Cash Loans Bankroll Honourables

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John Ekongo

I HAVE always wondered why most of the cash loan businesses are situated next to State buildings, ministries, hospitals and particularly police stations.
Being a journalist I am told that it has to do with something called a feasibility study, which these entrepreneurs carried out and whose results are yet to be announced.

Anyway with prices ever going up these days, I think it is a legitimate and valid reason to at one point in one’s life visit these loan sharks. Honestly, our meagre salaries seem never enough to carry us from the first to the last day of the month.

And this is when the services of these modern day shylocks come in handy.
In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Shylock was a Jewish moneylender, who lent money to Antonio but demanded in return a pound of Antonio’s own flesh should the debt not be repaid on time. Nonetheless, I have a confession to make, I never had a recognisable face, in fact, I never thought many people knew me until I was proven otherwise. I am not gloating in celebritydom here or anything it’s just that when you are unknown you get to things that some people don’t have access to.

I just want you to know that what happened was entirely the fault of price fluctuations, at least I hope you will forgive me.

So, one day I donned my cap, put on a pair of jeans, took off my prescription glasses, I had not had my beard shaved for a while as I strolled to become incognito.

Next was to choose the most discreet facility far from my circle of friends and away from the hustle and buzz of the town centre. Mind you, my office was somewhere in the middle of town, so I had to avoid the “Hollywood-style paparazzi.”

I carefully picked the time and made my way to a micro-lending facility furthest from my environment. Forget it I wont tell you the name, doing so will be suicidal.

I walked in, keeping my head as low as possible and said: “Hello I was hoping you could help with a loan”. I told the lender I needed the money as a deposit on this apartment I wanted to rent while in reality I was just broke. I could not go to my circle of friends, since I had exhausted the credit facility they extended to me.

The assistant at the counter requested for my payslip, bank statement and identity documents. Reluctantly, I handed them over. She gave me one hawk-eye look and asked, “How much do you want?” to which I stammered “A thousand.”

“Before we can process it, Sir, we need to verify your details, can you provide us with the name of two references and your human resources officer,” she said sternly.

Mukuuru wandje, what did I bring on myself? All I want is the money, you take my ATM card and I will collect it month end and get the money that’s what my NDF friend told me, as simple as that.

I had no option, so two referees, I roped in my sister, called her on the spot and the lady was satisfied. Satisfied, I eventually got my loan, left my ATM card behind and swore never to go through the ordeal again, from now on I will save all my money and make sure it lasts until month end.

Anyway, what is it that I am going on about? Funny how the past always comes back to haunt you.

Now whenever people talk about going to cash loans I vilify them, discredit them you know because you ought to save your money or blindly live within your means.

One day I accidentally met the very lady who facilitated my “ka-soft loan” at a social occasion and it was just me all the way mingling with the big guns. I had my best Woolworths suit, nicely black coloured, with a subtle crisped cotton shirt with cufflinks and “yes” with the Italian shoes with the projecting part that one has no use for.

She was astounded to find me shaking hands with ministers left right and centre yet I approach her for a loan the other day.

She narrated my embarrassing debacle and naturally indicated to me that she did not expect it from me. I seem like I make a lot of money apparently, for assurance she let me in that there are bigger fish than me who make use of cash loans too. Now that in itself provided some consolation that I am not alone that receives assistance from shylocks. She alleged some gentlemen who are honourables occasionally take out the odd loan or two to finance their addictive habits at the Kalahari Sands Hotel.

But honestly if you look at it, it now makes perfect sense why there are so many cash loan shops in the close proximity of State buildings.

Thank goodness, I am no longer working close to a cash loan office. But then again you never know, when it comes to money matters.

Sorry Ngo

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