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Agonies in Sunset (Extract)

By Chukwuemeka Emeka Anozie (Nigeria)

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This is an extract of my novel yet to be published- "Agonies in Sunset". A sympathetic story of the afflictions and persecution of one of the lost tribes of Israel settled in Nigeria- The Ibos.

His heart pounded hard against his chest as he made for the MD’s door.The door had one of those proud signs- MANAGING DIRECTOR - pinned upon it. This was the moment he had dreaded, and yet the moment he had been waiting for. Yesterday, he had crammed the answers to the likely interview questions from the career book he had bought during his NYSC days.
 
“I must rescue my family from the shackles of poverty”, Ikem vowed as he set off for Lagos, the nerve center of Nigeria’s commerce and industry. He believed it was just a matter of time and things would start running in his favour in the treasure island city.
 
“Imagine how humans can become power-drunk when they have a business of their own?” Ikem remembered his father’s lament that fateful night. Father had been relieved of his duties as the principal of a private school in Ivite. He had worked at the school since his retirement from civil service where he was a grade 16 principal supervisor. He had served the school with sincerity and dedication only to be kicked out unceremoniously.
 
“Ikem my son, remember there is no job security in any private firm. You are sacked the day your boss wakes up on the wrong side…”
 
Father had advised Ikem to set up a business of his own as soon as he could. And yes, Ikem would one day set up his own business, probably in fashion design. He was inspired by the work of Yves Saint Laurent and his own mother who was well known locally in Ivite for her tailoring skills. She went around mending clothes with her old Butterfly hand-sewing machine. Nneobioma, as she was fondly called by the villagers, enjoyed her tailoring so much that no one ever remembered seeing her without her sewing machine. She always sang in merriment whenever she was attending to a customer.
 
“Ka anyi jee na nke Bishopu na 5 akuola…” she sang and swayed her head as she tailored away.
 
 “Yes come in” the manager’s voice called from within. Ikem’s heart skipped a bit. But he reminded himself that he was well-prepared. His resume, he believed, was well typed and thought out. His dressing, too, was not bad.
 
“Hmm. Your case is not a bad one judging from what your credentials.” The manager said when he had examined Ikem’s papers. “You will hear from us in two weeks!”
 
The interview had not been a bad one at all, Ikem thought. He had managed to remain cool and articulate, thanks to those long hours he’d spent pouring over a career book and gesticulating in the air as if the end was near.

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