“Daddy, what course should I read in the university?” my son in Senior Secondary School class 2 asked me.
“My son, you should study Money-Making!” I answered unequivocally.
“What do you mean, Daddy? I doubt if there is a course in any university called Money-making but I know of Entrepreneurship”, my son said wondering what had happened to what he once touted as “the ever dependable brain” of his dad. I could guess that the boy was confused and I needed to give him further explanation.
“My son, I mean to say that you are at liberty to choose any course you are at ease with, but you should also figure out how that course would help you to put food on your table and make enough money to shoulder your responsibilities.
“If you choose Agricultural course, think about its applications to making money like commercial farming or setting up Agro-allied industries. If you choose Medicine, think of how to own a medical facility that would provide top-notch services, that would yield the kind of money you want. Do you understand?” I told a son whose eyes had been ignited. In his eyes, I could see a riot of ideas. That was what I wanted to achieve. He needed to be fired up. He must be achievement conscious.
I told my boy that, he might by accident of history or destiny, veer off completely from his area of study upon graduation into another field he didn’t study and out of which he would make a living, that it happened often to many people.
I said this because I gauged that the guy was about to remind me that I read Microbiology and ended up in Banking. Children of these days could be that audacious. They say it without any fear of cane or reproach.
“My son, in your DNA already is a money opportunity detector gene. Every child born by his father has that gene. It is the gene that gives a person from Nnewi, Orlu, Abiriba, or people of Old Bende in Abia State an exceptional ability to sense money from any endeavour from afar. However, my son, note that you don’t have to make money. If that is the case, you better enter the seminary or monastery now.
“I know you love good things of life therefore, you must fathom how to generate money to fund your needs and wants. Once you are out of school, I will withdraw my financial oxygen from you. You shall become your own man.
“Son, you need to make money for your own use and your confidence because “akụ na esi obi ike” meaning that “a wealthy man is a confident one”. You also need to make money to take care of your wife, children, your mum, your inlaws and the extended family.
“Listen to me, don’t mind the effusive love your mum professes for me, it got sweeter when I started earning more money and giving her the comfort she craved for. I’m afraid that the intensity of that love might decrease if I become poor but she will deny it if you ask her.
“Verily verily I say onto you my son, please believe me as your father, money is not love but it’s the salt in a lovesoup as it is the sugar in a lovetea. Your wife will love more a “successful you” than a “you in lack”.
“You must also make allowance for me, your father, especially when I shall become weak and old. You now can see clearly that I’m also an interested party?
Of course, you need to make enough money to be able to earn relevance in the ụmụnna, our village and Nnewi assembly”, I carefully but painstakingly told my son with punctuated emphasis.
I also painted for my son the picture of Hell more lurid than the Gehena painted in the Bible. I always tell him to be upright, fair and square in his quest to achieve his life’s goal; that both Heaven and Land of Our Ancestors are real and that only good souls enter there.
In this encounter and in many others, I impressed it on my son the need to always be alert in his thoughts and awareness that he must be financially responsible.
He also knows that he will marry early. That too helps to focus a young man. All the billionaires of reckon in Nnewi married before the age of 27.
That is how we raise boys into men in Nnewi.
However, if an Nnewi son tries his best and doesn’t create the level of wealth he craves for “enu na ana” or “the land and the heavens” would bear him witness that he put in best.
When the outcome doesn’t justify the inputs or when the outcomes are moderated by the viccitudes of life then, the victim is said to be “omebelu ma Chi ekwena” meaning “one who did his best to succeed but it was not meant to be”. We too have many of such cases in Nnewi.
By Anayo M. Nwosu