After an hour and a few minutes, Chi Chi was interrupted while she was talking to Bisi and Funke by the gateman.
“Excus me, ma. Dere is sombodi outsize seys make I call you. Im sey im name nah Emeka”
“Thank you, Adamu. Please let him in.” Bisi responded a little too quickly.
Emeka walked in to see Funke smiling openly while Chi Chi tried to hide her grin. Bisi on the other hand had a slight blush that only made her more beautiful.
“Hi Bisi, ..ehm…Fun…Funke right? How is everyone?” Emeka said while focused on Bisi.”Wow! This place is huge and you have so many materials and tools. Thanks Bisi for humoring my cousin.” Emeka added after looking around a bit. “Ehh…that is the latest cordless drill.” Emeka mumbled as glee entered his eye.
“Ha ha ha. You sound like my father. He also gets so excited when he gets a new toy to play with.” Bisi teased. “He dables in both mechanical and electrical engineering. He is always exasperated with me since I picked civil engineering. Let me show you some of the circuits he is designing since you are a physicist.”
“Hello, I am right here. Aren’t you going to greet your cousin before you go play. Lol” Chi Chi teased.
“Hapu m aka! I see you enough as it is.” Emeka joked, “okay, hello Chi Chi can I go and play now.”
“Please leave them to their sciency stuff. Chi Chi, I have wanted to give you a makeover since I saw you. Bisi has taste but she is too conservative and prefers classic looks. She won’t let me experiment in any of the clothes I make for her. I am sure you would like and look lovely in something more modern and colourful.” Funke interjected.
“Oh, Funke is a designer. Yeah, new clothes!” Chi Chi celebrated.
“Leave them let’s go. So tell me more about this work you do?” Bisi asked.
“Well, it is in an engineering conglomerate. I helped out in their R&D because they liked my design for a multiple terrain drone which I created in secondary school as part of a science competition…
As Bisi and Emeka went to look around the workshop, Funke started taking Chi Chi’s measurements. The group stayed at the workshop until well past dinner time, eating suya, chatting and planning their activities for the “clean up” project.
“Okay so we have decided on the waste management/cleaning, water management, and horticulture as our three main areas of focus with these range of products for composting, bio-fertilizers, water filtration, irrigation, urban gardening, natural cleaning solutions etc.” Chi Chi reiterated. “We will need to build compact products that are also affordable, so Emeka get cracking on the design especially for the compost units, filters and the window sill gardens.
“Yeah Chi Chi, we know all these things we will get started from next week…we need to start heading home. My mum has already called 4 times and ‘it beta not rich 5’ according to her.”
Emeka and Chi Chi said their goodbyes to a drowsy Funke and excited Bisi. They hopped on a keke to the bus stop and headed home.
“This is my niece whom I mentioned earlier.” Aunt Gladie introduced Chi Chi to a distinguished gentleman in a tweed jacket and maroon tie.
They were currently in an office adjacent to a laboratory, in the factory of one of the leading consumer products makers in Nigeria. The office was very cramped with a large cluttered desk that took up most of the space. There were stuffed cupboards and bookshelves but the air-conditioner was silent and very efficient.
“Oh, so this is the young lady who wishes to clean up the city.”
“Good morning, Dr. Tunde Bamibola. I am really glad you agreed to help out with my project. I have here with me the plans my team drew up. There are a lot of areas I would need your input from the different layers for the water filter, to the synthesis of the bio-fertilizer…”
Chi Chi introduced the various ideas and aspects of her project and Dr. Tunde listened with interest and a little bit of shock at the capacity of such a young girl.
“Well, this all sounds very interesting. I can advise you on the chemical aspect and even provide some contacts for chemicals but you will still have a lot of work to do on your own.” Dr. Tunde responded. To this, Chi Chi just smiled confidently.