Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Chronicles Of A Married Man - 24

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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Chronicles Of A Married Man - 24

''....The poverty level in this country is mind-boggling and being a seemingly “well-to-do” person in any family in this country takes a toll on the working person''.







“Have you built your own house?”, He asked

“Nope”, I replied.

“I know you earn above a million naira monthly at least for the past two years and you have been in this industry going to 15years. So, what have you been doing with your money?”, queried further.

“Oga na family wahala. E nor dey finish”. I said flatly.

“You know you are not getting any younger. Besides when your children start secondary school, you can hardly have any savings by then. At least build one house. You know that most people in Port Harcourt are just living to pay rent and school fees”, He concluded.

That conversation took place between me and my boss late last year. Nothing much has changed except that I eventually was able to start the building process but it hasn’t been easy.

The poverty level in this country is mind-boggling and being a seemingly “well-to-do” person in any family in this country takes a toll on the working person.

To give a perspective let me give some background story about my life.

I came from a less than average family. I won’t classify it as poor because we could have decent meals and survived. But looking at the extended family, I would say I came from very poor kindred. Going through the university was a hell of a task for me as things turned bad for my dad as soon as I got admission to the university to study engineering. My dad literally told me he doesn’t have money to sponsor me that I should quit if I want to.

I got help from one of my uncles for paying school fees but I practically did school runs to settle other bills. I was even doing runs for students in political science department as an engineering student. My grades suffered but I survived at the end of the day nonetheless. During the breaks I would go to Bonny in the early days of the NLNG project to hustle.

One of the most memorable advice I have gotten in life was from my uncle. He spoke to me in the early days when I started working in Bonny then. He said to me, “young man, you have been supported by family all these years. Make sure you support family back; don’t break the chain”. I never forget that.

I would say I have seen suffering and I understand what it means not to have help and support. Because of this, I always tried to help family members as much as possible. Being married here in Nigeria means you also have to cater for your in-laws as well.

Many marriages today are having issues in managing how to settle family expectations as the money is not even enough to meet their immediate nuclear family needs but yet they still need to cater for extended family needs.

A junior colleague of mine is yet to get married even at 35years because he is still “training” his siblings. We have seen cases where couples are fighting over finances because the man seems to be giving so much to his family and the woman feels the brunt of it all. Such women wanting to protect their family finances are then tagged as bad wives by the in-laws.

I have been lucky to have a wife who supports my giving and has my mindset that we are blessed to bless others. If we don’t help to raise as many people from the family as possible, we are going to continue the cycle of generational poverty. So far, we have been making some progress though it has not been an easy task.

The downside of having to bear the burden of taking care of the extended family is that you hardly make substantial progress when starting your family life. You hardly have savings, build a business or make any investment for the future if you are not careful. The worse of it is having some family members with entitlement mentality.

There is one idiot cousin of mine, who is expecting me to still look for a job for him after spending almost a million naira getting him industry training and other certifications to enable him work offshore. I have constantly had to pay debts for parents who didn’t even consult me before taking such loans.

This is not a complaint piece. Inasmuch as its such a great burden sometimes. I’m writing this just to encourage the average working-class Nigerian men. We actually do a lot. The last time I visited my old school mate of mine in Warri, all his hair has become grey from family stress.

The question one may now ask is “Is it by force to support family, especially at your own detriment?”. The answer is “no”. But when you can afford to do, please help. We grow by raising others. Over the years I have been growing and making good progress and I believe having the prayers of family has contributed to that.

Just a little piece of advice. Before you start settling extended family, make sure your home has been settled. That is irresponsibility and recklessness at worst to start taking care of other people while your home is not okay.

Looking back to that discussion with my boss in retrospect, I would say he is right that I need to build a house and settle myself. But the ultimate goal for me is not about the building of house but in ensuring that I can die knowing that I have left my family better than I met them. And like Robert Kiyosaki, I think a house is not an asset but a liability (yea yea…we can argue about that).

I have learnt over the years to make saving for the children’s education and even have insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances. The bottom-line to this whole thing is to try and maintain balance.

Till then.

Ciao!

37 comments:

  1. Your writing made sense today, but I think you quoted Kiyosaki wrongly there.
    The extended family system is exactly why Nigerians are surviving and have lower suicide rates compared to western countries e.g. USA.
    Those little support keep many alive and breathing. The politicians have looted everything including oxygen.
    It is a huge shame! πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have good family , support is priceless

      If you have bad family na ore you dey go o!!!

      Delete
    2. Some Nigerian men are accustomed to providing for their extended families to the detriment of their immediate families.

      When we were growing up, we lived in a near face me I slap you. My dad drove an SUV and provided for nephews, nieces, pastor’s children, friends and children of friends, without thinking of us. As far as he had given money for school fees, that was it. It was irritating. My mum would go the extra mile to ensure we were okay. She hired maids to care for us when she was out working, some of whom molested us.

      Anyways, he somehow later adjusted (after many years).

      Men need to develop visions and goals for their families and stick to them. Calm down, think, pray, set out a vision for your family, communicate/develop it with your wife and work with her to achieve it. Not everything gra gra. Make sure you wife works too (job, business, etc. support her) so that she can handle somethings without even telling you.

