CHINEDU’S GRANDFATHER’S CLOCK

Published:1 Jun, 2012

CHINEDU’S GRANDFATHER’S CLOCK

In a thousand years to come, if he was still to be alive, Tommy would never believe that he could be looking for something that would lead him back to his village. In a thousand years to come, he would never dream of stepping his foot on the soil of his forefathers, if he was to be alive. His generation was that e-generation that came close to what is attainable in paradise. This generation never had any reason to go back ‘home’ as their elders called it. Going back to the village was exclusively reserved for festive periods like Christmas and New Year celebrations. Everything they ever needed was in the city. Even at these festive periods, they would find excuses not to go. There was virtually nothing out there in the village to make life any better than what technology had already given to the cities. Villages were relics of the past and technology was already thinking of how to put the whole living and dead generations of villagers in new museums that could be viewed at the click of a button on any smart phone or electronic storage device. Villages happened in the past. Their place was in history books.

Now in the tastefully furnished apartment on the Island which he shared with his two business partners, Tommy tried to convince himself that the only thing to do in this situation was to go to his grandparents’ house in the village. He mused to himself about the circumstances that led to this impromptu journey.

Tommy, Kenny and Richard were professional hustlers. They started their hustling way back when they were in the university. They did anything that fetched them money back then from arranging protesters for politicians and academic unions to bribing policemen that would come and put a stop to these same protests. They would arrange girls for rich married men that would come to the campus in the dead of night. They had their own quota of first year entry-level students that would be given automatic admission into the university. They simply represented that dark part of the higher institution of learning that was controlled by the ‘owners’ of the school. Because they were untouchable, they also made sure their students that got into the university through them had the same academic and extra-curricular protection they enjoyed for a token per-semester pay. It was just natural that they would be in the service of die-hard politicians when they graduated. Their reputations preceded them and it wasn’t long before they got called up for different odd jobs that would require no witnesses and no identifications. They got along well and were in the good books of their patrons. Each had six different passports that would take them out of the country in twenty-four hours flat if they felt the heat around the corner. They were living the lives they had always wanted.

This issue of having to travel to the village didn’t mean they were desperate for more cash. It was just another thing to hustle for. It was the next thing in town. He could picture some vivid scenes in his mind when he was still a kid and his parents would take them back home during the festive periods. They would go a week before Christmas and stay till two weeks after the New Year. It was pure bliss back then. They actually looked forward to it. They were treated like kings by other children that were unfortunate enough to have to spend the rest of their lives in the village. He was barely five years old then and the highlight of most of his holidays was in the evenings when his aged grandfather would tease him about his knowledge about a wide range of things after he might have told him beautiful stories that his teachers in the city didn’t know existed.

“Can you tell the time now, Chinedu?” His grandfather never called him Tommy. He would jokingly tell him that lazy boys were called Tommy in the village.

There was this big wall clock that hung on the wall directly opposite where his grandfather sat in his rickety armchair. It was a very old wall clock that had all the makings of an antique. It was exquisite and always in a polished form. Because his grandfather’s sitting room was sparsely furnished, the wall clock was very conspicuous in all of its glory. You couldn’t help but notice its presence when you entered the sparsely furnished room. It was big. Even Tommy could swear now that it was bigger than him then. And when it chimed to announce the hour of the day, its loud ‘gbaun’ would echo throughout the whole building and reach out to passersby on the quite street outside. It was needless to say that the activities of the house revolved around the big wall clock. It woke them up in the mornings and ushered them into the sitting room for their early morning mass service. Even Tommy’s storytelling time was announced by the clock and he would hear its loud ‘gbaun’ six times to signal six o’clock in the evening wherever he was in the house at that time. He would then rush with the other kids in the house to sit at his grandfather’s feet. They wouldn’t miss that time for all the adventures in the village; Tommy especially.

Tommy smiled to himself as he began to pack his bag. The stories were classic. His grandfather never repeated a story, he remembered. The kids would reel over with laughter at the special way he ended each story just to make them laugh. He would sit back after the story time while the other kids would go about some other duties before the wall clock chimed bedtime.

“Yes, I can, grandpa. But not everyone oooh…” Tommy would trail in his reply shyly. And his grandfather would proceed to give him a crash programme on how to read the time on the big wall clock.

Now he was thirty-two years old and he had to go and ‘steal’ his late grandfather’s wall clock because their foreign contact had informed them that wall clocks like that contained mercury which could be used to conjure different currencies of the world. That was the latest hustle in town. And he should know because he had an ear to the ground. The details were sketchy. According to the source, the tiny battery in the clock was made of pure mercury although its use had been banned a long time ago because of its hazardous nature. Mercury had been used in the times of the Mayas for divinatory purposes. They had also used it to conjure rare commodities. Their contact however gave them names of other contacts in Nigeria who testified to the efficacy of the arrangement. And no, though it was somehow a ‘spiritual something’, it would not require blood. Thank God for that, he said silently to himself because contrary to what most people believed, they were not murderers. They were just ordinary hustlers who would do anything but kill for money. He imagined how the house would be now ten years after the last occupant, his tireless grandmother, had passed on. His father, uncles and aunts had decided that they would not sell the property but instead use it as their country home whenever they had any need to go to the village even though they hardly went. Surely nobody would miss the big ‘grandfather’ clock. He wished he could keep it though instead of having to part with it. A lot of childhood memories lurked in that silent wall clock. His heart wept as he reminisced about the timeless time he had spent with his grandfather while the big clock silently tick-tocked.

