By Amie Sillah
The two girls were together since they were babies but from different class backgrounds; one from a high class and another from the downtrodden. The high class family has philanthropist tendency sharing and helping the underprivileged of society; they grew into beautiful damsels but how did their friendship fare in later years? An interesting life revealing story!
The Rich Family
The rich family has two children a boy Sengaan and a girl Angisigicol who grown up into responsible adults the sister becomes a Business Corporate Manager at her dad’s company and the brother becomes a Computer Consultant working, based and married in the States.
Their mom is a housewife assisting to raise the family while her husband remains the Chairman of the Board of Directors of his conglomerate and it’s CEO.
The family even though blessed with wealth never boss it over their neighbours; instead they engage in philanthropist activities.
Mama Rose (Mam Buutor)
She is a simple woman from humble origins and never relegates this aspect of her family life. She is a trained nurse/midwife but has to seek earlier retirement on marriage grounds to raise her family. She set up a nursing home offering affordable and accessible maternal and child health services and drug stores to the underprivileged through this she sponsored many women and their children to have free medical treatment. Many children were named after her and her husband. She is also a God fearing woman true to her Christian faith.
Uncle Richards (Pa Gaalandu)
He travelled to Britain during the colonial era he was working for the firms; his experience helped him to set a small family business there; it was very successful and he decided to come home and set his company dealing with spare parts and importation of reconditioned cars. This business grew and he got into other businesses such as computer and accessories importation and financial institutions dealing with money transfer as well as the printing business.
He also set foundations to sponsor bright underprivileged students up to university and sponsor patients who cannot afford the bill of severe medical conditions.
The couple has two children and during their early life they mingled with children from the community and those involved in the various projects set up by their parents.
Angi is a lovely girl, down to earth and generous a trait learnt from her parents but she felt lonely because she always dream to have a sister or younger brother whom she can play with. She develops a close bond relationship with an underprivileged girl Tenneng who through her influence was adopted by her parents who pledged to sponsor her education to the highest level. They lived apart but were always visiting each other and sometimes she asked Tenneng to spend the weekend with her.
He is the older son, always a boy since his youthful days but was very protective of his little sister Angi who grew very fond of him as her protector and savior.
He has many friends as a boy but his best friend is Sheriff an underprivileged boy whom he influenced his parents to sponsor his education up to university level.
The Poor Family
She is a poor widow with an only daughter Tenneng; she lost her hard working husband very early since Tenneng was 2 years old. She is rejected by her husband’s relatives who described her as ‘aigaaf’ (bad luck) and a witch who ate her husband. She was very dependent to her husband and did not engage in any economic activity.
He is late and was Mam Beegay’s husband, very hardworking but remained poor and suffered ill health up to his death; born in poverty, grow in poverty and died in poverty.
She is their only daughter deprived of her needs because of poverty but her friendship to Angi changed her life for good.
Angi influenced her dad to adopt Tenneng by providing her welfare and that of their family as her father gives them money for rent, food and other incidentals, they became dependent on Angi’s assistance and the ‘runs’ that Tenneng is engaged with whose bulk goes to building her body to attract more men to do her business.
“Everything for you my daughter, your wish is my command.”
Angi becomes the sister from a different mother.
The four friends were Angi, Tenneng, Kanku and Singiily they were attending the same school and develop their friendship from there.
With the exception of Angi all the other girls were from struggling families, Angi was the patroness and very generous.
They completed their education but some of them cannot proceed to tertiary because of poor results and they became unemployed. Kanku and Tenneng got into ‘runs’ using what they have to get what they want. Angi is disappointed with them.
Singiily got into university and is in her final year studying Business Administration while Angi graduated and is working in her dad’s conglomerate as a General Manager.
“I am totally opposed to you sleeping with numerous men for money especially these ‘filthy’ sugar daddies that leave their wives and children at home only to flirt the streets feasting on poor, underprivileged women as young as their daughters. Try and get some skills for sustainability I can sponsor the two of you, Singiily is in university being sponsored by her brother who works and stays abroad with his family.”
“What kind of trade can I do that can bring me the kind of money I get from ‘runs’?” She argued.
“Your body is the temple of God, remember venereal diseases are real and you can destroy your life from it. And moreover prostitution is not sustainable especially when you grow old and suffer ill health the men feasting upon your body now will turn from you to younger chicks and you’ll be dejected, abandoned, marginalized in your years of need, think about it; I am ready to help you to learn skills for sustainable employment, whenever you are ready lean on me.”
She saluted and mocked at her.
