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Opana - The Coffin Maker

Opana – Episode 57

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Opana – Episode 57

© Akoto Alexander

Senior Apprentice: Master good afternoon and welcome to the shop, as you can see everything is under control over here. I made sure every Tom, **** and Harry is busy doing something and I am very please with the job everyone has done so far.

Opana: Are you aware you are a very big disgrace to God, His creation, your parent and myself? What is good about this afternoon as you were comfortably sleeping in a coffin meant for the death. So you, let me ask, are you sure you were conceived nine months like any other normal human being or should I say are you sure your parents didn’t pick you from the refuse dump?

Senior Apprentice: Master what have I done this afternoon that you are flooding and bombarding me with all this insults?

Opana: You have done everything wrong here in my shop. Am sure you have a hand in the burning of my shop, your negligence is simply incredible. Let me ask you this questions;

1: Who are you learning this profession for?

2. Who forced you into this noble profession which started even before Jesus Christ was born?

3: Are you sure you love this job you are been taught even?

Senior Apprentice: Master why this plenty questions this afternoon. Is everything okay sir?

Opana: So when will some Ghanaians learn to answer questions without repeating the question been thrown at us. For how long have you been my apprentice?

Senior Apprentice: Master I beg I have been here in this shop for the past 7years, two months and three weeks.

Opana: Oh okay, hope you heard yourself when stating precisely the years and months you have spent here in my shop. I must confess am an ardent follower of you in the opposite direction, if you don’t man up well enough to convince me I will sack you from my shop for good. I don’t entertain failures, now leave my sight and get yourself useful.

Back at the Hotel:

On Phone:

Julia: Hello Mickey

Michael Ansah: Hello please can you identify urself?

Julia: Does it mean you can’t or you don’t recognise my voice any longer? Well this is Julia and this is my new number.

Michael Ansah: Oh that is good to know, finally you have gotten a local number to use. How are you doing this morning and I hope you slept well last night?

Julia: Did you just ask if I slept well last night? Mr don’t bring yourself at all because I have a very serious issue to settle with you. What do you take me for, do you see me as a fool or what?

Michael Ansah: Julia baby no need to raise your voice or be angry, I know where you are coming from and where you are aiming to land but I bet you are just plying your anger to the wrong person. See I left your room unannounced for the fear of my life, my dear I know very well that the guy who barged into your room without permission would difinetly come back and pick a fight with me and since I didn’t want to raise any fight or brawl, I left quitely. The bible says in the book of Proverbs that in such case or temptation the best thing to do is for you to flee from the place that tempers and voices has gone up.

Julia: Hmmmmm well I think you did the right thing because I will do same if I were to be in your shoe. I equally don’t like and trust that fool either. So where are you now?

Michael Ansah: Am somewhere trying the machines you bought for me, I want to set and tune the cameras to suit the job I wish to do with it. Let me thank you once again for them, I promise to pay you back very soon with any amount you spent in purchasing them.

Julia: My friend would you shut up over there, do you think everything is about money? Let me tell you something, “the money that isn’t enough to build a house, it can be used in clearing shame or disgrace”, this is a Ga proverb that only the wise can understand and when you meet an elderly person ask him or her why we leave our fingernails to grow most at times and if you get the explanation well you will understand me.

Michael Ansah: Hey see you talking in parables to me, when did you take such lessons in parable speaking Julia and what at all are you driving at?

Julia: When you learn to wash your hands well, you are privileged to dine with your elders. The wise speaks in parables as Jesus use to do to his disciples, Rome was never built in a day so don’t worry you will understand me some day but from where I also come from, we take and get what we want, when and where we deem fit. We will talk later Mr lover boy and have a nice day.

Michael Ansah: You too Julia.

Julia: Hey don’t over think on the things I said to you because the more you think about it, the more complicated it becomes to you so free your mind. (cuts call)

Michael Ansah: (talks to himself) What is this girl driving at koraa, she shouldn’t come and spoil my funk with her dancehall ooo. She shouldn’t use this things she got for me as a leverage to be confusing me and be saying big things to me ooo. Hw3 my bathhouse got wet long before her rain started to fall so she shouldn’t be taking me to a thinking school at all, whatever her plans are she should do well to spell it out now before it’s too late for both of us. I am the son of Kofi Ansah and an Akuapem boy who fears no one or nothing, she can bring it on for am ready for her at any time and any day.

