A Stranger In Kumasi – Part II

Saturday 4:30pm

The lights had been off the whole afternoon, my phone’s battery died out about an hour ago, so I was sitting outside, in front of my house on a long wooden bench with a friend, Fred. We were just talking about his trip to Accra in the coming days. “So when are you leaving?”. “Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday” he answered. “So are you gonna take a ‘leave’ or what?” I asked. “Still thinking about, or I just might asked for the week off for personal stuff” “What if you don’t get it?” “I won’t show up to work” he said with weird smile on his face.

Just then a girl walked passed us. I didn’t take note of her until what happened in the next couple of minutes, as I had gathered some pebbles and was ‘free throwing’ them in a puddle nearby, Fred had his eyes fixed on his phone, he hadn’t wasted his batteries on playing games with his phone like I did. This girl walked about 5 meters, stopped to talk to a girl who was approaching our direction and turned back in the same direction she came from. Just when I lifted my head to throw another pebble, this girl was standing next to me, she said, “Bra, please there’s seems to be a problem with my phone, could you please take a look at it for me?”

I said, “Sure, what seems to be the problem”. “I don’t really know, it went off, when I switched it back on and entered my password, the phone went off again, restarted by itself and asked for the password again”. I took the phone to examine. It was a red Infinix phone. I forced the phone off, waited for about 10-15 seconds and switched it back on again, then I asked her to type in her password, which she did, but the phone went off again and restarted again. Then I asked her if the password was correct, she said it was. I forced the phone off and switched it back on to check whether what she was saying was true.

I typed out some random letters and numbers when the phone asked for the password, the feedback was “Invalid password, try again”, then I asked her for her password, “Mona” she said, “that’s your password? Just M-o-n-a? No numbers?” she nodded her head, but the phone kept on restarting itself. This problem is new to me, I haven’t encountered a phone with this problem before, I’m really not sure what to do, ‘cause I’ve tried but it’s no use. “How long have you had this problem?” “It started yesterday, but last week it happened for the first time and I gave it to the man who sells pork at the station up the hill, to help me out with it, he was doing something similar to what you were doing right now, then the phone worked, and the same problem resurfaced yesterday”

“Okay, if this phone works again, sell it as soon as possible, it’s not a good handset, I think the problem is the phone’s OS, if you don’t get rid of it, it’ll resurface again” she sighed and nodded. “You can sit with us, Cle push, make some space for her to sit down” Fred offered her a seat. Then I asked her if she had anything important on the phone, say document or pictures or anything irreplaceable, she asked me why and I told her, I want to wipe everything from the phone, like reset it. She said “Do whatever you can to make the phone work” I said, “Ayt”

I wanted to ‘hardware reset’ the phone, by long pressing down the volume button up and the power button simultaneously, to send the phone to the BIOS mode. I tried it but it was not working. I was like, am I doing it wrong? I gave back her phone and told her to excuse me for some minutes, I went to my house and came back with my phones, my main phone (Huawei) was completely dead so I took out the SIM card which had internet data on it that was in it and placed it in my other phone (Motorola) with I thought had enough battery power (11%) in it to do what I was about to do.

I went online to check whether Infinix phones had a different way of hardware resetting their phones. But just when I found out it was the same procedure on any other android just like this one, my other phone also died out. I told the girl I was trying to reset her phone back to default but it’s not working and I don’t know why. With a sad depressed frustrating voice she said, “so what can I do now?”. “Do you have the receipt of the phone with you? You can go to the shop where you bought the phone and ask for another one if it has a warranty, how long have you had this phone?” “Two months” she said. “But I don’t think I can find the receipt but I’ll check the box the phone came with it or I’ll ask him”. “Please is there anything else I can do?”

I thought for a second and said, “unfortunately your phone isn’t the old school type of phones where you can just open the cover behind the phone and just remove the battery and place it back in to reset the phone so your only option now is to leave the phone on for now, then wait till all the power life drains out from it then you power it back on by charging it, I’m sure it’ll work then, I’d be like you removed the battery and placed it back in”

“Can you remove the battery from my phone?”, “uhmmm not sure, ‘cause it’s a non-removeable phone, you can’t easily remove the battery. “But can you try?” “Okay hold on, let me see” I took the phone back from her and examined it more closely, then I saw an opening, “I think I can remove it” “Okay” she retorted hopefully. I inserted my nail in the opening and tried opening it slowly, the rare-end cover of the phone came off a little, but the fore-head part of the phone was stuck, something seemed to be holding it down and I couldn’t tell what it was so I told her I can’t take the cover off, I didn’t want to yank the cover off, I feared it might break.