“’Ajaana Mariama’! I’ve heard you but meanwhile let me catch my fun.” She left shaking her waist and said;
“Let me use what my mama gave me to use what I have to get what I want. Ha! Ha! Ha!”
She shook her head disgustingly.
“God! Deliver them because they know not what they are doing.”
She is flippant and has no mind of her own as our people describe such people as ‘ndig’. Singi is under the influence of Tenneng who is smarter and more confisticated. She is from a poor family and her mother struggled through petty trading and ‘taf-taf’ to educate her up to high school but she did not pass Grade 12 Exams and cannot enter university. There is no job for university graduates not to talk about high school graduates. The only option she thinks apt is ‘runs’ (prostitution) according to her.
“I cannot see myself into petty trading; a whole me? No way; I cannot also accept a petty job for pittance; my only solace is ‘runs’ to use what I have to get what I want period and please don’t try to preach me I have Alhajj to catch!”
She shook her head and felt pity for her as she prayed to God to change her ways and salvage her before she is lost.
“Look at her a Muslim born into a devout family, she smokes, drinks and do ‘runs’. Allah! Please save her.”
She is her soul mate and best friend since early childhood but she is disgusted with her life style.
She scolded her.
“What’s wrong with you? Am I not satisfying your welfare? Stop seeing these foolish ‘sugar daddies your dad’s age mate; they are bad influence to your life; don’t you want to marry someday and have a family? These men would play with you but will never marry you, get it from me sister; ask I’ll provide it until I find you a job; you are like a sister to me.”
She thought hard and said;
“I am ashamed to be coming to you all the time for our welfare; you have done your best for our family let me find other ways to supplement your efforts. I do appreciate but I also need those girlie needs to put body and soul together. I think you’ll understand.”
She shook her head;
“Look at this girl wasting her life and thinking she is smart and on top of the world! May God change her ways before she perished. God knows I’ve tried for her and her family.”
Her parents confronted her,
“You did not tell us you have a boyfriend! How could you Angi?”
“Which boyfriend are you talking about?”
“He is in front of the house and I would not let him in, go and ask him never to visit my house again or he will face my wrath.”
She is confused.
“I don’t know what you are talking about dad, mom! I don’t have a boyfriend and you know it.”
“Just go out and see him.” Both parents urged.
She came out and what did she see?
A brand new red car with her name glaring written in bold letters.
“Happy Birthday Angie! From Mom and Dad!”
“What!” She went around the car and touched the body all over. She then rushed to her parents and hugged and pecked each of them.
“Thank you! Thank you very much! You have made my day.”
“Sorry for lying to you, we want it to be a big surprise.”
She rushed to her best friend Tenneng and found her in bad mood sobbing. She saw her then put herself together.
“What is it? Why are you so sad? Are you okay?” She asked concern questions.
She composed herself and said;
“I am fine don’t mind me.”
“Today is my birthday! Guess what! Come let me show you something.” She dragged her hand and went outside the compound, in front the brand new red car sparkles.
“It is my birthday gift from my dad and I say let me first show it to my best friend; let’s go and christened it! Let’s go and paint the city red.”
She stood for seconds before making her comments.
Her heart ache with jealousy;
She spoke in her mind.
“Look at me! Some people are born lucky while some curse, am I not from the curse camp? I was born in poverty, I grow in poverty and am I going to die in poverty? No! No! No! I’ll not.” She said aloud.
“What are you talking about? What are you not going to allow?”
She caught up and said.
“Don’t mind me I was just reflecting upon my life and the unjust world of poverty and wealthy.”
“Do you need anything? Lean on me, I’ll always give a helping hand until you are able to take care of your family needs.”
“Thank you my sis from another mom; how would we have fared without your family help? The rent is due that’s why I am worried before the landlord’s rude daughter come here to insult us again.”
“I am sorry I forgot; when I go home I’ll remind dad; let’s go and enjoy ourselves, it is my birthday you know and I don’t want you to spoil my happy mood.”
“Can I drive?”
“Why not? You are me and I am you! Let’s go!”
The friends went to town to paint the city red as they described it; the micro phone to the music was put to full level as they sing and dance in the transport.
Angi held a house party for her friends.
Every body came except her best friend, she is surprised.
“Where is Tenneng?”
“Where is Tenneng we asked you? Didn’t you give time to everyone? Why is she not here? Can you ring her and ask?”
She rang but her mobile is switched off.
“Her mobile is switched off! What are we going to do?” She asked the others.
“We will damn go to the dining and enjoyed your mom’s delicious dishes which have been waiting for an hour, now! Let’s go!” The girls rushed to the dining.
