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|This Farmer Has Done Everything, And Wants To Be Governor by BigCabal: 11:14am On Oct 05, 2022|
What’s your earliest memory of money?
I went into my mum’s purse to steal money to play PS1. It was about ₦5 per game.
How old were you?
Between six and 10.
You were already going out to play games that young?
Yes o. I was one of those children that matured pretty fast.
As a child, I was abused by an older lady, so I think that made me grow up faster than people my age. Before my friend introduced me to gaming, all I did after school was read. My dad didn’t like beating me, so he always found punishments that encouraged me to read or just be smarter.
It started with writing one to 1000 on foolscap paper. After that, even when he wasn’t punishing me, he’d bring home up to 20 short books every Thursday from his office’s library. I had to read and summarise them for him by Sunday evening. All that reading also helped me develop faster mentally.
When my friend introduced me to gaming, I started to read faster so I could have time to go out.
I’m now curious about what home was like
I was an only child until I turned six, so I was often bored. My dad is a chartered accountant, and my mum is a caterer. Ours is a humble background.
What does that mean?
I had garri for breakfast and lunch almost every day for years. In retrospect, I think that’s why my eyesight is terrible now. It was common for me to be sent away from school because I defaulted on fees. I had such low self-esteem. I used to run away from church before service closed because I wore tatters and didn’t want to interact with my age mates who were better dressed.
When my parents had me in 1989, they weren’t even close to being financially stable. I think it’s these days people look for financial stability before getting married. Things started to get better when I was about nine years old.
How did you know things were getting better?
Yorubas have a saying — “T’ébi bá kúrò nínú ìsẹ́, ìsẹ́ búse”. It means once hunger is no longer a part of your problems, you’re no longer a pauper. We started eating less garri and more rice, beans and spaghetti. Chicken was still a luxury, but things were getting better. I also wasn’t getting sent out of school anymore.
But it’s not like things were great great. I still had to walk about eight kilometres every day for my six years in secondary school.
What happened after secondary school?
I finished secondary school in 2009 and didn’t pass maths in WAEC or GCE, so I couldn’t go to university. To be honest, I didn’t even want to. I wanted to join the army. All the books and newspapers I read growing up gave me knowledge about politics and history, and the army just felt cool. Being in the army was popular when I was growing up, even until Obasanjo was president. Also, because of my parents, I listened to a lot of old songs from Fela and the likes that spoke about change. Many of these songs mentioned the army.
In retrospect, too, I think I wanted to be in the army because of my self-esteem and anger issues.
So you joined the army?
Not immediately. I first went to computer school for six months. There, I learned Microsoft Word, Corel Draw, Excel, how to clean a hard drive, and how to fix computers. It was ₦15k, but my dad could only afford ₦7k. Thankfully, they never asked for the balance because the owner took a liking to me.
I talked about history and politics with him. So instead of sending me away when it was time for defaulters to leave, he sent me on errands instead. I bought food, delivered messages and shared flyers convincing people to join the school. At some point, I even taught other students.
After computer school, I did factory jobs that paid ₦5k a month just to hold body. That’s how most of 2010 went. In 2011, I joined the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
How does one join the NDA?
I don’t know about now, but I had to write JAMB and pick NDA as my first choice. If you pass JAMB, you then have to do physical and psychological evaluations before you’re admitted. NDA is free to attend because it’s in service to your country, so my dad didn’t have to worry about money. In fact, I got monthly stipends from the government. Like ₦15k. Because of my political dreams, I decided to study political science.
Study political science in NDA?
Yes, the NDA is like a university. In addition to military training, you also study a course for four years so you can specialise in the army.
Makes sense. What was NDA like?
I dropped out after two years.
An uncle in the army advised me to. He thought I had “bigger potential” than being a soldier. For example, if I became a governor — I still want to — I’d have soldiers at my beck and call. He wanted me to go to a university, get a proper education, and establish myself as a non-military man. Being in the army meant I could only get promoted when the army wanted me to. On the outside, I had the potential to be whatever I wanted.
I’d probably even be dead now if I was in the army. If not from Boko Haram, then from being too radical and getting in trouble.
Yep. After I had to rewrite WAEC. I studied public administration. It was meant to be political science, but I made a mistake with the JAMB form.
Did anything fun happen in school?
When I was in my second year, in 2014, there was a long ASUU strike. Because I was bored and broke, I decided to look for ways to make money. I went to a school near my house and told them I wanted to teach for them, and they agreed. The pay was ₦14k to teach government. Over time, they added English, commerce and literature with no additional pay. But I didn’t collect my salary until the end of my six months there. I told them to keep it for me because I wanted to use it to buy a laptop. The money I survived on was after-school lesson money. Like ₦5k a month.
There was also a brief stint where I learned to sew during this strike period. I had to stop because my eyesight was a problem.
By the time I was resuming school in late 2014, I’d used my saved salary and a ₦20k bonus to buy a ₦52k laptop, pay my ₦20k fees and buy foodstuff. When I got back to school, I started a security business.
Read full story: https://www.zikoko.com/money/naira-life/nairalife-this-farmer-has-done-everything-and-wants-to-be-governor/
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