By: Halimah Adisa


Dear Mr. Ham Raba,

Thank you so much for your letter. It got to us at the right time. I appreciate you for seeing us fit for your next operation. Are you a surgeon, Sir? Because, I don’t think there is anybody in need of an operation in this community.

In your letter, you said you are coming for us. See, I don’t get it. Are you coming to take us to a safe place? Like, a greener pasture kind of thing? Like, where Aisha Buhari went to?

Ohhh! I’m sorry, sir. I just got to read the letter again, now that my glasses are on. See ehn, I’m scared already. I mean, I’m scared now that I’ve realized you are coming to rob me and my people.

Mr Ham, I know it hasn’t been easy for us, but choosing to rob us is an abuse to this community. What if I told you that you cannot find 30 thousand naira in our accounts? Ee shock you? Come to think of it, do you know how much they pay us as our salary? Before we feed our family, a lot has been spent. Do you know how much we spend on transport fare from here to there? Yesterday, I thought I could buy rice from Iya Temudo. I couldn’t buy o, because it passed my salary. I had to go to Emeka to do a Topsy on his garri to quench my hunger. For how long shall this continue? I know you won’t believe me but you have to.

Remember, during the lockdown, my people and I didn’t get anything. If not that my son had to loot hoarded palliatives from the warehouse he and some people found, we would have died of hunger. Probably, a skeleton would have read your letter instead.

Now, foodstuff has finished. If you come into our house with an empty stomach, you will take garri without sugar or take nothing like the stranger who enters a village at night. Nothing.

I’m still confused. Why this community, Mr. Ham? Of all places. Don’t you know places like Aso Rock, Central Bank of Nigeria etc, with high security men you can engage in a combat with? Why this small community? Better know your priorities and not waste your talent on local hunters.

See, last week, our president collected money from the World Bank. I’m not sure you got that information. How would you know when you don’t read the news? Another one, NCC Chairman has asked every Nigerian to register their SIM cards. Imagine, they are collecting twenty naira on millions of cards registered. Nothing is free in this country. Not even your life. Yea, you read that well. Even your life. Or you want to me to tell you don’t know how they treated youths that only demanded for their rights?

Instead of you to have directed your constructive letter to the chairman of NCC, you wasted grammar on a city that’s not even on the map of the world.

Maybe we can help you from the nothing we have sha. As the chairman of this community, I’ll ask everybody to contribute twenty naira for you — ha! It’s a big money to us o — so we can transport you to Abuja to start your profession properly.

Lastly, when you start making money, Do not forget that we donated to your success.

Yours faithfully

Chairman, Shekpe community.


Halimah Adisa is an undergraduate of the University of Ilorin. She’s interested mainly in art and other things that speak of art. She was shortlisted for the 2020 Prize for Satire.

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