As has been my practice for a few months especially since we moved to another neighbourhood, the first Saturday of each month is not exactly my favourite day. So rather than sleep in till later in the morning, I would wake up pretty early; attend to my children, chores and set out to Mile 12 market (one of the municipal markets in Lagos, Nigeria).
Since I would be buying enough grocery to last us for at least one month, I always required one or two persons who would help me carry some of the things I buy. Such persons are referred to as Alabarus. For some peculiar reason or perhaps just coincidence, on two consecutive visits to the market, I employed the services of the very same woman. She was oh so awesome on both occasions.
As I paid her and turned to leave, she gave me her phone number, told me to save her details as Mummy Lekan and asked that I call her whenever I had any shopping to do in the area. Then like someone or something spoke to her and with a sense of urgency, she asked for my own phone number, just before I drove off. Of course I got home really tired and almost wasted. Heck! You would think I physically bore the burden of the items I bought. My ‘Ijebu self’ would make me keep going to that specific market because I wanted the best deals.
Mummy Lekan called me at least five times before my next scheduled visit to the market, each time asking how my family and I were faring. Seemed like a month quickly went by; another shopping Saturday was around the corner. I could swear that she was telepathic as she called me that Thursday morning just as I was going through what things were left and drawing up a list of the items I was going to buy. I confirmed to her that I would be at the market in two days.
Anyway, the D-day came and off to the market I went. As promised, I called her as soon as I got there and we went round buying foodstuff and groceries. She took me to specific sellers where I got some very unbelievable deals. She soon began to feel overwhelmed with the luggage. As I suggested we get someone else, I beckoned on someone who walked by. While I argued about the price, Mummy Lekan called another woman to help out. We were done in no time. I paid for both their services, gave a tip and said our goodbyes. We have continued to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship since then.