Interview With January Salary: “Don’t Pressure Me. I’m Not Rice”

January 20, 2023

As someone who’s also patiently waiting for January salary, Zikoko puts on its journalism cap to find out what’s taking it so long to arrive. What Zikoko got in return was kidnap, insult and a lesson on financial responsibility. 

(Zikoko gets ready to leave its house when it’s suddenly accosted by two big bodyguards.)

Zikoko: Omo, they’ve finally decided today is my day 

Bodyguard 1: Are you Zikoko? 

Zikoko: Uhm… no?

Bodyguard 2: Oga told us you’ll do like this. 

The bodyguards signal to one another and put a bag over Zikoko’s head. Then they lift it into a van. There’s a lot of screaming and shouting, but it seems like nobody hears.

Zikoko: Chai. I wonder which of my articles made them look for me? 

(Zikoko is woken up with a splash of cold water on their face. It’s tied to a chair, and hands are bound)

Zikoko: Kinky, but at least, let me know who you are.

(January salary appears from the shadows)

January salary: Thank you, bodyguards. That’ll be all. Hello Zikoko. You asked to see me for an interview. Here I am. 

Zikoko: Omo, you didn’t have to do all this. 

January salary: Consider it a security measure. 

Zikoko: God, abeg. Thank you for agreeing to have a chat with me sha. I know you’re very hard to track down. 

January salary: It’s alright. You were very desperate. 

Zikoko: I like to think of it as persistence in the face of injustice. 

January salary: *sighs* I can’t believe you’re one of them. 

Zikoko: Ah, one of who?

January salary: The people looking for me up and down. Did I tell you all I was lost?

Zikoko: But things are just tough.

January salary: Did I send you to do Detty December? You wanted to shake your ass on a yacht, did you think it’ll be free? When you were paying for ₦70k ticket to stand and wait outside for hours, was I there with you? When you were spending money at strip clubs and doing beach parties every Sunday, did you invite me? No! Now that you’ve finished galivanting around town and being “lit”, you’re looking for me everywhere. Why you dey find wetin no loss? 

Zikoko: No need to shout. If you know we’re desperate, and we need you so badly, why are you taking so long to show up? I have gbese to pay, please. 

January salary: I’m not taking any longer than the other months with 31 days. It’s just your poverty that’s affecting your thinking. This is the problem I have with you Gen Zs and millennials. You’re impatient. You know when something is supposed to get to you, but because you made some strange decisions, you want to now pressure me? No. I refuse to be pressured. I am not rice.

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Zikoko: It’s not pressure. In fact, you too should be used to it. 

January salary: Just because I know it’ll happen doesn’t mean I’m not tired of it. Put yourself in my shoes. Nobody remembers me for stuff like going to the club and travelling around the world. The only thing they use me for is bills, debts and complaints. I’m more than that. 

Zikoko: I see you, and I hear you. Your feelings are valid, but tell me. Where are you hiding these days?

January salary: Why do you want to know?

Zikoko: I’m asking for a friend. 

January salary: *just stares at Zikoko*

Zikoko: Please…

January salary:

Zikoko: I need to pay creche fees.

January salary:

Zikoko: I have two children…

January salary: Oh? What are their names?

Zikoko: Principality and powers…

January salary: *starts leaving*

Zikoko: Please, can I move in with you for the time being. The people I’m owing money are looking for me, and I can’t pay…

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