This sapa don choke. And no be say I no dey try!
Where do I even begin? I remember how, immediately after WAEC, I was first in line at Aunty Esther’s shop, ready to learn tailoring, or fashion designing, as she taught me to say – to add some pizzazz to the vocation. When I got into the prestigious Ibadan medical school, I had it all planned out – allowance from home would take care of my daily needs, and I’d reel in numerous scholarships that would have me rolling in dollars for enjoyment. In six years, I’d graduate, get my first couple of soft millions from housejob, and start my residency in the US.
It didn’t take too long before the brutal realities began to set in. Well, maybe it did take some time. Money from home was coming in regularly at first, but I thought it would be great to make some money and cool off from school stress, so I started my hustle by teaching at UTME tutorials. Now, it’s nothing about fun anymore. As it gradually dawned on me that the “x” in my 6+x years in the first-and-the-best would be at least 2 long years, calling home for money just became harder. An àgbàlágbà like me can’t continue like this – having to ask Mummy and Daddy for money every time. For how long?
I’ve now moved from learning random things to cool off from medical school stress to becoming a jack of all trades, quite literally. What have I not tried out? I’ve sold everything from food to clothes, wigs, and even electronics. When COVID struck, I tried every job including writing, underpaid tutorials, tech, and even went back to sewing.
I try to put in my all with everything I do, but boy, it has been difficult to balance everything! When I’m actively selling, I shift orders to the weekend or even ‘fly bikes’ in between classes. There have even been a couple of times I had my classmates cover for me while I was out hustling. When tests or exams are near, it’s a choice between losing money and going hungry or straight-up banging. How is that not exhausting?
That’s just my story on the good days o. When the bad days come, they arrive with full force. Is it the wahala I faced when trying to get a space for this tutorial center, or that day I sold a product that landed me in trouble to the point that they threatened to arrest me? My eyes have seen shege seh.
The shege had always been manageable, until the day Google Maps led me astray in this same Ibadan. This customer was kukuma on his own when I decided to recommend a new product to him, as per best in customer relations. I was jacking for a test when this customer’s call came in that my tested and trusted product had stopped working and he needed it urgently. I had to put my test aside, summon the “aspire to perspire” spirit in me and take the company receipt to get him a replacement.
Looking for that receipt was difficult enough, but that was only the beginning of my suffering that day. I tried using Google Maps to find the company center for my replacement, and that’s how they carried me go where I no know. Every time I tell this story, I feel like crying because “shege” is an understatement for what I went through on that day. When I eventually got to the company, getting my replacement product was a whole other battle. I’m not proud of the way I had to fight that day, but I really felt like I was going crazy. I got back to ABH later that evening, but I couldn’t sleep well because who will I tell my tales of woe when I fail?
Look, Diary, I have a million stories that I can spend dozens of days telling, but right now, the bottom line is that I am tired of this hustle-hustle life. They promised me that medicine would bring me the closest thing to football money. I’m getting very impatient, please – where is that money?