Dear Nigerian Women: The Money Didn’t Make Me

Dear Nigerian Women, Do you remember those school shoes that I used to have? The ones that my uncle from America got for me that one time? I remember. They were some cheap Skechers that – as it turns out – weren’t even made of real leather. Just a rubber shoe with a faux leather…

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Dear Nigerian Women,

Do you remember those school shoes that I used to have? The ones that my uncle from America got for me that one time? I remember. They were some cheap Skechers that – as it turns out – weren’t even made of real leather. Just a rubber shoe with a faux leather coating and rubber soles that splayed out like British teeth after less than a month of use.

I remember them well. I was wearing them the first time I told you that I loved you. I was wearing them when I asked you to prom. I was wearing them on the day I realized that I wasn’t good enough for you. Talk about a hard lesson to learn. Nothing sucks quite like unrequited love, especially at fifteen.

If I’m being honest, I suspected for a while that you felt this way. I just didn’t think it mattered that much, but I guess it did. I can’t say that I blame you though. You can only watch your boyfriend be called “Omo Baba Cook,” for so long before it really starts to eat at you (pun intended). Frankly, that’s the only reason I was even at the school to begin with. Scholarship baby of a man who was as kind as he was broke. All hard work and not a penny to show for it. I can’t blame you for ditching me back then. Had my lot been any different, I might have done the same thing.

After prom, I knew I never wanted to feel like that again. I decided that if I wanted anything, I was going to be good enough to have it. Unfortunately, University was a luxury I couldn’t afford. After graduation came and went, I started learning how to cook from my father. I figured, if nothing else, I’ll at least be able to make a living doing that.

Three years later, my father passed away. I always knew that day wasn’t far off. Poor people always die younger than everyone else. I figured there was no use setting my hopes on some nonexistent inheritance from a man like him. To my surprise, the man had one last trick up his sleeve. He had apparently been saving – enough to leave me with enough money to last me a few days and a copy of the book,  “The Richest Man In Babylon.”

With my father gone, and no other family members close by, I decided it was time to leave town. I made my way down to the ports in Apapa, where I rented a small space by the roadside for a canteen. I worked out a deal with the man who rented me the space. I let him eat and drink as much as he liked and he let me live in his boys quarters for a discounted price. All the while, I kept practicing everything that was in the book my father had given me: save 10% of your income, use 20% on your expenses, the rest can be spent at your discretion. Since most of the things I really wanted were far outside my price range, I ended up saving far more than 10%, which later turned out to be a good thing.

Business was slow at first, but it soon picked up. If there’s one thing you can trust, it’s that sailors know how to eat and drink. About a year later, I found out that there was an opening as a cook for one of the ships. The crew sailed around the world moving stuff back and forth for rich people. I knew this was going to be my chance to see the world, so I sold my spot back to my landlord along with a few of his favorite recipes, so that I could have enough money to get my papers in order.

The first few trips were miserable. It takes most people around 3 days to get their sea legs, but I fumbled around during the first week of every trip for the first 6 months. Any time we landed in a new port, I would go and learn about food. During a trip to Japan, I met a guy name Ichiro, who was gracious enough to teach me about sushi. Any time we landed in Japan, I would go find him. I learned how to make Bulgogi during some trips to South Korea. New York was insane! There were so many different kinds of food that I didn’t even know where to begin. After five more years of sailing, I went back to New York to enroll in a culinary school, spent a few more years apprenticing around the world before finally coming back home to open up my first restaurant.

I didn’t think that I would ever see you again till you came to dinner in hopes of reviewing my restaurant. I had no idea that you were a writer, much less that the fate of what was then my second restaurant lay in your hands. In those days I often dressed as a waiter so that I could hear directly what people think. People are surprisingly honest when they think you’re nobody special.  

I was delighted to see that you kept coming back. I thought we had a good enough rapport when I asked you out again only to feel the sudden twinge of an old wound when you said you don’t date waiters. I asked you to reconsider, but perhaps, if Bisi had never told you the truth about me, you might never have done so.

It’s funny. I’ve heard you tell your friends about how I changed over the years. The other day, I heard you tell Bisi that I had turned into this incredibly kind, loving, and ambitious guy. I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t the guy you described. I just wish you had seen it back when those shoes were all I had. It took me a long time to figure out that having money didn’t make me worthy of your love; it only made you notice that I could be.

Sincerely,

Mr. Wasn’t Good Enough

Responses

  1. A Loco Viva Voce
    I don’t mean to be cynical but someone once said “if you think women are gold diggers then allow your daughter marry the gate man she fell in love with”.

    You should be grateful to the girl. If not for her rejection, you most likely wouldn’t have been motivated to be successful. So in an odd way, she’s the reason behind your success.

    9+
    1. Monster
      I dont really think he was motivated by that, he always had the drive and ambition like it was mentioned at the end. So even if she said yes, he most likely would have ended up the same way.
      1+
  2. Larz
    I love the story, and I also live the way you told it. Well done Tola

    Understanding whether someone has potential / is just a dreamer is not an exact science. Guys shud cut girls some slack.

    Yes some women are genuine gold diggers whilst other are trying to determine from the sea of men who is the best fit. To be honest, whilst I believe that becoming rich made u more appealing to her. I really doubt that she loves you or will ever do. She might think she does but I doubt it

    12+
    1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
      Thanks Larz, much appreciated.

      But for the record, the story isn’t literally about me. I drew inspiration from stories of abject poverty that people in my life have told me about their experiences.

