“Lotto Agege” by Kobina Amoa Ansah.

 

It was exactly six pm in the evening. Every ardent lotto lover knew what such a time on a weekend meant; winning lotto numbers! We were all attentively glued to father’s Agege radio set. He had bought it on his return from somewhere in Nigeria called Agege many years ago. “Agege is like my first son. He cost a fortune!” he would always remind us. It was one of those few possessions of his which he cherished most.

“The winning numbers are…” a voice echoed from the inside of the set. “Ninety nine, sixty five, single three” it paused. I heaved a deep sigh. My heart began palpitating. The Agege radio set shook gently. “Single one and forty!” he added. I leapt excitedly and down came tumbling Agege!

“I am a millionaire. I have won!” I burst out hysterically. My nine brothers spontaneously lifted me up, amidst chants of my nickname ‘Tikelekele’, literally meaning the big-headed one. Of course, each of them had to earn a share of my jackpot; the longer they carried me, the more likely that chance of getting a cut.

“The old man is in!” one of them shouted. They all took to their heels, forgetting I was still on their shoulders. Down I came! I fell with a thud, just near where Agege had been dismantled mercilessly; beyond any form of repairs.

“What happened to my Agege!?” my father yelled emotionally. I knew I was in trouble. He had warned us several times, how dear that set of his was to him and how he was going to beat the stubbornness out of whoever was going to tamper with any of the knobs.

“He won lotto!” the youngest of the nine blurted. “Who?” my father asked, confused. The place was silent. They all looked at each other and simultaneously pointed at me, who was still finding solace on the floor, near good old Agege. My father walked threateningly towards me. “Today I’m going to deflate that big head of yours!” he growled.

I jumped up out of my seat courtesy three deafening strokes of Rev. Fr. Agozor’s lash. It was an early Elective Mathematics lesson and I’d fallen in a lotto trance instead. “What are the factors of six?” barked he. Still scratching my back, I whined “Single one and forty!”

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