John Ekongo Only two more weeks, then I will be slaving my way to the bank, reluctantly, to collect that nowadays pittance that some call a salary. Then my woes start again. At least this time there won’t be some unnecessary expenditure except the landlord demanding his share. I am definitely guaranteed, on reaching home, to find a note under my door stating, “first house meeting of the year and a friendly reminder to settle your bill at this meeting.” This is only the beginning of the problems just when my sanity was about to return to normal – my mobile traffic picks up, with majority calls from the extended family up north and down south needing something just to get by. At this point, I wish MTC was never established. Here I go again, getting duped. What is left obviously goes to all those upmarket trendy retail outlets thanks to their good marketing persuasion techniques and persistent salespersons who sold me whatever contraption it is that I haven’t even gotten out of the box yet, let alone know what the hell it is for. For the fashion conscious, those six-month interest free retail shop cards…. Did I hear someone say they have become a nuisance? Lest we forget, the entertainment account needs to be settled, not with Kalahari Sands but with some aptly named “End of Month Shebeen” deep in Katutura. For this one I don’t feel so guilty, for as a journalist one needs to keep one’s sources happy, otherwise you have no work mos. Almost forgot – then I have my pride and pain. Pride when it is running in smooth condition, but pain when the fuel gauge starts showing red lights (empty). Barely three weeks ago I had the brake pads replaced, handed it in for service, collected a mountain of traffic fines from one very short City Police traffic officer along Independence Avenue and to top it all, now fuel has gone up again. So, I check with my bank just to beg and plead with the manager for a loan, just so that I get by. I inevitably get the drawling “short-term lending facilities are an extremely high risk market sir, we advise you sir to make use of our excellent alternative financial services; ah the cash loans. “They have an excellent new establishment on the market, namely Kapia, Blaauw & Partners Loans Incorporated.” I have heard this one before. Off to the unions I profess, until someone tells me the union is on leave. They are busy preparing for their congress, and other pending matters (infighting, somebody whispers). Somebody needs to be blamed for this situation, blame it on inflation; but someone else thinks it’s George Bush’s fault and his contingent of troops in Iraq; others say it is Allan Greenspan and that fellow at the World Bank, whatever his name is. My motivational guru thinks otherwise: “you are the cause of your own downfall,” he screamed at that presentation where he so eloquently spoke on “10 magical ways how to better finance your salary”. Three days later he jetted back to his home with half my salary and a stupefied look was all that remains on my face. Needless to mention, my finances are still in shambles. With the cost of living increasingly hiking, society is drawing itself to an extinct phase. I converse with my granny and she takes me back on memory lane: “Back in our days, everything was so cheap and we worked for the missies and we did not strike, we were happy. Now everything is money. “It should not be a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, we need to be happy, that is all,” she says, while counting her notes from the latest state pension. “It is because of independence, Kuku,” I say. She aptly counters: “Whoever said it was going to be cheap? Independence is an expensive business, Kaatekulu kaandje,” she says. I am still trying to figure that one out. I will have you informed. Eewa!
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