      2+
  3. Blaqlotus
    Guys are quick to jump and call a lady a golddigger.. Question for the men, would you date a lady who can’t afford to buy the little things for herself or who know you know is from a really poor background? I’ve heard guys say they want a rich girlfriend or they want a girl who wouldn’t always depend on them for everything and anything. So if me as a girl want to date a rich man, why tag me a golddigger?
    8+
  4. Terdoo
    Heartbroken people are the most motivated.

    If Sam Smith’s boyfriend didn’t say “I ain’t sucking dick no mo”, Sam wouldn’t have that multi platinum selling album and that Spectre deal.
    If Adele’s ex (who I still insist is Drake) didn’t break her heart, she wouldn’t have given us 2 solid back to back (yeah, I know, I went there) classic albums filled with anthems for them chocolate-ice-cream-eating ass broken hearted, 200 lbs ladies.
    If Alexis Phifer didn’t break up with Kanye after Donda West died, he wouldn’t be…well, Kanye.
    So break a heart today.

    You might change the world.
    #Kanye2020.

    33+
  5. similicious
    This is the best piece i have ever read on a man’s perspective on new money and old relationships. I had always thought that men change for the worst when there is a little change involved. Of course it goes without saying that money brings the flaws out for display and also illuminates the good. THANK YOU TOLA! You have a fan!
    3+
  6. Nosa
    “but I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t the guy you described”

    Best line tbh.
    I shall say no more

    But i am confident most readers will misunderstand what the post is saying.

    13+
    1. Butterflymind
      Nosa, the thing about stories is not everyone see the same thing. It doesn’t make it wrong though. Unless you have first hand knowledge of the writer’s intention, there’s no “misunderstanding” when it comes to revealing motives behind a story.

      That aside, I once read (or heard) that people come to fiction as willing parties of a lie.
      There’s also the lens through which an individual views Art to consider. Filters are always on, and that in itself is a function of our individual stories, experiences, and observations.

      So:
      A sees a gold digger and talks of money and blah.
      B sees an unambitious man motivated by heartbreak.
      C, imagines what it must feel like to be invisible to the people you love because their priority hasn’t materialized yet.
      D thinks it’s simply a nice story.

      *Shrugs*
      There’s a bigger story/science to how we approach art as people.

      31+
        1. Cupcakes
          Its a beautiful story.. Not every time rants and bants, sometimes we need stories like this to remind us to be kind. no one knows tomorrow. Its a really good one. Kudos!
          0
      1. Bunmi
        Thank you so much for this . I don’t understand how women are being defensive or misunderstanding the issue by stating their opinions . No one asked the men to keep quiet when we did ours .
        4+
        1. Segun
          What you’re essentially doing/unconsciously trying to do is to have the writer re-write the story so that it fits the narrative you’re comfortable with.
          0
      2. Nosa
        I get you, but doesn’t the title of the post tell us something about the writer’s intentions. And with that, isn’t that the filter through which we have to initially view the art before we attempt to draw a personal relation/filter to it?
        Is it really fair to begin relating our personal stories and experiences to art without first trying to understand where the art is coming from?
        3+
      3. Segun
        This assumes, that there is no context to the story. The ground work for interpreting this story is all there. Its a basis for us to have a conversation around the issue portrayed by the story (in this particular context). If this were just some random story telling between friends your position holds true.
        0
  7. SeryxMe
    *clears throat*

    Every Princess deserves a Prince Charming. But the problem with Prince Charming is always that he has Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, etc, to choose from, so competition is stiff. Sometimes you’re lucky with him though. Many times, “qualified” guys will stick with the lady who was there from the beginning, despite the options, so oftentimes you lose out with him.

    Point is, sometimes, Princess Fiona, it is okay to realize that Shrek is perfect for your happiness before you end up with Lord Farquaad just because. If “happiness is all that matters” and “money can’t buy happiness”, trust me, Shrek is a very viable option. Sometimes.

    12+
      1. Slim
        Don’t make this a battle of the sexes. Sometimes it really is as simple as men and women seeing, thinking, and reacting differently to things. 🙂
        1+
  8. Bunmi
    There’s a huge difference between a poor guy and a guy with no ambition .

    Though I agree some women are brutal gold diggers and heartless and blah blah . But have you heard the story of that woman, yeah that exact one who loved a man when he had nothing only to dump her as soon as he had money, have you? Dear Nigerian men, have you?

    Money changes people, whether we like to admit it or not, there are some things that will change about you as soon as you start swimming in money . Some men see their women as not fine enough, good enough as soon as they become rich .

    Some women say no because of that fear, the fear that the humble man kneeling in front of her now crying and singing about love might turn out to be a monster and a prude as soon as he has money . See, poverty has a way of humbling people who aren’t humble naturally . It doesn’t mean she’s a gold digger, she might not even be interested in your money .

    And the lady in this letter doesn’t love the man, she doesn’t love him but his money . I dont think she deserves the man sef.

    There’s a huge difference between a poor man and a man with no ambition .

    16+
    1. LordSleeK
      “Money changes people, whether we like to admit it or not, there are some things that will change about you as soon as you start swimming in money . Some men see their women as not fine enough, good enough as soon as they become rich”

      Well, i don’t think money changes or can change anyone. Say money/comfort brings out the real personalities of people and i’ll agree.

      That said, i believe anyone (male or female) who will ‘change’ when more comfortable will already show traits of that before the comfort comes. Question then is: did the partner notice those little things that indicate(d) the eventual ‘changes’? The man that may say his wife isnt fine enough when he is comfortable would have shown the signs in his relationship with the gateman or the driver or other people who he sees as having little value to him. Or her, as the case may be.

