Michael turned up the volume of his TV as he saw breaking news. “What is it?” his wife, Akua asked. He listened carefully and turned back to her. She was getting ready to go to a print shop to make some souvenirs. From the look on Michael’s face she knew something was wrong. She put her handbag down and walked over to him. He pointed to the TV and she turned to watch. There was an announcement by the president of Ghana, the country in Africa they lived in. It was about new measures for the Covid-19 pandemic. “From Monday all airports will be closed. This will last for 2 months. We need to keep ourselves safe,” The president said. Akua’s mouth opened in surprise. This was very bad news because she and Michael run a tourism business. That was their only form of income and with a baby on the way they really needed the money. “Michael what are we going to do?” she asked, rubbing her baby bump. Her husband took her hand and managed to smile. “Don’t worry, we will figure something out,” he said, but deep down he was very nervous.
The next day Michael went to see his uncle, Nii. He felt that they could brainstorm and find a way out. Michael told Nii about his issue. He listened very carefully. “I understand why you are nervous but this directive from the president is only temporary. The airports will be open again before you know it and your business will be fine,” Nii said. Michael shook his head. There was more he hadn’t said. “We took a loan last year to help keep the business afloat. It’s due very soon and with the baby on the way we will literally be broke. We didn’t think the Covid pandemic was going to last this long. My wife is upset because if we don’t pay back the loan we could lose our house!” Michael confessed. “The Butterfly migration festival is how we planned to make the money back but with the airports closed this won’t be possible,” he added, almost in tears. His uncle put his hand on his shoulder to reassure him. “I will speak to a few people to see if we can get your loan extended. You can’t lose your house! I won’t let that happen,” Nii said. Michael thanked him and they brainstormed for hours.
On his way back home Michael was walking down the road when he ran into a cool looking robot. “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going,” Michael said. He shook his head and stood up. “Wow, I’m talking to a robot now,” he whispered to himself. “It’s fine. Lots of people talk to me all the time. My name is 3,” the robot replied. Michael gasped and smiled. “You are an amazing robot, 3. My name is Michael,” he said. He spoke to the robot some more asking it what it was doing and other things. “I’m here to do some tests to set up base stations to provide fast internet wirelessly for this area,” 3 said. Michael smiled and nodded. He said goodbye to 3 and went home to his wife. Their house was just a few blocks away.
When Michael got home, Akua was eager to hear about his conversation with Uncle Nii. Michael told her all they spoke about and also confessed to her that he told Nii about the loan they took. They didn’t want anyone to know but the cat was out of the bag now. “Oh no, now I really feel bad for getting pregnant. We could have roughed things out if we were…” she started but Michael held her close and told her everything would be okay. “Hey, don’t ever say that. We are going to be a happy family, all three of us. We just have to make a few changes. I just saw a robot outside doing tests to provide us with fast internet. Definitely a change from what we know,” he said. Akua was surprised. “A robot?” she asked. She had never seen a robot before so Michael took her outside to see 3. “Hello Michael,” 3 said when he saw them. “Hi 3. I brought my wife here to see you. Her name’s Akua,” Michael said and his wife waved at 3 with a smile. She was amazed by his wit and character. As they were talking to 3, Michael had an idea! “That’s it! We can sell virtual tours! I don’t know why I never thought of this,” he said excitedly. He hugged Akua and they rushed back home to make plans after saying goodbye to 3.
The next day Michael and Akua went to the butterfly sanctuary which was close to their house to test his idea. They tried doing a live video walking through the sanctuary. They sent Uncle Nii the link. The video feed was very slow with lots of glitches. “I love this idea but the video is not very clear and it’s so slow,” Uncle Nii said. Michael and Akua thought for a while. “It’s the internet we are using. It’s not fast enough. Wait, isn’t 3 setting up fast internet? He can help.” she said. Michael smiled and gave her a kiss. They went to 3 immediately. He was more than glad to help. He extended the wireless Internet connection to the butterfly sanctuary and in no time at all they had very fast internet. The video footage was clear and Uncle Nii clapped.
Michael and Akua advertised their new product to their customers all over the world. They had so many people pay for the live stream, even they were surprised. On the day of the Butterfly migration festival they had the largest number of viewers. They showed the beautiful festival to the world and everyone was very happy. When it was over Michael and Akua went to say a big thank you to 3. “We are so glad you were here. You inspired us, brought your technology and gave us what we needed to let our business survive. Thank you,” Michael said. “Did 3 do three amazing things for us?” Akua added. They all laughed and had a big group hug.
This is a fictional story written by Juliet Ajaab.
Juliet is a Ghanaian writer and fashion designer with the desire to express her imagination. She started writing stories when he was a little girl with her friends being her readers. She lives in Accra with her husband, 2 sons and an adorable poodle. You can contact her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliet-ajaab-adei-4a26b383/