Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.

Water works harder than the average Nigerian civil servant. We drink water, bathe with it, cook with it, and use it for a quite a number of things. After all, it is a free gift of nature. But does Water get the respect it deserves for this hard work?

Today on Interview With, we decided to speak with Water about its job, and more importantly, to ask if it has enemies. This is an exclusive interview.

[Water flows in]

Zikoko: Hello, Water! Welcome to Zikoko.

[Water keeps flowing in]

We’re so pleased to have you and we—

[Water keeps flowing in]

Um, could you like, maybe stop flowing in? This is Surulere and—

[Water pauses]

Water: Oh, this is not Lekki?

No, not at all.

Water: Oopsie.

It’s fine. We’ll mop the floor when you leave.

[Water stops flowing in]

Water: Thank you for having me.

Can I start by asking what Lekki residents did to you?

Water: At this point, they should have gotten used to me. I mean, every time it rains, I visit them. And the reason is simple — that place was originally my territory, but because they wanted “a nice view”, they came and started building on my head. I’m just reminding them that I’ve not forgotten them. 

But Afrobeats legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has a song titled “Water E No Get Enemy.” Isn’t this a fact?

Water: First of all, forget that thing Fela said. Me, I have enemies. Fela was a human being so he didn’t even know what life has been like for me. But he told you people that I don’t have enemies and you believed him? It’s the audacity for me. He didn’t even come to ask me if I had enemies. The way I would have opened my register to start listing their names ehn.

Wait, what? You have a register?

Water: If you go through the kind of things I go through, no one will tell you before you start keeping a register of enemies.

It’s almost as if you people heard that water is a free gift of nature and decided that I must run all your errands and do all your dirty work for you.

Hmm. Let’s talk about skincare. People drink you for clear skin, but instead of giving them that clear skin, they spend valuable time urinating. Is this something you are proud of?

Water: You people are funny sha. Your mates that are spending money on skincare products to get clear skin, they don’t know what they are doing, abi? So you just drink me and you expect your skin to clear up. Why don’t you stop eating groundnuts first before you come and talk to me. Please ask something else before I boil here.

Still on the matter of drinking you. These days, many people no longer drink water as much as they should. How do you feel about that?

Water: How do I feel about having less work to do? Please, please, I am satisfied. Anybody that does not drink me, that is their own problem. You think I care? But tell me, what are they drinking instead?

Erm, alcohol…

Water: I beg your pardon?

It’s true oh. In fact, some of them are advocating for water to be mixed with small alcohol. They said you are tasteless.

Water: It is you that is tasteless, Mr. Interviewer. It is you that will not have taste. You better not provoke me to anger, otherwise I will flood this place. 

Ah, please oh. It’s not me that said it. I am just repeating some of the things that people have said. 

Water: Then be sensible about it.

Alright, I’m sorry. Let me rephrase the question. What is your relationship with alcohol?

Water: First of all, alcohol is a dirty animal that is living a fake life. And for those people drinking alcohol, that thing they are looking for, may they find it.

You mean intoxication? They said you cannot give them that.

[Water bubbles seriously]

Water: Let this be the last time.

Yes, it will.

Water: I don’t have any problem with alcohol. We do our things separately, and we are not in competition with each other. That’s all I have to say on this matter. 

So you mean you don’t feel somehow when you are both at parties and people pick alcohol over you?

Water: Why should I? Besides drinking, I do other things that alcohol can never dream of. They use me to prepare the party food, when they want to make alcohol cold, they turn me into ice block and dip the alcohol inside. In fact, if you don’t want to have a nasty hangover the next day, it’s still me you need to drink, so what’s the fuss about?

Let me ask you a question.

Water: Go ahead. 

Do you think you have an identity crisis?

Water: Ahan, from where to where?

I am just asking because you exist in so many forms. Sparkling water, bubbly water, distilled water, etc. Who are you trying to impress? 

Water: This interview is starting to get out of hand.

Okay then, let’s go back to your register of enemies. Whose name is at the top?

Water: That’s better. First on the list are Nigerian babies.

Not Lekki residents?

Water: No, those ones are the third.

Ahan. Who is now the second?

Water: Those who use spit as lubricant.

Hei. This is a lot. Let’s start unpacking it. First of all, what did Nigerian babies do to you?

Water: Have you been used to wash a baby’s bum-bum before? 

Erm, no. I use water to do the washing.

Water: God, my life is so hard. I used to think being used to brush people’s teeth was the worst. You know, morning breath, mouth odour, and all of that. But have you ever smelled a baby’s poop before? Let alone now been the element used to clean that poop. Don’t even get me started on adult shit.

Yes, that’s a territory I don’t think we should explore. Have you considered therapy?

Water: Therapy that I went that my therapist tried to drink me? Please please. You humans are very despicable.

Ehya. Your condition is critical. So, what about those who use spit as lubricant?

Water: My brother. If it’s not that I am water, I think I would be needing water to wash my eyes. Because the kinds of things I encounter on a daily basis, ehn. It’s enough to make me want to flood this earth without God’s permission. Why would you decide to use saliva as lubricant? You are about to pound each other like yam and the next thing I see is that I am being dragged out of my comfort zone and applied on the palm. In the blink of an eye, they have rubbed me over someone’s vag—

Eh, I think that’s enough visual imagery for today. Besides, isn’t saliva different from water?

Water: Saliva is 99% water and 1% protein and salts. So what are you telling me?

But what about those who sell you for ridiculous amounts?

Water: It will touch everybody. Just wait and see.

Does this mean you will leave Lekki residents alone?

Water: Why are you so concerned about them? Do you live in Lekki?

Not yet. I am thinking of moving there. I just need my hook-up business to pay.

Water: Don’t you work at Zikoko?

Yes, I do. Hook-up is my side hustle. 2k per night.

Water: 2k per night… Hmm. Wait, first. If you charge 2k per night, that means you are one of those who use spit as lubricant. You have met your waterloo today.

No oh, I use groundnu—

[Water drowns Zikoko interviewer]

Check back every Friday by 9AM for new Interview With episodes. To read previous stories, click here.

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