By Ariyike Akinbobola
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.“
I saw this a few days ago on Twitter and it resounded so deeply within me. A lot of young people these days are spending money they don’t have to impress people they don’t like, and these people don’t even care what they think.
I had a meeting with a friend sometime last year and she said the popular slang amongst the “supposed” Lagos Big boys nowadays is “fake it till you make it” she went on to explain that a lot of these so called big boys are driving big cars they can’t even afford. Some are constantly avoiding the car dealers because they are owing huge amounts of money. Others are owing their landlords money all in the name of “I must show them I’m a big boy, I must drive a Range Rover, I must live on the Island”. You find that this calibre of persons are very arrogant and they act as if they are the richest in the world when they really don’t have anything.
While talking about this issue, I asked this question “what if you keep faking it and buying cars, clothes etc on credit and you never make it, what next?” And no one seemed to have an answer to my question. I guess for those who don’t make it, they’ll probably go back to the village or they’ll end up like those people who are constantly telling everyone they meet about how they once had money. If people are going to like you, they would like you whether or not you have all the things you claim to have. People need to realise that sometimes, someone may be willing to help you with a job or business opportunity but because you’ve already potrayed an image of having “too much”, they’ll probably think you don’t need any help and ofcourse they wouldn’t consider you for the opportunity. Why die in silence when you can actually let those around you know the true situation of things concerning you?
It’s really sad to see that very few people want to work hard and they believe it’s easy to make money. If you ask the real millionaires/billionaires if they just slept, woke up and found millions/billions in their bank accounts, they’ll definitely tell you some shocking stories about how they hustled. A lot of our parents have shared their success stories with us and we all know it wasn’t easy for them but at the end of the day, they stayed true to what they believed in and they finally made it.
I’m truly inspired by the true hard workers in our society. I had the privilege of doing my N.Y.S.C in Dangote Industries and the experience made me realise how hardworking some rich people are. As wealthy as Alhaji Aliko Dangote is, as long as he’s in the country, he goes to work everyday and he gets to work early. One would think such a man would spend his time lavishing his money around but trust me, he’s very humble and extremely hard working, that’s the’s the richest man in Africa. If someone like that, with all he has, is still striving to do more, then why can’t you work hard?
When I’m in London, I’m impressed by the talent I see at the tube stations. The man singing while playing his guitar with his hat on the floor, the way he smiles when you drop a one pound coin in his hat makes me smile because I know that one day, his talent would take him to places he never thought he’ll reach. He may record a video, get millions of views on Youtube, get a huge record deal and he may just find himself on the Ellen show. It seems as if we have people like that in our country, but because most of them are too scared and or too lazy to follow their dreams, they resort to other dubious means to make “fast money.” They end up running from pillar to post because they just can’t keep up with the fake lifestyle. Recently, I saw some skater boys distributing flyers to cars driving on the road, I think those boys can start some sort of skating shows where people would pay to come and watch them do some sort of display. As my friend Adams always says – “make your passion your profession so that work would become play” and I added this bit “with plenty pay.”
My friend Yemi always says this “No matter how slow you go, so long as you don’t stop, you’ll get there.” People who are passionate about what they do, who would stop at nothing to make sure they get to where they are going, are the ones who make you realise that your dreams can actually come true. Don’t let your environment, tribe, gender, age or religion limit you. Ozzybosco , the 6year old Nigerian singing and dancing sensation that performed at the Lagos Crossover Countdown concert on the 31st of December , 2012 wowed the audience with his performance. That night, I saw his mum smiling backstage, I’m sure she was extremely proud of his performance.
If Psy all the way from South Korea can make you all scream, jump and dance just like him when you hear gangnam style, then why can’t you do something to make your own life better? If a young Nigerian fashion designer like Stephanie Okeke of Sally Initiego (who started designing clothes at age 6 could get a thunderous applause last year at the Africa fashion week, London at the age of 16, then you should think again if you’re considering faking it till you make it.
It’s a new year, a year of new beginnings, a year of self discovery. It’s time to put away all the fakeness and embrace the newness of your true self because we are all unique in own different ways.