The office manager would change the channel if he came into the reception and found the TV tuned to Zee world, however two weeks ago other channels disappeared from the television and when he walks into the reception, he would click his tongue and make his steps heavier. We were watching an oddly gripping soap on Zee world when Tayo walked in this morning.
“MMM forever” Marian screeched as he closed the glass door just before he turned to wrap us in the glow of his luminous smile.
He ruffled her weave with his left hand and the other hand swept the room in a convincing facsimile of a politician’s wave, he was still smiling when he sat down beside Chukwuma who’d been motioning him over. They conducted their business in low tones and an apparently satisfied Chukwuma soon stood up and went to his office while Tayo began to talk to the middle aged woman beside him.
“I like you, I think I’d introduce you to my niece. She’s single and doesn’t have time to date much.” she said after laughing to one of his many jokes.
“No wahala ma, I’m single and searching” I smirked at his earnest tone, his picture was in the dictionary beside the phrase Yoruba demon.
“So what did you study? Where do you work?” she asked in her slightly imperious manner.
“I studied business administration at Ife and I am an MMM consultant”
“MMM consultant ke?” she tilted her head to gauge his face for signs of deception
“Yes ma, I go about teaching people about MMM and help them navigate the system and get their money too.”
“And make your own too” Caleb piped in without taking his eyes off the television.
My dear get a job, MMM is a scam, a Ponzi scheme that will impoverish many eventually and they might harm the people who introduce them to it” she said passionately.
“I don’t need a job madam, MMM is treating me well and giving me access to a comfortable life.”
“My friend will you stop this laziness and get a job, try and earn money instead of peddling scam up and down.”
I had a job Madam,” his voice rose, “I had a job until a certain day in September that my MD suddenly terminated my appointment with no notice. He gave me until Friday that week to finish pending assignments”
“It’s a lie! You’re just deceiving people with sob stories, MMM scammer” her shrill voiced displaced the air in the reception area.
“If not for MMM, I have no idea how I would have coped.” He continued as if she hadn’t interrupted.
“Oya tell me one person who can vouch for this your pack of lies” she said with thinly veiled disgust.
He began to laugh, I’d always liked his laughter because in those moments he wasn’t Tayo with the contrived American accent who liked to talk and talk about things others had already talked about, he was just another Lagos hustler- just like me.
“Madam I don’t need to go far, ask her or her or him. They’ll tell you how I came here one morning with the swagger of a sales executive and left here with a letter that said I was deadwood and had to be cut off.”
“I’m sorry, I had no idea” she said as she flapped her hands with her rings reflecting the light from the room.
“Tayo come make we discuss this ya MMM thing” Madam Felicia called out from the staircase, waving her broom like an APC stalwart. And with one last baleful look at the woman whose rings could pay for his dream car many times over, Tayo made for the stairs and by the time he reached Madam Felicia, he was smiling.