I got to the ‘Young Shall grow’ park at Upper Iweka Onitsha a few minutes past 5 pm in the evening. My elder brother was waiting for me there with a BMW 325i saloon car.
I had bought the BMW myself in 2003. It was almost a new car. The first owner had purchased it and a month later, another car had hit it slightly from the back. It had a slight dent. The owner had sold it to me for €6000.
The odometre on the dash showed that it had only been driven 7000 km.
I had shipped it to Lagos and ask my brother not to sell it. I wanted to use that very car.
We drove from Upper Iweka up to the Awada area where we lived before I left. My elder brother had gotten married in 2005. We got to our flat and started with A bottle of Jack Daniel. We discussed some unimportant issues. Our neighbours who heard that I had returned trooped into our flat to drink and greet me. I was popular in the area before I left for Europe. As a result, news that I had returned spread fast. I was forced to take people downstairs to a shop where liquor was sold. I asked the Yoruba woman who owned the shop to bring out numerous cartons of beer. Passers-by also joined us in the merriment.
We drank as people listened to me. They wanted to know everything about Germany in one night. Little did they know that I had been to Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Austria.
I went up to our flat around 10 pm and slept. My brother’s wife was angry that I returned late. She didn’t even ask if I would eat anything. I ignored her and slept until morning, then I told my brother that I was going down to Enugu.
I gave him documents of the last three cars I shipped to Cotonou and asked him to make arrangements on how to clear them and bring them to Nigeria.
He didn’t understand why I was in a haste to go down to Enugu. I only told him that I wanted to go to the village and rest since Onitsha was noisy for me.
A friend of my brother was called to drive me down to Enugu since I had not driven in Nigerian roads for long.
We got to Enugu before 11 am and headed down to the village.
My Father was at home when we arrived. My mother had gone to a meeting.
Our compound had changed totally. The two bedroom mud house my Father built had been replaced with a six bedroom mighty bungalow. Some parcels of lands had been bought from our kinsmen and added to our compound, then it had been fenced and beautified with a huge gate with the inscriptions ‘ Glory be to God’.
I left my bags inside the car and gave some money to the driver who brought me home, then he left back to Onitsha.
My Father brought out a gallon of Original palm wine and welcomed me with it.
News had started to spread out that I had returned from Europe. People had started to filter-in one after the other. I had been warned not to shake hands with people but somehow, I ignored the warning and even hugged people. Some women had started singing and dancing. Before I knew it, our large compound had been filled with people. I gave my Father some money to buy drinks for them.
My mother returned 30 minutes later. She had taken permissions from the meeting as soon as news reached her that I had returned.
My Father killed two cocks and brought out yam to cook with it.
Some of my agemates had started to gather too. I had been sending some money to some of them back then in Germany.
Chioma, a girl whom I had been calling back then in Germany had also come. Agnes, my first ever girlfriend back then in Secondary school had come as well. Then Another girl whom I had once talked with on the phone also came. Every one of the girls was there to claim the trophy all to herself.
I sat on a chair outside the house and greeted people.
In the evening, I excused myself and drove out. I went to Enugu and found a hotel called Barry Gold in New Haven area. My elder brother had recommended it for me. I rented a large room at N3000 a night and paid for two weeks.
I didn’t want to go out into the city that nigh, so I just rested and slept afterwards.
When I woke up the next morning, I switched on my phone. Elizabeth had sent five text messages. She complained that she had been calling me while my phone was switched off. She rambled about how much she loved and missed me.
I called Jennifer in Berlin. She said she was scared of sleeping alone in the apartment and was looking for someone who would join her.
‘Make sure its a woman’ I had told her and hung up. I didn’t want Europe and its affairs to worry me down there in Nigeria. After the calls, I drove to Ogui road opposite Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and purchased five new sim cards. I changed the old one and gave the new one to the few people that mattered.
Enugu had changed a lot from the last time I was there. Some roads had been dualized and beautified with flowers.
The news in town was that criminals were on rampant in the city. I was a marked target since my BMW stood out. Not that it was among the best cars in the city but it was different. It wasn’t many like Mercedes. As a result, I would drove to the village every morning and stay there until 5pm, then I would return to the hotel.
I had changed €6000 to Naira and deposited it into a Diamond Bank account I had opened. I had also withdrawn the money in my mom’s account and deposited it into the diamond Bank as well.
I had not returned to Nigeria for any project except to just relax and rest.