SATURDAY SATIRE: How your job may put you in trouble with your Lagos landlord, By Oladeinde Olawoyin

A slum in Lagos used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: New Telegraph Nigerian Newspaper]

Last week, SATURDAY SATIRE gave you––the Lagos tenant––a rare insight into why your Lagos landlord must have been showing animosity towards you, with practical evidences to boot. Aside your demeanor and other things you barely have control over, the column promised to highlight some of the jobs that may be the source of your landlord’s anger this week. Thankfully, while you may not have control over that ‘other room-induced’ urge to procreate serially, you have control over the kind of job you do.

In the spirit of conflict resolution, and for the general peace of the larger Lagos environment, I present to you the jobs that may be sources of rancour between you and your landlord, although like we noted last week, there are exceptions. If you practice any of these professions or you are involved in any of these hustles, the time is not too late to have a rethink. Of course, no price should be too huge to pay for peace to reign.

First, you can never, never, never be your landlord’s favourite if you are a LAWYER. And to be fair to the old Lagos landlord, lawyers are potential liars. Nothing is as huge a headache as dealing with defaulting lawyer-tenants. Because he understands the law and its intricacies, nobody can frustrate a landlord like a lawyer. (There are cases of ‘Ogbologbo’ lawyers who would advise clients to demand a billion naira or what could pass for the entirety of the budget of some states as transport fare from a part of Nigeria to another when summoned by the courts, in a bid to evade justice).

The fact is, it would even take miracle for the landlord to accept a lawyer as potential tenant in the first instance, except perhaps he disguises as a carpenter, say. It is not unlikely to see a lawyer intentionally pay for a one-year rent in a house he intends to spend three years with the intent of spending the next two years on litigation—of course without payment.

Again, your chances of harvesting hate from your landlord is high if you are an officer of the very honourable Nigerian Police Force. The Police officer is a good friend of Nigerians, the landlord inclusive, especially when some wads of naira notes exchange hands between him and some unfortunate road users or during elections. But for the most part of the year, he is a bitter tenant whose actions are mostly a reflection of the colour of his uniform. The landlord knows this.

The BUTCHER (Yoruba’s Alapata) is one other tenant who may find it difficult to be in the landlord’s good book. But compared to the lawyer and policeman who may be served eviction notice anytime, he stands on a stronger pedestal. While he respects the landlord for fear of eviction, the landlord avoids him for fear of being hacked to death.

The distance between having one’s head chopped off overnight and staying alive is in serving a butcher-tenant a quit notice. The man who butchers meat mercilessly may not hesitate to extend his craft to the human head, especially one belonging to a troublesome landlord. And because the Lagos landlord understands this, he reveres the butcher-tenant; he doesn’t like him but does not show hatred. And everyone lives in peace.

The TEACHER, too, may not be in the landlord’s good book, for reasons better left unsaid. We can’t really conclude that the average Nigerian teacher is indeed a pauper, although his monthly (No)pay raises serious concerns. Then there are instances where the monthly pay becomes an annual or bi-annual pay, something whose ‘coming’ is now subject to fasting and prayer, as we have seen in the last few years.

The Lagos landlord does not like too much diction and no cash at the end of the month; Nigeria on the other hand has created in the teacher a man who supplies grammar and explanations when the matter at hand demands money.

So it becomes inevitable that there will be friction between the Lagos landlord and the teacher, especially if the teacher only resides in Lagos with his family but is on the payroll of, say, Osun State–––No, State of Osun, I mean.

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Oladeinde Olawoyin reports Business & Economy, Development and Lagos Metro at PREMIUM TIMES. A First Class graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, he was nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2017. Aside maintaining a column titled ‘SATURDAY SATIRE’, he also writes art and culture pieces on weekends. Twitter: @Ola_deinde


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