Am gonna start this piece by telling nothing but stories and, first is about a guy I used to know from a distance. I don’t even know his name so I will just call him a guy. This guy came from a very poor family, he managed to finish secondary school and after that, there was nothing he could do in terms of furthering his education. I wouldn’t know if he had the zeal to but, what I could say from his story is, his parents could not foot the bills for his university education because of their financial constraints.
With no chance and no hope of going to school or even getting a good job, this guy decided he was going to start up a business at least to be able to feed himself and ease the burden from his parents. What did he do, with no money, he spoke to a number of people and discussed with them what he intends to do. Someone raised him his first capital, another person gave him a free space where a friend helped him build a mini kiosk. He went to Alaba, bought CDs and started selling. He’s been in this business for over 15 years each time I drive past his shop I shake my heads and admire his dedication. When this guy first ventured into this business, I know certain folks who mocked him, today, some of those wailers, I can’t say if they are any better.
Wisdom was a friend of mine who lost his job at the time he needed it the most. At that time, he was about getting married. As a matter of fact, his wife was pregnant. Let me tell you, the worst thing that can happen to a man is when you can not afford to cater for your family especially if your wife is heavy. This was the situation wisdom found himself. Imagine the frustration. The pains. Let’s not even talk about the kind of jibes he could be getting if his in-laws discovered that their daughter was going through a difficult time, especially in her condition living with him.
Things were so tough, my friend felt like it was all over. But his tenacity and zeal were only to be questioned. He needed to do something. He got a job, a very mania one that required him to leave home as early as 4 am because he had to deliver goods to customers. He worked with a fastidious boss. Some of these bosses are so difficult to please. He struggled with the work for about three months before he left it due to proximity. He got another, more tedious, mania job in his neighbourhood as a labourer. You know these fellows that carry cement, sand, mixed cement and all of that with head pans for constructing a house. It was difficult but it brought in the money.
There’s something called dignity of labour. So many youths today don’t understand it. That’s why they easily get hoodwinked by fraudulent fellows. Wisdom said something to me the day he narrated the story. He said, “Money is money no matter the source from which it is made” the money made from shit business does not carry the word shit written on it and, it does not smell differently compared to the money made from every other business. Today wisdom is a proud owner of a profitable business, his wife has a shop and he also got another, a better job this time.
Most times on my way to work in the morning, I see most of our people selling motor parts in Ladipo, trekking to their shops. Getting a bike to work or any other means of transportation has become something very difficult in some parts of Lagos and this is terrible. These guys, left with no choice, subject themselves to trekking to work. You need to see how they do so in groups every morning and evening. Sometimes they do so to avoid the Lagos traffic. The bottom line is, they go through this struggle every day just t make money. They do not care or mind the opinion of the majority of those who think they are better than them. In fact, if you are told the amount of money some of the control, you will wonder why they still trek to work every morning in such a humble state.
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I hope you remember the story of Olawale Ojo? I have so much admiration for this talented young man. Maybe is due to the fact that I still dwell there. Olawale Ojo won the 2013 edition of the MTN Project. That’s to tell how great and talented Ojo is as a singer. But what happened? Ojo left the whole brand, the buzz and everything to become a cab driver. Explaining why he decided to make ends meet by becoming a cab driver in Lagos. Ojo narrating his ordeal on Channels Television’s programme back then on the show “Rubbin Minds”, he said despite emerging as the winner of the sixth edition, he ended up becoming a cab driver to beat depression back in September 2018.
In a video that was posted on IG then, the singer had said he had to make a decision between selling the car he won at the reality show to promote his music or not.
He said as copied “This car that you have, if you sell it to push yourself, you might not even be able to shoot a proper video and promote it. And it’s not like there is a guarantee that this song you are promoting, this money you are spending you will get it back. So, I felt selling this car would not be an option for me. And, I just told myself that you have to swallow your pride, you have to forget whatever it is; you have to forget the platform or the brand that you represent and you have to hustle; you have to make money because if you die…
Let me help you to complete that statement, if you die, you die for real and, no one cares. You might not even get a two-minute silence. That’s the sad truth about life.
“I started getting so depressed at home, crazy thoughts that I can’t even talk about, but at the end of the day I felt if you kill yourself...” Olawale said in the Instagram video.
The truth is if you kill yourself, you will become a six feet version of what Arsenal FC supporters call themselves, a gonna!
Do yourself a favour and get out there. Hustle for your life. Fight for your future. What you need to do to make money, do it. Do not be shy. You owe no one any explanation. People will always criticise you for everything so the earlier you quit listening to them the better for you. If you still give in to their criticism and remain in your comfort zone, suffering in poverty, the same people that would have criticized you for chasing money will still criticise you and call you lazy.
Which will you prefer, be criticized for the money or be criticized for being broke!
No matter what you do, they will always talk! That’s why they are jobless in the first place.