      If you have money, buy property and develop it. I know someone whose parents are no more. He inherited a property that he earns close to 4m from yearly. I think he’s in Canada now or so. All from that property. Invest in other things too (like some insurance packages like poster mentioned).

      It’s not every time we readily give to extended family (I say this with all decency and discretion). Sometimes tell them to wait. Let that months salary be used to invest in something for your children so that you won’t be big man for mouth only (if anything happens to you tmr). The following month, you can give to extended family.

      Na sense them dey use.
      God bless us all

      Delete
    3. No he did not misquote Robert Kiyosaki. He actually said building oneself a house is a liability but when put up for rent it becomes an asset. Whatever does not generate any measure of income is a liability. It's like funding consumption at the expense of investment.

      Delete
    4. Thanks@Oge
      Here I think, Kiyosaki got it wrong. If I build or buy a house and begin to save monthly what I am
      supposed to pay as rent, herein is income generation. If I sell it in a decade and buy a smaller one
      and save some of the money, that is still income. What might be real liability is a car because it
      easily depreciate. But for that house, even the land it is built on is an income generator.

      Delete
    5. We that finished university and begged our billionaire dad to support us to stand. He said he paid school fees already we should go & help ourselves. Oya send us go abroad make we do masters help ourselves, he refused. We joined others in labour market & really nothing like that turning up for us. Worse is people seeing you & saying help us thank your dad for giving us 500k to support our hustle. Mind you we are not bad kids. My mom has cried taya. We have left him for God. Only him knows his reasons. We are all out here pushing like others. Initially we thought it was for a while so we learn. But me personally left school 10yrs ago. My elder ones are ahead of me. People told us to go and rob him. My mum said we shouldn't that God will lift us all at his time.

      Delete
    6. @21:14
      Really so sorry to read what you wrote here. The crux of the matter is how your dad made those "perceived" billions.
      I wrote "perceived" because sometimes some "rich Nigerians" aren't as rich as they pose when it comes to liquid cash and
      investments. One thing to do is to seek this God in prayer, fasting, his Word the Bible. Your mom is wise in telling you
      and your sibs not to rob him. Once you begin to genuinely seek God with your heart, he will answer you and you will
      see your dad unravel.
      the Bible.

      Delete
    7. @anonymous 21:14, thank you too. And yes to an extent in the Nigerian context, your disposition makes sense.
      But I think Robert was speaking based on the huge tax that comes with owning a property that does service it bills based on what is obtainable in more civilized societies.

      Until we get to that pedestal Robert based his argument on, you are right.

      Delete
    8. Thank you Anon 21:34. It's not perceived dear. Yes the billionaire runs in properties too. But he controls nothing less than 20million naira cash monthly. If you hop a ride with him, he spends nothing less than 75000 daily. He gives people. He can wake up build 10blocks of flat and give people free. We ask him, what of we your blood? He will say he has tried by paying school fees for us that his father didn't make him billionaire. Maybe he hates us.

      Delete
    9. @00:08
      You see, what this mindset ("hates us") will breed is only hatred and God does not work with or among
      people who harbor that. If you take your own revenge in your heart, God leaves, he won't avenge for you
      (see Romans 12, especially the last half of this chapter). From what I know, some people's money is covenanted
      in such a way that they cannot help their own flesh and blood; this is satanic. What is your dad's spiritual identity,
      do you know?

      Delete
    10. You see what I mean by "seeking God and he will unravel?"

      Delete
    11. Thank you Anon 5:20. He used to go church with us. All of a sudden said he is tired of every Sunday donation and stopped. That's all I know about his spiritual life. He goes village meetings & participate in cultural stuffs. But being diabolical, I cannot answer because I honestly don't know. My siblings and I plus mum go church. This matter tire us. We have carried it to God in prayers. Thanks so much for your replies. Will read the bible passage. We will keep pushing. Let him keep his money.

      Delete
  2. Family load can be such a pain in the ass, but if u can do it, why not, not just family even friends but while at it, top notch investment is key in other to stand gidigba, if not, u and the load will come crashing heavily.
    If u are not capable, do the little u can and face front.

    God bless men and women helping their various families.
    Nice piece

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you find yourself fortunate to make it early and want to extend help to your siblings,the easiest way is to show them how to fish instead of giving them fish.
    If you are not capable to train any of them in school at least let them go and learn a skill ,from there they can stand on their own while you face your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did. They refused to take professional exams, one made a wreck of the business I opened with my hard earned money, paid 3rd generation school fees etc now the enemy with voodoo flying around. God never lets evil win thoughπŸ™πŸ½ At the end of it all the ones who never gave have ganged up with the receiver but God is all powerful. You can only teach someone who wants to learn to fish, the how of fishing. If they don’t want to, there is nothing you can do but cut them off at some point and draw near to God with a pure heart to save you from those you helped with many years of your youth. He is a just God.

