La Casa De Papel, or Money Heist as it is famously called, was such a fan favorite in Nigeria because, other than the brilliant storyline, one heist or the other happens every day in this country. The economy is a mess, the government wants to double fuel price, and crypto is refusing to get up.
So, on this issue of #JustImagine, we are reimagining Money Heist in a Nigerian bank.
A bus drives roughly into a small bank in Offa, Kwara State. Four masked robbers jump out of the car and rush towards the entry.
The security guard is sitting by the entrance, eating roasted plantain and listening to the news on a small radio.
A robber pushes him off his chair and points a gun at him.
Robber 1: Open this door! Now!
Security Guard: Ha! You for no push me now. (rubs his head) Welcome. Be going inside.
The robbers are bewildered.
Robber 2: We should enter?
Security Guard: Ehn now. Because of this Buhari economy, there is no week we don’t use to see thief.
Robber 1: You say?
Security Guard: (chews plantain) Enter inside. But queue is long oh.
The security guard pushes a button and the electric door opens. Robber 1 steps inside and the door beeps red.
Security Guard: Oga, come out first. Are you holding phone?
Robber 1 steps out.
Security Guard: Enter again and put your hand up.
The robber enters and raises his hand. The machine beeps again.
Security Guard: I think it is that gun. Give me your gun first. I will throw it when you want to enter.
Robber 2: So that you can shoot us?
Security Guard: This your voice is sounding like Shina’s own. (The Security Guard squints at Robber 1’s mask) Shina werey, na you?
Robber 3: Which stupid Shina? Open the door fast!
Security Guard: Don’t be shouting for my head o.
Robber 1 hands over his gun as he steps in. It beeps green. The Security Guard quickly slides his gun inside before the electric door shuts.
The other robbers do the same. They are in.
The robbers enter the crowded banking hall but nobody pays them any attention. The hall is disorganised. Some people are in a queue while others are just loitering.
Robber 1 cocks his gun.
Robber 2: (shouts) Everyb…
A random man starts shouting at the counter.
Man: (screams) I said why did you debit me two-five!?
Cashier: Oga, calm down.
Man: I said who carried my two-five!!? You people want to see madness?? I will show you madness!
The man starts undressing.
Cashier: Oga, don’t off your pant in the bank o!
Man: You have not seen anything! If you don’t return my money to…
Robber 3: EVERYBODY, LIE DOWN!
Majority of the people in the bank lay on the floor. The man glares at Robber 3.
Man: You will wait for me to finish my own first o! Because I enter before you. (turns to the cashier) WHERE IS MY TWO-FIVE?!
Cashier: Oga! It is card maintenance.
Man: They will maintain your father’s card!
Robber 3 walks to the cashier.
Man: If it is not that your bank too is mad, why will you have three counter and only one cashier?!
Cashier: Respect yourself o, oga!
Robber 3: What’s all this nonsense?!
Cashier: Oga, you see the queue too now? You will line up first because I don’t have time.
Robber 2 points a gun at her and she reluctantly goes on her knees.
Robber 1: Bring out the money now!
An old man with a walking stick approaches the counter.
Old man: My pension is remaining 75 naira o.
Cashier: (angry) Baba! No money in this bank!
Robber 2: Ehn?
Cashier: That’s what I am trying to explain to you. We don’t have money. We are still owing people money.
Old man: The N75 is what I will use to enter keke o.
Cashier: (to the robber) Abeg, oga help me give this man ₦75.
Robber 1: I should be borrowing people money?
Cashier: If you come next week, I will give you back.
Robber 2: Show us where the vault is.
Cashier: Which vault?
Robber 1: Where you people keep your money!
Cashier: Oh? We are renting it out o.
Robber 2: As what?
Cashier: We are using it to do exam center.
Robber 1: So you people don’t have money?
Cashier: One kobo like this, you cannot see.
Robber 2: You don’t use to print money here?
Cashier: (points to a bad printer) Even form, we use to give people to photocopy outside.
Robber 1: What kind of stupid bank is this?
Cashier: Face Buhari. It’s not me you should be abusing.
Robber 2: (frowns) Where is your manager?!
