?A Story Written By Awoleye Dominic…
It was time for my six months industrial attachment program and fortunately for me, it coincided with the time of expansion and renovation of the Hotel.
I told Oga Dan about my IT program and my desire to work in an establishment where I could put my learning into practice so he talked with the Contractor handling the renovation project and I was recruited as an IT student for six months. The company, “Vita Logistics” Limited is a building engineering company covering civil and electrical engineering works. I moved a lot with the company to their various project sites and participated in trouble shooting, maintenance and installation of electrical and electronics appliances. It was a big learning point for me for all I had learnt in school were brought to practice and I even learnt some more. I always felt proud working with my hand gloves and helmet on. I learnt about safety health and environment and I attended several seminars and workshops under the auspices of the company. I never knew such emphasis was being placed on safety at the work place.
I was so engrossed with the company that I barely had time for other activities; the company had a lot of ongoing projects with the government so we traveled a lot. Many times I slept outside Owerri due to job demand. It was the job that took me for the first time to the almighty “Garden City” of Port Harcourt. The GRA in that town does not sleep at night! We lodged at hotels in the GRA; our favourite was Bougainvillea Hotel at Sani Abacha road. The road that is busy twenty four hours daily!
At a time we spent three months at a stretch without visiting Owerri. We were shuttling between Port Harcourt and Yenegoa town working. I missed Chioma, I missed the bar and I missed my Clippers. The only hair I cut within this period was mine and my colleagues at work whom we were traveling together, but generally I was happy working and being called an Engineer gives quite a satisfactory feeling.
The company pays us daily “out of Station” allowance, they carter for our accommodation and feeding, they even pay for complimentary drinks in the Fridges in our hotel rooms. We were treated like VIPs’. I had little or no use for money so I had a lot of savings in my bank account.
After five months of industrial training, we finally came down to Owerri for one week recess. Immediately we parked our car at the Executive Gardens hotel, I told the driver to take me to IMSU. I needed to see Chioma. He agreed to take me there after lunch; we arrived at the lunch hour.
I did not see him after lunch, he had run off to see his family too, every one of us had been complaining of missing our loved ones.
I took a taxi cab to IMSU in the company of the Hotel’s DJ; DJ Slam happened to be a student of IMSU too and pretty popular. He goes on dread locks and wears a ring on his left ear. I was dressed in a light blue jeans and a Lumber jack shirt on a black safety boot. DJ Slam’s dressing is indescribable, I can only say he is a crazy dresser, and he reminds me of the Nigerian Denrele Edun.
Chioma lost control when she saw us entering her class room. She screamed my name from the back of the class room. There was no lecture going on and the class was a little rowdy as the students were rushing to submit an assignment to the class Rep. She rushed towards me, pushing and apologizing as she tore through the moving bodies in the class room. I was grinning from ear to ear as she jumped into my open arms. I almost lost balance, we clung tight to each other tight and spun. She released me and gave Slam a brief hug then she came back into my arms.
Let’s go to the joint! Slam offered
Can I come with my friends? She asked; they have been dying to meet you!
Baby, you can come with the whole class! Slam said. And we laughed.
Yes dear, call your friends! I said and she beckoned at two equally beautiful girls advancing towards us.
Wow! Slam exclaimed; you go give me one of them o!
You? Chioma asked.
Yes nah! Slam replied.
Tufiakwa! I cannot give you my friend! If not for the fact that I know what linked you and Bolaji together, I will never come near you! Chioma said.
We all laughed, I understand her fears, for DJ Slam is a really randy and bad guy.
I got to meet her friends, Tessy and Katty, their names actually were Teresa and Katherine and together we spent the rest of the evening moving from one joint to another and ended up at Executive gardens at the end of the day. I went upstairs with Chioma, DJ Slam went to his room with Katty while Oga Dan went with Tessy.
To Be Continued…