Money, money, money. No matter who and what you are, attaining 50 means you cannot not afford to sit down yourself by yourself with yourself for a money pep talk. At 50, no one can blame you for thinking tomorrow. Apart from God and life and health, money is the only other thing you need to somewhat guarantee a future of comfort, peace, love, assurance, joy.
Twenty-four hours after arriving the fifth floor, I had that introspection. Many money lessons, spanning over four decades, flooded back to me. I remember(ed) my mother, a super-woman, who always-always found something to do with her hands to eke out a living as well as fend for -at the time- our horrendously polygamous family. This beautiful, illiterate woman was my first teacher -my first lesson teacher.
EkaBUSH taught me about God, about life, about money, about everything. I learnt from her that anybody who finds something useful to do (in her case, petty trading) never lacks nor begs. Growing up in that dingy Cameroonian fishing suburb, Bekumu, my siblings and I had a horrible childhood (no electricity, no potable water, no infrastructure, no etc.) but you know what; we always-always had food and the other basic necessities, namely, clothes and shelter -which, I believe, helped build my self-confidence early on. Engaging in a legal venture, no matter how undignifying or unprofitable it might seem, is my number one rule of money.
Make money any lawful way you can. Money accentuates your humanity and oils your essence. Money boosts your self-confidence and grooms your mind. Money retains your human pride and gives you a name, a face, a voice. Money protects your territory and enlarges your coast.
Most people who respect you today would not as much take your phone calls, if you depended on them for survival. Nobody is more disrespected even by own league than the moneyless person. Forgerrrit, I say forgerrrit, tick all the boxes of character, qualification and know-how but, sans money, not even your priest or boss or family would respect let alone include you in the scheme of things. See, as long as the earth remaineth, stealing or killing for money shall not cease because of its godification by society.
Look at the facts: we mouth God all over the place but allow satanic money as essential criterion for who sit (and who don’t) on the head table of even God’s events. Governments preach to no end against corruption but known culprits are being recycled in public offices. At 50, I have seen, felt, heard, smelt, tasted and, therefore, known enough to advise that, if you crave man’s respect, recognition and inclusion, you must first make money. If you don’t but think that integrity and competence and versatility would do it for you, please, don’t call my name or grumble anywhere near me when the bubble bursts.
Don’t get it twisted. I am saying that you must make money because society has only 1 per cent space for the moneyless best. If you don’t make money and find yourself locked out in spite of and despite all the excellent attributes you boast of, you should keep quiet and go -make money. A tough lesson but be guided!
Now, to that thing they call hard work. I have learnt that hard work is not money and money is not hard work and, above all, that hard work is relative. Truck pushers do the hardest work I know but they are, globally, the best example of the poorest poor. In the third world, the most money goes to the tiniest component of a population who do mere autopilot work!
I leave you to guess who those are. I don’t want trouble. However, may I play medium and get Fela to help you out? ‘Baba … if you add ngida, na ya fault!’
If you don’t catch my drift, sorry -I can’t help you more than that. We shall serve even more money lessons next week; meanwhile, let’s round off today with some more nuggets. Money may be all that and more as laid out above but be warned -money can also steal, destroy, kill. Money is a double-edged sword; a double agent; a builder, a destroyer.
Money attracts mostly fairweatherisms. Money offers a false sense of value, of self, of judgment, of guarantee, of courage. Money is a compass but it can guide you astray. Money is a finisher but it can completely finish you off.
That emphasis is intentional. Money is emphatic and fearless and stupid. It comes, and then it goes -mostly to the bad and the ugly. Money worships nobody and nothing; not goodness, not hard work, not law, not spirituality, not excellence, not religion, not race, not culture, not politics, not education; not looks, nothing.
That’s why nobody or nothing has its master key. You find even westerners who are so poor; ditto footballers and entertainers whose professions are said to mint money. The lesson here is, in all your money-chasing, slow down, always-always check back with your conscience when in doubt and, no matter how easy or herculean your business is -never ever forget to pray for the grace of success. God bless Nigeria!
Honour as a fundamental ingredient
Last month, on my big day, I felt honoured by a few people and things. Honour is such a big deal; in fact, honour is the only main deal. Good to honour people: rich or poor; black or white; big or small -and, at all times.
Unfortunately, ours is a culture and an age of dishonour. Very few of our people understand honour and live it -in word and action and time. An alarming majority only manage to honour a few people they say they like but even then they honour them dishonourably; a few ways of which should suffice.
When you honour people in bitterness, in envy, or selfishly, or sycophantically, and only publicly or posthumously, you honour them dishonourably. That is, you honour them without honour; honour without honour = dishonour. This is one aspect of our culture we must relook at.
Privately and publicly, stop poking fun at your country or state or local government area or village. In private and in public, stop deriding your President or governor or chairman or village head -or anyone else. It is dishonour to do otherwise and, dishonour is ungodly or satanic, or both.
(Dis)honour can be done via presence, absence, substance, word, action, in private and in public. When a human being feels another does not deserve their presence -such a one dishonours God and humanity. They are also in dishonour who show up but minus rather than add value or give pitiful gifts or tributes; so ‘they don’t say I didn’t give,’ or ‘that I was jealous.’
Start honouring -especially people who lead honourable lives; while they are still alive. Honour someone today: appreciate and pray for them, and when they are in error, correct in love and respect. Turn up in person at an event, against all odds, go in time, stay all through and ensure you add value to the event and the celebrator.