#PAUSIBILITY:  HOPEFUL MIRAGE by Adebayo Coker

TwImg-20140827-121643Last week, I asked that a good Nollywood producer contact me so that I give him/her a nice script that could make a blockbuster but none came forth.  Today, I want to display a bit of what I have in stock.

My dear reader, (peradventure you are campaigner of #30PercentOrNothing), I am not being tendentious or quaint here, but I will like us to learn as we read this didactic story. Let me add, it is only for discerning minds.

Nikangan became a widow as a result of one of those Kirakita wars that hit the village of Kagbepo. Her nephew, Ohunnikanloku also became an orphan. Nikangan lost everything but was able to escape, being consumed by thewar that virtually wiped out her entire family, with a 2month old baby. Like her, Ohunnikanloku escaped the gruesomeness of the war a lonesome.

After relative peace returned to the land of Kagbepo, Nikan was able to locate his only surviving nephew, Loku. Expectedly, she took him in and cared for him alongside her only son, Agolopa,

Few months after the reunion, Nikan fell ill, and knowing she may not survive the sickness, called Loku to her bedside, handed Lopa to him and made him promise to take proper care of his cousin, assuring them that both of them will become very great if they could keep the love in the family going strong. She handed him an heirloom, and charged him to make proper use of it, as that was the secret of the massive wealth every member of their family enjoyed. She made him promise to pass the secret of the loom to Lopa when he becomes of age. Ordinarily, she wouldn’t have passed the secret to Loku as anyone who would be the torchbearer must have attained a certain age; but as it stood, she was left with no choice, except she wanted the secret to die with her; hence she passed it on to him regardless of his infantileness. At the end of her many admonitions, she passed away.

She was given a befitting burial.

Loku took his young cousin in. He could pass as Lopa’s father: they had an eighteen- year age difference between them.

As time went by, Loku being an industrious young man, discovered that the small object that was given to him by his aunt could be converted to a massive object that will not only be beneficial to his immediate family, but to the entire people of Kagbepo and environs. He took the chance,                                                                        and he recorded some massive wealth; but he was so afraid to share it with others as he recalled the experience of Kirakita war that wiped his entire lineage out, if not for the grace of God that spared him and his handsome cousin. He loved his cousin so much until Tenuboro from Bolebajekobaje village came onto the scene.

Tenuboro had advised Loku that both of them could go to the city where they stand a better chance at making their lives far better than it was in Kajogbepo village. Tenu never gives  an advice pro bono; he is always looking out for himself in any way he could.

Loku, in his usual infantilism jumped at the possibility of exploring the beauties the world could offer. Not at all a bad thing you will say. Good!

Tenu, knowing that Loku can’t do away with his little cousin went further to advise him to get Lopa into a boarding school since going to school was the new fad in the nearby Ohunorioje village, which he believed will be lauded by the villagers as no one in their lineage ever succeeded at attending a school let alone becoming a graduate. Loku bit deep into the idea.

Expectedly, Loku stocked Lopa adequately:  Name it. Whatever he needed, even things he didn’t need. He gave him all. And off he sent his little cousin of about six years of age to Ohunorioje village. Lopa too was happy that he will be a pacesetter in the history of their family.

On their way to the city of Eminimoniayemi , Tenu asked that they  stop over at every village they travel by and sow their wild oats as they went along , to mark their departure  from Kajogbepo. Loku, smilingly bought into the idea without checking it twice.

Eventually they got to their destination and it appeared like some good fortune had been awaiting them. They started breaking new grounds and in few years they were both established industrialists. A joint venture; Jaiyeorie Plc., was established with Loku as the CEO and Tenu, the CFO. Tenu was a better manager as he was usually mouthy in any topic that may crop up.

Meanwhile, since they left, Loku had only gone back to the village twice to check on his cousin. On both occasions, he had gone with funds which he deposited with the proprietress of the boarding school that Lopa attended; (his fees were ahead of many classes) and he also made provision for his upkeep.

When Lopa asked him why he rarely came to check on him, he gave the excuse that he was having it rough in the city. Anyway, he had been told by Tenu not to let anyone in the village (including his cousin Lopa), know about their newfound wealth, and  he had agreed to it. He left his car in a neighboring village and took a motorbike to Kajogbepo just to conceal his massive wealth from his people.

When they (Loku and Tenu) attained marriageable age, Tenu suggested they get married and reduce their philandering. He took him a wife, his cousin from Bolebajekobaje village.

Things got better and better just as the bible says: A man that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

The conviviality of marriage and childbearing made Loku forgot he had a consanguineous responsibility back in Kajogbepo.

All communication lost between Loku and Lopa.

Soon, Lopa was faced with challenges as the money Loku dropped had run out. He expected his sweet cousin to have come back to replenish his purse but he hadn’t come back since he left some years ago. Lopa had savored the sweet juice of education and wouldn’t want to stop drinking from that fountain of knowledge, so he decided to take some time off school, work and employ a private tutor in order to achieve his dream. He pursued this vigorously and he was able to earn a Senior Secondary Certificate, but the huge demand of a university education he couldn’t bear, so he decided to go work in the city.

Fate brought them together in the city of Eminimoniayemi. Lopa had applied for a job as a gatekeeper in Jaiyeorie Plc., and is meant to meet the CEO as the last stage of interview. As he walked into the massive office of the CEO, he marveled, just as the spirit of Queen of Sheba left her at the sight of Solomon’s riches. He shakily sat before the CEO who was faced down attending to a file. When he lifted his face, he saw his cousin. His only relative. His only surviving extended relation.

