The Lure of Easy Money

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

One of the ills I see in our society is the elevated position money is given. Not money literally though, I don’t have an issue with people being awarded for making money, where I see a problem, is where money is celebrated in our society without any consideration to the source of the money. We celebrate wealth without paying attention to the values that created them – hence we celebrate thieves, fraudsters, and all forms of illegalities. It’s this same craze, that has gotten over our young ones and now, they have moved from online scams to daylight robbery to seeking the help of spirtualists in getting wealth.

I  heard a few stories lately that didn’t go down well with me, and I feel responsible to the public and my readers to educate, inspire and motivate our collectively pushing forward the right values. Money is good only when it’s source is good. Money is good only if gotten from means that add value to others. Good money must leave a value trail. On the surface level, what I just wrote sounds pretty simple, but it’s not.

Story 1.

This might sound to you like a Joke, but I heard it happened for real. A man calls his son, and has the following conversation with him

Father: My son, I have just decided to call you based on an issue that is really disturbing for me. My grandfather died a poor man, my father also was not rich. I am 65yrs old this year, and I’m not rich, you also are beginning to thread a similar path. My son, I don’t know the details of this business deal you are working on, but if by the end of this year, you don’t make money, please come and carry me and use me to do money! Please my son, somebody in our family must make this money!

I understand that the father’s pastor was the one who related this story.

Story 2.

A woman calls her husband, and asks him that since all these days that they have been working, what do they have to show for it? She then tells him, if he does not think it would be a good decision for them to seek the services of a traditionalist to make “money medicine”. The husband was shocked to his pants, and shared his concern with one of my mentors.

Story 3.

Last week, some of thieves notorious for robbing people on the road between Sagamu and Ijebu Ode got caught. These thieves had made it a regular event to stop and rob people of their cars and possessions. When they were caught they were all discovered to be university students, what you will know as university big boys all from the same school.

Story 4.

A secondary school novelty match was being organized, students from these schools were going to play football against each other in the cheering precense of their classmates. The match is going to take place this week, and I got information from one of the teachers, that the schools are using mercenary – i.e young people that are not students of any school, simply hired to represent the school for money. In response to my utter bewilderment, I was asked how I thought the exams were done, and wether I knew that parents and teachers collaborate to ensure that students passed at all costs.

Story 5.

Two students of the same university a boy and a girl, sign a life time marriage contract, on the basis that the girl would be used for some type of healthy ritual to get wealth, while they both enjoy it’s fruits. She wasn’t going to die, but she was given certain rules and regulations by a traditionalist, the guy is assured of wealth as long as the terms of the blood covenant with the girl is unbroken. I was told this by someone who knows the lady in question directly. She literally sold her soul to the devil and entered into a relationship to guarantee wealth at the tender age of less than 24!

What do all these stories have in common? One thing, a resolve to get results and money without consideration of the source. When I look and see that these ills have already stretched as far as into our secondary school, and yes, primary school educations, I fear, fear!

There are two ways to motivate, there is the carrot and there is the stick. We motivate when we applaud behaviours we want to see, we also motivate when we punish  behaviours we don’t want repeated. There is no future for a nation whose people celebrate behaviours that will lead us all to collective ruin. He lives in a mansion, he has a 10 digit balance sheet, he rides a flashy car, he’s the richest man in Lagos, that’s all we really ever get to hear. Perhaps it’s all we care to ask for. It’s so rampant now, that people would quite easily sell their souls to the devil to have their own traditionally customized cardless ATM machines in their own rooms!

“Agba o kin wa loja ki ori omo tun tun o wo” – It is a taboo for our nation to have elders and we allow the head of a baby come out in bad shape. Of what use is our experience, our elderliness, our values, if we watch as our national values degrade in broad day light! I believe in a New Nigeria, but we’ll not get into a New Nigeria wishing it, we need to have stronger punitive measures for wrong behaviour, we need to sing louder praise and accolade for well gotten wealth. Rather than bombard us with why the koko does her why, why doesnt the media bombard us more with the how’s to the what’s that we know so well? He is the richest man in xyz, but does it not matter that he’s into cocain? He lives in a mansion, but is it okay that he’s a pimp? He’s loaded, don’t you care that he’s perpetrating credit card fraud? He’s stinking rich, don’t you care that the real stink is from offering up another human? Where is the celebration of hard work? Where is the celebration of service? Where is the celebration of value? Where is the applause for innovation, for invention, for creation? Where is praise for balance, for impact, for leadership and support?

As a society we must be more inquisitive, we must celebrate wealth but slowly. We must seek to understand before we applaud. If we don’t understand the why of wealth we can’t replicate it, if why doesn’t matter, then our young people will get it, at any cost! We need to place emphasis on entrepreneurship, on developing personal value and profiting from it. Let it be linear selling or multilevel marketing, let it be service or product, but let it add value. Let it be manufacturing, brokering, or consulting, but let it require effort, time and not be harmful to the life of others. But we must educate our environment on the right concept of labour, and place back the dignity in labour.

We are fast slipping into a generation that asks for an opportunity to just “put in the money, do nothing and get rewards”, “put in the girlfriend, do no work and get money”, “put in for the exam, don’t read and pass”. We want it now, but don’t pay attention to how it comes, that generation is heading south! We need to rescue our nation, our society, our people. That campaign needs to start from you, refuse to be a part of the decay, and don’t look so far at the government, ask, what are you and I doing about these anomalies…?

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