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Benson was seated on his porch soaking in the evening breeze when Kennedy walked into the compound. He was carrying a plastic container...

Benson was seated on his porch soaking in the evening breeze when Kennedy walked into the compound. He was carrying a plastic container in his hand. Kennedy was not educated. He ran errands for everyone in town. Today, he was sent to drop off a container of palm oil at Benson’s household. Benson watched him as he pushed open the gate and stepped into the compound. “How are you Kennedy?” “I am fine sir, thank you.” “So what can we do for you?” “I am looking for your wife, sir,” Kennedy answered submissively. “She is in the backyard. Walk right through, you will find her over there,” Benson suggested pointing. They conversed in Igbo language. 

He wondered what was in the container Kennedy was carrying. He eyed the plastic container as Kennedy happily walked in the direction he had been pointed. He dropped off the container of palm oil with Benson’s wife as instructed. “Tell Blessing that I am very grateful and that I will pay her next week, okay?” “I will ma,” Kennedy answered and turned to leave. He walked to the front end of the house and headed for the gate. Benson wondered what had transpired with the plastic container. Could that be the oil my wife was expecting or water? He thought. Did he drop it off with my wife? Out of curiosity he asked Kennedy, “So, what of your container?” Benson had a smile on his face. He asked in Igbo language, which Kennedy understood except for the single English word, container that crept into the sentence. Kennedy looked at him in confusion. He was deeply concerned as he wondered who container was. Unable to decipher the puzzle, he answered, “But sir, I don’t know who container is.” He had never heard the word, container before!

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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MR. CONTAINER An African Literary Blog
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