“Can you see the battery terminals?” Fred asked. “Yeah I can”, “Then lift it up and push it back in” he said. Which I thought was a brilliant idea. But I told him my fingers are too big to fit inside the little opening the phone provided for me to try and lift the battery from the terminals. Then he said, “Get something to lift it”. I began looking around, and the girl gave me a broomstick she found on the ground, to try it out, but that broomstick was took weak, it broke into two when I bended it. I told her I could get a broom in my house, I excused myself and went back to my house.

My aunt was cooking outside, I asked her where she placed the broom. She told me to look around for it. Searching for it, I found a ‘pen top’, I figured it’ll be better than a broomstick. I pushed the pen top down the opening and tried lifting the battery with it, soon as the pen top touched and phone’s battery and I tried lifting it, it exploded. I mean ‘boooom’, the phone caught fire and began burning, it burned my fingers and I dropped it to the floor immediately. My Aunty who witnessed what was going on, took to her heels to a reasonable distance. She asked me what was happening and why the phone is burning to crisp, I told her I had no idea, I was as shocked as her. My burnt fingers were trembling and throbbing.

My Aunt asked if I was hurt and asked if it was my phone and I told her no, it belonged to the girl sitting outside, it had a problem and asked me to take a look. You know how Aunties are, she began talking plenty and asking me why I offered to help, she asked me if I was a ‘phone repairer’. I was so confused looking down at the smoking phone, there was a disposable bowl nearby, I picked it up with the burning phone and took it outside. Fred saw my face and asked me what was wrong, “It’s the phone…it..” my Aunt who followed me outside, cut in “…it exploded, it caught fire and started burning, I have never seen a phone do this in my life before” she said very dramatically.

“What happened?” the girl asked. “I tried lifting the battery off the terminal as intended and it exploded and caught fire, burning my fingers in the process. “I smelled an electrical device burning, was that the phone?” my Uncle came from his pharmacy and asked. I answered him and he went back inside. My niece who was close by came to see what was happening, she exclaimed when she saw my fingers shaking and throbbing.

The girl now said, “Eii so my phone is spoilt?”. I felt so bad, I apologized and she said ‘It’s okay, I’ll take the burnt phone away” and she left. “Ah Cle, do you know the girl” Fred asked. “Bro this is my first time talking to her, I’ve seen her twice before, the first time was about three weeks ago, she came with a woman who looked like her mom to see my Uncle, the second time, I was on my way to work and I saw her, on both occasions I never talked to her, not even good morning or good afternoon or hi mpo, I’ve never spoken to her before so I was surprised she walked to me and asked me to help her out with her phone.”

We have a clinic at home and my niece is a nurse so she treated my burns for me. That evening I took my frustrations to whatsapp and condemned Infinix phones. Most dangerously and useless android phone ever.

Sunday, 5:15pm

“Cle…cle” my Aunty called for me. “Yesssssss” I responded. “Someone is looking for you. I came out from my room and it was this girl, same girl whose phone got burnt the previous day. She greeted me and asked if I could spare her some few minutes of my time, of course I agreed. I couldn’t take my time to have a good look at her yesterday, but here she is today, she is a chubby girl with a pretty face, she’d look more beautiful if she does her hair. She get some nice ass bi, bro in breasts way make I dey drool. Na the chick in voice de3, shun, more than angel, she speaks shyly and flirty, the way she speaks will put you aback. Some fine girl bi like that. “Please I was wondering if you could do me a favor”, “I am all ears”, I instinctively knew what favor she was about to ask even before she asked.

“Due to what happened yesterday, I don’t have an extra phone on me, so I was wondering if you could lend me a phone to use from Monday to Friday, I’ve been promised another phone by Friday, when I get the new one, I’ll return yours to you. “Okay” that was all I said. I went in my room and got my other phone (Motorola) and gave it to her, I told her the phone had only one major problem, the speaker doesn’t work so you’d need an earpiece if you wanna make calls or received one. She was really happy, I asked for her name, she said, “Maybel” and where do you stay please? “When you go down that narrow path between those houses? You’ll see a mini mart on your left, my house is just opposite that mart on your right” “Are you on the same compound as Aseidu?” “Yes I am”, she replied. “Okay thenI know there”. “Please thank you, am leaving”

When she left, my Aunt came and knocked on my door and asked what the girl wanted, I told her she wanted a phone to use from now to Friday since she doesn’t have a phone on her and I offered her one. My Aunty got angry about it, she wasn’t happy I gave the girl a phone, she claimed I didn’t know her from anywhere so this act of kindness wasn’t needed. I wasn’t happy the way she said it, I said nothing and went outside.

