Thursday, 30 March 2017

What you need to know about money




    Whatever can be said or written about money, it’s importance to life can never be  demeaned. Love it or hate it; though I never heard of anyone who hates money, money is a legal tender that understands every language on earth, it comes in all kinds of colour and design, from the olden days’ cowries to modern day paper notes and coins, they are the fulcrum of our life.


   Some will tell you that money is the root of all evil according to the holy Bible, but that’s quoting it out of context. The Bible says, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. The love of money is what breed evil, jealousy, envy, murder and pride, not money itself. Like it is written money is a good servant but a bad master. Money is meant to serve us and never the other way round. When you twist this order, you twist your life’s order as well, man is made to control money, but when you allow the love of money to control you, to be the domineering thing in your life, then you’ve lost your sense of direction.
   

     Another thing, money is not wealth, but with money you can acquire wealth, but there is some wealth money cannot buy. Like it is written, money can buy you drugs but it cannot buy you, health and health is wealth. It can buy you the most costlier bed, it can’t buy you sleep. Good sleep keeps you in good health and health is wealth.
    
    Yet, money is our defense in so many things, money gives you voice and a leverage in the society. Money can excuse your stupidity and weakness. It can cover your lack of strength and valour.  You have money, people will celebrate you, identify with you, give you honour, even worship you.
   
     Money is the difference between starvation and food, between the element and a roof over your head, between nakedness and a covering and in some cases between life and death, when all that you needed to be alive is money to pay the doctor for the operation that will save your life, all things being equal.
   
    To have money is good, but not the kind that is propelled by greed and avarice. When you go after money get the one that will give you peace of mind, that will make you sleep in contentment at night.

     Get money, and in getting it, get wisdom and understanding to know how to manage the money, and keep it from slipping from your grip.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Broken






CHAPTER 1
  

  What a day!
     A humid atmosphere, a weather like a blast furnace, you would think someone left the portals of hell open as hot airs oozed out and swirled around.
    As I stood in the sweltering air waiting to be attended, my patient snapped, face puffed up with anger, I raised my voice at the fish seller. “Madam, please hurry up now or do you want me to sleep in this market?”  
     “Aunty me, a beg no vex I dey come.” With both hands up in supplication, she appealed to me.
    These market women could be irritating, once they collect your money, they left you standing to attend to a new customer.
      The harshness in my voice and my unsmiling face made her stopped haggling with the next customer, and with a plea for her to wait, she took the fish I paid for, cut it, wrapped it and gave to me with a smile meant to thaw my anger.
     I took it and ignored her smile. I didn’t need it; she had kept me more than necessary under a boiling sun. Once I stowed the fish in my shopping bag and left her stall my face relaxed fractionally with relief; it was the last item on my list of what to buy at the market for today.
     With my bags, one on each hand, I joined the throng of human traffic struggling to get out of the ever-bustling Boundary market. Movement out of the market was slow with sudden halt now and then. The pushing and shoving that accompanied the movement, and the stifling weather, all ignited tempers, angry voices reverberating all over the market adding to the melee.
     Rivulets of sweat slid down my back, my blouse glued to my body like a second skin. To add to my discomfort still, the stench from unwashed bodies and refuse-dump sites filled the clammy atmosphere. I wondered at the efficacy of the monthly sanitation exercise because there was no evidence a clean- up took place in the market this past last Saturday of the month.
     The madness and the filthiness were so despairing. I shook my head already throbbing from the cacophony of swearing voices, and angry shouts of ‘comot for road’ from men with heavy loads on their heads. They pushed and shoved people aside, leaving curses and insults to trail after them.   
     I pressed my lower lip tight to stifle my frustration and contain my temper. I wished I were in the comfort of my car driving home already and not trapped in this oppressive and suffocating crowd under a scorching sun
     Two hours of walking from stall to stall, haggling prices with market women, and enduring uncomfortable moments of pushing and shoving my way through a sea of people, were enough to fray one’s nerves.  I trudged along until I emerged outside the market, weary and at my wits’ end.
     Relieved to be out in the open, I stopped, dropped the bags down in between my legs for safe keep, and stood for a moment to regain my breath. I ignored the shouts of ‘madam move now,’ from angry passersby; impatient is the hallmark of Lagosians.
     “God, why did you create me a Nigerian,” I muttered with a hiss.
     I speculated as I do most often at my reasons for coming to this particular market. But no matter how I hate it, coming to Boundary market on Saturdays, was an unavoidable chore I have to brave.
     For many working-class women like me, Saturdays were the only free day to go shopping and stock up for the week ahead; this account for the rowdiness in the market; it had more influx of people on weekends than any other days.
     Despite its location in Ajegunle; a highly over populated suburb in Lagos; the market attracts crowd due to the abundance of various local foodstuffs, varieties of vegetable and ingredients for soups and other food items, and at affordable prices too.  As such, women within its environs, and beyond too; especially Igbo women, come to the market to shop for foodstuffs and household items.
     Apart from these, its proximity to my place of domicile was another factor that pulled me here most weekends. And so, despite the hurdles, I shopped here more often than other big markets in Lagos.
     How to get to my car was another hurdle I have to tackle. The distance from the market to where I parked required a little trekking, a tedious ordeal under this inescapable hot sun and my bulging bags which were becoming heavier by the minutes.
     Although small boys abound, who carry loads for a fare, three hovered around me, but I did not want to call on any of them, to me, they are all rogues if you are not careful, and close marked them, they would run away with your purchases.   
      Since I’m in no mood to run after anybody, I opted to carry my load and walk at my own pace.  With a resigned sigh, I lifted my bags and ambled forward.
     At an intersection, I stopped. I needed to cross over to the other side of the road to get to where I parked my car. As I waited patiently for an opening in the endless traffic of cars, yellow buses, and commercial motorcycle popularly called Okada, I heard my name.
     “Chioma Amos.” My head swung around in surprise, no one had called me by that name in a decade. Chioma Amos was my maiden name; now I’m Chioma Onyekachukwu, it must be someone who knew me way back in time.
      My eyes scanned around but I did not recognize any of the faces that stared back at me. I shrugged and returned my attention back to the road. Maybe it wasn’t me, I thought.
     I looked up and down the road once again to gauge the distance of the on-coming vehicles and see if I could dash across to the other side; Lagos drivers are not disciplined enough to stop for pedestrians.
     “Chioma Amos.” The same voice called again.
I glanced back once more, this time with a scowl on my face. Exhausted and out of sync with myself after a merry-go-round the market, I was in no mood for any shenanigans.  I just wanted to be out of the sun’s glare as fast as possible.

     Just when I was about to look away again, a woman; average in height, wearing a faded red blouse on top a black short turned gray from years of washing; approached me.




Fighting Emotion (3)

Chapter 3 Ifeoma suddenly found Fred dogging her heels; it was most likely for him to fall into step with her on her way back ...