He lamented. He took him in his arms. He wept. He apologized, and they went home to his house together.

Just as they settled for a chat after a good meal, he asked why Lopa didn’t use his real name on the application.

Lopa laughed as he made his aged cousin understand that these days, you keep your real name for some special purposes,  and use your pen name for general purposes. The uncle replied, “Oh, I see.” Sounded like an elderly man out of tune.

The next day, Loku  took Lopa with him to the office so he could start work as one of the directors of the organization, but first, he had to seek the consent of his good friend, Tenu.

Tenu, a killjoy, vehemently refused Lopa the opportunity, citing his inadequate education as one of the reasons why he could not occupy  the office of a director, but suggested that he could be taken in as a  clerk, from which position he can rise through the ranks in the organization.

For the first time, his partner and friend, Loku, objected to his suggestion,  pointing at Tenu’s girlfriend who was employed as an Assistant Director, despite her woeful performance during the interview. He also  mentioned Tenu’s “grand niece”, who was a primary school leaver but  got a job as a Supervisor in the HR department. He vehemently rejected Tenu’s suggestion and insisted that his cousin would not take up any position lower than that of a Director.

Tenu, asked Lopa to excuse them as he would like to have a chat with his partner.

 Once Lopa was out, Tenu reminded Loku that if they took Lopa in as a Director, he will quickly rise to the position of power and soon after demand that the family heirloom be transferred to him, since they both know that he is the rightful harbinger of the priceless possession that is the source  of their wealth. That, said Lopa, will be the end of their affluence.

 As usual, Loku foolishly agreed with his partner. They both decided to make Lopa a clerk.

The next working day, Lopa resumed at the front desk of the organization. The position given to him was just a bait to have him sent out as soon as it could be established that he lacked the smoothness of a gentleman to be a good face of the organization. They had thought that his village education could not have exposed him to anything like being polished enough to attend to people; but far from that, he was a most temperate individual. More polished than they had thought.

One of those times, a rude visitor barged into the  office premises, showing no courtesy. Lopa, tried to stop her and he got slapped by a young lady in her teens. She yelled away.

Minutes later, Tenu came back to the front desk with the lady to warn Lopa never to stop her anytime she comes around , as she is the daughter of the CFO: a stern warning that could make a goat steer clear of the pointer.

Lopa wept bitterly that day but became more determined than ever not to give up until he attained success.

Few years later, he finished his part-time study, about the same time his niece and nephew finished their Masters degree programs  from one of the universities overseas, and returned home to take up appointments in their father’s organization. Meanwhile, Tenu’s son had just been deported from his base in Europe on account of drug related offences.

 Loku had to find a way to get his children into good positions in the organization, and as ‘Sons of the Entrepreneur’ , they were quickly fixed into positions far ahead of their great uncle. It should be noted that, they never knew Lopa as their uncle as Loku never introduced them to one another. As far as they were concerned, he was their subordinate while he saw them as his superiors.

Sewere, the deported son of Tenu is also made an HOD.

Lopa,  amidst so much stress, struggled to complete his Masters Degree program with the hope that he would  get a raise on his job. Sadly, his efforts met with a brick wall because according to his Directors, he had no professional qualification. Taking up this one more challenge, he enrolled for and pursued a professional course in his field vigorously.

One day, Sewere ordered Lopa to his office to search for a particular file for him, all in the bid to cover up his incompetence to handle the responsibilities of the position he is occupying.

While searching, Lopa came across a dusty file that was thrown at the back of the shelf. The way it looked, the file had been long forgotten there.

Curiously, he kept it aside and located the file Sewere  demanded , handling the job for him as usual. While Sewere visited the convenience, Lopa  quickly returned to his duty post with the dusty file. He opened the file and to his utmost bewilderment, he read about how his rightful inheritance was being traded with by his cousin and his friend. He read about the family heirloom and how he was supposed to be the present custodian of the heirloom.

He rose up with the zeal to challenge his uncle and his friend but deep inside his heart, he heard a voice tell him to  tread gently because they may throw him out of the office and he will be out on the streets begging for a job like millions of qualified but jobless graduates, some of whom have lost their lives in the bid to eke out a better life for themselves and their family.

He would rather exercise patience; after all, his uncle and his friend were fast approaching their graves. He would wait until they are dead, and afterwards, he would negotiate with their offspring.

He would start by introducing himself to his nephew and niece, thereafter he will demand 30-percent participation in the business, and if they refuse, he would not take anything. He would walk away.

**********

The story above sums up my understanding of the recent #30PercentOrNohing.

Let me quickly add, my street  sense taught me that in bidding for anything, you start by quoting an unreasonably high price [especially when you enjoy some kind of monopoly in that industry] and you allow your client to haggle it out. Give or take, they will haggle you within a reasonable price bracket and you will enjoy a good deal all the same.

Asking for 30% participation when you should be asking for FULL participation is like short -changing yourself because you will be haggled below your price tag.

And if you must take anything to the market,  make sure all necessary steps are taken to guard against any bad PR. You know what I mean?

If you have any  contrary opinion to my submission here,  politely engage me and I will oblige you a sensible discussion.

Thank you.

*(Nikan)gan- loaded with appurtenances. *Ohunnikan(Loku)- the only survival/choice. *Kirakita(higgledy-piggledy). *Ago(Lopa)- enrapt with stupidity. *Kajogbepo- together in peace. *(Tenu)boro- Unsolicited adviser. *Bolebajekobaje- anarchistic living. *Ohunoriorije- survivalisticsm *Eminimoniayemi- Selfishness. *Jaiyeorie- Largish. *Sewere- a cavalier existence.

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