I met Fred outside just when I stepped out. He saw the girl just coming out from my house and asked what the girl wanted, I told him she wanted a phone to use in the meantime while she waits for a promised phone which will be due on Friday. Then Fred said, “Ahh why? Do you run a phone dealership?” I didn’t understand and I wasn’t happy the way he said it but I said nothing.

Monday, 3:08pm

*knock knock knock*

“Bra Cle” “Yeahh I answered. When I came out it was Maybel, looking as sexy like a dominatrix. She was wearing something like this.

I smiled at her, when I came out from my room and said, “What’s up”. “Hmmmm” she sighed. “I want to talk to you” she replied. I was like, sure. “hmmm I don’t even know how to say this mpo, you see ehh, my phone that got burnt eehh, the person who bought it for me ehh, he’s very angry with me, you see ehh, I’ve only had the phone for like two months, he’s not happy about. He said you shouldn’t have opened the phone, ‘cause you aren’t a phone repairer, when a phone goes down you don’t need to open it, you’re not a repairer, you shouldn’t have opened it” my smiling face turned into a confused one.

“Wait a sec..wait…are you saying it’s my fault the phone got burnt? Ah wait ooh, you knew I wasn’t a phone repairer when you came to me and asked me to help fix your phone? What are you saying?
“Hmmm…I know..I know, I told him you weren’t a repairer but he said, you shouldn’t have opened the phone still, it got burnt because you did.”

“Madam, I didn’t open your phone with my free will, you asked me to, and I did. I wouldn’t have done it if you hadn’t given me the go ahead”

“Me? Nooo I only asked you to take a look at it”

“Naaa that’s not what happened, you asked me to open your phone, why would I do so without your permission or consent, open a device that isn’t mine?”

“Bra Cle, no I didn’t ask you to open the phone” she was about to cry that instant. Then I know this is getting serious, ‘cause this girl is now blaming me for the burnt phone when all I did was try to help.

So I told her, her claims are serious, so here what I’ll do to verify or discredit these claims, I went in my room and brought out my phone, I asked her if she remembered the guy I was with when she came around? Fred, let me call him on phone and let’s hear his side of the story to check whether she asked me to open the phone or not.

“Yo Fred, wassup”

“Cle, na wo ho y3?”

“yeahh man I’m good, do you have a second to talk I need you collaborate a story”

“Saa? What’s going on?”

“You dey kai the chick way carry in phone have me say make I try fix? Yeah she’s here with me now saying something, so I’m calling you to narrate what happened on that day, like I want you to narrate what happened as you remember, she’s next to me now, you’re on loud speaker”

“Oh abi we were sitting there when she approached you to try and fix her phone and you did your best and even tried opening the phone which later caught fire….”

“Ehaaa you see what your friend is even saying? You opened the phone, I didn’t ask you to open the phone” she said with excitement.
“That’s not what he’s saying” I said to her.

“Hello…hello…Cle, are you there?”

“Yeah I am here”

“I dey bath come your house right now” Fred hanged up.

“You see, just like what your friend said, you opened the phone when you shouldn’t have, you’re not a repairer, you don’t open a phone when it’s down”

“So right now what do you want me to do?” I asked her.

“Right now I don’t have a phone, I was using an Iphone but the screen is broken, I had a ‘yam’ but it’s also broken, if those phone were working I wouldn’t be here asking you this. I’ll be going to a make-up school and I’ll need a phone, so I need a phone to use”
“Eii so you’re indirectly saying I caused your phone to burn and you’re now asking me to pay for it? Wow!”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t be here if the guy who bought me the phone for me wasn’t bugging me, he wants his phone back, he’s been worrying me since yesterday when I told him”

“Is the phone yours or his? ‘cause I am confused, he wants his phone back?” I asked her.

“The phone is mine but he bought it for me and he wants it back”
“So you’re saying if you get the phone back right now, you’ll return it to him?” I quizzed her.

