21 Mar 2024

Mechanics in Nigeria have turned me into a total mumu.


I bought a Mercedes van in 2019 when I visited for the summer.

Nothing fancy.


I needed something to move around when visiting Nigeria.


I drove it around town for some thirty minutes and noticed it had some problem with the AC, so I was told to send it to Lagos for repair.


They informed me there were no good Mercedes mechanics in Ile Ife.


Because I was just about to return to my village in the US, I had no problem sending the truck to Lagos for repair before my flight back. 


It would cost about 100k naira to fix the AC problem, the mechanic told me.


I transferred the money to the mechanic.


He found a couple of other issues with the vehicle and asked me to send an additional 250k so the vehicle would be in perfect condition waiting for me in Nigeria.


I sent the money.


Then Covid struck. I couldn’t return the following summer as planned.


I called the mechanic. 


“Oga, there are more complications,” he informed me. “The engine is diesel. Diesel engines don’t like to sit around without being used. Would you just sell me the vehicle?”


I said no. I wanted it fixed.


“To change the engine from diesel, we will need 650k naira,” he said.


“Olodumare!” I screamed. “Where am I going to get that sort of money?”


“It’s best to sell the vehicle,” he insisted. “Or give it to me to run a taxi and I will be sending you whatever I make.”


“No,” I was adamant. “I want my van repaired and returned to Ife.”

It had become a matter of pride to me. 

I sent him what he asked for.


A week or more, I got a call. “Oga,” he said, “The gear of the car is not good o. He better mek we kuku change the gear box o. Mek e nor dey cause you wahala.” 


“Ha!” I screamed. “Gear box again?”


“Yes, o Oga,” he said. “Gear wahala nor good o.”


He told me some ridiculously high amount to fix it. 

I paid.


Then the chassis, he informed me later, would need changing.


“What’s wrong with the chassis?” I asked him.


“Oga, I nor go fit describe am for you o,” he said, “unless you drive am to see for yourself. The chassis dey mek jigigidi noise.”


We changed the chassis.


Later, it was the “shock.”


“Shock?” I asked. “What the heck is that?”


“Na shock dem dey call am o, oga,” he said.


“Take a picture of it and send it to me,” I requested.


Later he sent me some pictures. 


“Ha!” I screamed. “What happened to the vehicle? It doesn’t look like my vehicle any longer!”


“Oga, na your vehicle,” he said. “Di trouble be say gof'ment dey worry mechanic for our area. One day dem come tow all the vehicles from our shop. He cost me plenty to get your Mercedes back o. Before dem return am, dem done steal many of the parts….”


“Return my vehicle to Ife immediately,” I said in anger.


“How we go take do am?” he asked. “The tires nor good o. We go buy four half tires.”


“Why?” I asked.


“As he siddon for one spot for many months,” he explained, “tire don spoil. You better repair the car properly before he return to Ife o.”


“Did you fix the AC?” I asked.


“Yes nau,” he said. “But dem done steal the AC engine for gof'ment office when dem tow am from my shop. Those people are thieves. They also removed the sound system….”


I calculated I have spent millions of naira on the vehicle, and I haven’t even driven it for more than 30 minutes, ever!


“I am a mumu,” I told my mechanic.


“No sir, Oga,” he argued. “You nor be mumu sir. Na situation cause am. If say we fit change the….”


I cut the call. 

My mechanic done turn me into Yaya Mumuni. 


E gba mi o!


His phone number: 234 813 434 2102.


Abeg beg am for me o!

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