      Long story short, attention to the little things speak the loudest in evaluating humans, among other beings. Except you are some first grade liar and actor, the real you always finds a crack to shine through, whether you are comfortable or not.

      3+
  9. Debloww
    This was so well written. Well done Tola.

    Its not fair to tag all women that are particular about money gold diggers. Sometimes, these ladies are just used to the good life and won’t settle for less. Happiness is very relative. Your definition of happiness in a relationship might be another woman’s sadness.

    Some women work so hard so they can buy anything they want and basically live the good life. Dating a man that is not as rich or richer causes problems no matter how you want to see it. His ego will always be a problem.

    Men are gold diggers too. A guy once said he can never marry a woman that her surname won’t open doors.

    10+
    1. Terdoo
      See ehn, I wrote a long ass response to the last statement in the comment and decided to just delete it because I’m not ready for the back and forth that is bound to ensue.

      However, I think that a statement like that comes from a man with ambition who just wants his success to come quicker. Meaning he’s willing to do some work but is more than willing to take shortcuts to get those results. Still not as bad as a woman who decides she just wants things handed to her right from the word go.

      I don’t know, I just don’t think the shovels men use for gold digging are as wide as the borehole drilling machines women employ.

      9+
      1. kad
        Ermmm, I also want a man with a surname that opens doors, doesn’t that say I’m ambitious too? Plus a thief is a thief, so shovel or drill, I just decide to be caught stealing millions than stealing N5, up ya games#diezani
        6+
    2. Omotola Ajibade Post author
      Thanks Debloww, much appreciated. I never said that She or any other Nigerian girl/woman is a golddigger. Yes, it’s true that some are, but my real point is similar to Adichie’s “danger of a single story.” When they were 15, she never saw him for what could be, and she held on to that even into meeting him as an adult. Somethings require a closer look, whether at 15 or at 50.
      1+
  10. butterflymind
    “I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t the guy you described. I just wish you had seen it back when those shoes were all I had. It took me a long time to figure out that having money didn’t make me worthy of your love; it only made you notice that I could be.”

    This. This is everything this story is about. It’s not that he wasn’t the man she could want all along. It was that she couldn’t ‘see’ the man he was because the deal breaker wasn’t even existent at the time.

    I love that he figured it out in the end. He was good enough; had always been good enough. It was the love of his life who couldn’t look beyond his shoes to peer at the man inside. He was practically invisible to her.
    That’s the problem with placing so much on materiality– you fail to see substance if all you priorities are set on a person’s economic worth.

    Heartbreak though is a good kick-starter for most people. When you’re done wallowing in self pity at your lot, you work hard, make something for yourself… and if arrogance doesn’t somehow find its way into the mix (a la break other hearts because women are bitches and witches who deserve to be left with stitches)… If you don’t get entangled in an endless loop of vengeance and malice at your prior lost, you’ll learn like the man in our story that to some people you are simply invisible and their lack of foresight has nothing to do with your worth as a person. You’re, have always being a remarkable, perfect being; they were just too blind to see that.

    32+
    1. Ray
      The problem is that a lot of women don’t see past what the man has at that particular phase of his life. She didn’t even take the time to know him well or know what he wanted for his future but she had the audacity to think that he just developed the ambition overnight. People like that just use others for what they can get. It’s disgusting.
      I think people who can’t see others for who they are but only for what they have, are the worst types ever. It reeks of desperation.
      2+
        1. Priscilla Joy
          Exactly!!!! she was FIFTEEN!, what kind of serious relationship would you guys have had at that age? I think you were too aware of the fact that you were from a poor home and on scholarship in the school that you couldn’t think that probably there was more to her saying no than what your shoes said about you. At fifteen I was running from boys in high school and wondering what they were all over me for?, too shy and wishing I could disappear, why would any guy judge a woman for saying no to him when she was only a teenage girl?

          it may have mattered back then because her saying yes to you would have helped your confidence as a teenage boy and also your growing sense of manhood, but I think it’s unfair to hold that against her. The fact that you started your story from when you had nothing to when you made it shows that a lot of your self worth stems from the fact that “you made it”.

          Refusing to date a waiter, security man or the driver may not always be about the money the guy doesn’t have, sometimes it’s because there’s a wide gap between their mental capacity, world view, and general direction in life. Not defending the lady, but please cut her some slacks.

          Nice post though, my best yet.