Tommy instinctively looked at his left wrist and somewhere, simultaneously, in an abandoned building in the heart of Owaza, Abia state, a big clock announced the time of the day by sounding its characteristic ‘gbaun’ ten times.

MUYIS ADEPOJU

@abdulmuizzx.

 

 

  • Jidda

    A skillful weaving of a great story teller! A name to watch….I can not wait for your first book.

  • ofastupidwoman

    NICE ONE!!! Another one pls!

  • http://www.ike-amadi.com @ikeamadi

    Tell us whether he stole it or not na.

    Lol.

    Good one, boss.

    I already said that your descriptive capability is in tiptop shape

  • Panaqie

    More! More pls!!

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Naira Hits N335 To Dollar At Parallel Market

The naira on Friday exchanged at N335 to the dollar as the scarcity of the greenback worsened at the parallel market.   The naira lost N10 to exchange at N335 to the dollar, a depreciation of three per cent. It previously traded at N225 to the dollar.   Meanwhile, the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate remained at N197 to the dollar.   Traders at the market expressed worry at the increasing shortage of the greenback and urged the government to take immediate steps...

Insurgency: Air Force Seeks Cordial Civil-Military Relations

The Nigerian Air Force has established a Directorate of Civil-Military Relations to earn and sustain the support of the civil populace for its operations and activities. Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, the Director of Civil-Military Relations of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Afam Chukwu, said the security challenges faced by the nation, especially in the northeast, required a holistic approach by all Nigerians for the military to achieve sustainable success. He...

EFCC Arraigns Man Over N57.7m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, February 11, arraigned one Robert Daniel Onyeani before Justice E. N. Anyadike of the Federal High Court of Umuahia, Abia State on a four-count charge of obtaining money by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N57, 704,000.00 (Fifty-Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Four Thousand Naira). Onyeani, Chief Executive of Imagine Roco Limited, sometime in November, 2013, allegedly presented himself to the complainant as a...

David Beckham & Posh To Live Apart For Six Months

David and Victoria Beckham will reportedly spend more than six months of 2016 apart due to their separate work commitments. Former Spice Girl Victoria, 41, is to go on a tour of Italy, Hong Kong and France to tend to her growing fashion empire. And ex-England football icon Becks, 40, will spend much of...

Believe it Or Not Messi Wins La Liga Player Of The Month… For The First Time!

The Barcelona star, who has been given the award for January, has amazingly never previously won the prize which is now in its third season Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been named La Liga's Player of the Month for the first time in the two-and-a-half-season history of the award. Messi - crowned the best player in the world for the fifth time at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in January - has ended his wait...

Kanye Gives First Look At Video Game In Which You Must Get His Mom To Heaven

Kanye West revealed a lot of things at Thursday's Yeezy Season 3 extravaganza at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In addition to his new fashion collection and new album, The Life of Pablo, Yeezy gave fans a first look at the new video game he announced one year ago. According to Kanye, the concept behind "Only One" concerns his late mother, Donda, "traveling through the gates of heaven." He also said the...

From Lip Kylie To Nail Polish, Kylie Jenner Is Taking Over The Beauty Market

Kylie Jenner just added nail polish entrepreneur to her résumé. The Snapchat queen will be launching multiple collections under nail polish brand Sinful Colors, according to WWD. The first collection will be called King Kylie Sinful Colors Shine and will launch later this month. The line, which will probably sell out in 2.5 seconds given her track record, is set to include 20 jewel-toned shades that "are great for all skin...

Suspected Oil Thieves Arrested With Over 65,000 Litres Of Crude Oil

Nine suspects allegedly involved in illegal oil bunkering and illegal transportation of crude oil have been arrested by the Nigerian Army in Imo State.  The arrest was made by the 34 Artillery Brigade Command in Owerri, the capital of Imo State A spokesman for the Command, Captain Ajemasu Jingina, told reporters that the arrest was made through the command’s operation PULO Shield saddled with the responsibility of curbing illegal oil bunkering, illegal oil theft, pipeline vandalism and kidnapping...

Lassa Fever: 10 Suspected Cases In Gombe Negative – Official

The Gombe State Ministry of Health on Friday said that 10 people suspected to have contacted the Lassa fever virus had tested negative. Dr Joshua Abubakar, the Ministry’s Director of Public Health, told newsmen in Gombe on Friday that, their result of their blood samples recently taken to a laboratory in Lagos tested negative. According to him, the only patient who tested positive has been discharged after being treated and certified free. He said...

