As I made my way home last week after teachin practice I stopped to take a bike home, like I usually do…the okada man was like 100 bucks…and I looked at him like…r u on that cheap stuff…u don see mugu, u don see mugu…I told him it was 60 bucks I normally pay..ofe gbaju omo lo mo….anyways he agreed,if he didn’t id just find another okada man…and after that bargain as I sat on the okada I just smiled and was really proud of my self…lol…I was proud because years ago id probably have paid him the 100 bucks or even more, he’ll ask for 100 and ill pay him 120..sugomu rich man’s pikin that I was.
I used to be one of those spoilt kids, I went to five of the best private schools in Nigeria. I had a personal driver when I was 11 and in jss3, Mr Ben. I mean money was spent lavishly and stupidly if I might add…frugality wasn’t in my books or my parents.. it was almost as if they felt…if u have the money spend spend spend, well if daddy had the money, presurrize him to spend spend spend…….not spend wisely..just spend.
I never bothered to price stuff…clothes shopping I always bought the most expensive but horrid looking things…I bought a shirt and skirt for 7500 , and that was like six years ago I mean i am pretty sure it didn’t cost more than 3500 or 4000, my school shoe in ss2 cost 15,000…they were boots…but what did I care, there was money and I was spending, am sorry my daddy was spending.
My father was kind of a big deal back then, every other day he was in the papers, he practically ran one of the leading advertising companies in Nigeria.
Most of my clothes were not bought in Nigeria….I had more clothes than I needed when I was much younger, too many clothes that when relatives came over they stole and I didn’t notice till much later. When I watch “My super sweet sixteen” show on MTV even though it makes me want to hurl, that parents could spoil their children that much and children could be that spoilt. I was once like that and if I weren’t so young then my dad would have probably done all of that and more. Now when I watch the show I am so disgusted by the antics of the drama kings and queens of the show…and I want to reach into the TV and slap them silly. Like wake up!!!!!
I was one of those overprotected kids, I never spent a day in anybody’s house, people always came over, always chauffeur driven, wasn’t allow to use public transport, I had to give like three says notice if I wanted to visit a friend.At home every last staurday of the month we had these lavish five course meals where our chef….chef oh…Mr Ben Ironbar..who later went mad…I don’t know why…used to cook sumptuous meals…I mean there’s nothing this man couldn’t cook…basically we were living the life. The folks traveled every other day,lodged in places like Waldorf Astoria in Newyork, attended parties, drove the nicest cars….We all went to church but not to worship God but to see who was going to out pledge the other today, or gossip about whose father’s car is the nicest…very shallow stuff that shouldn’t really matter.
Whenever we traveled it was always in a convoy, stayed at the best hotels, my dad threw the biggest parties, the biggest of which was when his mother died in Ibadan, it was the party of the year. Daddy had so many friends, Mummy too, she was one of those society women who changed her hair every week and spent her husband’s money buying lace and gold…but my mother worked, she wasn’t just spending money.
I just want you to picture how good it was….
Basically life was good and I have lived the life….
And then it happened.
My dad left his job when I was about 11, there were some problems in his office, certain people ganged up against him and he had to leave, my brothers had already bought all their Betta forms and where ready to go abroad for college but that had to be put on hold.
My dad set up his own advertising company and set up a school for my mother….some of the staff from his fomer company left and joined his company. He was doing very good for the first four years…and then slowly but surely it started going downhill…am not going to go into all that happened but it was a long hard couple of years of trying to survive…I wouldn’t say we were suffering…God still sustained us but our standard of living dropped.
The girl who had a washer man and washing machine suddenly had to wash her clothes, that only lifted a broom in boarding house had to bend down, sweep and do house chores, we had a house help now not a chef anymore. No more personal driver, my brothers filled that position.
The cars reduced from like 9 to like 4, the dogs also reduced lol…No more last Saturday meals, me and my brothers always joked that the song that reminds us about that period was that song by the group Ruff Ends - “No more shopping sprees, no more late night treats, no more doe….”..lol….yes! it was pretty much like that, we went from very comfortable to just average folks, from upper class to middle class…sometimes things got very good but then they’d take a nose dive. All the friends I thought my daddy had were no were to be found, my mother’s friends with whom she formed her own “destiny’s child clique” where too cool to hang out with her. My dad’s company went belly-up…we learnt a lot from what happened but I am sure finding God, was the most important thing we took away from the whole experience, church was no more a chance to show-off, we changed churches and now it was a time to serve God
We became a more close knit family. Had do make do without all the luxuries we had before. Clothes were not bought every Christmas now or whenever we felt like, we had to make do with what we had or an amount that wasn’t quite what we were used to.
When there’s no money, problems always arise…my mom and dad argued every now and then…but it wasn’t anything too serious..the next minute they were all lovey dovey but money used to cause a lot of arguments..I have seen my mum cry, seen my dad sad….i have cried….i know my brothers have!
When I knew it was so bad was when I had to leave school cause my father couldn’t pay 100,000 to complete my school fees, not that he didn’t have the money but if he paid, other important things would suffer, he needed it for the maintenance of the house and I had to understand. My mum’s school was sustaining us but it wasn’t doing as well because there wasn’t any money to advertise and get more buses and attract more parents.
My daddy promised I’d go back to school, and I believed him, cause I believe in my dad, he had never let me down and I had to be understanding and I believe in God,he sees what is happening and he will answer my cries and prayers.
I entered public transport for the first time when I was 19, I would not be staying in my 75,000 naira hostel anymore….i was scared…most of my life id been shielded, I didn’t know how to act, I wasn’t street smart and you could probably tell by looking at me..the first day I entered a bus a girl way younger than me,who lived on my estate held my hand….and showed me the ropes…it was horrible!!!
Its been 11 years since my dad lost his job, 7 years things till got real bad…2 years after I started entering public transport…I am 22 now and I am happy we all went through those harrowing times because we came out stronger, wiser, with a stronger belief in God and his ability to change a person’s situation in a blink of an eye, God doesn’t work on your time, its been 11years, me and my brothers said we were going to sing Daft Punks “one more time” when there was a financial breakthrough!!!
And oh boy we are singing now….God has been wonderful….even though things are a whole lot better now, i have learnt to be a lot wiser with my money, I am less dependent, who would have ever thought that id be happy at the fact that I don’t have to wait for anybody to drive me around, I can do things myself…I call myself pako ajebutter, lol…..i am no longer the terrified girl who dreaded the outside world, who had long been in her cocoon…..
I can handle what life throws at me, cause ive been through a lot and I know with God, things will get better. I don’t spend foolishly anymore..lol..i am not a cheapskate oh..but I will not buy something that looks horrid for 7500, never again..thou shalt not be a mugu again!!!! I don’t believe just cause I have money I must spend spend spend…..i now deliberate on whether I really need it or whether it is worth the price, I am not out to impress anybody anymore…I am thankful for what I went through cause I believe it made me stronger.
I would like to introduce a new blogger,shes a friend and an ex classmate...oh yeah and i pretty fine writerpls check out her blog and give her the whole blogville welcome.... JOURNAL OF LIL WOMAN