There’s this song that they used to play on the radio when I was a child. A part of the song says ‘money no dey come from heaven, do better thing more go come, na true word I dey tell you so oya o’
First time I heard the song I wondered what ‘better thing’ meant and why money won’t fall from heaven so that everyone would be happy and rich. So off I went to disturb my dad, and I remember him giving me a talk about dignity in labour and doing honest work.
I had flash back of this part of my childhood because a mail I once received. Let me share it with you guys.
Dear Beloved one,
I am Mrs Nicole Marois, and I have been suffering from ovarian cancer disease and the doctor says that I have just two days to leave. I am from (Paris) France but based in Africa Burkina Faso since eight years ago as a businesswoman dealing with gold exportation.
Now that I am about to end the race like this, without any family members and no child, I have $3 Million US DOLLARS in Africa Development Bank (ADB) Burkina Faso which I instructed the bank to give (St Andrews Missionary Home) in Burkina Faso and I also have $4.5 Million US Dollars at (ECO BANK PLC) here in Burkina Faso and I instructed the bank to transfer the money to the first foreigner that will apply to the bank after I have gone that they should release the fund to him/her, but you will assure me that you will take 50% of the money and give 50% to the orphanages home in your country for my heart to rest with GOD.
I wait your response immediately if you can handle this transfer project on my behalf there in your country.
Yours fairly friend,
Mrs Nicole Marois
I thought people have evolved from this old trick. Mails like this made us a joke in international circles, in movies and novels people snigger at ‘Nigerian princes’ but folks are still doing this? I thought they moved from this help me recover my money let me give you half to them posing like banks and asking people to send them their credit card details?
I once noticed a group of ‘traders’ in Lekki. If you enter into Lekki phase 1 from Ikate or the main gate you’ll spot some men selling strange looking powders in nylons with photos of different people on the floor. They sell jazz, juju, charms call it what you want. I have been too petrified to go near them but their stand was always filled with people. Once I went near them and what did I hear? “So if I touch am with this thing e go give me money?” Sigh. We are a people so focused on money. The end justifies the means for many. People want money in any way possible, causing another person pain is nothing, just get the money.
I remember when I was at the university, and a group of people were trying to rationalise ‘yahoo yahoo.’ They said ‘It’s not that bad, they are smart boys, they invest the money they get and establish business where they employ people, it’s not like are robbing and killing people etc etc. Have you thought about those you are defrauding? The pain you are causing them? People have died from the shock of losing their life savings, so how is it different from robbing and killing?
Money makes life easy, makes life enjoyable but bend your back and work. There is dignity in labour.
Found the title of that song from my childhood- Time na money by Mike Okri.