After dining the rest of the girls decided to go and check on Tenneng. They found her at home doing nothing.
“What’s up! Why didn’t you come to the lunch organized by Angi? We thought something horrible happened to you. She is worried and wanted to come and check on you but we resisted it; she phoned you but your phone was switched off.”
She exploded at them.
“What is it? Now you have seen me, are you satisfied? I am not a puppet to anyone, be it Angi or anybody at that; I did not want to go, is it by force to attend your Goddess’ lunch?” She sparked at them.
“What is eating you up? Have you awoken from your wrong side? Are you at war with Angi? So far as we can recollect she holds you special among the lot and she is responsible for you and your family’s welfare. She was concerned and wanted us to come and find out; why are you talking about her with disgust? It is not fair! Give the devil her due.”
“Are you her defender? Come and defend her now! I am ready for you puppets; the world is unfair, why should some be born with silver spoon in their mouths while others are born with nothing being the wretched of the earth? Didn’t you see how Angi lord it over us? She insults those of us who are into runs as if we have the same advantages as her; what a cheek? I have decided not to attend her lunch, what can you do now?”
“You are just being defensive but what you did is wrong, we have said our mind, freedom of speech.”
He came with his posh car and Tenneng left her friends to meet him.
“What’s up? You are not in a good mood. Who has troubled my baby? Show me the person and I’ll deal with him. Give me a peck!”
“Alhajj, no peck until you fulfill your promise; where is the money you promised me to replenish my wardrobe?”
“Has it come to that? Have I ever promised you and failed? Please sweet heart give the devil his due. Here I had already drawn your cheque.”
“What! Three hundred thousand? Sweet heart I love you.” She kissed him.
She arrived and saw everything and is very angry with Tenneng; she protested.
“Look at this! Dating dirty, filthy sugar daddies, old enough to be her father; they are just abusing her youth and when she is waned off they hop to the next available prey.” She said aloud for the duo to hear her and it was intentional.
He protested and said;
“I am off from here; didn’t you hear your arrogant friend insulting me? She is a spoilt rich brat and thinks she owns the world! What have I done to her? Am I exploiting you? It is a win-win, you satisfy me and I give you the doe.”
“Don’t mind her, she is an arrogant fool but I’ll deal with her; is she my mother? What a cheek!”
Alhajj drove away in rage.
“What’s wrong with you? Are you still dating men as old as your dad? Am I not helping you and your family? What else do you want? I offer skills training and you refuse; is runs sustainable? What about in old age and poor health? Will the sugar daddies come to feel your pain and loneliness? Think about it and change in time before it is too late.”
She reacted violently with verbal abuse.
“Look at you arrogant fool! I’ve said it, why do you lord it over us? Is it because of your family wealth and we the downtrodden, wretched of the earth?”
She tried to stop her before she lost control.
“Stop it, you are not fair to Angi, are you the only one she advises? Is Singii not being advised also? Give the devil her due and accept fair criticisms from a friend.”
“Leave her to insult me, let her finish! Do I blame you? I blame myself for trusting an ingrate and giving her my heart; what have I not done for you? If you prefer to be rotten, it is your business.”
“To hell with your family’s help! Do I care? Your arrogant attack drove Alhajj away, who are you, are you my mother? I deliberately decided not to attend your lunch. I am tired of receiving pittance from you and always being reminded how you support my family, get out of my home and never come again.”
“I am done with you and your ungrateful family, never come to my house again, you ingrate!”
“It has not come to that, are we not friends who are bound to tell each other the truth? Take it easy upon yourself.”
“You are wrong Tenneng and have no right to address Angi in that way; what’s wrong with you? Do we sense jealousy here?”
“I don’t care what you sense or feel, please leave my home; you are no longer welcome.”
“Are you asking us to leave your home?” She nodded her head.
“We will leave but remember we are all friends who care and are concerned with each other.”
She decided to stay.
“I’ll stay and talk sense into your stupid head,” but Kanku decided to leave.
“I have my dignity and self-esteem to protect and I am leaving this home and never to come to it again.”
She hissed and commented;
“Suit yourself, did I invite you?”
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you insulting all of us? What have we done to you?”
“Why are you staying? Join them, do I care? You are all hypocrites licking Angi’s behind.”
“I have to tell you the truth; you are wrong this time around, you have to apologize to Angi.”
“Which side are you on, me or them? Decide! Over my dead body would I apologize to Angi, let her go to hell and rot there.”
“I am on the side of truth and I’ll stay to tell you the truth.”
To be Cont.