A rotund man bellowed at the top of his voice into a cellphone, grazing three other passengers with spittle. He covered more seat than apportioned to a single passenger but he ignored the apparent discomfort he was causing the other passengers seated on his row.
“Oh me nua, type bɛn na wo pɛ? Wonim paa sɛ menkyerɛ wo fake” he continued his phone conversation, “wodiɛ twɛn me, mɛdru seisia.. me Twenny-Sisteen Range asɛi wɔ kwan ho ɛnti m’afa taxi.. meeba wai.”
He noticed a couple of heads turn when he voiced out his last statement. He looked around, as if daring anyone to challenge him.
He handed over his 50 cedi note to the passenger seated in front of him to pass it forward to the mate.
“Aye massa.. fiftee cedis wei deɛ adɛn, wo nni nketewaa?” the mate asked angrily as he received the note.
“You say what for there?” He had also grown a short temper especially because the ohemaa had been unfriendly to him. Ohemaa say because adey troski inside plus am ano fit show am Big Boy levels. Okay. Ebi so.
“I am saying what I am said. Big money like this.. Adɛn” the mate was also having none of it. He wasn’t going to get intimidated because of a little English even if it’s pidgin. “Why haff you use your money to come and collecting this money?”
“Make uno vex me, mate. I vex already adey take sit here. If change no dey, take my money give me.”
The trotro fell silent for a few moments as the other passengers watched the back-and-forth, some trying to keep a straight face and not burst out laughing. The driver readjusted the mirror to peer at the passenger giving his mate a hard time.
“Confess me? Ɛdiɛn paa na me nconfessi. If you haff wanting change, you bring your own kwɛɛns.”
“Ebi ‘vex’ I talk. Pidgin too uno dey understand? Gimme my mo-“
“If I am not understand, ɛyɛ w’asɛm? Pidgin no, it is my mother kasa? Wopɛ aa yɛn ka Twi, wobɛhu.”
The other passengers could be seen trying to stifle their laughters.
“Asare.. Adɛn? Ɛdiɛn na ɛkɔso wɔ hɔ?” the driver called out to the mate, intervening from behind the steering wheel.
“Massa.. Ma me nkeka bi nkyerɛ no..”
The passengers couldn’t help it anymore as they burst out laughing hard. In the short while that followed, the driver expertly resolved the issue by giving the mate six 5 cedi notes from his wallet to use as change.
He smiled behind the steering wheel as he drove on. The only good result from the bickering was that it had halted the selling in the car. He could now play his music for the rest of the journey. He was particularly stoked because he had just made a new song compilation which he hadn’t listened to yet – and now was just the perfect time.
He inserted his USB drive into the car-stereo, ready to shuffle the playlist from Track 1.
“Ayooo anuanom.. As I was saying.. Ointment wei is very pa-wa-ful..”
He raised his head sharply to look in his rear-view mirror, gritting his teeth as the seller got up and resumed the presentation. He slowed the trotro to a stop on the street curb, making the passengers wonder if the car had developed a fault.
He turned to look at his mate, the car engine still running, “Asare.. Papa wei, fa ne 2 cedis ma no.”
He then turned to the ointment seller.. “Owura.. Si fɛm.”