The culture of enjoyment or waste!
Whether it is angels or human beings that are building houses in Nigeria, I don’t know. Ah! Nigerians can build houses. The last time I visited Nigeria, a friend drove me around some places in Lagos, some parts of Lekki or Banana Island, and I could not believe my eyes. I was turning my neck to every direction in awe. It was like I just came from a village as I kept asking him, “Are these houses? Houses like presidential mansions with unbelievable aesthetics and ambience. But the truth is, there is an endemic culture of waste in Nigeria. And that is what has multiplied poverty across the land. The culture is, “To be respected, it must be expensive”. “To be respected, it must be the biggest”.
The life of accumulation versus impartation
Recently, I took stock of some of the clothes I bought and I discovered that for the past 10 years, I have not spent 1% more than what I spend on clothes. Thankful1`ly, it’s my wife that buys all of my clothes, and she is extremely good at making the best choice at the least cost. As long as it is good, I don’t want to know how cheap it is. You won’t know the price anyway. Thank God for this society where very good things cost so little to acquire. Why? I don’t derive value in the price of my shoe or of my clothes. My greatest joy comes when my life blesses and impacts people and puts smiles on their faces.
Don’t wear your wealth, invest in what can raise others too
The money rich Nigerians sink into properties can turn that nation into China in 10 years! Rather than multiplying wealth and value by establishing industries and employing more people, as soon as these corrupt politicians secure a political position, the next thing is to build N5 billion, N10billion mansions. Sincerely, it is a culture of waste in the same nation where tens of millions of people are wallowing in poverty. And this culture of waste is deeply rooted across all strata of the society. When I was in South Africa, South Africans used to say, “If you want to know a Nigerian, check whoever has 2, 3, 4 mobile phones”. No nation develops when wastage is an endemic culture.
There is a difference between decent enjoyment and waste!
When Robert Mugabe died, it took some minutes for a car to drive across the perimeter of his mansion. Did you get that? You have to drive a car for some minutes to exhaust the length of the perimeter of the fence of his house. Where is Mugabe today? And did they bury the house with him? That is the sad reality of life, and why we must not waste money on mundane things. Yes, of course, you should enjoy your money with your family and give yourself and family very good treats. Go for vacation. Eat well, dress well and live in good houses. But don’t waste money. There is a difference between decent enjoyment and waste!
Do you use material things to measure your real worth?
It really has to do with your values. If your worth is measured by how much money you spend on shoes, bags, cars, and houses, then you will spend fortunes to acquire all of these. But if your worth is rooted in your personality, impact, and influence on others, you will not waste fortunes on mundane things. The real measure of value and influence is in how much life you touch. Sincerely, there is nothing wrong in giving yourself a good treat if you have the means. But, spending 20 billion naira to build a presidential mansion when all the people in your life are very poor is acute foolishness. You are a very poor man. And that is the brand name of many of these corrupt people in Nigeria who waste fortunes on houses all across the country and even beyond.
Your greatest investment in life are people. First is your family, and next are the other people in your circle of influence and in then the larger society.
Ayo Akerele, a leadership and system development strategies, is based in Canada and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org