Opana’s Shop:

Opana: Youngman leave my face because the sight of you infront of me makes me feel like shutting this place down for good. You are my biggest suspect for this shop that got burnt and if the investigation from the Fire Service Personnels proves to me that someone’s negligence caused this place to burn only God has a clue to what I will do to you. Now go and find something beneficial to do with your stupid self. And you too, are you still sandpapering the cover of that coffin, ah what at all is wrong with you fools that I call apprentices, so can’t anyone of you do something positive for me to commend that person in this shop for once? You people can’t kill me before my time ooo, I will rather dig your graves for you if you people have been sent to end my life.

Customer: Hello good afternoon sir, please are you the one I spoke on phone with earlier on?

Opana: Oh yes I am the great Opana the Coffin Maker, welcome to my shop and sorry for any delay from my end. I had to take care of some pressing family issues out of town, please now that am here let’s go straight to business.

Customer: I like that, mmmmm I want a very nice and expensive coffin for my mother who is late now. The truth is I wanted to import a casket from South Africa or Dubai but the time left for the funeral to take place won’t permit me to do so and upon some serious consultations someone recommended you to me. The person spoke highly of you and said if the name coffin is mentioned Opana is what comes to mind next and if the foreigners have a name more than you then it’s because of money and their branding.

Opana: Wooow am impressed with your accolades showered at me, good beads don’t make noise and the salt doesn’t praise itself. I believe I don’t have to say much about my works because the one made the recommendation knows what I can do. Please give me a description of the kind of coffin you want and the kind of wood you would like me to use for you, based on your selection I can give you the cost involved.

Customer: I want the finest wood you have ever used and since my mother was an elderly person who lived a great life I will like you to design something befitting to her status. This is her picture which I believe you can take your measurements based on the picture.

Opana: Ah you have made my work very easy and simple, I have a very nice design in my head for the coffin. Also because you want the finest wood I will have to travel this evening and go to the bush for me to order some and bring it here for the final work.

Customer: So how much is that coffin going to cost?

Opana: For us not to talk much, I will give you a discount and reduce the Coffin price, you give me eight thousand five hundred cedis.

Customer: I will give you eight thousand cedis sir, if you will accept it then I will pay you right away so you can start with the work. I don’t like pressure and last minute jobs.

Opana: Because you said you are willing to pay right now, I will accept the amount you want to offer. Your work will be ready in ten days time if you make the payment now.

Customer: Ten days is too much for me sir, can’t you do anything about it?

Opana: Director you are paying me good money so I don’t have to do any work that you won’t like the outcome, am now going to order the woods in the bush and it will take time for the wood to get here even, I will have to grease some palms so they expedite things and when the wood gets here even, I will have to work day and night to design the coffin. I will personally do everything on the Coffin without allowing anyone to touch or work with me, am going to give you a masterpiece so you know that Ghanaians can also do what the whites can do.

Customer: I will be glad to see such thing happen and if you can get the Coffin for me before the ten days you said, I will add two thousand cedis to your money.

Opana: (playing smart) Sir its not about the money here, I don’t rush in doing such important orders when am contracted to do so but all the same I will see what I can do about it for your sake.

Customer: Well as I said if you are able to do something about your time frame, my word still stands. Here is your money and please can you write an invoice and receipt for me.

Opana: Certainly director, I like doing business with people who walk their talk, you will hear favourably from me soon. (opens his drawer and brings a receipt and invoice book to write for his customer)

Customer: Am happy for the assurance you have given me, I will be on standby for any information you have for me at any given time. It is nice doing business with you.

Opana: Certainly sir, you will hear from me soon and I promise to sweep you down your feet. I have your number so I will call you very soon for you to come for your work.

Customer: I won’t take much of your time anymore since you have a very big task ahead of you, I will see you later. Have a great day (walls away).

Opana: Ah what a great way for me to make quick money. I thought this wood that I bought from this guys some time ago was going to go waste. Herh you come here.

4th Apprentice: Am here boss, please what can I do for you?

Opana: Go to the storeroom and at the right corner, get all the mahogany woods out and start plaining them for me. Get three or four other people to join you in doing that. I will be right back.

4th Apprentice: Okay boss but you already tasked me to do something else.

Opana: Are you that stupid? Stop any foolish thing you are doing and go and do as I have instructed you to do right now because time is what I don’t have right now and make sure you plain the woods very well because this work you do will inform my decision if I should graduate you together with your other seniors. (phone rings and he walks out to receive the call)

4th Apprentice: You and the other guys standing there, follow me into the storeroom to get some woods. Stop whatever you are doing now and move to the storeroom before I descend on you.

8th Apprentice: But senior our senior most apprentice instructed me to work on this frame for him and he said he needs it right now.

4th Apprentice: When master comes back you can tell him the nonsense that just came out from your stinking mouth and wait patiently for a superman’s slap from our boss. You idiots always want to lead me to be the bad person in this workshop, now drop whatever you are doing and follow me to the storeroom right this moment.

