Zikoko walks into a filling station. After struggling through the horde of people and sustaining scratches, they make their way into a dark office building.

Unknown voice: psstt 

[Zikoko looks around, searching for the source of the sound]

Unknown voice: psstt psstt 

[Zikoko squints in the dark then reaches for the light switch]

Unknown voice: Don’t turn it on.

[Then, Zikoko sniffs]

Zikoko: Fuel? Is that you? Thank you so much for agreeing to this. I’m so honoured to meet you. Everyone is looking for you right now.

Fuel: Shhhh.

Zikoko: *whispers* What? What is it?

Fuel: They’re after me.

Zikoko: Who?

[Fuel points outside]

Zikoko: Oh yeah. They just want to make sure you’re available.

Fuel: They want to use me.

Zikoko: Well, that’s what you’re here for, isn’t it?


Zikoko: I mean, it’s not like they’re asking for much. They just want something light. You know you’re what keeps them going. 

Fuel: Whose side are you on?

Zikoko: Hmm?

Fuel: Are you working for them too?

Zikoko: Working for who? Relax. You called for this interview, remember?

Fuel: Yes, that’s right.

 [Starts sobbing]

I’m sorry. I just haven’t been the same. 

Zikoko: Don’t… don’t cry too much. You’ll ruin yourself.

Fuel: I’m already ruined. They’ve done things to me. Bad things.

Zikoko: Who? 

Fuel: Everybody. The government has taken my allowance, and the filling station locked me inside a hole. I escaped, and nobody wants to help me.

Zikoko: Wow, so sad

Fuel: Did I tell you I’m finished?  

Zikoko: And yet, here you are.

[He takes a deep breath.] 

Nobody wants to help me. The people saw me outside and started chasing me. One group called the “black marketers” caught me and poured kerosene inside me. Me! They mixed me with kerosene!

Zikoko: Shhhh. They will hear you ooo.

Fuel: [Swallows his tears]

Zikoko: So the filling station locked you up.



Zikoko: You now decided to come and hide inside its house.

Fuel: It’s harder to find something if it’s under your nose you this small child.

I just want you to help me tell the people we’re on the same side. They should stop chasing me whenever they see me. I’m a victim too.

Zikoko: [Takes notes] 

Sorry, but this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, so why do you want to make a statement now? What’s different?

Also, do Diesel and Kerosene share your sentiments? Do you even know them?


Yes, I know them. I’m just tired, please. Diesel and kerosene don’t go through half the things I go through. Only me, I’ll power gen, I’ll power car, most sought after, but they want to tear my clothe. I’m not doing again. I’m tired.

Zikoko: [writes] okay. Fuel is tired. Is there anything else…

[Zikoko’s phone beeps as a voice note comes in]

BCM: We just heard your interview is at a filling station. The fuel in the office has finished…

[Zikoko looks at Fuel]

BCM: You need to bring some fuel with you when you’re coming back. It’s very important.

[Fuel crawls off the floor as the voice note ends]

Zikoko: Can I get…

[Fuel jumps through the window before Zikoko can finish their sentence]

[Zikoko follows after him]

Zikoko: Please, we just want small.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.