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One of the things I see many middle-aged African men struggling to appreciate is that there is a collaborative process involved in wealth accumulation or plain old survival.
The reason many of us are in conflict in our dating, relationships or marriage is that Africa is still slowly transitioning into a phase where anyone can bring in the dough. It has absolutely nothing to do with your muscles, body mass or genitals.
I got a call recently from a Nigerian restaurant I used to patronize before the lockdown. The madam wanted to know if I would be interested in placing orders like I used to. SA has eased lockdown for home deliveries and Uber eats. So Mama Favour decided to also adapt to the times and start calling up her customers.
It was her husband who was making the rounds with labeled plastic and delivering the food. And you could tell that he probably had something else he would have been doing if Corona has not held everyone hostage.
…there is a collaborative process involved in wealth accumulation or plain old survival.
The interesting thing is how such a man would still have friends who on hearing this would start to make jest about his situation. Some would say they can never do what he is doing. That the worst case would be that their wife would rather go out and deliver the food herself and even still come to serve dinner when she gets back home.
I think it will take centuries for us to fully understand the harm that we do ourselves when we allow these divisive pressures foolishly masked under “culture” to dictate how we operate our lives, families and businesses.
Another harmful way Papa Favour’s situation would be interpreted by his friends is that he is the only one as the man who is taking the big risk. Look at how he is doing deliveries while his wife cooks a cauldron of soup for just a measly 100+ people.
What we easily forget is that it takes more than a drum stick to play a band. One music note doesn’t make a symphony and as massive as buildings are, the absence of human life in them these past months have made them useless. A tiny cut on your smallest finger can render the whole body useless.
The moment we recognize that relationships are a fusion of strengths and capacity into a whole new and bigger entity that relies on various parties, the greater chances we have to accumulate wealth or even just to survive.
What we easily forget is that it takes more than a drum stick to play a band.
Of all the lessons that COVID-19 has left us with, one of the big ones that we must not forget is the interconnectedness of everyone. A little indiscretion by someone you think is insignificant could be the end of everyone. Also, in the places where decisions matter; government offices, laboratories, Amazon, Internet Providers, all these places have something small that could bring them crumbling down.
It could be the waste disposal guy, the cleaner, the gardener, the doorman, the shoe shinner. Imagine all the tiny little efforts by people you may never meet but they are keeping Netflix open, they are keeping Facebook open, your internet providers, your electricity, your water.
The big lesson of COVID19 is a small one.
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