When Faces Walk Out From Your Past By Raphael Francis
POSTED 12/16/2017 14:12:13
They're recruiting all the photographers in town. They say it's going to be the biggest fashion show in the country. They say all the fashion houses and their models would be in attendance, they say it's going to be a tourist attraction to foreign investors, that its proceeds will be given to the less privileged.
You knew nothing about fashion and models. All you knew was your camera, its shutter sounds every Saturday when you were busy with your usual "Madam you fine oo! Make I snap you one na. Oga your suit sure ooh, take one copy na".
That was what photography meant to you, you knew every move with the camera, you could lie, bend and even fly if need be. Once you were accused by one termagant woman of spoiling her picture, she even called you a learner. But you knew the camera like the back of your hands, you knew it long before Econet became V.mobile. Even before the black and manly Bobrisky became not only white but feminine too. The camera was your life.
But you wanted something big, you wanted to be heard, to be seen. You wanted the world to know you, that's why you're already drenched in sweat, even when the A.C in the anteroom is oozing out cold air. You're waiting anxiously for your turn to come. Your legs are wobbling like a promiscuous man waiting for his HIV test result.
You're seated close to a lanky lady fanning herself with a magazine she clutches. From the flimsy way she fans herself you knew she hasn't been through any heat before in her life. Next to the lanky lady is a fat guy your age, his eyes are alert, red and restless, he licks his lips continuously, but apparently he's more accomplished than you, at least his well-tailored suit says so.
More applicants kept trooping into the office like swamps of bees. As those of you already seated held firm to their portfolio.
You were busy staring at the young secretary whose style of chewing gum drew all the attention in the room. Her well styled cravat was fashionably tied round her collar, her face bright and accomplished, she turned and gave you a curt look and you quickly redrew your gaze.
"Do you think we can get this job?" the lanky lady with the magazine broke the silence.
"Yes, you have to believe in yourself" you said like those motivational speakers with their embellished speeches, shinning spectacles and practiced smile.
You were transfixed on the bespectacled man in a blue shirt and black trousers on TV, ranting about how a governor wasted people's blood money erecting useless statues. You sighed angrily, Nigerian politicians were scum.
The secretary grabbed the remote and changed the channel to Hip TV and Davido came alive with his nude women shaking all their fleshy assets. She changed the channel again and a big python was struggling to swallow a fawn, the scared secretary quickly changed the channel, but this time to Zee World, and a yellow Indian girl was crying, her cheeks red and wet from the unceasing tears flooding it. She was looking into a photograph of a man in her hand, on the floor was shattered flower vase, a Portrait and a ring probably an engagement ring lay pitiably in the ruins like an orphan.
Amidst the channel changing display, a middle-aged man emerged from the inner office, dressed snugly in a black suit and a felt hat. He swaggered to meet the secretary and we all stood to greet. He turned away ignoring us, his large eyes searching the room, his pointy nose wide and open as if the air in the room wasn't enough for it. His well shaven head shone greasily and his cheek bone seemed as if it was heavy because it barely moved when he spoke. If not for his black and felt hat which gave him a commanding presence, he would have been any one of us seated here.
After several "yes sir" and "thank you sir" from the secretary, the man went into the office again. The secretary resumed her channel changing display, and this time it was John Cena grimacing in pain inside a ring, bleeding profusely. "Is it true this wrestling is acting or is it real?" The lanky lady with the magazine asked. You ignored her and concentrated, by now John Cena's opponent was busy under the ring looking for a weapon, but when he returned John Cena was up, within a twinkle of an eye John Cena was back to the ground again grimacing in pain as he was pinned down carefully by his opponent.
Wild cheers of "John Cena" erupted from the rowdy spectators and like a man who took an overdose OF Viagra, John Cena was beginning to summon his strength.
"If you hear your name just wait behind, you will be interviewed today, but if you don't, come back next week". The secretary said, her eyes still transfixed on the John Cena's fracas. She began "Vincent Basil…" you made the list, but the lanky lady didn't, she just sat dejectedly like Lot's wife’s pillar of salt.
When your turn came, you trudged feebly, you weren't even aware of how tired and disoriented you were. All you wanted was to get the job and go home.
"Welcome Mister" a sinister voice ushered you in.
You knew that voice, you probably had heard it somewhere. You raised your head and you were surprised at who the speaker was. Then you saw it flash pass you, skipping through your memory like a ruined compact disk in a room with bare walls.
The first image you saw was an ATM, the second was a woman dressed in this yellow over flowing gown, the third, you ranting and spewing all sorts of insult on why humans should use the ATM as if it were their personal property, and when the woman at the ATM turned to enquire If you were talking to her, you just hissed and asked her what she wanted to do.
The fourth and the last image was the woman laughing hysterically at you inside the office as she was head of the interview team.
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