The Truck Driver
SAMUEL COBBY GRANT
THE TRUCK DRIVER
Apollo Junction is as popular as the hotel from which it got its name from… now, there are much more hotels in the area…there’s the new 4-star hotel and a host of others.
Apollo Area does not boast of just hotels, there are some oil companies in the area too… so, one would describe Apollo as a commercial hub, with a fairly large residential area.
That Nkrumah era silo, towering over every structure, is quite breathtaking.
This tiny part of Takoradi, though started off as a residential area, is now fighting for space with companies scrambling for a share of the emerging oil industry and 3 Brothers Company Ltd, is one of the biggest, serving the logistics needs of the petroleum industry… and one cannot fail to see their trucks and heavy machines plying up and down in the only main road in the area
The junction is about a kilometre from Kwesimintsim on the Takoradi-Tarkwa highway and when one takes the right turn, it leads to Anaji and ultimately to the Takoradi-Cape Coast highway, but the left turn leads to Apollo.
Kweku Hima, in his blue coveralls, on his way from Accra, driving the Renault truck belonging to the 3 Brothers Company Ltd turned into the Apollo Main road towards the company yard, blew the horn repeatedly, as a sign of welcoming himself home… whilst waakye and kenkey sellers waved at him shouting, “Koo Hima, Koo Hima”
“Yeah yeah, ayam the man who never loss in town.” Koo Hima shouted back in a sing-song fashion.
Koo Hima, a forty-year-old man had been with the Company since its inception. He never fails to hammer this fact home to anyone who crosses paths with him and neither does he fail to tell everyone, especially, the ladies, that he works with an Oil Company.
He looked sideways at his dozing Driver Assistant, gives him a heavy knock on the head and said, “toke bɛlɛ! Why should you sleep when I’m driving, abowa.”
“Sorry, master it’s not me o.”
“Ohh, it’s me, erh? Ok, no cash for you since I did all the work.”
The Assistant cringed inwardly, knowing that he’s not going to get a pesewa of the proceeds from the fuel they siphoned and sold to the Zamrama man on their way back.
Still hurling abuses, he said, “Do you think I got my License F by sleeping, bɛlɛ..when I was learning, you were still at cocoa ase.”
A few minutes later, he took the final turn into the 3 Brothers Company yard with all his colleagues hailing him, “Koo Hima! Koo Hima!”
“Yeah, yeah.., ayam the man who never loss in town.”
He expertly manoeuvred the truck around and ten minutes after arrival, the truck was well parked and both Kweku Hima and Fii, his Assistant, after the routine handing in of waybills to the Transport Officer, left the Yard, closed for the day.
The yard settled into its normal mode, with the Drivers, Workshop Staff, and the Office Staff going about their normal duties but no one noticed Appiah Kubi, the Security Supervisor, popularly known as the IGP, walking around the parked Renault truck frowning at the tell-tale signs of diesel smeared all over the fuel tank. He touched the bottom of the tank with his index finger, glared at his oily finger, shook his head, and quietly went back to his office to think about his discovery.
The 3 Brothers Company’s Yard was quite a massive affair. It was as big as four football pitches and had two large gates.. one for entry, and the other for the exit of vehicles. There was also a side gate for those entering without vehicles and it was a sight to behold on entering.
Trucks were well parked on one side, with cranes and other heavy equipment on the other. There was also a demarcated area for smaller vehicles. There are even demarcated walkways for human traffic and a large warehouse with a red roof and well-furnished rooms for visiting staff members from other branches of the Company.
The company takes issues of safety very seriously, and as such, Monday mornings safety meetings are not to be joked with. It required every member of staff to attend to be briefed by the Employee Health and Safety (EHS) Officers and today’s meeting was no exception.
After the usual safety topics were exhausted, the M. D. stepped in to advice the drivers to desist from siphoning fuel and went on to warn them of summary dismissal when apprehended.
Almost immediately, Joe Sam, a driver raised his hand to ask a question.
“Sir, when are we getting our pay increment?”
“Sit down” the MD shouted, “did you think about that when you went to Mpohor to sell my diesel to that Abochieman last Tuesday?”
And Joe Sam sat down shocked.
“What about our bonus?” asked Kweku Hima.
“We’ll talk about that in November, but let me also ask you a question, why do you like girls like that? How did you get that T- Poly girl and why do you have nine children with five different women?”
“Ohh, boss, it’s not me o. They say I’m sexy but the last one is not mine o.”
And laughter exploded all over the place with shouts of Koo Hima from both managers and staff.
The Truck Driver
Samuel Cobby Grant is the name, Trained in Electrical Installation (Intermediate) at Takoradi Polytechnic.
Works as a Secuirty Supervisor in a Logistics Company.
A widower with two children.
A proud resident of Takoradi.
Love reading, swimming and now writing after completing the REWA Wriitng Course by The Klever Magg.
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