I wish Ahmed would just go away.
I need him to keep me updated with what’s going on in town though: no man got a letter from the company, Haroon is getting a divorce, the council is somehow conniving with the Company and Ahmed himself suspects his wife Nisa of having an affair.
Now that I’m all caught up, it’s time for him to go. Please just go.
“Eh, Mamudu. I have to go to my sister’s place. She promised me amala for dinner.”
He does his guttural laughter as he gets up.
“Thank you for coming Ahmed.”
Dinner. It’s almost Maghrib and Mariam isn’t back yet. The muezzin will call the adhan soon. Should I go to the mosque or wait for her?
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!”
I’ll wait. I notice something off the corner of my eye as I make my way to my ablution spot. The light on a socket. I flick the nearest switch and the living room is bathed in white light. Ya Allah! It feels so strange, standing here with the light bulb on.
It’s half past seven when Mariam finally returns. She looks like she’s been engaged in physical labour for days and not hours. She complains about aching muscles too.
“What happened Mariam?! What kind of work did you do?”
She laughs. The woman is laughing!
“You nearly collapsed and you’re laughing? Start talking.”
After taking a moment to catch her breath, Mariam says “we generate electricity with our energy. It’s brilliant! At the end of the day, our payment is sent to our metres. I made 400 Watts today.”
I want to know why no men were employed. Heck! I want to know a million things, but the more important question is “how do we get real money?”