          5+
        2. Toni Osai
          I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who saw that; a fifteen year old won’t want to date a guy that has nothing going on. Be honest and think back to when you were that age…
          3+
          1. Juugo
            Yet she carried same opinion till her adult years. I have met people recently who knew me at 15. If perceptions haven’t changed, I lose them.
            2+
        3. SeryxMe
          Juugo has expressed my thoughts. The problem isn’t the age, the problem is the mindset. Obviously she “ditched” him after enduring the fact that he was the butt of the “Omo Baba Cook” jests. The fact that she’s still supposed to be “innocent” (at 15) when some of the littlest things that should matter should the boy’s financial status makes this even worse. However, the real issue that her attitude at meeting the waiter, and after realizing he was the owner, showed this was more than a “she was 15” issue. It was ingrained attraction to the money, not the person.
          4+
        4. Segun
          Can we not get caught up in the technicalities? It’s fiction. Would it make it any better if she was aged 23 in the post. The real issue is that a fifteen year old is already ‘thinking’ of men on the basis of their economic worth. This one has been digging gold since before she was born.
          0
  11. Funk
    Like the first two articles, they’ll probably take this wrong and instead of a discourse on the main point of the article, there will be deflecting, and defensive responses and justifications and… *sigh*
    1+
  12. MsUnderstood
    Tola edakun!… If you were a chic and a guy with open shoes comes to ask you out to prom what would you say? BTW really lovely piece
    0
    1. Ray
      See ehn, one of the things that irritates me about this attitude is how we have been taught to make vanity look like the essence of life and bask in that ignorance.
      A secondary school student refuses to go to prom with her mate cos ‘he and his parents don’t measure up to standard financially’ and we somehow think that’s normal.
      Our defense today is ‘would you go if you were her?’
      Doesn’t that orientation bother you?
      5+
      1. MsUnderstood
        There are people who are not financially well to do that are able to keep it together and look decent. Its pretty simple would you want to to prom with someone wearing open shoes? Perhaps if his shoes were closed she would have considered. Who knows she probably didn’t need him spotting some nice Gucci or prada but decent shoes would have been a good start… Its a person you see before you get the opportunity to meet their personality.
        5+
        1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
          Msunderstood, A lot of us don’t like to admit it, but we’re actually really well off compared to most of the rest of Nigeria. Most of us who read this blog don’t actually know what it’s like to subsist….. or at least not to level of poverty that I was trying to describe in the piece.

          Genuinely ask yourself, have you ever lived a day in which the ONLY shoes you owned were so tattered that they were beyond repair? Or worse still, they might be reparable if only you could afford it. If you haven’t lived that day, then you don’t truly know the kind of poverty that I was trying to describe. It’s not always easy to look decent or presentable under those circumstances.

          3+
          1. MsUnderstood
            “After prom, I knew I never wanted to feel like that again. I decided that if I wanted anything, I was going to be good enough to have it…” This is a realization he came to for himself that if he wanted “anything” – meaning not limited to the subject of his affection. I’m thankful that I have no idea what it feels like to subsist but let’s not throw rocks at the woman for being human, she probably didn’t understand either.
            1+
          2. Toni Osai
            I have lived at that level of ‘poverty’ and I remember I still had standards. Just because I wasn’t ‘having’ didn’t mean I was going to settle for someone who wasn’t having either!
            Even the Bible says is “money is a defence” and “[it] answers all things.” You can’t be looking for a relationship with nothing but ‘love;’ when bae is hungry or I’ll is it the love that would feed her?
            Let’s be realistic! I’ve been turned down and ignored, not just by women/girls, because I wasn’t rich or cute or connected or smart enough. But deep down I know I’d do the same thing to certain people who aren’t smart or cute or rich or decent enough.
            Her spec involved a well-off kid. He wasn’t a well-off kid. He wasn’t her spec. The sky didn’t fall. The world didn’t end. Let’s move on.
            5+
        2. SeryxMe
          See, this is the problem with been defensive from the off. You’ll keep propounding theories like we didn’t all read the story.

          “Perhaps if his shoes were closed she would have considered. Who knows she probably didn’t need him spotting some nice Gucci or prada but decent shoes would have been a good start”… Yea, right! Like she did when he was a waiter? I’d wager he was looking more than decent as a waiter, but…she doesn’t date waiters. Lol! Only if the waiter owned the restaurant sha.

          See, the lady in this particular story is just one very vain chic like that. Why can’t you just accept that. She. Is. Vain. No amount of theories will change that. Yes, there may be other variations to the story in real life but this one told here says this. And the point of realization you “defense attorneys” don’t want to accept is that you don’t just keep judging people from appearance. Like Nosa said, just be consistent. If you wouldn’t date him when he wasn’t presentable with open shoes, just don’t consider him when he finally owns 2 restaurants and be forming “he has changed” like you took the time to know him well when he was poor.

          If the story speaks to you, try and think deeply about your choices and be sure they are consistent with your values.

          11+
  13. Nosa
    This post is not really about the gold-digging issue. The title of the post says it all “THE MONEY DIDN’T MAKE ME”
    But we all want to clearly unsee that one.
    If gold is what you want to dig, please keep on digging, i will even help you find places to dig the gold. But don’t do it under any illusion.
    He “turned into this incredibly kind, loving, and ambitious guy”? really, what was he before all that? or were the british-teeth soles distracting you from seeing him.
    You turn a guy down because he isn’t rich, good enough, but don’t turn around and wtart saying e changed into a kind, loving guy just because he has money.

    I have no problem with you sticking a knife in my chest, i, however have a problem with you lying about why you are doing it, be fucking honest, it doesn’t matter what road you take, just be honest, i can respect that.

    9+
    1. MsUnderstood
      I don’t think there is a line that separates who you are from what you have because they all make up the person that is you. That’s why the world is made up of Rich nice guys, Rich arrogant guys, Poor nice guys and poor arrogant guys (the arrogance of this last group I am yet to understand). Truth is some people’s personalities are defined by what they have but there are still some others who remain unaffected.
      Appearance is also key. How do I take you seriously if you look like you have no prospects anyways? Your shoe doesn’t have to stay open. You can fix it and have it looking clean…
      4+
      1. JADE
        I disagree that no line separates who you are from what you have, what you have may or may not influence who you are that is why you have rich arrogant guys and rich humble guys, other wise it would have been all rich and humble or all rich and arrogant. I am not my shoes!!!
        4+
          1. SeryxMe
            LMAO!!! Are you being serious right now?! I should approach you like I approach a job interview? Lol! Okay.

