ALEXANDER AKOTO ADJEI
(Nii Dromo The Mortuary Man)
I ran to my kiosk and locked myself up and wept bitterly.
Was that how I wanted to end my life just like that even when caution had been thrown into the wind for me? I believed with such death, God would have ordered for a mass beating seminar for me with the angels being my lovely hosts.
I prayed to God for forgiveness and pleaded with him to bring my helper to me soon because the hardship I was facing was too much for me to bear. Close to my room(kiosk) was a woman who operated a chop bar with the name NYAMEKYE Chop Bar.
I went there to buy food one day and realised that the guy who pounds her fufu for her that day didn’t show up. I asked one of the helping hands at the chop bar if I could apply for the job to pound the fufu for them so they pay me at the end of the day.
She directed me to her madam and I was asked to start work that very moment.
The job wasn’t a child’s play at all and it made me doff out my respect to our brothers who did that job in various eateries. When the day ended the woman paid me fifteen cedis and added food to it for me.
It wasn’t a good pay looking at the size of the pot the cassava I pounded came from but hey, this was the only opportunity that had presented itself to me for now.
I knew I would get what to eat when I woke up from bed and what I would eat before going to bed and I could also save part of my daily salary so that I could send little money home to support my younger siblings.
I rendered my services to Maame Adjoa Nyamekye dutifully that she even increased my salary within some few weeks of being employed that when the person who used to pound the fufu came back he was asked to go home.
One day after I had done my job for the day and was waiting for me to be served with my food before going home, Maame Nyamekye summoned me.
She had a very lengthy hearty chat with me and asked of my educational background since she saw how disciplined and cultured I was. I also didn’t hide anything from her that I told her everything about me from A-Z.
After my narration she sat down for quite a long time before talking again. She told me her husband was a labour officer at the biggest hospital in town and would speak with him if there was vacancy in any department where he could recommend me for employment.
Joy took possession of my spirit as I thanked Maame Nyamekye for her assistance towards my wellbeing. For three whole weeks I didn’t hear any news from Maame Nyamekye or her husband so I eventually took the hospital job out of my mind.
This was because if I expected much and I was given little by the end of the day the disappointment which could hold me hostage would never be friendly towards me.
Some days later Maame Nyamekye gave me the number of her husband to call him and have a one-on-one discussion with him and of which I complied and gave him a call.
The discussion we had was very fruitful that he invited me over to his office the following day. I was very early to show up at his work place for him to know that I was very serious and time conscious.
He came to meet me at the entrance to his office and after he settled down in his office, he invited me in so we could finalise the conversation we had the previous day.
He went straight to the point without beating about the bush. And then he told me that the only department where there was vacancy for now was the MORTUARY and if I was interested in the job, I could start work that very moment.
For my salary for the first three months I would be paid 1,200 cedis and I would get increment if I performed my duties diligently.
I said to myself that what nonsense was this man talking about? A whole graduate with a first class degree to reduce myself that low to go and bath dead people?
Something within me told me to walk out of the man’s office and block his line from calling me ever again but also another voice told me to kill the pride in me because fufu sef I had pounded it for the mass not to talk about a job which would fetch me a cool 1,200 cedis for the start.
Moreover, how many graduates were paid such amount at their work places but hey was I having the liver to toll the path?
So, I finally swallowed my pride and took the job.
My first day at work was a hell of a time.
I was shown in and out of the mortuary by an elderly man who I was told was going to be my partner and senior colleague.
I saw bodies of different colours, shapes and sizes, the well-to-do people had a place they were kept whiles the poverty-deprived ones also had their small corner of the room.
Honestly, I learnt a big lesson that day because every dead body was lying there naked, both the beautiful and the ugly looking people.
Those who showed pride and arrogance when they were alive, those who were humble, those who would never expose any part of their bodies to you except you were their partners…
Those who lived as if they would never die, those who held big positions and certificates, those who spoke and it became laws, bank rollers, mafias, men of God, bankers, big time business tycoons, thieves and some that were involved in fatal accidents…
They were all lying down unclad!