US Resumes Training Of Nigerian Troops For Anti-terror War

Fourteen months after a U.S. army-led combat training for Nigerian soldiers was aborted, American authorities have announced a resumption of the programme. The American Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, Tuesday, that the training would resume this February. Speaking on U.S. strategy against Boko Haram at a meeting in Washington DC, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield said U.S. expects would “inaugurate the first round of training for an infantry battalion later this month.” The resumed...

Japan Grants Nigeria $11m For Electricity Upgrade

Government of Japan has extended the aid of JPY 1.317 billion (about $11 million) to the Federal Government of Nigeria for emergency improvement of electricity supply facilities in Abuja. At yesterday’s grant signing ceremony at the headquarters of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Abuja, Japan’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke, said the project was targeted at assisting Nigeria’s economic development by helping to attract more investments by improving the power sector. Kusaoke explained that...

EFCC Arrests Amosu’s wife,Recovers $1m From Soak Away Pit

Today.ng reports that Mrs. Lara Amosu was arrested last week in Abuja by EFCC operatives, adding that she has been in the anti-graft custody in Lagos since last week. A source disclosed that Lara’s lawyer has been making attempts to secure her release but had not gotten any positive result. She was arrested after the sum of N3 billion was traced to her bank accounts. The money is believed to be part of the sum...

How Teenage Suicide Bomber Got Cold Feet, Refused To Kill

 Nigerian officials have said that a teenage girl packed with explosives by Boko Haram ripped off her vest to avoid taking part in an attack on the refugee camp in Dikwa, Borno State. Two others with her, however, walked into the middle of hundreds of people lining up for food before they blew themselves up in an attack Tuesday that killed 58 and wounded several others, reported the Associated Press (AP) on Thursday. Self-defence fighter Modu Awami said on...

Appeal Court Quashes Ex-Gov Nyako’s Impeachment

The Yola Division of Federal Court of Appeal, Adamawa State, yesterday nullified the impeachment of Former Governor Murtala Nyako. The five Judges led by Justice Jumai Hannatu Sankey in a unanimous judgment, described Nyako’s impeachment as a high level of impunity, recklessness, rascality and a constituted gross of legislative powers by the Adamawa State House of Assembly. The judges condemned in unequivocal terms the gross abuse of the legislative powers by the lawmakers to achieve orchestrated,...

NLC To Present N48,000 Minimum Wage

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will soon propose a new minimum wage to the federal government following the decline in the value of naira, the Secretary General, Nigerian Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, has said. Aremu spoke yesterday on the sidelines of a policy dialogue on naira devaluation in Lagos said the current N18000 is no longer sustainable and the NLC would propose N48, 000 as minimum wage.

Minister Advocates Special Funding For Public Media

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has advocated a special funding arrangement for public media organizations to enable them scale up their sensitization campaign against insurgency in the North-East. He made the call on Wednesday at the National Assembly, during an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, preparatory to the defence of the 2016 budget. While responding to the sentiment expressed by a member of...

Punish FG Officials, Banks Over 23,000 Ghost Workers- Senate

The Senate on Thursday declared its support for the move by the Ministry of Finance to prosecute civil servants found culpable in the payment of salaries and remuneration to 23,000 ghost workers over the years. The Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator John Enoh, who said this at a budget defence session with the Ministry of Finance, asked the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to ensure the immediate prosecution of the suspects being accused of...

Army Asks EFCC To Investigate 12 Officers

The Nigerian Army has forwarded the names of 12 officers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation. A statement by a spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said three serving and one retired Major Generals, three Brigadier Generals, four Colonels and one Lieutenant Colonel were in the list. The Army stated that at the end of the Commission’s investigations those found culpable would be tried by a military Court Martial. No reason...

Man Found 30 Years After Going Missing

A Canadian man who disappeared 30 years ago is set for an emotional reunion with his family after he suddenly remembered his name, media said. Edgar Latulip, whose mental age was that of a child, was 21 when he walked out of a special home in Kitchener, Ontario in 1986, CBC News and other Canadian media reported on Wednesday. Latulip, who had previously attempted suicide and was on medication, was never heard from again and...

President Buhari Orders Probe Into 2016 Budget Fraud, Wants Questionable Allocations Scrapped

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an immediate investigation into allegations of fraudulent padding of allocations in the 2016 budget, with strict orders that all cases of discrepancies, errors and ambiguities be resolved promptly, a senior government official told PREMIUM TIMES Thursday. An extensive analysis of the budget by PREMIUM TIMES exposed questionable details, with the National Assembly on Tuesday suspending deliberations on the document indefinitely. The chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, (APC-Gombe State),...

Man Bags Seven Years For Printing Fake Naira

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday convicted one James Onwuso who was caught printing fake naira notes. The judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, sentenced Onwuso to seven years imprisonment and ordered the forfeiture of the machine used by the cdonvict to print the fake naira notes to the Central Bank of Nigeria. He also gave an order that the fake N200, N500 and N1,000 notes recovered from him be destroyed. The convict had,...