … well, let this next part of the conversation illustrate how the hares felt.
“Remember wild dog, back in the bush?” Wakayima asked.
“Oh yes. He was always barking and howling for no reason.”
“Well, not exactly for no reason. It was because he felt that he had to constantly reassert his claim that the land he was standing on was his. He called it marking his territory,” Wakayima reminded Sungura.
“Ah. I remember that. He would howl and bark to say, ‘This is mine! Mine!’”
“The humans are just like wild dogs. They bark and yelp and howl just to reassert that their position exists and is taken and is theirs. They fear, as wild dog did, that if they shut up about it even for a bit, it will be taken from them.”
Sungura remembered what Wakayima had done to wild dog, though. This is the story:
Wild dog was always howling and barking to mark his territory, going “Mine! This is mine!” and it got on Wakayima’s nerves. So one day, the hare decided to play a trick on wild dog, to put an end to the noise.
He walked up to wild dog, who greeted him by sharply exclaiming, “This is mine! My territory! Mine!”
“Very nice territory, I’ll admit,” Wakayima said. “Nice, but not as nice as this territory I’m standing on.”
Wakayima was a foot and a half away from wild dog.
“What do you mean? That’s my territory, too!”
“No, you said that was your territory,” Wakayima pointed. “You didn’t say this was your territory.”
So the wild dog leapt over to where Wakayima was standing, pushing him aside brusquely, and he barked, “Mine! This is Mine!”
“Okay. Okay. That’s yours. And granted, it’s kind of cool. At least this here isn’t,” said Wakayima, dusting himself off from the fall that resulted from him being so rudely pushed over.
“That’s mine, as well!” wild dog barked. He leapt to stand on it. Wakayima skipped away just in time.
“Oh, that’s yours, too? What about this? Is this yours?”
The dog leapt to that patch and barked again. “Mine.”
“Okay, so that is yours. What about this?”
Until they got to a bush, when Wakayima asked, “What about that bit over that bush? Is that yours?”
Wild dog leapt over the bush and prepared to bark, “Mine! My territory!” but didn’t succeed as his mouth was filling with water. He had fallen in the river the other side of the bush. Wakayima, according to the story they tell the children, remained laughing at the prideful dog.
That’s what they tell the kids. The full story is that hares didn’t like the idea of land ownership. They could accept the notion of ownership of things on the land, things put on the land by others, but not of land itself. That was the sort of absurd thing humans did. Hares, on the other hand, were quite offended by it.
So Wakayima led Wild Dog to the bush and tricked him into jumping over and into the river, where a pair of crocodiles waited to tear him to shreds and feast on his flesh before he could even bark out one last time.
One day you turned on your television and began to watch the show about the slender Mexican woman with the conditioned cascades of hair, the large white eyes and the skin that was as smooth as a peeled egg, who was pretending to be a lifetime slum dweller. You watched as the betrayal and prejudice stood in her path to true love, and watched on as true love and justice were slowly but surely overcoming these obstacles. Until there was an ad break.
A handsome middle aged man looked you intently in the eye and said, “We all want the best. We want the best for our children.” He looked at his children jump and frolic over the lawn through his window “We want the best from our jobs.” We saw him look at his neat office. “We want the best for our future, (By this time your attention was wandering. You didn’t care any more) “We want the best because we deserve the best. So (He said a few more handsome middle-aged things about the best and why we all deserve it) then concluded. “Momo Cola. You deserve it.”
On the same day in Kenya another you turned on your other television to watch the show about the buxom Nigerian girl whose father had just left her alone in a building the size of an aircraft hangar that was furnished and decorated as if it was a normal human persons’ abode. You saw the black mercedes edge out of the gate, and watched its progress for the next five minutes. Then there was a rapid cut to the new stepmother. Her expression changing from a huge smile to an evil sneer. She was going to torment her stepdaughter in the next scene. You knew this because you were not born yesterday. This was not the first Nollywood show you were watching.
But first there was a break. An advert to pay for the televised torture you were about to witness. A young hip fellow, with his hair and clothes a specifically-arranged mess, walked up to a thin light-skinned girl with more hair than weight and he asked, “What’s your style?” She responded with a very white grin and asked, “My style?” Then they were seen racing sports bicycles across what does not exist in real life, an empty highway. After that, they were seen at a late night music concert, with the girl climbing onto the stage and singing along with the lead singer, who didn’t seem to mind.
Then they were seen in their meticulously raggedy outfits playing football with a gaggle of preteen school kids.
Then we saw them lean against each other romantically as the sun set before them. “My style,” the girl said, “Is life to the fullest.”
A deep baritone closed off the story as a bottle of golden cooking oil descended upon the picture. “If your style is life to the fullest, you need full flavour of life. Larason Cooking Oil. Brings out the full flavour of life.”
And then the Nigerians returned. The evil step mother slapped the girl in the face, and the girl slapped back. That was a delightful twist, the slapping back. You were going to enjoy this show even more.