Opana: (walks back into the workshop) Hey are you still standing where I left you? I hate this stupid attitude you are displaying before me ooo, you people can’t push me to my early grave with your troubles and laziness, that you can trust me on that.

4th Apprentice: Master am not the one delaying here but those lazy ones standing there, this one claim he has been assigned to do a frame by our senior most apprentice and the other ones are also reluctant to follow me into the storeroom.

Opana: Hehehe so it has gotten to the time that my autority is been undermined in my own shop right infront of me huh. Now you come over here with the ceiling button you have in your hand and the two of you join him.

Back at the City:

Quincy’s phone rings:

Caller: Hello bros it’s been long I heard from you, you have forgotten all about me when your money came, this is not fair oooo.

Quincy: Ah so how many times will you change your phone number Maame Dufie, how do I get in touch with you if you continue to change your phone numbers like your underwear.

Caller: Big bro my phone is spoilt ooo, it fell in the toilet as I went ease myself, I couldn’t get it out on time because there were human waste in the toilet bowl which had not been flushed yet.

Quincy: Hold it there Maame Dufie because I know where you are heading to, see your brother here is not financially sound like he use to be first and secondly don’t you have a boyfriend? Tell him to help you acquire a new handset since he is the one you talk to much on the phone.

Caller: Bros that one, anytime he gets or gives me something he wants to capitalise on that and enjoy from my golden palace so because of that I have decided not ask him for anything. He doesn’t give anything for free and that attitude of his is pissing me off.

Quincy: What were you thinking also in the first place, he is equally a student who takes money from his parent or guardian and you want him to come and lavish it on you for free. When was the last time you bought a gift for him from your own free will?

Caller: Ah bros so whose side are you, mine or his? Instead of you saying some for me your sister, you are on the phone taking sides.

Quincy: Why won’t I support him, am equally a man like him and I share in his predicament. Who said there is free lunch in the world? Do you think our parent are taking care of us for free? They are only waiting to harvest the fruits of the seeds the sow when they grow old and God also expects us to worship him in return of the air and life He gives us. You want that youngman to spend all the pocket money which was given to him to support him on campus, let me ask you today, what have you been doing with the money mummy and daddy gives you since for you insurance has covered every part of your life.

Caller: Bros the way you are lambasting me dierrr I am hoping an action will follow soon after the call ends.

Quincy: In your dreams young lady, if I had money do you think I would be wasting it on you? Me too am going to chill with my sweetheart who won’t punish me for long. Listen I have got an offer for you, if you can play along I believe you will earn something to sort yourself out.

Caller: What is the offer bros?

Quincy: My friend and I have gotten some new cameras which we want to start doing photoshoot, I know you and your friends have been paying some people to do that for you. For the start we will do it for free for you guys and later we will charge you for our services.

Caller: Really? Six of my friends are planning to do a photoshoot this weekend but the money the guy is charging us is so big that we just want to look for a new person to do that for us.

Quincy: Then luck is on you side this time around, now this is what you can do. Divide the amount the guy is charging your friends into three equal parts and tell them to pay one out of the three, by so doing you will get many of your friends coming on-board to join you.

Caller: As if you are in my mind, I will make that arrangements right away and get back to you this evening with the feedback. Honestly bros this is the best offer you have given me ever since you met that nurse girlfriend of yours, for once I was wondering what that lady has given to you to consume that you have now turned cold on me that way.

Quincy: I will pretend you didn’t make that statement and the next time you speak ill of my girlfriend like that, you won’t have it easy with me now leave my line before I change me mind.

Caller: Sorry ooo bros, let me end the call before you change your decision. I will call you in the evening. Have a nice day (call ends)

Quincy: (speaking to himself) Bad girl from the 90’s, always trying to play smart and evade on other people’s territory. I hope this offer we are giving this university girls will yield a great harvest because man has been on the reserve team for long. But hey the photos I have gotten so far are not bad at all, this camera has gotten great picture quality and the effects are just crazy, imagine we add a little filter and touch to it from Photoshop then it’s going to be awesome. I can wait to get back and upload this photos on the laptop for us to work on it. I will create some social media handles this evening so we set the ball rolling at once, the world must hear of us very soon.

Opana’s Workshop:

Opana: So what is keeping this boys in there for this long? Do I have to join them before they do the right thing always, hmmmm I will sell this shop very soon and find something else to do.

4th Apprentice: Master please I have searched the right corner of the storeroom but can’t find the wood in context.

Opana: If it is not there then has my late father come for it? Did you search the left side of the storeroom?

4th Apprentice: Master why would I search left when you stated that I should check the right side of the storeroom.