            We’re trying to make you see that the appearance you’re judging us on does not really define who we are, you’re here still insisting that we still don’t stand a chance without the appearance. Okay na.

            0
          2. Ray
            Wow. You actually just compared a Prom request to a job interview? I’m done.
            Oh,he should have presented his school certificates to her when she found how he was now rich, before she agreed to date him, don’t you think?
            1+
      2. Nosa
        There is very much a line separating. Unless you want to tell me that who you are as a person is defined by what you have.
        What you have is simply a lens by which people choose to see who you are, the lens in this case being whether you are rich or poor, changing the lens doesn’t take away or add to your personality, it reveals it. It doesn’t mean it was never their. In this story, the who is guy is still the same, what he has is what changed but it in no way defined him. Abi when she said she couldnt date a waiter, was he not kind and loving them. Or was it until she heard he actually owned the restaurant that he suddenly transformed?
        2+
      3. Funk
        “I don’t think there is a line that separates who you are from what you have…”
        Then you go on in your second sentence, to contradict your first. How is the line not there when all those combinations are possible?
        Having or not having doesn’t define one’s personality. What either does is fester or conceal elements of that personality.
        1+
      4. Segun
        Sounds to me like you’re reading a different story from the one posted here. The narrative is simple.

        1. Boy was poor, girl didn’t take him serious.
        2. Boy becomes man, fixes up looks better. Woman still doesn’t take him serious because he’s a waiter.
        3. Man turns out to actually be financially well to do, Woman does an about turn and all of a sudden ‘falls in love with Man’s money’.

        I don’t know how we got into the territory of repairing shoes. The writer didn’t at any point say the waiter was unkempt.

        0
  14. Debloww
    What is this thing y’all are saying about women misunderstanding this post like the previous ones?? So now in addition to the ‘allegations’, we can’t read and comprehend too??
    So we shouldn’t defend ourselves or wahhhh? Are we supposed to read and say

    ‘Yo truer words have never been spoken, please allow us sit and worship at your feet because ya so right and all’

    I’m genuinely confused.

    14+
    1. thetoolsman
      Err… we are actually not saying these things, it’s very obvious from the comments from all the posts so far. As for defending yourselves, well, there’s that but are you telling me none of the things the guys have written about is true? Why so defensive? Did the guys do the same during the women’s series? There’s nothing wrong in having constructive arguments but when one party is overly defensive.. not happening…
      2+
    2. SeryxMe
      Nope. But you people can at least be realistic and quit acting like the guys are always telling tall tales. Like many people have already said, these things don’t speak to everyone but you’ll most likely find your own flaw by the time the letters are done and with this defensive attitude most of y’all are putting up, you’ll still be providing excuses. This is how the guys see your flaws. If it isn’t you, at least, point your fellow sisters in the right direction rather than forming voltron.
      2+
    3. butterflymind

      “‘Yo truer words have never been spoken, please allow us sit and worship at your feet because ya so right and all’

      Don’t worry nne. We’re watching the guys.

      7+
  15. X
    This is so touching…well done Tola.Women are really dramatic beings and am just suprised that in this 21st century some women still depend on their spouses to survive,now that’s wrong y’all are supposed to be help mates not burdens…please repent abeg,if you are in this category and you are forming gender equality just know that the thunder that will fire your dirty yansh is doing serious press up and bicycle crunches.
    2+
  16. Ray
    Hi Tola.
    This is probably your best piece I’ve read.
    I abhor girls who date guys for financial gains, those that are too particular about money and material things. I think it’s desperate and I can’t respect such a woman.
    2+
  17. Cavey
    Dear Tola, ?????????.

    “…I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I don’t
    remember a time when I wasn’t the guy you
    described…”
    “…It took me a long time to figure out that having money didn’t make me worthy of your love; it only made you notice that I could be…”

    Those two statements tell me a lot about you and even if this post the post didn’t impress me (and it did), those statements make me respect you.
    A lot of women claim to love the potential a man possesses and would love to be part of his success story but don’t have the patience to actually deal and the moment a ‘made man’ comes along, that’s when they can’t “wait for you anymore” and “need to be with a man with realistic long term goals”. The only sad thing is that when this happens, we guys sometimes lose our way. Loco Viva Voce & suggest Bisi was indirectly the reason for your success. Maybe. But not necessarily. Not in this case because “you’d always known she was the guy you described” and that’s the case most of the time. We want to be rich, we want to be able to spoil our women with anything she wants and we don’t necessarily need something bad to happen to make us want it any more than we already do. nobody like sufferhead! Money didn’t make you, you made you!!!

    7+
    1. SeryxMe
      This! I really don’t subscribe to that line of thought. Unless we all agree that a lady is somewhat responsible for the death of a guy who commits suicide after rejection (and we all know that isn’t gonna happen). It’s like the guys can’t just win! They’re always responsible for the bad and the ladies responsible for the good one way or another. This is not the equality you people preach that you want everyday. It’s okay to admit that the lady messed up and the guy could have been as successful with or without involvement with her. With that line of thinking, she is entitled to some share of the success since she inspired it. It’s only ‘fair’. And that’s wrong!
      0
        1. SeryxMe
          I fully read & understood his comment but I picked on this part:
          “@A Loco Viva Voce & suggest Bisi was indirectly the reason for your success. Maybe. But not necessarily.”

          Maybe it’s confusing because I didn’t reference it. I hope it’s clearer now. ?

