When it was time to leave Nigeria, I traveled to Lagos.
I got to the Murtala Muhammad airport to board KLM back to Holland. That was when the problem started.
The Yoruba man working for KLM at the boarding gate checked my documents and said the passport was not authentic. He said he would not allow me to board the plane. I showed him my returning stamps and visas I had gotten in Berlin to Slovakia, he didn’t bulge. He asked me to go to a white Dutch man who was the airline boarding inspector. The white man said he could not help if the Yoruba man said it wasn’t authentic. They asked me to go to the Nigerian Immigration at the airport and get a written note that the passport was Original, unfortunately, the flight had only two minutes to leave Lagos. That was how I missed the flight.
The following day, I came to the airport in the morning and bought an Afriqyia ticket to Germany. They sold it to me and when it was time to leave, they boarded me. I was happy that I was going back to Europe. However when we got to Tripoli to board a bigger plane to Europe, they refused to board me. They said the Portuguese resident permit had been changed to a different form since the kind I had had been compromised. They asked that I go back to the Portuguese embassy in Nigeria and get a written note to back it up.
That was how I returned to Lagos. As a result, I decided to overhaul my traveling documents system.
I went to Ikeja and did a new international passport. I called my elder brother who gathered our business documents and sent them to me in Lagos. He himself had been traveling to China since 2002. He had transited in Germany many times. He also sent me some bill of ladings of the vehicles I had sent From Germany. I had contacted a Nigerian shipping company in Essen and they sent me a letter of Invitation.
I got an appointment at the German embassy for interview and went there. After the interview, I was told to return the next day but when I did, they refused me Visa.
The whole thing was happening so fast that I even began to wonder how it all started.
Since I knew that the problem had been established, I decided to calm myself down and find a way to deal with the issue.
First of all, I called for my car in Onitsha to be brought to Lagos. When it arrived, I packed it in the compound where I lived and covered it with taupolin.
I went back to the cybercafe and registered for computer lessons. My tutors were Mr James Children. They actually tought computer lessons to people in a special class inside their house but they were mostly teenage girls and boys. I figured I couldn’t fit into their way of thinking and it would be an injustice to prevent them from being too free as the case should have been, as a result, I resorted to taking classes on my own and whenever I wanted.
I would go to their house on foot since it was close. I never let any of them know that I had a car. I told them I was squatting with my cousin whom they knew very well. I also told my cousin not to divulge any information about me to them without my permission.
Life went on as normal as it could be.
Every time I wanted to go and learn, I would walk to the cafe and take up a computer that was not connected to the internet. I would open a microsoft word or excel or powerpoint to learn. Eventually I became good with Ms word first, then Excel. After excel, I decided to forget Powerpoint. It was a good programme but somehow I believed that I would never take up a job that required powerpoint. I never believed I was learning it for job opportunities anyway.
My whole life, I had always wanted to be a business Man and a traveler. It was obvious during my secondary school days as fellow students called me ‘Nwa main market” back then.
Save for the advent of Computer, I never believed that working in an office such as banks and insurance companies would ever allow me to venture out as much as I would have wanted.
The computer lessons continued for weeks until one afternoon.
Chiamaka had just returned from school as usual and came into the cafe.
Her father and siblings had all gone upstairs to eat, leaving the cafe in my care. I had been welcomed fully into their family to the extent that they would leave the cafe for me to manage. Mr James also worked as a teacher while the wife had a shop at the Aspamda market.
The young man who managed the cafe had left and the mantle of management had naturally fallen on me. As a result, I would come earlier and take over the office before they go. I would make money for them before they returned. The only thing I hated was the epileptic electricity which would force me to go to the back yard to start the generator more than 10 times every day.
Things went on that way until that very day when Chiamaka returned from school and found me alone in the cafe.