“No, I am the one going to use it but my mom and the guy have been insulting me saying I was foolish to give the phone to you because you are not a repairer and you opened the phone which eventually caught fire.”

“So you want me to take up the cost of the phone when in reality I was only trying to help you out? I mean you approached me, I didn’t come for your phone, you gave it to me, it’s unfortunate what happened in the end, but why do you want me to take up the cost? Why should I incur any cost? What if you had taken the phone to a real phone repairer and it caught fire? Would you have asked him to pay for it? ‘cause let me be as honest and blank as possible, there’s no way I am going to pay anything for it, 1. I don’t have money, 2. It’s not fair what you’re doing”

She didn’t say anything and her eyes started tearing again. Then she said, “Okay please, I am not saying take up the whole cost of the phone, please I want you help me cover part of the cost of the phone”. At this point those tears didn’t mean anything to me. I told her I wanted to talk to the guy who bought the phone for her, I want to meet him and talk this over but she said he’s not around. Then I asked if her mother was at home? I wanted to talk to her. She said she was at home and I could even meet her right now if I wanted. So I went back to my room and changed my clothes and asked her to lead me to her house.

When I stepped outside, my Aunty asked me where I was going, I told her I wanted to go talk to her mother. My Aunty said, that wasn’t necessary, I am wasting my time. She said the girl came to see because he’s blaming me for the damaged phone and was expecting me to pay for it, so right now I should tell her I don’t have money on me and when I do, I’ll come and settle her with something.

I stood still thinking about what my aunty said, I realized she was right, I mean she’s in my house making claims and expecting remuneration. I went to my room, took 100gh cedis. I told Maybel, “Okay here’s what going to happen, I am going to help you financially the best way I can but in return I want the phone (Motorola) I gave you yesterday back, is that okay?” she agreed. On our way to her house I saw Fred approaching my house, he asked me where I was going with the girl and I told him, he should just wait for me at home, I’ll be back soon.

4:45pm

So we arrived at her house and I greet this woman who was sweeping her compound. Maybel tells me that’s her mother. Puzzled, her mother asks who I am, “Please I am the one your daughter gave her phone to, to try and fix which caught fire, I am here to talk to you please”. Surprised, her mother turns to her and goes like, “Ahh? Didn’t I tell you to let this go yesterday? Right now what do you want from him?” the mother turns to me and says, “Where do you stay? Who is your father? And I go like, “I live at Obiri-Yeboah’s house, Obiri-Yeboah is my father” “Really?” asking surprised. My inquisitive cousin followed me without knowing, she turned to the 10 year old boy and asks if Obiri-Yeboah is really my father, and the kid confirms it.

Her mother turns to me again and says, “So right now what does she want from you?”, I told her, her daughter came to my house blaming me for the damaged phone and is now asking for money” and her mother goes like, “Bra, please don’t mind her, it’s not your fault the phone got burnt, don’t give her any money”. I am not sure what she said wrong but Maybel got angry and started dissing her own mother right in front of me, my jaws dropped! Disrespecting her mother in all manner, I was shocked! Then her mother tells me her daughter doesn’t respect. Then Maybel goes like, “Yesterday you were dissing me but now that the guy is here see what you’re telling me? If you don’t have anything better to say just shut up, if I let him go who will buy the phone for me? Will you?!”

Stunned right? Same here, then I tell her “You can best tell a person’s character when they’re angry, you came to my house in tears, now that I am in your house, you’ve turned into someone different, wow!” Maybel standing there looking all mean and angry, goes like, “How much will you give me?” “Like I told you, I’ll help you with the cost but in return I want my other phone back, I can give you 100gh cedis” this girl squeezes her face and tells me the money is too small, telling me how new the phone is, she’s been using it for less than two months, so 100gh cedis won’t cut it, it’s too small” her final words.

“What do you mean it’s too small? Are you now charging me? What is wrong with you, you know what? I don’t want to waste a lot of time here, that’s all the money I can afford, you don’t know my bank account, you have no idea my financial status so that’s all I can give you, can I please get my other phone back?” “100gh cedis de3 it’s too small, I will take 200gh cedis” she said. I got angry, “You’re now charging me 200gh cedis for trying to be kind, polite and helpful to you? She just stood there looking at me like a mute. Then I tell her I can also play rough, I told her I am also demanding money for the treatment of the burns I got through her phone. I told her it cost me 100gh cedis to treat my burn hands so if she’s demanding 200gh she should just deduct the 100gh cedis from it and accept the 100gh cedis I have on me right now.

