PEGASUS REPORTERS, LAGOS | JANUARY 13, 2022
“Hey runt!” shouts Bidemi
“Stop calling me that!” replied Joseph
“What do you want him to call you?” asks Ebenezer
Joseph is the fifth and last born of his parents. Their father is a civil servant working with the state government. They rarely see their dad since he has three wives and he rotates where he stays every month. Their mum tries had to make ends meet as their father finds it hard to put down the money needed to take care of her five children. Their mum is the first wife but after David was born their dad married a second wife saying he wants a girl child. Now he has three wives and no girl child.
“You boys had better come over here right now and help me in taking these things outside” scolds their mum
“Yes ma!” the three boys reply at the same time
Their mum cooks and sells food in front of their compound. It is fortunate that her father, their grandfather, left her one of his many houses as an inheritance when he died. For when their dad decided he wanted to marry a second wife he asked their mum to leave. They had a huge fight but now he come around because of money.
“Put the gas cooker over there Joseph” she says pointing to the right side
“Bidemi you go and bring the oil from inside the store” She says
“Ebenezer did you pick the beans? I don’t want the customers to complain of stones in their food again o” she says as she arranges the table to place the coolers on it
A few hours later
“Mummy the plantain has finished!” David tells his mum
“Ah madam why did you not fry enough plantain now? You know I can’t eat without plantain in my food. I have been buy food from you for how long now?” says Racheal one of her loyal customers
“David check that green bowl. Racheal’s plantain is inside” says their mum
“Okay ma” Davis says as he does what his mum tells him. He gives Racheal her food and she pays him
“Thank you ma. Enjoy your food. We hope to see you tomorrow” David says
“Madam I like this your son o. He knows how to take care of customers. Not like that your oldest son. What is his name again?” says a man eating his food on the seat provided by Joseph’s mum
“His name is Ebenezer sir” says Bidemi
“Yes that one! He is always frowning” says the man. The other people eating laughs
“Where is Ebenezer?” Joseph’s mum asks Bidemi
“He says he was going to see his friend in the next street” says Joseph
“Samuel! Samuel!!” shouts their mum
“Ma” Samuel comes running
“Go and call me that Ebenezer and tell him if he is not here with you in the next ten minutes he is going to go live with his father” says their mum
All the boys don’t want to live with their father. The last wife lives with him and she is a very wicked woman. Every naira their dad gives her is spent on aso-ebi and partying. She beats the boys when they come to spend time with their dad and lies to their father who then punishes them.
“Mummy I am here” says Ebenezer as he comes running to meet his mum
Joseph just looks on. He dreams to have a chain of restaurants someday. His teacher in school taught them about vision and how vision board can help them in making their dreams come true. Beside his bed he has pasted his vision board so he sees it every day.
Ten Years Later
“Thank you sir” Joseph says to the agent
“You say you want to be selling food in the place? Are you not a student of the Lagos State University?” says the agent that helps Joseph get the shop he just paid for
“Yes sir I want to sell food here and I am a student of the university” Joseph relied
“Why don’t you finish school before you start business?” asks the agent
“Sir my mum is late and my dad will not pay for my school fees. I saved this money working in a factory. I always missed classes because I had to be at work” says Joseph
“Ah sorry to hear about your mum. But how will you not miss classes having a business of your own?” asks the agent
“I have some friends who are willing to help me if I pay them” says Joseph
“Joseph this your canteen is growing fast o” says Lanre, Joseph’s immediate older brother
“Thanks to you and all your help” says Joseph as they sit to do the final inventory of the day to see what they have for the next day’s sales.
“Have you heard from Ebenezer and Bidemi?” asks Lanre
“Ebenezer has finished his masters’ degree and is moving from Texas to Maryland to start work next week. Bidemi hasn’t called” says Joseph
“I wish mum was here” says Samuel
“I don’t understand why our own father kicked us out of the house we were living in. That house was not even his” say Joseph
“Please leave him alone o. I am happy we don’t have anything to do with him anymore” Says Samuel
Fifteen years later
“Good morning Joseph you have someone here to see you” says Patricia his secretary
“Who is it?” Joseph asks
“He says he is your father” says Patricia
“Please let the man in” He says knowing that the man is his Uncle because his father died some years ago
An old man walks in. He looks sick and haggard.
“Hello my son” says the old man
“That would be all Patricia” Joseph tells his secretary
Joseph now has a chain of restaurants across the country and even in some other West African countries. The dream he had as a child while he helped his mother sell food every morning has come true and gotten even bigger than he had imagined. His brothers were also doing well in their career and businesses.
The old man is Joseph’s uncle who tried to help him when their dad kicked them out of their mother’s house after she died.
“Uncle!” Joseph rushes to hug him
“How are you doing son?” his uncle asks
“I am fine sir. How is your family?” Joseph asks
“Everyone is fine. I came to thank you for the new car you sent to my house. But you know I can’t accept it. I don’t drive anymore” says his uncle
“I know sir. Your driver will resume on Monday. It is Ebenezer and Bidemi who bought you the car sir. I was just the one to send it over” says Joseph
“I wish your mother was alive to see how well her sons are doing. She would be very proud” says their uncle
“Thank you sir” says Joseph
Mizz Tee has been teaching entrepreneurship to students in upper primary and secondary school for almost 10 years now. She believes that for a people to become great the younger generation,just be empowered with the tools to grow and be their own boss. She’s a graduate with an MBA in entrepreneurship and lives in Benin Republic. Her stories are written to teach the younger generation that entrepreneurship is not for adults only but that they, too, can become great using their minds and hands from an early age. There are so many young children around the world who are have done great things as entrepreneurs and we will be featuring them from time to time here every Saturday.
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