Opana: Hold your ear and repeat after me, I am a very big fooooool.

4th Apprentice: Master please why should I call myself a fool when am not one. I only followed simple instructions and you are rather insulting me for doing nothing wrong.

Opana: (trys to hit his apprentice but he swerves and his phone rings) Hello please may I know who is on the line.

Caller: My love we have landed safely in JFK airport and those supposed to meet us have done so, currently we are in a car going to our hotel but I must confess the weather is so cold out here.

Opana: Hahahaha you just landed some few minutes ago and you are complaining of cold, I believe you will respect people who travel outside to search for greener pastures. How is our baby girl doing and how is she receiving the new environment?

Caller: She looks happy although I can see she is feeling cold. But this place is really nice my dear, you wont even see dust or rubbish by the roadside and everybody seems busy with what he or she is doing.

Opana: Is okay my wife, you are in the company of others, don’t let them see your curiosity and astonishment because they might laugh at you later.

Caller: Do I care about that, let me admire the beauty of the world because the opportunity I have got is hard to come by. Thanks for making this opportunity a reality, I and our daughter are very grateful for all you have been doing for us. I will call you back when we get to the hotel and give you any updates that has popped up but before I forget have you heard from our son.

Opana: Oh yes I spoke to him some hours back, I will call him to inform him that you have arrived safely in the States. We will talk hopefully in the evening, let me attend to some pressing matters here in shop.

Caller: Okay my love, please take care and have a nice day. (call ends)

Mike’s End:

Wow the scene here is awesome and I love the pictures I have taken so far, Quincy will be happy with the photos I have here and I think this is the time for me to shoot the drone into the sky for me to get a geographical view of the area. This cameras that Julia bought are of top class quality and am enjoying the use of it. I have to call my dad and see if he has gotten to the village safely, hey I didn’t know I have covered this long distance walking this lonely road and I can’t believe that am at this spot where that youngman was murdered some days back. I don’t know how his family will be taking his absence by now but I have to search for the phone I dropped when those idiots were chasing me. The video I recorded could play a very important role in arresting the people behind that crime because Kwasi Nyantakyi would have sworn heaven and earth that Anas and his tigereye crew are liers who want to dent his image and cause him to lose the position he was holding.

(Kwaku Mike looks left and right before he entered the bush to search for the phone he accidentally dropped on the ground when he was running for his dear life. After searching through the bush and dry leaves close to 30minutes, he stumbled on the phone and you can’t imagine the excitement he had on his face. He walked back home filled with content and satisfaction)

Quincy’s End:

Quincy: Jack you are late because am almost done with the food in the bowl.

Michael Ansah: Hey is that the food I left inside the fridge?

Quincy: Yes do you have a problem with that? I thought you were not going to consume it again and there was no food in the house also so I had to settle with this food even though there is no meat or fish on it.

Michael Ansah: Thunder fire your mouth there, my friend if you dont drop that bowl on the table right this moment you will feel the furry of a hungry Akuapem man. Don’t you know it was in my plans to do justice to this meal when am back, why didn’t you ask me first before you hungrily descend on it? Well I hope we have got enough toilet rolls in this house when you start running into the toilet because I mixed the food with a laxative.

Quincy: Really? How did you know I was in die need of a laxative? For some days now I have gotten a constipated stomach and don’t worry if there is no toilet roll in the house because I will use water to wash the place when am done easing myself, it’s even better that way.

Michael Ansah: Herh you so you, are you child of goddess? You don’t look frightened with what I just told you.

Quincy: Why should I get scared when I saw you eating the food and putting the rest in the fridge. Massa am still hungry so you better conjure some magic so we get some food to eat this evening.

Michael Ansah: So can’t you stay without food for a while? The bible says man shall not live by bread alone, let’s go down to business and upload the pictures we took on the laptop so we know where we are heading to. You can’t imagine the shots I took at my end and the beautiful scenes I got.

Quincy: Unknown pastor I hear you wai but please in the name of God kindly get something on the table because am hungry and broke, I used the last money on me to pay the utility bills and before I forget my sister said she can mobilise her colleagues to come for a photo shoot this weekend so lets get ready for that.

Michael Ansah: Oh that sounds very pleasing to the ear, upload the pictures on the laptop as I rush down the road to get something for us to eat. I have something also to tell you so remind me later before we sleep.

Quincy: I have heard you Mr, now hurry up and get the food as I also upload the pictures but please try and get drinks in addition to the food.

Michael Ansah: See him, a beggar with a choice. If I bring the food without drink you can choose not to consume it for all I care, why don’t you contact your girlfriend to come over with a drink you beggar.

To be continued


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