Sola Owonibi’s “Homeless but not hopeless” inspired the topic of this blog post because at the time of writing this post, I am homeless but definitely not hopeless.
So I moved into this country almost frustrated because of accommodation. I paid an agency to help with the search but they couldn’t get me a place. I became desperate.
My friends referred me to a lot of people but there was never a positive outcome from our conversations. My flight date was fixed. I couldn’t sleep.
Two days before I traveled I was introduced to this girl that said she was going to help me out with a place to stay till I find a suitable accommodation. Thank goodness. When I got to the airport, she was already there to welcome me to the struggle, everything was just talk. It was audio house. We chilled for a while for her friend to take me to someone that wanted to let a room in his house.
I was really desperate and tired at this point. I just wanted somewhere to rest and sleep. It was quite expensive but I decided to take it because my friend was coming to join me soon and we could split the rent and pay up. The guy said the main landlord should not be aware that my friend is staying there because it’s meant to be just one person in a room but since we are Africans like him, he can help out. He said we should keep it on the low till we get a better place. I paid my rent and deposit for two people just to secure the place that same day.
This man was all nice and he said I could use the groceries in the house (that I was paying for indirectly, LEEMAO 🤣🤣🤣) sometimes he prepared food that I graciously partook of. He said all I had to do was ask and he was going to provide anything I wanted.
He was actually subletting the place to me because there was a main landlord. The next day I went to ask for a refund since I didn’t know when my friend was going to come. He said he had already given all the money to the landlord and when the landlord is around he will be the one to refund me. Weeks went by and there was no serious problem I couldn’t handle. I tried to mind my business, not bring visitors around so I won’t offend anyone.
I reminded this guy (Charles) of our agreement before my friend arrived and he assured me that there was no problem. My friend finally came and joined me some weeks later.
Barely Two weeks into my rent, he said my next month’s rent was due and I had to pay it the next day. He called me and my friend for a brief meeting to discuss about the house and the rent. We kept saying how illogical it was for the landlord to collect the rent when it wasn’t up to a month. He was even abusing the landlord that that’s how things are done in this country. That no matter the period you even even the last week of the month, you’ll have to pay for the full month and your rent must be paid at the beginning of every month.
“I’m not your friend. I’m your brother. You girls are family to me. I’ll always help you if you need anything here. We are one in this country, I know you don’t have a father or mother here, let me know when you guys are free so I can show you around”.
Those were the words of a snake.
God knows I was worried. I didn’t know where I was going to get the money from immediately because we didn’t plan to pay anything until two weeks time. We tried reasoning with him but he said there was nothing he could do.
“Call your parents today and tell them what’s up”
The hunger I was feeling earlier disappeared. I became sick immediately. Thank God I read before that meeting. I became weak. I called a couple of friends that stay in this city and explained everything to them. They told me I should report the landlord to the police since I’ve not even stayed up to a month and there was no way I was going to pay another rent.
I had to call the landlord directly. The man said I only paid for two weeks and that’s why he was asking for the new month rent. He even sent me a WhatsApp message stating the exact amount he received. That’s when I knew my African brother was a scammer and a thief. He came home drunk and asked my friend to move out of the house immediately. This is someone that just came from Nigeria two days ago. The anger in me knew no bounds. I changed it for him immediately and threatened to call the police. I was raging mad. Like you’re meant to apologize, talk things out. And as the offended party, he’s meant to be worried if I’ll accept the apology. He was surprised I could actually talk. Like I’m no longer “The quiet one” he usually called me. He started accusing the landlord of lying that I should calm down. I said I was going to leave with my friend because I can’t stay with a thief.
The landlord came that night and I explained it to him. The thief said it was my brother that brought me and he took his cut from the rent I paid. A cut of a whooping 300 Euros. Funny liar. He still emphasized my friend should leave the house immediately then he paid the landlord for my remaining 2 weeks.
I couldn’t stay in that house any longer. I was up the whole night with my friend searching, calling and sending emails for accommodation. I was scared for my life, he could poison me and i didn’t feel safe anymore. I had to leave as soon as possible. The landlord gave me back my deposit and the extra money that was stolen. I had to move out with the faith of getting a place immediately.
Two days later, I got a smaller place but I had peace of mind which was more important than any big bed space.