Monday, March 20, 2023
HomeEconomyAnd today, I want to talk about my friend Kabiru (a...

And today, I want to talk about my friend Kabiru (a must read)

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…Kabiru worked wit a government establishment in Lagos (I cant remember the name of the establishment- or maybe I don’t want to divulge it)

…In Kabiru’s place of work, they wear what they call, white and white wears….and sometimes the white shirt goes wit a dark blue trouser…and their job has a lot to do wit bein in the sea…I guess u know them now!

Kabiru is from Kano…and found himself workin in Lagos,…..and except his establishment finds a need of workin in the rivers and not the sea… ..bein near the sea will always be his second home

And Kairu had a beautiful Hausa Fulani wife that he married not too long when he moved to Lagos……she was those kind of ladies when u see their skin tone u will know it was not raised by parents on salary scale…..because it requires big money to maintain them, and so if you are comin to ask for her hand in marriage you need to have that in mind too!..

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Kabiru was a salary earner but that didn’t seemed to stop him…and it didn’t matter to lady too when she saw him the first time…she was more taken by love at first sight than the prospect of sustaining the love when the marriage train leaves the station

… she was in love and didn’t seemed to mind wat he earned as salary when he proposed to her..but Kabiru knew she will as the marriage train starts its journey!

..u know how these our young Hausa Fulani ladies of eighteen and twenty year old,, are easily swept with romantic ideas..,..u see a handsome young man, well built, dashin look, comin in well starched uniform to request for ur hand in marriage, and lookin at his sterlin physique, u become enthralled and u think that is wat marriage is all about, ..u become filled wit romantic fantasies– oohh! a new Ali Nuhu is here for me! …..and when u get urself into the marriage tin, it is then u realize there are many things more attractive in a man than havin six packs and reelin romantic yarns in ur ears!

And so u see wit such a wife that was raised from a plush background and one that came wit a high expectations of him…and wit children to come in the set up soon, Kabiru knew such a marriage wont be an easy ride for him and so he had to look for new ways to make present ends and expected ends to meet

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….thank God he did not need to think too far – .he already had an idea…..he saw that he could move into the cow buyin and sellin business that was so lucrative in Lagos

….u know how Lagosians love meat…..they eat it like fish takes in water..!

And so Kabiru wit his knowledge of the businessmen sellin cows back home..and him workin in Lagos, decided he could get in and cash on the lucrative cow business…

.it is a not complex business, it is easy if u know how it is done- first, organize and pay for cows from Kano…and then move them to Lagos to the abbatoirs and meet the meat buyers and when they make a sell, u get ur cut – that is it, clean and smooth profit…cow meat is needed in largeb quantity daily at the numerous abattoirs in the city of Lagos….there is never a surplus market for cow meat in Lagos

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And so Kabiru started goin to Kano on weekends….get the cows ready..and make arrangements to transport them to Lagos…and he is back to office by Monday mornin..and the cows arrive in Lagos to his contacts…..and he sees his bank alerts from his customers the next day !..

…..yes,, and Kabiru became a member of the My Bank Alert no de Bounce league!…..( with Apologies to Psquare, or is it Mr P and Rudeboy now?)

Kabiru was a nice and hardworking young man…so he had no problem wit getting permission from his boss to travel to the northe every weekend….afterall the office closes for the weekend….and bosses love helpin a nice young man who does business by the side to keep body and soul, and when he is also generous with some of the profits too…especially those bosses who spent a better part of their workin life bein all professional and livin salary based!

And so it was all well wit Kabiru,….and soon he became one of the few in his line of work who view the sound of salary alert on their handsets as an annoyin interference

Well, it was well for Kabiru, but not for long…..

…all was well wit Kabiru until a new boss was posted in…… the man was a thoroughbred professional and a no-nonsense commander….one of those out to “sanitise the rotten Nigerian system”, as he always called it….and he immediately took exceptions to Kabiru’s little liberties!

He didn’t waste time in bringin Kabiru under strict control wit a hard rebuke

“young man look!..” he said in his usual authoritative manner of addressin subordinates that was always aimed at letting u know who was the boss… “ I am not the kind of senior officer to overlook all that ur nonsense here!” he started wit self anointin zealotry even when no one asked him which kind of a senior officer he was!

“u cant be travelin out like that….not under my watch!..If u ave notin doin on weekends u can get the men to keep the Base all clean and good…cut the grasses…organize lectures for the young trainees, this my father’s job comes first u know!…u young men need to take this job more seriously…… one, I tell u will ave it like that under my watch!” he told him

When a big man says – MY WATCH!-u better be careful before he starts writin open letters and stinkers start flyin around!

And when ur boss calls a government job his father’s job… brother take cover, must be one of those no nonsense crack professionals!

And so Kabiru piped low…..the cow business money stopped comin and to maintain the expensive lifestyle his family was use to, he went into reserve, .

…but he kept observin his boss closely and patiently…like a hunter does to a prey, waitin for an opportunity to attack

….he knew some times people hate u for wat they cannot be…..and if the boss had a problem wit someone raisin a little cash from the sides….then he must be amongst those officers who spent the better part of their workin lives all being so professionally tightened without building an alternative revenue source at the time when opportunity came and are now getting old and are imprisoned by an ossified outlooked on life…and the only tin left for these kind of people is looking out for salary alerts at the end of the month wit sweat building on their brows when 29 of the month comes without hearin a bank alert…and if his boss was that kind of man Kabiru could understand his way of thinki

Kabiru studied his boss closely….he saw that he had a wife who was a full time housewife- a problem to Nigerian salary earner….- and there were three small children attendin low budget private schools – still private schools, and private schools means school fees….well, a bigger problem to such a man…and from the state of the man’s car no one needed to tell u wat hardship salary earners undergo in naija!

