Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.
(Zikoko arrives at the interview location. When Naira told Zikoko he’ll choose the location, a bakery was the last place Zikoko saw the interview happening.)
Zikoko: What will my eyes not see because of this job, bayi?
(Zikoko takes a deep breath and walks into the deserted bakery.)
Zikoko: Hello, is anyone here? I have an interview with Naira
Naira: Yes, yes. Welcome!
(Naira comes out in a chef’s hat and apron, covered in flour and smelling of vanilla. Zikoko has never been more confused.)
Naira: Sorry for being late. I was in the kitchen, trying out a new recipe.
Zikoko: You bake?
Naira: Well, I’ve been trying my hands at different things since it looks like this whole currency business isn’t working out well for me.
Zikoko: And you chose baking? (Zikoko mutters under their breath) See me thinking we’ll do this thing in CBN office, and I can take some ghana must gos on my way out.
Naira: Did you say something?
Zikoko: Just asking why you chose baking
Naira: Oh, yes. It’s actually a brilliant idea. You see, in baking, yeast makes things to rise. I was thinking if I spend enough time baking, my body would absorb some of that yeast and I’ll swell in value.
Zikoko: (Looks around for a camera because this can’t be real life.) And how’s that working out for you?
Naira: Well, the dollar was ₦890 black market rate before. Now, it’s seven hundred and something. The bakery thing is working! A little bit of yeast is all I need, and we’ll be good to go.
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Zikoko: Have you ever heard of a currency using yeast to rise?
Naira: Well, no, but there’s a first time for everything. Is there not? Plus, our case is a peculiar one. I’m a bit desperate and trying my best here.
I’m the butt of jokes at all the currency meetings. Do you know dollar and pounds used to be my best friends? They used to call me, “Mr Naira” and I was once respected on a global scale. Now, I’m just here.
Zikoko: And you think baking will fix that?
Naira: It’s fixing it already. The proof is in the pudding. Speaking of pudding, I have something in the oven. I’ll be back.
(Naira rushes into the kitchen. Zikoko is still confused because, what the actual fuck is going on?)
Naira (returns with a tray of cookies): Sorry for the delay. You want a cookie?
(Zikoko picks one up to taste, and honestly, it’s the best cookie ever)
Zikoko: Truly, if this currency thing doesn’t w
ork out, open your own bakery. But first, we need you. Yeast can’t be your only plan.
Naira: It isn’t! I assure you. Meffy came up with something recently and who knows where that’ll go.
Zikoko: You can’t mean…
Naira: The naira redesign. First of all, I love a good makeover. The last time I had one was when they did the ₦100 notes in 2014. Look at how cute they look now. I think they should redesign all the notes so they’d match. We’d have this cute and colourful aesthetic going on.
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Naira: Yes! Look at the pounds and the Canadian dollar. Can’t you see how great they look and how much value they have?
Because my value is depreciating doesn’t mean I should look scrappy. Must I look like what I’m going through?
Zikoko: But the rest of us who depend on you look like what we’re going through.
Naira: Well, you can ask for your own makeover, I guess. Maybe it’ll cheer you all up.
Zikoko: Do you have another plan?
Naira: Well, we can try to bring our kobo out of retirement.
Zikoko: When even ₦50 is going into retirement, you want to bring back the kobo?
Naira: I’m trying my best here. Nobody checks in on me these days. What about how I’m doing mentally? Always, “Why is the Naira like this?” not “How is the Naira?”
You didn’t even know I picked up a hobby until you needed me for something. When you were little, you always hated it when people compare you to others. Yet every day, you compare me to other currencies. Do you know what that does for my mental health?
Zikoko: We’re sorry. We promise to do better.
Naira: Plus, why are you stressing me about it? Why not take it up with Meffy? It’s his job to make sure I perform great.
Zikoko: Meffy won’t answer us.
Naira: He’s being such a naughty boy. I’ll talk to him later after my meeting with inflation.
Zikoko: So you plan on doing something about inflation?
Naira: I’m going to give her some cookies. She’s one of my oldest friends, and we’ve been hanging out together a lot more. I think we might have something special going on.
Zikoko: But can’t you see the adverse effects of hanging around inflation all the time?
Naira: You can’t tell me who to love.
Zikoko: (Getting angry) You have to be joking.
Naira: I’m sensing that this environment has turned hostile and would like to end this interview. The bad vibes won’t be good for the cookies and cream cake I want to bake next.
Zikoko: (Sighs in defeat) Okay, I’ll be on my way now.
Naira: Before you go, you owe me ₦5k for that cookie.
Zikoko: ₦5k keh? It’s just one cookie FGS. I even thought it was free.
Naira: Free? In this economy? Yesterday’s price isn’t today’s price, dear. Inflation is expensive to maintain, and I like to keep my baby happy.
Zikoko: But ₦5k for a singular cookie is too much.
Naira: Eyah, but that’s not my business.
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