A story written by Flow1759… If you missed part Four, read it HERE
“Flow na the site be dis, na me be the chief kponpkon officer, shebi una carry una work cloth come?” Man said as we got to a deserted bushy place. “we carry am na, na wetin dem wan build here sef?” Brainbox asked. “na big filling station na, and we go chop money here well well, because na me dey in charge here” Man said. “the woman wey dey build am her pekin dey abroad, her name na Madam Ifeoma, she dey come here everyday come supervise wetin we dey do and pay us our money after work” Man said. “na she put me in charge of all the labourers wey dey work here. She go soon come sef” Man added.
We removed our clean clothes, put on our working clothes and sat down waiting for Madam Ifeoma.
Soon, a labourer came. He introduced himself as Igbakwambo. In Igbo language Igbakwambo means a hustling fellow. A name that sure befits him. He was stunted, muscular and fair in complexion.
Then came another labourer. Ochagbuorie was his name. In Igbo language Ochagbuorie means Someone that works “hard” and eats “harder” i.e Someone that spends his money on himself. He was sure spending his money on himself because he was wearing a fine perfume.
Ochagbuorie and Igbakwambo were not their real names but names they gave themselves because of the kponkpon job.
Madam Ifeoma came sooner than expected and Man told her that we were his friends, that we came to join the “white colar” job of kponkpon.
Work started. As Madam Ifeoma was instructing us on how the work for the day would be like, i caught a glimpse of how beautiful her face was. I never knew there was something more beautiful than her face behind her. Though she had some gray hair, facially, she was not all that old. She turned backing us and showing us how we were to cast the concrete. I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying, rather i was staring at her “television shaped” a’ss.
One bag of cement is to twelve headpans of sand is to Ten headpans of thick gravel, was the ratio of mixture.
Man and Ochagbuorie were to dress the concrete floor, while the rest of us were to mix and pour. It was all man for himself because the number of bags you mix would determine the amount you would be paid at the end of the day. The “international standard” price for mixing and pouring a bag was 600naira.
It wasn’t as easy as i tot. Though i was inexperience in mixing, i quickly learnt from “the master” Igbakwambo. I saw from the corner of my eyes that Brainbox was still packing sand, while i had already started mixing. “so naso u lazy” i almost shouted at Brainbox. Madam Ifeoma stood close while we were packing, she counted the number of headpans we carried, making sure no one cheated. Igbakwambo was working as fast as the speed of light, as if he was a graduate of first class in “kponkponology”. “Igbakwambo!! N’agba mbo nwanne!!” Ochagbuorie hailed.
Before i could say Jack Robinson, Igbakwambo was on his fourth bag, he did the work with so much dexterity and gusto. Meanwhile, i was on my second bag while Brainbox was still on his first bag.
My legs were getting hot due to the effect of the moisture on it. I was working fast so as to catch up with Igbakwambo, not knowing i would soon regret ever coming to do kponpon.
Mehn!! The mixture was very heavy to carry. Though i was putting on a face cap, it was as if i was carrying it on my bare head. My neck couldn’t move again, i was walking like a Robot. I was on my Fourth bag, Igbakwambo was on his Seventh bag, Brainbox was on his second bag. Instead of me to give up the chase oweing to the fact that there was no way i could catch up with Igbakwambo, i was still pulling “Superman” stunt.
I was tired and hungry, but i still endured. As i placed the headpan full to the brim with “rice and beans” on my head, i heard a bone crack in my neck, “abi my neck bone don break?” i asked myself. Before i finished asking myself that question……………………………… “puuuuuuuuuaaaaarr” the rice and beans i was carrying on my head poured on my body making me fall to the ground.
To Be Continued…