Image: Cloth market in Yaba. Image Credit: BBC.

I was staring blankly at the phone in my hand, wondering what would happen if I flung it against the wall of my shop. Of course I know what would happen but I did not even have the money to get myself a new one considering my predicament. It is almost Christmas and as expected orders were filling in. There were so many Owambe’s in town and so many people wanted to sew before Christmas, that time when Tailors would begin to act like they had been specially commissioned by the Host of heaven to sew the clothes of the Angels for the naming of the new born Jesus wrapped in a Muslin swaddle blanket.

I could rain curses on this idiot that I had just spoken with but of what use would it be since he was not going to hear me. This was the third order this week that these delivery guys have spoilt for me and I am fast losing my customers. Ha! Mrs. Dosunmu is one of my best customers and I had promised her that her Brocade, which by the way I ordered from AliExpress, would get to her unfailingly today because she is travelling to Canada tomorrow morning, now tell me, what kind of explanation will I give her?

Image: 2020 Brocade Lace Fabric African Jacquard Lace with Feather Top Selling Nigerian Tulle Mesh Lace Fabric. Image Credit: AlixEpress

“Good afternoon ma, hope work is going fine?” the deep baritone voice filtered into my thoughts, reeling me back to my shop.

I instinctively turned my head, looking behind me, wondering if the greeting was for me or someone else. Apparently it was because the brown pupils were fixed on my face and that smile seemed to widen with my confusion.

Image: A Pristinest Logistics Rider.

“Good afternoon.” I responded, taking in the blue overall that swallowed the dark skinned lanky man standing in front of me with a bogus helmet tucked under his left arm. “Work is fine thank God.”

“Ok ma. Please can I wait here for a while? I am delivering a package to your neighbour and she is unavailable so I need to wait for a few minutes while the sender gives me an alternate number to deliver to.”

I could feel my ears rising; hold on a minute, did he just say, he was waiting for an alternate number after an apparently failed delivery? I have never heard any deliveryman say such. Rather they were always in a hurry or irate about the delivery they were making and this one was patient enough to ensure his client was satisfied?

“Ok.” I forced myself to say, halting the curiosity sparking in my head. I pointed to an empty seat and waited patiently enough for him to settle in before I asked the question that was already on my lips. “Please what delivery company is this?”

“Pristinest Logistics ma.” he responded with a bright smile, his eyes sparkled as he said the name, I could swear that his chest pumped forward too. “You can reach us on 08174719088 or 08034808762. The second number is on Whatsapp, and we would be there to make sure you are satisfied.”

“Can you do a delivery for me right now?” I asked, half expecting to be disappointed. It was 6pm and I was damn sure he would be itching to return home.

“Yes ma.”

My eyes widened, “Like this night?” I repeated my question, certain that he had misunderstood me.

“Yes ma. Just call the number and tell my boss I am here.”

My heart skipped as I dialled the number, pumping out blood in excitement. I know they would charge me extra but at least I would not disappoint my long time customer. The calm voice at the other end picked at the second ring and I hurriedly explained my plight.

I could tell I was barely making any sense but he listened patiently and asked me to hand over the items to the deliveryman while he quickly filled in my order. Within a few minutes everything was done and I watched the deliveryman ride away in his clean black bike with the logo PRISTINEST LOGISTICS printed in bright orange on the carrier, of course after the sender had called to give him another number who would receive on behalf of the woman that sold drinks next to my shop.


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