I used to know a man that sells rat poison many years ago. He walks around, from street to street, calling on people to buy his almost-effective rat poison. Because of the rat-infested locality where we lived, he made sales. I remember my mum bought some of his poison that left our house smelling like abandoned cadaver for days, until my mum finally got rid of the rat.

Later on, he added air freshner, and 'pegs' to his business. So Mr, Rat Poison was always walking around with his famous poison, pegs and air freshner, from Morning till dusk. So one day, as he sat down outside my compound, negotiating price with my neighbour, I calculated his wares and the total amount gave me a headache.

As a young child, I wondered if that was enough to feed his wife and children because what I calculated was not up to N1000. Oho! You open mouth too? Then I thought of house rent, feeding, school fees, and the likes. I wondered if his wife was a business woman. What kind of business does she do? How much would be her salary if she works. I wondered if they have 3 square meal daily. My dad worked in a good company and my mum was a business woman but we didn't always have 3 square meal, so I began to wonder if this man and his family would live any better than us.

However, I liked the fact that he went about his business with little or no concern about what people think. I can imagine him humming to Timaya's "this life I can't kill myself o'. I secretly say a prayer for him whenever I saw him and hoped things changed for the better.

Twenty years down the line, and I saw Mr. Rat Poison at one busy bustop with the same items he sold back in the day. Haaaaa! Sir! Watapun? Na swear? Your business no dey grow? I was tempted to ask him questions. I thought he was hardworking, relentless, and determined to succeed. So what happened? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against sustainable business. I expected change, at least, even if he was to be in the same business, I expected to see him in a kiosk, shop or a makeshift warehouse or even with a larger quantity of wares. I was shocked to my bones. I tried to make meaning out of life at that point but couldn't. 

Finally, this scripture came to my mind "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Romans 9:16) What then, Is God a wicked God? NO! Is it the man's fault? What are the things you think he should have done to improve his condition?Abi, is it his village people? Or we should blame it on government? 

You that is reading this nko, how far? Winks.


  1. Hmmmmm....this is deep. Eleyi gidi gan! But this is the story of most Nigerian entrepreneurs. We keep doing same thing over and over with no prospect for growth and development. We feed our families from our capital. I like to think that business growth would require sacrifice on the part of the CEO and his dependents else that vicious cycle of poverty continues. Even aboki shoemaker moves from his tiny clattering box to a kiok by the masallachi...

  2. Its well,to be successful in life its not what you do or how great u've worked. It only takes the work of God.

    1. Of course it takes God's grace for anyone to succeed but we still need to play our role well.

  3. Lol... This your you that is reading got me sha...

  4. Deep, insightful and funny though...
    Well! No matter how hard we toil if God's grace and favour is not there, sorry all might be in vane..


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