The last time my neighbor at the office cried, it was because of the 4G network.
Her cry was not the type with just sniffles, rather it was one with mucus, tears, hiccups, and gesticulation.
You are wondering why she cried because of a mere 4G network right?
This young old man walked into my place first, he looked way older than his age. His scrunched-up face, lopsided shoes, faded trousers, and rumpled shirt all screamed hustle.
But I didn’t understand it then. It was a Saturday and I had lots of people to attend to. He was wearing an Airtel vest. And on sighting the numbers I had pasted on my door, he knew I had an Airtel line. He came and asked me if I wanted to upgrade my SIM to a 4G network. I looked at him and said,
“No. I just retrieved my numbers so all of them are 4Gs.”
He asked my assistant but I shook my head because we were pretty busy.
He left my place and walked into that of my neighbor, a woman who doubles up as my landlady. When he got there, she was quick to accept because of his prize which was a merged sum of 200 naira.
Before he began, he told her that the upgrade would take two hours. She agreed and he got to work. He removed the sim, inserted it back into the phone after the supposed upgrade, and returned her phone.
This neighbor of mine had two SIM cards on her phone, so when she realized one wasn’t on, asked the guy why.
He explained to her that that was the one he upgraded. My neighbour who always brought things like this to me, became silent and paid him.
The sim was like that till the end of the day. It was around 7:39 p.m. that she called me and showed me her phone. I stared at the signal but couldn’t find a thing. I was about to return the phone when something dropped in my heart.
I drew down the phone navigator and looked at the cursor. Behold the Airtel sim signal was full. It was that of MTN that was off.
Perplexed, with sweaty palms, I asked her to confirm which of the SIM cards she upgraded. She said, ”Airtel.”
I told her, Airtel was working fine. I dialed it and it connected. But when I tried the MTN, it was unreachable. She started sweating. It was her alert sim card and she didn’t lock it. I told her that something had happened to her money already and that we could only hope we could salvage the remainder if there was.
“Where is your debit card?”
“I don’t have..”
“Sorry, I mean ATM card.”
She called her daughter who came running out with the card. I took it and ran it on my machine to confirm her balance.
My heart jumped at the remaining 400 naira I saw. I printed the receipt and handed it to her. Snatching it from my hand, she perused it, let out a scream, and collapsed.
When she came to, after a series of water splashing and cheek-slapping, she told us how much was moved from her account amid hot tears.
My mouth fell open. How can she have that kind of money yet cry that there is no money? Women!
There was no need to block the account but we blocked it anyway after getting to know how the money was moved.
And that was how my neighbor cried because of the 4G network.
Be very vigilant! Lagos is…
PS: This is not fiction.