No Hustle is too Small

I was in my first year at UNILAG when Bro Ademola Adeniyi Otto called me for a casting job like that. He said they needed some singers for a church scene in one Nollywood film. That it’s a “tush feem” and there are plenty stars insai. So I call my younger brother join body, so that we can make small money.

Dasow my brother and I went o, feeling like some Super Story waiting to be told, forgetting “we are nothing but pencils in the hands of the Creator.”

Unfortunately, the bus that conveyed us to the location broke down, so by the time we got there, some sons of Wobe had worn our robes and epping us and be singing our “Ohhh happy day. Ohh happy day.” Haaaaaaaa, o ja mi lara je.

Long story short, we had to settle for “extras” o. When they said we would be paid 2k, my brother say “lailai, let’s be going.” I say “going where? After spending all the money for transport, let’s hide in the congregation nau, so that camera will not carry us. That way, nobody will see us when the feem come out.” But while we were dodging camera, comman see how citizens of your country were hustling for camera. Shouting and clapping like its Doomsday.

Over-efficiency…They say clap, Etteh is carrying chair. Shake hands… Etteh wants to yank his neighbour’s hand from his shoulder. Small time director will shout “CUT!!!… CUT!!!” and we’ll take that scene again and again and again.

It’s a miracle we survived the scene, because me and my brother, we have laugh ourself to stupour’d.

Later, we filed out to gwan collet our two 2k. But you see, the day they born me, they born liver join, so I walked up to the director (Lancelot somtin somtin), a very famous somebody o, and explained to him in my finest accent that we were actually there to sing and so that wasn’t the pay we were expecting. So he decided to give us an additional role, much to our consternation. This time, we were meant to be greeting the pastor’s busybody wife. The humiliating scene was not even in the script o, the director just squeezed something in there for us so we can earn more than other extras. Sha, we upgraded to 4k or 4,500 each and other extras were greeeeen with envy. I remember praying vehemently that that the film should not see the light of day…

I was only trying to help, but for a long time to come, my brother would not forgive me for the feem. E dakun, is it my fault that they’ve started singing our “ohh happy day, ohhh happy day” before we got there? When they asked us at home how it went, our shoulders sighed as we said “fine” and they believed we actually went to “perform”, not knowing is Pastor’s wife we were greeting kura…

Post Author: Arinola Ogunniyi

I tell simple everyday stories we take for granted in ways you wouldn't have imagined them. From dated stories, myths, reviews, "street-lores" to topical issues, these mind bending series will leave you begging for more. And if you trip over my sentence structures, it's part of the experience. You can call me the Last Story Bender. I mastered the rules of language to break them.

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