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YOUTH CONUNDRUM IN NIGERIA

– by Tayo Faloye, August 8, 2019.

I put a call to a copier guy. I had hurriedly requested and got his contact from where I bought my office copier. It just ran out of toner. Couldn’t figure how to extract the cartridge. There’s a new toner bottle available. Besides, i needed somebody proximally handy for repairs whenever the need arises.

He sauntered into the office today after failing to turn up yesterday. Instinctively, I became wary. You know that gut feeling when you’re meeting someone for the first time? He’s young & urbane; obviously in his early twenties and in contrast with the job. He has a bounce to his walk. I decided to watch him closely.

He went to the machine, opened the panel, detached the cartridge and eased it out, after I had told him what I thought the problem was.

“Ah, this na powerful copier machine o. The ink don finish patapata. Oga, na N8k to refill am,” he told me.

I handed over the bottle of toner to him to use. At least, to drive down his price. He collects it and reads the label.

“Oga, you no fit use this one. This na for printer,” he responded, pointing at the Laser printing device at a corner in the office. “E go spoil your copier if you use am.” He concluded.

After raising an eyebrow over the outrageous charge and appealed to him to come down with his price, he reluctantly settled for 7k. It was still a far cry from the 3k i had set aside. So told him I would get back to him in a couple of days since I wasn’t prepared for the figure he’s demanding. He grumbled at the 500 I handed him for his transport fare and bounced out of the office.

Having watched how he had removed the cartridge, I later went to the machine, tried it myself and succeeded. A skill learnt. Proceeded to pour half of the content of the bottled toner inside and my copier shot up and has been firing since.

One thing I didn’t tell him was that I bought the toner from same shop I had bought the copier. I bought it for a time as this.

One can’t even miss it on the Toner’s Label that it’s suitable for printer & copier cartridges.

How do we atone for these youths and appease the gods?

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