Part 1: Chapter 15 Summary of Alex Agyei-Agyiri’s UNEXPECTED JOY AT DAWN

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The narrator tells us Joe’s story; one Joe himself has often described as “a mixture of chance and hard work”. The millionaire gold dealer used to be a tailor apprentice at Oda whose prospect of becoming a tailor ended when his master Alvorovo left for the city in search of greener pasture.

Joe was at loss until a long-lost friend, Kuuku, came around and told him about Daga, where people mine gold and diamonds illegally. Kuuku was a “a private dealer” and had made a fortune for himself through illegal mining; “he already had two cars and a house”. He also told Joe of the risks involved and dangers of being shot or arrested.

Joe did not immediately follow Kuuku to Daga. He tried his hands on a few other things. He roamed the streets of Oda and later, Accra looking for job and even had to sell dog chains at some point in time.

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Then, he met Tally O with whom he went on his first adventure to Daga. At thirty years old and still a bachelor, he has made a considerable level of fortune his illegal mining business. Before his fortune, he had earlier led a reckless life and had had children with two women whom he could not muster courage to claim because of his penury.

 

Read: 

(Part 1) Chapter 1 to 5

(Part 1) Chapter 6 to 10

(Part 1) Chapter 11 to 14

 

The Corporal and Mama Orojo enter Joe’s office, interrupting his thoughts. The corporal intimate Joe of Mama’s interest and how she is swindled on the Lagos – Accra flight that morning. Joe sells her real gold. Mama Orojo promises to come for more if it sells on the Lagos Market.

Joe decides to play the role of the hospitable host. He takes his guests to Beyes Restaurant for a good meal. As they are about to leave the office, his friend, Naidoo who serves on the Minerals Board comes to tell him about the board’s recommendation of a massive gold hunt for both local and foreign investors. What this implies is that illegal miners like Joe can mine gold legally. The door to Room Six opens and closes almost immediately; it seems its occupant is eavesdropping on Joe’s and Naidoo’s conversation.

Joe is super-excited about the prospect of going into legal mining and most certainly believes Mama Orojo carries some luck. Mama Orojo is excited too because of her new acquisition of gold; about her new line of business.

At Beyes Restaurant, Joe feels they have been short-changed by the waiters as the food served seems to be less than the money paid. But he does not complain. They are even lucky to have gotten food. Beyes Restaurant is frequented by many customers and a lot of these people hardly get their orders before the Restaurant runs out of food.

The Proprietor of the establishment strolls by. He is a friend of Joe and a business associate in the illegal mining business. He looks troubled and seems to be having problems of his own. He tells Joe about how the police visited him and searched his place for one I-Put-it-to-me. You remember him? Yes, the same guy who duped Mama Orojo. They claim he works in one of the offices at Beyeeman Complex.

The proprietor of Beyes Restaurant and landlord of Beyeeman Complex is then summoned by the information Bureau and indicted for owing five million cedis in taxes which he pays to save his head. Joe could not figure out any friend or acquaintance going by the cryptic name of “I-Put-it-to-me”. The old man warns Joe to lie low because “the whole of Beyeeman is under the close watch of the security forces”:

‘Let us, you see, be careful with the stones – until the dust settles’

On their way out of the restaurant, Joe excuses himself, leaving Mama Orojo with the Police Corporal at the corridor of Beyes Restaurant. He goes to Expense Bank to share with Nii Tackie “the news of the proposed privatization of the mines”. Nii Tackie wishes him well and Joe hurries back to the restaurant to join Mama Orojo.

 

Proposition: If Joe had taken Mama Orojo and the Corporal into the banking hall, Mama Orojo and Nii Tackie would have met each other and the story could have ended here. This is the closest Mama Orojo comes to reuniting with her long-lost brother.

 

Joe and the Corporal accompany Mama Orojo to the airport. They go on foot due to the scarcity of fuel. Along the way, a friend of Joe who after spending five hours in a queue at a filling station in futility offers to take them to the airport.

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