Not all were born with a golden spoon. According to Gordons, a Nigerian comedian, “If you are not born with a golden spoon, don’t ask why. Go and create yours. It is very simple. And the highest mistake you will do is to ask your father why.” I was not born with it but I created mine.
Life then in the barracks was peaceful and calm. People living like one family, where each person sees the other as his or her brother or sister. Then, only a few women were having a professional job or work. Majority of them were pretty traders. And my beloved mom was among the majority. She was a great entrepreneur, with great mastery skills in selling and buying. She normally traded her wears in public places, occupying a small portion where she could place wares on the floor. She usually engaged with seasonal fruits business because they give more profit than other wares for her.
After school, I used to give her a helping hand in marketing. But one fateful day, I failed to come at the usual time. I got lost to cashew nuts game. She waited for me for about 2hrs but I didn’t show up. In school, when I came back to my senses, I was totally confused. I thought of what to do so as to remedy my punishment, but no idea was forthcoming. A thought came to me a few minutes later to drop all my cashew nuts. I called all those I won in the game and distributed the nuts to them. They were very happy for such a charity. They never knew what was happening to me, it was only a forced charity. I left the vicinity like a swift and headed to meet my mom. When I arrived, the lovely woman saw the way I was breathing. She knew already that something took my attention in school. And that could be nothing other than the cashew nuts game. She took my school bag, searched it thoroughly but couldn’t find any nut. I stood like a statue, waiting to know what my fate would be. One of her neighbours said, “Nne, finally he has come. Children nowadays can be very stubborn. Just the other day, I sent my son to buy me a bottle of kerosene a few metres from my house. It took him the whole day to buy it.” “Who asked this woman to intervene? Instead of pleasing with my mom to forgive me, she is there adding fuel to the fire.” My mother dropped my school bag and started tidying up herself. I was afraid because it wasn’t yet time for us to go home and moreover, there was still some large quantity of wares that were still unsold. “Nne, are you closing for the day? My mom looked at her and smirked. She never understood what she meant by that smirk. But as her child, I knew already that something terrible would happen. “If you don’t sell all these things, don’t enter my house,” she said and left. Her friend called her but she didn’t even make a sign that she was the one being called.
That day was not a good day. From all indication, she didn’t make a good sale before my arrival. The wares were still as if they were just bought from the whole-sellers. One thing I so much love my mom is that she can never correct or reproaches you in public. I looked left and right, thinking of how I would sell everything that very day and returned home. The other women around had pity on me. But they couldn’t help. “You children think that food used to fall from heaven. You don’t know that we mothers work day and night to feed you,” the woman close to me said. It was almost 5 pm and the market used to close at 6 pm. I sat on the floor facing my wares. I wasn’t crying physically, but emotionally, I was. All of a sudden, a song came to my mind. This was a song I learned from my mom. From my little observation, she used to sing the song whenever she was emotionally down. The business is not the normal type. It was survival of the fittest. You as the seller, you had to call and persuade customers to buy your wares. As if I knew she would say something because three persons had passed in front of me, and I never called their attention to what I was selling. I was there sing more slowly and gently while the other women were struggling for customers.
It was already 5: 15 pm, no sales yet. Another thought immediately came to my mind that If at the end of the day, nothing positive happened, I would sleep in the market with the security guards. A woman, who looked like a civil servant, came to me and asked how much I was selling my wares. I told her their various prices just the way they were been partitioned by my mom. She bought four partitions without bargaining the price. I was short of words when I was putting them inside a polythene bag. The other women were amazed and speechless. A few minutes later, another woman was just passing with her child by her side. The small boy gazed at my fruits and told said to his mom, “Mummy, I want some oranges and Udara (African star apple).” ” But Junior, you just had your juice now come on, you can’t be stressing me like this,” She said to her son. The child refused to move and stood still crying. Suddenly, she came to me and asked about the prices of my wares. While I was telling her the prices, the other women nearby were busy calling her attention to look also at their wares too. In the end, she bought a reasonable quantity and left. Omg! I could not belief what I was seeing. Immediately she left, two other persons just walked straight to me and asked me to package two portions for each of them. They asked after my mom before leaving. I told them she was not feeling fine and had to go home earlier. ” One of the sellers looked at me and frowned her face. I pretended as if nothing happened.
Other sellers were already gathering their belongings since it was almost time to close for the day, but they were still some fruits left. The instruction was that I have to sell everything before coming home. I knew she meant every word in her order. Lost in the thought of how my night would look like, a young man walked to me and said, ” Edu Brazil, are you the one selling today?” “Good evening sir,” I greeted him. He was a young soldier, who just came newly to the barracks. Since he came, I was the one going almost all the errands for him. He so much trusted me that sometimes he could leave his house for me to tidy it up in his absence. He was with two other military guys. These were the people that saved my life. They bought the remaining fruits that were left and gave me some extra cash.
While I was busy putting things in order to leave, all eyes were on me. They could not believe what they were seeing. One of them said, ” Your God is with you my son.” “Ah! You don’t even know his name. His name is Chinedu, which means ‘ God leads’ ” When I got home that very day, my mom was in a state of confusion when I gave her the cash from the sales of that day. She didn’t know what to say, whether to thank me or reproach me again.
I LOVE YOU, MAMA!!!!