Man shouldn’t be boastful for anything in the world because we all never know our end, the pictures I saw in there kept repeating in my head every now and then and the rate at which people were being brought there was alarming.
It seemed between every 10 – 15minutes fresh dead bodies were brought to the mortuary, some from the hospital itself whiles others came from the outside.
My new partner showed me the basic things I needed to know as a worker at the mortuary and before we closed for the night shift people to take charge I had made about 700 cedis, yes you read right the amount I wrote!
You might be wondering how I made that money right? Well as you deposit the dead body of your relative or friend you must grease our palms so that we put or place the body at a better place or fridge so that by the time you come back to pick your corpse, it would still be in good shape.
Also when you deposit the body you must come and check or visit your corpse at least once in a week to see that where we kept the body remained the same.
Before you left the mortuary, they had to find something for us as the mortuary custom demands.
For that very day I loved my job and vowed never to look elsewhere for any job again because looking at the nature of the job and monies that were going to pass through my hands, I had to be a landlord by a year’s time.
Honestly, for my first night in my room I couldn’t close my eyes to sleep because I was scared with the flashbacks I was getting from some of the accident bodies.
Some of the bodies were without arms and legs, with others they had broken or mashed head with the brains popping out just to mention a few.
Eventually, I came out of my room and went to a nearby drinking spot and drank my head off.
How I managed to get back to my room only God knew.
I woke up very early with the first cockcrow.
When I got to my new workplace, I narrated my nightmare to my senior colleague and he told me it was normal but with time I would get used to it so I shouldn’t worry my head over it.
He also advised me that if I decided to take refuge in alcohol when the dead pictures flashed in my head, I would end up being a drunkard so I should rather be a man and face the scary pictures when they flashed through my head.
I took the advice and it really helped me.
Within the twinkle of an eye I had worked for five months and my account had started overflowing with money that when I went to the bank to do some transactions, I always got the female tellers smiling at me broadly.
Hmmm, women and money, even if you are as ugly as a baboon, they would always get something nice and sweet to say about you.
I relocated from the kiosk to a chamber and hall self-contained house and gave my kiosk to some shoeshine boy who slept in the open space to occupy it.
‘Levels don change for good’ and everything was beginning to turn around for my good.
With my family at the village I did well in sending them between 500-800 cedis every month depending on the monies that came my way.
In the case of my salary I had better plans for it so I never touched it.
My mother was very excited because now I was making life a bit comfortable for them and she always asked me where I was working now and I always lied to her that I was working with some NGO because I knew if I didn’t lie to my mum about my job she would never give her mind to me.
Apart from the money, provisions and groceries that I sent them, I bought two taxis and one bus later which I was going to use the sales they made to me to build my planned house.
In less than a month after buying the cars I bought three plots of land in a very decent location and started my building project immediately.
Who said mortuary man not be job?
I dressed like a cooperate person when leaving the house to my work place because there was and adage that said “the way you dress is the way you are addressed.”
Everything happens for a very good reason. There is no shortcuts to heaven so lets learn to work and enjoy from our own labour.
Will Nii Dromo get this far if he chose to go in for the sugar mummy or would he be still alive or fit if he went back to the accounting firm?
Listen to the counsel of the wise and adults when you are privileged to have that opportunity.
Remember to stay safe whiles you enjoy your weekend.
An Akoto Alexander Mindset©
All rights reserved worldwide®
I am Akoto Adjei Alexander, a Christian. A product of Abetifi Presbyterian Senior High School, Abetifi-Kwahu. I am in my late 20’s and the last born of the boys my parent brought to earth. Basically, I am a fiction/scriptwriter who loves to write about nature and the realities of life. I do a little of Graphics Design, I do MC’ing of events somethings, a Motivational Speaker and a Relationship Talk Expert
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