          0
          1. Cavey
            Its clearer but you misunderstood what I said. Terdoh & ALocoVivaVocc suggested that Bisi was the snowball that started the avalanche that became his success. What I said was that while that could have been the case, I doubt it was.
            Yes, sometimes we need that shove to get the ball rolling but sometimes (like this case), the ball was already moving long before Bisi came along, she just didn’t notice.
            That’s what I said ☺
            0
          2. SeryxMe
            Ok Cavey, I think it’s the way I responded to your comment that made it come out like I misunderstood what you were saying. I apologize. Obviously your comment isn’t that hard to comprehend. If you went through the comments before yours, no one addressed that particular issue. This was the sole reason I referenced your comment. I clearly do not agree to the fact anyone is suggesting that someone is responsible for another’s success by leaving or refusing a relationship otherwise we could also agree they could be responsible for the failures too (which was why I tried to elaborate in my response). I had wanted to respond to either of the two that made the inference until I read your comment. So, no, I didn’t misunderstand what you said, I just rushed into responding and did that all wrong.
            0
      1. Segun
        Like it or not, sometimes its things like these that become the catalyst for action. We all want nice things but sometimes they’re beyond our reach. Notice how when grass to grace people tell their success stories, there’s always a catalyst. That the woman might have been his catalyst in this case doesn’t make it less of a catalyst.

        Maybe your point is that the woman shouldn’t be glorified for her actions or lay claim to any part of his eventual success.

        0
  18. brownie
    Yh I feel dat way also; my mum doesn’t seem to understand y I want MORE for myself dan “to remain a virgin” for my “husband”, why I’m always in search of a job when I’m on holliday schl nd even weekend jobs when d session z on,why I basically want more dan to be d basic Nigerian girl who gets a yeye job after uni nd poops twinz to be called iyabeji…its situations like dis dat makes me reach for MORE #shez even beginnin to think am into “aristo” LOOL when I’ve basically earned d nick ‘jacky’ 4rm fwnds n roomies schl… Well well I think u shouldn’t be worried abt being enuf or not cuz all dat should matter I think z dat level don change nd dat avails u other options if she fs up;afterall she herself opened ur eyes to d first criteria to get most gals #get real leather shoes nd yea ve a fly car to go with it 😉
    0
  19. Nelo
    My darling Nigerian men. Calm down for Jesus. When a lady loves a guy, she loves intoto -rich or poor. The lady in the post has no love for the guy. His british teeth shoes made matters worse. She siddon jeje for ya restaurant, you come ask am out again.
    Talk true .who look for trouble here?
    Dearies, money oils love. We all love and aspire for the good life *sipping juice and admiring the new sneakers my hubby bought me*
    9+
    1. Segun
      So its okay to generalize that all women love unconditionally and totally but its not okay for men to point out that women need not focus solely on a man’s economic status as a basis of whether or not he’s worth their love.

      Sigh. Nigerian Women…………

      0
  20. Sparks and Tingles
    I think I like it here! Good Stuff.

    We should get something straight – Love does not exist. Love, even if it exists, cannot be true. Attraction to someone cannot be without a cause. When someone has all the traits you are looking out for, you fall in “love”. Being poor and being a waiter are two of those things that made it impossible for her to love him, let’s not blame a girl who knows what she wants.

    7+
    1. Nosa
      Except the guy wasn’t a waiter, he owned the establishment. And when she found out, the impossibility ceased to exist?

      And this line “Love does not exist. Love, even if it exists, cannot be true.” Say it three times in your head and tell me if it sounds straight.
      Are you saying love exists or not? I don’t get the possibility of “even if” being ascribed to. And even then, it isn’t true?
      The definition on the trueness or illusion of love is subjective, it lies on the individual.
      So for you, since it isn’t true then it can’t be real and therefore its existence is just null.

      1+
      1. Sparks and Tingles
        I am saying it doesn’t exist at all. That feeling we call love isn’t unconditional. Would our guy have loved her if she is wasn’t beautiful?

        I am a guy. I like girls to like me for me, not because of what I am but It is hard to separate what I am from who I am. We just prefer that girls like us for our good looks and intelligence rather than our bank balance, those three things define us. We cannot isolate bank balance (girls call it financial security) like it is the odd one out. I like your last sentence, it is a summary of my opinion.

        1+
  21. mojo
    I think at the end of it all, what matters is that the cook is happy with her. She’ll probably always love him for his money, and maybe he’ll always love her anyways.

    Nice piece Tola

    2+
  22. serical
    I love this write-up…. very insightful
    and I like that we all have opinions:

    …. .the girl was hasty in writing him off…
    and yes, he probably was all those good things while he was poor BUT from the point of view of the girl, I don’t see any reason why we can’t have standards as human beings…
    as men have standards so do women (even though ours tends to lean more towards financial stability ).
    why does it make it a bad thing? if it’s meant to be it would and if not another person would come along
    I’m sure most of you guys wouldn’t give 250pound woman the time of day so let’s stop forming ‘holy’
    I’M JUST BEING HONEST

    8+
    1. Ray
      Funny how it wasn’t meant to be when she though he was a waiter but it was suddenly written in the stars when she found out who he really was.
      Funny how her standards would have been met if he was a ritualist or serial killer, as long as he had money.
      2+
      1. SeryxMe
        Thank you again, Ray! These shifting standards are a problem.