The cashier points to a small office in the corner. Robber 1 marches towards the office.
Robber 1 bursts into the manager’s office. The manager is dancing in front of his laptop wearing only thongs.
The manager spots the robber and quickly pulls up his trousers.
Robber 1: We came to rob, what are you doing?
Manager: It’s side hust… You came to rob? We don’t have any money o. Didn’t our cashier tell you?
The robber looks around.
Robber 1: Why do you have tiles on the wall like toilet?
Manager: It is toilet that we convert to office.
The Robber looks even more confused.
Manager: The money that you want to pack here, can I see small inside?
Robber: I thought you said there is no money?
Manager: God can do it and you will see money.
The manager brings out a bunch of baby clothes.
Manager: I don’t know maybe you will want to buy baby cloth? I am selling and there is bonanza.
Robber 2 is patrolling the hall. All the hostages are sitting on the floor. The man who came to complain at the bank is also sitting down and grumbling.
Man: (grumbles) I don’t know which kind of useless bank is this one.
Robber 2: Keep quiet!
The man frowns and looks away. Robber 2 sees a beautiful girl and approaches her.
Robber 2: What is your own name?
Lady: (shakily) Bimpe.
Robber 2: Can you give me your number so I can be calling you.
The girl appears scared.
Robber 1 pushes the manager out of the office and towards the rest of the hostages.
Robber 1: You people will give us all the money you have!
Hostages: Us we don’t have money o. Is money we came to collect here.
Robber 1 walks towards a man in a white garment.
Robber 3: Woli, put your phone here!
Robber 3 points a gun at him.
Woli: Nothing can happen to a child of God. Never! Bullet can never affect me.
Robber 3 shoots the woli’s leg. Woli falls.
Woli: Yehhhhhh JESU!!!
The lights suddenly go off and the doors lock.
Robber 2: Someone should on the gen!
Cashier: Oga, you’re not hearing me? No money for petrol.
Robber 1 runs toward the door and shouts for the security guard.
Robber 1: Security! Open the door!
Security Guard: Me, I am going home. 5 has knack.
The security guard walks away and leaves him banging on the door. Someone farts.
Robber 1: (furious) Who mess there?!
Old man: Is me. I have condition. If they give me money to buy my drug, I won’t be messing like this.
Robber 1: Open the window!
A woman opens a cooler of food and the smell permeates the air.
Robber 1: Who said you can eat?
Woman: The food will soon be cold. And I don’t like cold food.
Old man: Can I see small rice?
Robber 1: (disgusted) Are you not the one that is messing!?
A loud siren is heard outside. The police are outside.
Man: Ehnhen! The police have come.
A loud speaker comes on.
Police: Surrender and come out!
Robber 1: (shouts from the window) We are not coming out!
Police: Is your daddy mad?! Man U match will soon start. I don’t have time for nonsense.
Robber 1: Before we can come out, you have to give us something!
The woman eating tugs on the robber’s trousers.
Woman: Me, I want coke.
Police: I will come back at 7 o’clock, after the match.
The policeman switches off his mic and enters the car.
Robber 1: Hello? Oga Olopa??!
Woman: You see now. No coke.
Robber 2: Call professor!
Robber 1 places a call.
Robber 1: Professor!
Professor: Why are you disturbing me?
Robber 1: We are trapped in the bank. What’s the plan B?
Professor: We don’t have any plan B. (gulps beer) I am watching this Man U match. I will call you back tomorrow.
Professor ends the call. A young man gets up.
Man: I want to announce that I am doing loom. If you give me N2,500, you will collect 100K next month.
Manager: Can you do for me? I’m owing plenty people money.
Robber 1 is confused. The old man farts again as he chews rice.
Robber 2: If I shoot you now, they will say I killed elder.
Woli: (screams in pain) Jesu kristi!! They shoot your messenger.
There is a small noise and Robber 3 looks outside the window. Someone is removing their side mirror and wiper.
Robber 3: Heis! That’s our bus o! Are you mad!! Stop sucking petrol from there!! Are… Are you carrying the whole bus???!
Robber 1: Hate this country!