Any small thing, Monday. Let the employed breef!!!
But remember that “person wey no work, no go chop”. What happens when it’s Monday again and you can’t seem to get out of bed? That frustration, the several loud hisses, the grumbling, groaning, and moaning. All because it’s Monday. You’re not alone.
To people like Mrs. Moremi, it is the beginning of the hustling and busting of the street. The time when she sees women dressed in suits, wearing expensive jewelry, and speaking fine English. It is that time when she has to get up from her apoti a million times to sell green vegetables and peppers “to these rich people wey no sabi greet” in their air-conditioned cars. To her, it is mostly a reminder of the life she wished she had and could give to her kids.
This is mo(a)nday to Mrs. Moremi.
“Favour, it is either you get up from that mat now or I bring my cane and flog you five strokes on your buttocks”. She shouts angrily. Welcome to the life of Mrs. Moremi popularly known as mama green vegetables. A mum of three adorable but unkempt kids. Mama green vegetables as they fondly call her in the market is a tall and charming woman in her mid 30’s who was unfortunate enough to get married to a lazy man who has chosen to drink his life away till his last breath. Embracing her circumstances, she decides to acknowledge her spouse’s existence as little as possible, opting to navigate her life independently.
It is 5:30 am on Monday, and Mrs. Moremi is upset. She looks sad and unmotivated. She sits by the edge of her bed, sighs heavily, murmurs a little prayer, and goes to wake up her kids. It’s almost as though the dull mood in the home is in circulation because her kids are grumpy as they wake. “Ahhhhggg, it’s Monday again, back to classworks and assignments,” Mmesoma, the last child says. like Nigerians popularly say in pidgin “the thing wey dey do everybody dey different.”
For Mmesoma, Mondays signify the start of endless class work and assignments. For Mrs. Moremi, her mother, Mondays symbolize the beginning of a miserable day filled with endless torture and sight-seeing of the life that she could have.
People often say content is king, but it does not end there. I believe that whilst content is king, the community is queen. And like in every situation, every king needs a queen.” This is Levi’s favorite first paragraph whenever he is sending out a proposal to a potential client on several freelance websites.
Levi is a 34-year-old man of average height, light-skinned like fresh milk, with oddly blue eyes that make him extra charming. He is a remote freelancer, an ‘ad (advertising) boy’ and a ‘Jesus boy’ as he fondly likes to say whenever he is introducing himself. Levi is one of Nigerian’s elite bachelors who is actively searching for a “godly woman who can mother my kids and be a baddie for just me”, he often says.
You’d expect the typical remote worker who doesn’t have to worry about knotting ties and dealing with traffic to be less anxious or angry about the first day of a new working week. But, that is not the case for Levi.
For Levi, Monday signifies the beginning of the competition for the survival of the fittest in the freelance world. It is that time when he begins to check his emails every minute with the hope to find acceptance and offer letters from potential clients.
”In the freelance world, work is never too much because one day you may be so buoyant and the next day, you may find out that you’re running low on money. So, you have to keep searching for better opportunities. There is no limit to the success you can achieve as a freelancer,” he says.
It’s not that he doesn’t love his job, he simply hates the pressure and anxiety that comes with that day. But like Davido said “na money be fine bobo”
You know the party is good when you wake up with a hangover and still wish to party more. That is the case for Mariam. If the life of the party were a person, it’ll be Mariam. She’s the unusual Edo Nigerian woman who has made it her life’s mission to break the norm and live life in a controversial way in her small world. Life is perfect for Mariam except for the moments when she deals with severe panic attacks. She has vehemently refused to see a therapist as she is of the opinion that seeing one means opening up and being vulnerable. So, whenever she has those episodes, she breathes into paper bags to control her breathing and calm herself down.
Mariam is a party animal who works as a bank customer service representative and suffers from chronic anxiety.
She hates Mondays. For her, Mondays signify the beginning of an endless series of annoying calls from people who she has to be nice to without hesitation. And boy, if there is something Mariam detests, it’s being “miss nice girl” when someone is taking the piss.
She often rants about how she instantly gets a headache from the thought of the numerous calls that would come in from customers in the first few hours of Monday. And on Mondays, it’s the same statement all over again– “OMG, my head bangs. Gosh, it’s Monday again, and these stupid customers will start calling to complain about how they have still not gotten the 500 naira airtime they bought 5 months ago”, she grumbles.
With the hangover, anxiety, and annoyance she feels, she still has no choice but to drag herself to work. After all, ”persin wey wan chop life gats work hard.”
What happens when you are a single parent of two teenage girls and a CEO of a top multinational company? The problem with wearing a crown is that no one knows how heavy it is. After all, life must be beautiful for the rich, and quite frankly, maybe it is.
In Hernan’s case, life is good, asides from the few days when he remembers that he has to cater to two beautiful girls all by himself, in a way that has nothing to do with money. But in a funny way, he loathes his life for a few seconds when it is Sunday night/Monday morning.
For him, those Monday meetings at the office get him exhausted. There are emails to tend to, unforeseen issues to be prepared for, and unplanned trips to take on. “Who knows what this Monday will come with this time”, he says with a shrug like a four-year-old who is being forced to eat their worst meal.
It’s 8:45 am and Hernan is still asleep. It’s a bright Monday morning, the birds are chirping, and word on the street is that there’s heavy traffic. Hernan is fast asleep, snoring and tossing from one side of his king-sized bed to another. Hernan would often sit by the edge of his bed and reminisce about the time he and his late wife got the foam. Anyone would assume it was just a bed, but to Hernan, it was beyond that. They had been using a smaller bed and had decided to opt for a bigger and more durable size. By the time the bed arrived home, it wasn’t what they had ordered. They wanted an orthopedic bed but got something else.
“Hello mister, I and my husband order a king-sized orthopedic bed. Why am I seeing something else right now? This is not what we purchased. I’d appreciate it if you fixed this issue immediately. Thank you, goodbye.” she hung up before the customer care representative could even utter a woman. She was clearly furious. Pregnant women can be grumpy and angry unnecessarily, so maybe that was the explanation for her fury that day. It was certainly not the bed, that was too small an issue. Unfortunately, Hernan’s wife died during labour the day after. She didn’t get to share the new bed with him by the time it came.
8:48 am and Hernanly suddenly wakes up. “Jesus Christ, my 9:00 am meeting. How did I sleep for this long”. He asked the question as though he was expecting an answer. He rushed out of his bed, took a hurried shower, and ran out of the bathroom. His daughters had gone to school, so he was home alone. Jumai the maid had gone out to get some things for the house.
He wore his favourite suit, sprayed his Marbit man perfume, made a cup of coffee, and stormed out of the house. “The meeting cannot start without the CEO afterall”. Although he sounded cocky, he said that to console him for being extra late on Monday.
Whenever it’s Monday morning, remind yourself of this: person wey no work, no go chop. Sometimes, the motivation you need to get out of bed on the first day after the weekend is fear. If you don’t work, you will starve.