        And because everybody does it does not make it right. There is more to a person than what you see outside. If you did not take the time to really know that person when you thought he/she wasn’t good enough, then do not pretend that they have now changed just because their appearance has. You’ll appear very shallow and most likely not worth the love they have/want to give.

        0
  23. Miss Thang
    I’m very interested in this series because I’m always intrigued by how men think.I think everyone has a right to choose the status of the person they would love to date. Some men will only date models, some women will only date rich men. And tthat’s fine. The important thing to realize is that a person’s refusal to date you is not a reflection of who you are. It’s just a personal preference.
    17+
  24. LordSleeK
    This is a thoughtful post. I actually wish people see it in a broader light than one of a guy and a girl.

    This post should actually speak to us as individuals in our daily lives and our daily relationships with people we come across daily. Forget dating or no dating. How do we see that gateman or office assistant at the office? What conclusions do we draw about thwm and how do those conclusions affect the way we relate with them? How do we take advantage of the house help? How do you treat that phone accessories hawker when you are trying to transact business with him?

    I always tell my friends Lagos traffic is my therapy for times when i feel down and inadequate or when i feel that i am not yet where i should be. If you sit in Lagos traffic in popular traffic spots and you see Nigerians weaving through moving vehicles trying to make the odd N50 here and there, and you dont appreciate there are people who have it much worse than you can even imagine, then i am at a loss for words.

    This post goes beyond a dating relationship. We should not even belittle it by making it only about that. Kudos to Tola

    21+
  25. Omali
    Learning to see beyond appearance.We can be borderline shallow most times. So much time spent judging yet we can’t form relationships. I make it a point to speak to people I encounter daily. I once unknowingly overlooked speaking to a lady she literally went out of her way to let me know. i apologize and greeted. Made my day.
    3+
  26. D.K
    I love this story. I love it more because it is written by Tola. I mean Tola, the geek. The whole story is written without quotes from books and links to further books…Wow. Iyen Tola nà?
    1+
  27. Sweet Potato
    E dey happen…

    In the 15 year old girl’s defence, she was probably being warned to stay away from aaaaalllll boys perhaps?

    In the boy’s defence he took after his father’s kind heart?

    ‘People are surprisingly honest when they think you’re nobody special.’ This is true 99.951606278570001% of the time.

    0
  28. kels

    My view…. If she had tried to get to know him again or even catch up a bit as friends she would have known clearly that he wasn’t a waiter. However, she took one look at him and didn’t think much of him as she’d done before. So she obviously doesn’t converse much with waiters too.
    3+
  29. Ojuolape
    I love this post and of course it was written by my ……. (fill in the blank space ) Tola. Drools.lol

    Now to the serious part. I think we should all look beyond the story. Lets learn to be less judgmental.
    Waiter oh, open shoes oh, distressed jeans oh….. all external.
    Get to know the person a little bit and then decide. You never know, he could be the next Mark Zuckerberg.

    1+
      1. Ojuolape
        Did you read the whole comment or you chose to pick one sentence out and intentionally misunderstand it?

        The people that liked it sef.
        Smh

        0
  30. Toni Osai
    I won’t date/marry/befriend/speak with a woman without prospects, financial and otherwise. I am not looking for her money either. A decent starndard of living, financially, indicates some level of intelligence, skill, effort, diligence etc and that is what I deduce from someone who has made something of themselves.
    I would judge, wrongly or not, someone to be of less intelligence, discipline etc when they do not have a decent income or enterprise, not because I want to be a parasite and live off them but because what I want is someone who is on my ‘level’ and with whom I can work to move to a higher level, someone who can complement who I am. If I’m well off and you’re not, sorry love, but you seem more like a burden to me. Shikena.
    As for ‘changing mouth’ when side became paid, the babe was clearly looking for financial security while he was looking for love/recognition.
    Tell me, what is the name of that classmate of yours who was the butt of all jokes because he/she wasn’t cool/good looking/from a rich home? Is that classmate still your friend (or did you ever even speak to them)? Very few of us have such good hearts as to see every person as ‘equal.’ The rest of us seem to be vain, ‘gold-digging’ animals (and I’m not insulting you o… Humans are animals)
    2+
    1. SeryxMe
      At the end of the day, we realize (like the lady in this story) that we have judged wrongly, most of the time, when we judge from a superficial standpoint. This, I think, is what this story is trying to tell. It’s true many of us do these things you say we do but does it make it right?

      Every single girl will marry Prince Akeem in Zamunda but very few will even give him a look in as the cleaner at McDowell’s in New York. I think if you were the prince you would prefer the rare Lisa to very common Imani.

      Why should the guy in the story even consider the girl? Because she wants financial security, now that he can provide that? Every girl out there wants that, so what’s special about it? Getting to know someone, as corny as it sounds, is still what people deserve and really crave.

      1+
    2. Segun
      You know the problem with this way of thinking is that things are consistently in a state of flux. Getting into a relationship with ‘prospects, financial and otherwise’ as pre-conditions suggests that if things go south with those ‘prospects, financial and otherwise’, you will be willing to pull the plug on the relationship.

      It would also suggest that people who aren’t on the same rung of the social ladder that we think we are aren’t worthy of our ‘love, attention, friendship etc’. We all do it. It doesn’t make it right.

      0
  31. Toni Osai
    Forgive my manners… I was too focused on the comments than on the piece itself

    Well written Tola. I was even inspired to push myself into exploring and trying my hand at new things (cooking just happens to be one of my hobbies), taking chances, and seeing myself through my own eyes and not the eyes of others. I think this piece is mostly about self-love, self-esteem, self-appreciation, self-….. and that’s a lesson we all need to hear on a daily because it’s easy to get lost in the noise of what others think of us that we eventually, unconsciously, work ourselves into the mould they have made for us.