Kabiru complied swiftly with his boss’ directives and engaged fully in the normal regimental activities at the base…bein all punctual and obedient…organisin cleanin and lectures for the young trainees on weekends….and wit that he had no further friction wit the new boss

But Kabiru was a strategist…and the first mark of strategy is restraint

…..Kabiru was not ready to give up his cow business, his reserves wont last forever ….he kept observin his boss closely..and waited till Christmas time, and then he struck

… Kabiru saw that as Christmas was approaching his boss was becomin uncharacteristically quiet and moody……it was expected …December is not a good month for salary earners in naija… wit the Christmas spendings, and the school fees lurkin by the corner as the school new year resumption dates approaches too….for a salary earner Christmas time is always a period u didn’t need to go under a machine to know ur blood pressure has shot up! a day before Christmas Kabiru went to the nearby market at Mile 12 and bought two heavy goats., cartoons of drinks…large provisions….four bags of rice….and other Christmas handpack things …and he put all into a pick up van and headed to his boss’ house

If u see Kabiru and all the heavy stuff in the back of the pick up van, u would think he was going to ask the hand of an Ibo girl in marriage!
He knocked on the door of his boss’s house, wit care not to make much noise of it……one of the sons came up, and Kabiru asked for his dad….. the boy ran inside to call him

..before he even reached the door Kabiru could sense his boss’ fury
“look here young man..what are are u doin at my house?!” he shouted hotly, seein Kabiru standin by the door.

.Kabiru remained calm and smiled…he took ihis boss’ angry outburst as a welcome

He bowed slightly and paid him compliment

“young man!,….. are u here to ask for permission to travel out again?..did they not tell u that I gave orders for no leave and passes till February?” he shouted at Kabiru hotly

(ah ah! Relax now oga! So every thing about Kabiru na permission to travel again?!)

“no sir..” Kabiru gave another polite low bow like the one new emirs do to their governors after comin out of a hot succession race

“I just came to wish u happy Christmas sir and bring some few things for mummy for the Christmas celebrations sir” Kabiru said politely…

…u don’t need to ask who mummy is in Nigeria’s official jargon

His boss let out an “mmhh!?” sound so loud that sounded like the burst from a broken exhaust pipe..and he pushed a foot outside to see wat Kabiru was talkin about…it was then he saw the pick up van all packed up….

“wat is that!” his boss shouted wit fear and excitement at seein wat came in the van…..u would think Kabiru was handin over Shekau to a police DPO!

“yes sir……is all for mummy and my little brothers to do Christmas sir” Kabiru said to the man respectfully

Don’t ask me if Kabiru is related to his boss’s children..u would call ur boss’ kids, my little brothers too, if u want to advance ur career in naija

“oh oh!” his boss shouted ..nd despite the presence of his wife who had come to join him by the door, he was almost prostratin to thank Kabiru…the way he was comin down to say thank u to Kbabiru, u would think he was brought up by Ijebu parents!

“my son!.. my son!” he shouted as he hugged Kabiru!

Yes he said my son…lest u don’t get it, he was referrin to Kabiru

“as if u know my problem at this time my son! ..oh it was my God that sent u to me..My God will bless..God must have sent u to me!” he was huggin kabiru so tighly ….”oh my son….my God must ave sent u”

(Before nko? devil send am?)

…Kabiru bowed down respectively to accept his boss’ blesssin

Kabiru then moved to start bringing the things he brought down from the van ….but his boss stopped him

“oh don’t worry, let me get some boys by the gate to help wit that my son” he said

“no sir..I can manage sir….no need to add more hands” Kabiru said.

His boss got the logic of avoidin extra help..and nodded sharply

…gettin some help from outside to help wit offloadin the goodies, meant he would need to share out of these great goodies wit the help when they are through and the boss saw wat kabiru brought was enough to last till the middle of the newyear, no need to start reducing it now…so the man got the wisdom and dropped the idea of callin for help and quickly joined Kabiru in bringin the stuff into the house

It was a week after, on a thursday that he called Kabiru to his office
“good morning sir” Kabiru said as soon as he entered and came to attention

“Kabiru relax ur legs…no need for all that ur Regular salute..we are all gentlemen officers here…” he was smiling at Kabiru wit the fondness of a 50 year old bride being taken to the alter!

“oh sit down my son” his boss said cheerfully pointin to a chair nearest to him that was normally reserved for his most important visitors

..…Kabiru sat down carefully in the seat…before then Kabiru wont know if the seat could carry a man’s weight…..the best his boss had done before was to let him off after standin for no more thirty minutes in his office…..sittin in his boss’ office was never an option…but in life tins change…so Kabiru sat down

“Kabiru are u not travelin to Kano for the New Year?” he asked him wit deep care like a concerned mother checkin her baby’s body temperature for sign of malaria

“no sir” Kabiru said.

“Why?!” his boss shouted in shock as if a doctor announced to him that he was havin a terminal illness.

“sir…I need to be around durin the holidays to help clean the base…get the men’s lecture notes ready….and organize trainin for the new intakes as u said we should be more professio ..” Kabiru started explainin but his boss cut him off

“ah ah Kabiru why now?!..u need to travel to go see ur people in the north and do other thins that will help everyone my son” he said to Kabiru

….he did not mentioned business..but kabiru understood wat other tins meant

And wit his boss’ urgin he accepted, and Kabiru traveled to kano for the weekend ..and many other weekends after that, he needed only to ask and his pass was ready….Kabiru never had any problem wit his boss again…..he was his son now

What am tryin to bring out this mornin is a simple lesson, and that is, – no matter how tough a situation is ..if u can only think in line wit solvin the next man’s problem..he will be obliged to solve urs too…

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