The Money Wheel- Episode 1

Chapter 1

“Do you think he will survive?”

“I hope not,” Bolu said. “What were you guys arguing about anyway?”

“The house. He didn’t want to increase the rent or listen to anything I had to say.”

“You should have known better. He’s never listened to anyone but himself.”

Babatunde and Bolu Kosoko stood outside Ward 9, the smell of disinfectant and disease filling their nostrils. From a distance, they could hear a man wailing for help. Nurses idled about the ward with stainless steel trays, oblivious to everything but their chores. Bolu hated hospitals; they reminded him of their mother before she died. Anxious, he dug into his pocket for a cigarette and flicked his blue lighter on.

“You wan smoke for hospital?” Babatunde asked, just as three doctors advanced toward them with grim faces. Bolu stuck his cigarette back into his pocket.

“We have stabilized your Dad. He had a stroke, and we’ll need to conduct some tests to determine the extent, but …”

Babatunde was no longer listening. All that mattered was that his father was alive. He had no love for the man, but he did not want to be responsible for his death. As the doctors walked away from them, Babatunde exhaled, thinking back to the argument that had led them here.


“It was horrible!” Saheedat said to Kosiso. “Babatunde was talking as if he could order his own father around.”

“If you ask me, I’ll say the boy is just like his father,” Kosiso replied, reaching for a plastic spoon under the passenger’s seat of her car. “Neither of them listens to anyone but themselves. So Babatunde was telling him to increase the rent?”

“Yes, he was,” Saheedat replied, holding Kosiso’s daughter, Kene, close.

“Ah, they can’t increase the rent o. Where will I get the extra money?”

“The international copywriter? Aren’t you earning in dollars?”

“My sister, I work hard, but I play hard. I’m planning a trip to the UK in April, and I don’t want anything to mess up my plans. Plus, I need to change my car, and I’m thinking of changing Kene’s school, and …”

“Kosi! Ah ah, take it easy o. How many things do you want to do?” Saheedat wiped the sweat streaming down the edges of her hijab. “What is your plan to afford all these things?”

Kosiso could never understand how Saheedat could wear her head covering in the sweltering February heat, but she had learned to accept her friend’s choices, just as she had accepted hers. “What plan? I take life as it comes o.”

“So what if you can’t afford it? You should have a budget or something to help you track your spending. Like Victor says, it’s important to have financial goals. Financial goals help you to gauge your affordability. I use this app ….”

“Saheedat!” a voice called from a room above them.

“Lol Minister of Finance, your husband is calling you o. You better go before he comes here.”

“I’ll text you the name of the app. Now that their father is in the hospital, those boys will definitely increase the rent.”

“God forbid …”

“Saheedat!” the voice called again.


“You were with that woman again,” Ibrahim said when Saheedat walked into their flat. 

“Her name is Kosiso,” Saheedat retorted, dashing into the kitchen.

He followed her. “I don’t know why you’re always talking with her. You have nothing in common.”

“We live in the same compound.” Saheedat turned off the beef she had been boiling and strained it.

“Look, I can’t tell you what to do …”

She shot him a look. “So don’t.”

The sounds of chopping, frying, stirring, and draining filled the room. Ibrahim’s eyes lingered on Saheedat’s small, pointed nose, her full, pink lips, and lush eyelashes. He liked it when she got feisty. When his eyes reached her sweaty neck, he strolled to her and gently removed her hijab.

“I need to get you an AC in this kitchen.” He caressed the small of her back.

“When we finish saving up for the IVF, Ibrahim.”

“I can’t watch you sweating like this.”

“I want a baby, Ibrahim. I’ll sweat. You remember Victor always tells us to delay gratification.”

“I think Victor should mind his damn business.” Saheedat giggled and Ibrahim wrapped his arms around her.

Victor was their financial advisor who Ibrahim met at a party a year ago. He had been searching for a UX designer to help with his website, and Ibrahim recommended his wife. Saheedat had worked on Victor’s website in exchange for financial advice, and their families had been friends since.

Ibrahim smiled gently and then said, “Mr. Ken told me about another business today.”

Saheedat laughed. “How many people did he tell you to bring this time around? Please just don’t give him any money.”

“You should know me. I don’t invest in Ponzi schemes.”

“I mean don’t lend him any money. You may not invest in Ponzi schemes but you don’t know how to set boundaries with your money.”

Ibrahim pulled away and left the kitchen. Saheedat ignored him.


In the flat below, Kenneth Dibia was on his phone, oblivious to the shouting children in one of the rooms. He was trying to convince a church member to join his new discovery—Millionaires Chain Club, also known as MCC. He was squinting the way he did when things weren’t going his way, his lips sagging at the corners. This member was asking if MCC was registered with any regulatory company, what infrastructure was in place to guarantee a 20% return in three months, and a host of oversabi questions.

He let out a strong hiss.

“Ken, what’s the matter?” Layo, his wife, asked.


She glanced at him and continued what she was doing. Layo was the treasurer of her school’s savings cooperative association. Mrs. Durodola was yet to pay up the balance of the three-hundred-thousand-naira loan she had received from the group. Layo disliked defaulters, and Mrs. Durodola always made excuses. If she did not pay up by the end of the month, the next recipient of the loan (which came from the contributions of the ten members) would have to wait, and so would everyone else in the queue. Eventually, she would not have enough money to pay her children’s school fees by September.

Layo hissed.

“What happened?” Ken asked.

“Nothing,” she replied.

Ken ignored her and concentrated on convincing the church member.

He typed: My brother, I can’t deceive you. I know the people who introduced me to this scheme.

They’ve been investing for years.

The church member read the message but didn’t respond.

“Damn it! These I too know people. Asking questions as if I’m a thief.”

Layo didn’t care to ask who it was. She knew what he was upset about. “You can’t tell people to put money down and not explain how they will get it back.”

“Madam, did I ask for your opinion? When I bring the money, you’ll start asking for money for this and that.”

Layo wanted to say that the only things she asked for were his contribution to the rent, school fees, and feeding. She wanted to say he was the one who took the children shopping when they could not afford to pay the rent and that he was still owing the cost of the SUV he had insisted on buying.

“I’m just saying people want to know,” she said quietly.

Ken was going to retort with all the frustration he was feeling when he received a message. He sat up and stared at his phone.

“Mr. Kosoko had a heart attack today. His son just texted me.”

“Oh my God. How is he now?” Layo replied.

Ken didn’t respond. He left the room, dialling Babatunde Kosoko’s number. Layo sat back and texted Saheedat. Saheedat already knew and briefly told her about the argument that had led to their landlord collapsing a few hours ago.

Ken returned with a grimace, dressed and dangling his car key in his hand.

“Where are you…?”

“I’m going to the hospital.” He left the apartment.

Layo leaned back in her seat and crossed her arms over her head. Things were about to get complicated. No one knew of the special arrangement they had with the landlord, and their rent was almost due.

To be Continued!