She told me she doesn’t trust me to honor this arrangement, so if I give her 200gh cedis right now, she’ll take the 100gh cedis from it herself and pay for my treatment. I agreed, I told her to wait for, I’ll be back.

5:15pm

I came back home, I didn’t want to make any promises without witnesses around, I didn’t want to touch her or anything, if she tells people I beat her up and I have no witnesses around, I’ll be hot. I came home and narrated everything to Fred and how trapped I am right now, ‘cause not only, isn’t she not accepting the money I am offering her but also holding my other phone at ransom and demanding 200gh cedis.

“Cle paaa, ebi you way go pay, this is nonsense! She has no claim to anything, you didn’t approach her for her phone, she brought it to you, and she can’t demand anything from you. You should have allowed me to join you on your way to her house”. “Fred, if it was a guy it wouldn’t been a different story, it’s a girl, if I touch her right and says I tried raping her what will I do? That’s why I’ve been calm about the whole thing, that’s why I wanted to give her some money and take my other phone back, I don’t want any gidigi biaaa”

“Cle lets go to her house to take the phone back, we’ll not give her pin sef, unless you naa way wan pay, you’re not liable to any cost.”
We get to her house, Fred greets and tells Maybel and her mom he’s here to take the phone I gave to her yesterday. Maybel’s mom tells her to just hand over the phone so that we can leave, but this girl wants to prove stubborn. She walks out on us and enter her house, and through her window I can see her siting inside with her legs crossed. Fred without warning follows the girl to her room asking her why she walked out on us? Then I also follow Fred to her room, then I make myself comfortable in her couch. Fred then tells her we’re not leaving without the phone. I mean she was mad surprised that we entered her room, and her mother didn’t even object or stop us.

Then I told her, “I am not moving an inch from here, you see how comfortable I am right now? I have all the time in the world to wait. Just because I’ve refused to get angry and remained calm all these while so you think you can take advantage over me. You’re lucky you’re not a man”

“What about our arrangement? I told you I want to use the phone till Friday”

“Madam I’ve cancelled that arrangement, all I want is my phone and I aint moving an inch from here without it”

She started making faces at Fred, which made him very angry. “Herrhh maame, I hate what you are doing, hey! I am talking to you. First of all, I am way older than you, secondly, you don’t know who I am or where I am from, you don’t know my level and I don’t know yours, I don’t like the way you’re eyeing me” she was surprised at his outburst. Then she said, “Okay give me the 100gh cedis? I’ll collect it now”, “Madam, do I owe you? Why are you asking me this like I owe you money or something? I angrily said. “The phone isn’t with me here, I gave it to a repairer at High School junction to fix the broken speaker so I don’t have it with me here so unless I go to the place” she added.

“Oh she’s lying, the phone is with her here”

“Cle don’t worry, we’ll go with her to High School to pick up the phone”

She got up and started pacing the room, going back and forth, then she said, “You guys should leave my room, I want to change clothes so that we all can go” I was reluctant to go at first, but Fred asked me to excuse her. When we got out her mother asked where we were going, we told her she wants to change her clothes so we’ve excused her, the phone is with someone at High School so we’ll go for it. Her mother was like “It’s not true, the phone is in the house” and I told her I already knew that, I know she’s stalling but I am not moving an inch without my phone.

Few minutes later Maybel sent her kid sister to return my phone to me. I thanked her mother and left. On my way home I tried switching on the phone but it wasn’t turning on, that was when I realized she’s ripped my phone in half.

She has deliberately spoilt my phone in return. So I turned back to her house and told her mother what her daughter had done. She apologized on her behalf and told me to leave everything to God.

On my way back home I wasn’t mad over my spoilt phone, I was merely satisfied with the fact that the phone wasn’t with her and to top it up, I didn’t give her a pesewa!

I can’t blame her really, I am merely a stranger in Kumasi, away from, I am not from here so they threat me differently. I just realized literally that people will take advantage over you when you’re nice to them. I am too nice, she saw it and took advantage, can’t blame her but myself.


@Aboki_CleDre (follow me on twitter)

Copyright © 2019 by @Aboki_CleDre

All rights reserved. No Copy and Paste. Unlawful copy of this piece is prohibited. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

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