    Good writing, sir!

    7+
  32. Cee
    You know how they say money is everything….that statement as much as its true is equally a lie….we women are sometimes so short sighted that we hardly seen what’s at d tip of our nose. We are often so blinded by money that before we realise that this guy or this thing is bad for us,its always a lil too late.Tola I would say your lady was short sighted, but money helped heal her short sightedness..lol. It happens to the best of us. But the sooner we realise that money, as much at it can make the world go round, can also make it stand still, the better for us. , I would still like to confirm your golden stuff.
    3+
  33. MoOlu
    The last few lines of this piece was actually quite revealing. He defined himself through the object of his affections, who unfortunately does not feel the same, a personal choice and one to be respected. He choose to be conformed to the ‘omo baba cook’ image and even assumed that was the basis for his rejection. Again his opinion. He came to a level of self realisation after he stopped seeing himself through the supposed lens of the chick in question. IMV, he became a victim of his own thoughts, and having more money ‘opened’ him up to his core essence. An Epiphany. Funny, how no one bothered to find out if he was actually rejected on the basis of his poverty. In a roundabout way, one can actually accuse him of projecting his insecurities on her, she was actually a victim of his own self fulfilling prophecy.
    2+
    1. SeryxMe
      Her personal choice.

      Wait, I’m trying to understand the part where she suddenly realized that he “had turned into this incredibly kind, loving, and ambitious guy” from this perspective. So her ‘personal choice’ changed after she found out he owned 2 restaurants not long after she couldn’t date him as a waiter. Nice reason to have a change of heart. 🙂

      0
      1. MoOlu
        The fact that she now considers him a ‘kind’ man after he came into his own is still a matter of choice/preference. This story is not necessarily about the battle of the sexes, it is about self actualization, sometimes that ahah moment is triggered by external pressures, in this case his own personal journey to self discovery brought about by his perceived rejection. The chick in question may have also a ‘change of heart’ money does that sometimes. ….
        1+
        1. MoOlu
          ***had****

          BTW, the author seems to have developed the premise for his piece on the assumption that love is an impossibility under certain scenarios.

          (1) S/He is poor = Rejection.
          (2) S/He is rich = Approved for love.

          The girl suddenly realising he is a kind man testifies to that logic. I may be wrong but it certainly reads that way…..

          0
          1. SeryxMe
            I think you’re coming to the idea of this series. See, the first set of letters written by the women was to point out general issues they encounter with men. Certainly not every man is how they expressed but there are men who display such ‘flawed characteristics’. In this case, the guys are responding in kind. Like I said in a different comment, the scenarios may vary in real life but this story is portraying a girl who would rather be with a man for his money than for his person (or who he really is). Unless you are saying there are absolutely no chicks like that, I think the message passed is relevant.

            What I think is that many ladies are probably towing the line of forgetting that the true personality of the guy they want to be with matters a lot in their pursuit of financial security. They may not be as vain as the lady in this story is portrayed, in fact, they could genuinely just want someone on their level, but this post should let them sit back and think deeply on the choices they make about the person they end up with.

            How would you feel if you were the guy? A girl just turned you down because she thought you were a waiter last week, and this week she suddenly adores you after she realized you own the restaurant. Truthfully, how would you feel about her?

            1+
        2. MoOlu
          ***had***

          The author seems to have written from a premise which suggests love is an impossibility under certain scenarios. These two statements played out in the storyline:

          (1) S/He is poor = Will be rejected by love interest
          (2) S/He is rich = Will be accepted by love interest

          The conclusion addressed this very succinctly.

          0
  34. Kathybabe
    You self, dem take the sista do you? Afterall you’ve been all over the world, you are rich and you can have you pick of all the sistas. It shows you love her after all, so please get on your knees and propose to her before a richer dude does.
    0
    1. Quoray
      The question remains, should he lose all his wealth at some point, will the woman stay with him (Sam Smith style), nag him to his death or leave him?

      Oga Ade, please don’t propose.

      1+
  35. The N
    This….. was awesome… I want to go all deep and analyze the depths of this story but really…. no
    1) It wasn’t the heartbreak that made him successful, it was his ambition, when his dad died and left him the book, he didn’t have to read it and practice it, but he did, he didn’t have to move to Apapa and look for a job on a ship (a job that most don’t pick up, especially if they’re only gonna be cooks), but he did, he was an ambitious man who started out poor and ended up eating the fruits of his labour, wisdom and discipline
    2) She was either afraid of what kind of future he would be able to provide for her or she was a gold digger, not all women looking for settled guys are gold diggers, most aren’t just in the mood to fight battles that can be avoided.
    3) As someone said all the way up there…. money changes people… but believeeeee me, the guy in this story, seems like the kinda guy who would handle money like his servant and not his masyer. Some people make it big and decide that theyve suffered and so they mist suffer everyone else… its some peoples reality… but in a way, i actually found myself falling for his ambition… AMBITION MAKES A MAN LADIES…. if he don’t got cash now…. look for ambition…. stay away from poor guys with no ambition and bitter minds….
    N
    *wooshhhhhhhhh.. away I go*
    3+
    1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
      sadly, not yet. I’m not like all those Geniuses who post for Wazi. I don’t write fiction very well. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response to this piece and grateful for the feedback. Maybe if I come up with something, I will let you know.
      0

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