      Delete
  4. Stand well before carrying others

    Men don't marry if you are not standing ( feed , house, cloth, basic bills)

    Men your children come first before your siblings

    Men it is professionally foolish to form father Christmas on debts or at the cost of the care of your wife & children

    Men her income supports and is not the main support

    Men don't be selfish

    Women marry a provider not a fool that cannot care for you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol..
      It's just so funny that for the first time on this blog, you wrote more than a sentence (your usual short nonsense), and it's cos you want to give men orders on their responsibilities.

      When I saw you starting your last sentence with 'women' I thought you wanted to balance it up only to still order them to be a liabilities to Men..

      It's all these nonsense that makes men treat you ladies like trash with disrespect.. so what is the responsibility of a lady in all these.. Shey if you tell your colleagues to also handle the home front as the man is handling the providing, shey you'll die?

      Always spewing trash.. fake born again.. hypocrite.. fly commot jor

      Delete
    2. Dante

      The role of men
      1Tim 5:8
      Gen 3: 17,19

      For you
      Prov 23:9
      Prov 18:23
      Prov 18:13
      Prov 29:20
      Prov 18: 6,7
      Eccl 10 : 1-3

      Finally
      Prov 12:18

      Have a lovely day

      Delete
    3. Dante

      The role of men
      1Tim 5:8
      Gen 3: 17,19

      For you
      Prov 23:9
      Prov 18:23
      Prov 18:13
      Prov 29:20
      Prov 18: 6,7
      Eccl 10 : 1-3

      Finally
      Prov 12:18

      Have a lovely day

      Delete
    4. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„.. Olobe, you for posting am 3 times nah

      The role of women nkor.. start with how they are supposed to keep their virginity until marriage unless Bride price shouldn't be paid for them before going on to list other aspect of a virtuous wife as provided in the Bible.. Olodo

      Always ranting and saying rubbish, whenever you call her out she'll start quoting Bible one sided.. pretentious hypocrite

      Delete
    5. @Jet li, I believe on the premise of reality and commonsense, rather those Bible verses we throw around when things don't go the female way.

      What happens to a man who had been up and doing until life happened to him? What then is your role as the wife of such good man?

      If you think it's easy for the men, ask our fellow ladies who carry such load or the many strong single mothers who are giving their all.

      When we find good men as husband's, let not over labour them with Bible quote mentality. They are someone's son, brother and siblings too.

      Delete
  5. My policy on this is to identify the absolute necessities and help with that, and yes, I believe you are obligated to, for the nuclear family you come from.
    And as far as I am concerned, any luxuries for the parents will have to take a back seat, until I(we) are done helping them with their responsibilities.
    Our parents era has passed, it’s up to us to maintain that balance you spoke about, but more importantly, prevent the cycle from continuing. Any person in this dispensation who still counts on children as an ‘investment or retirement plan’ lacks understanding and foresight. You are not obligated to leave anyone an inheritance, but at least plan for your retirement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “There is one idiot cousin of mine, who is expecting me to still look for a job for him after spending almost a million naira getting him industry training and other certifications to enable him work offshore. I have constantly had to pay debts for parents who didn’t even consult me before taking such loans”.

      There’s a difference between enabling and helping.

      Delete
    2. Agreed, that’s why I referred to ‘absolute necessities’

      Delete
  6. Family load is not an easy load to carry. But we thank God for his grace.

    ReplyDelete
  7. May you not have ungrateful family members,I do help but not at the detriment of my children's future.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My elder sister taught us how to invest and save . When l started working at 17, the minimum wage was 120 naira. My elder sister taught me and half brother how to invest a part of our salary, save and give a percentage to our younger siblings and parents. I went to the university for bachelor's and masters while my salary was running but my dad said I was his responsibility and he paid for my education and all the professional courses I did with his 720 naira a month salary. That 720 amounts to nothing today, but the naira was 65k to one dollar till IBB devaluated the naira in 1986/87.So at an early age l learned how to give to my parents, siblings and my extended family. It created a problem after I married, she just couldn't understand why l was doing what l was doing. Then she got a job and demands started flying in from her parents and siblings. In my case giving didn't stop me froming building a house

    ReplyDelete
  9. You can't break free from poverty when you are lazy.
    Those ones born into average homes ,work hard to set themselves free.
    Only say some of them are mentally poor.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Makes a lot of sense but the reality is that some things can't wait. Like if you are training your siblings in school, the earlier you get it out of the way the better. Surely you won't ask them to wait until you are fully established, by which time your own children might be heading to primary and secondary school. I feel at any stage you are, do what you can for your people, don't wait until you become a billionaire but how to balance it is the question.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good piece however, owning a house in a Western country might be a liability but in Nigeria A HOUSE IS AN ASSET.

    What causes a cycle of poverty in having more children than a couple can cater for. Folks, STOP IT❗
    Some couples have 5 to 7 children hoping that once they have trained the first child, he/she would train the others.
    Please, WHEN DID YOU HAVE THAT AGREEMENT with your first child? Before or after you gave birth to him/her?πŸ™„πŸ˜‘

    That's why some first child pull the disappearing act when the burden gets too heavy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is owning a house in the western world a liability?

      Delete
  12. Interesting piece.
    Some people are really trying ✌️
    May God continue to bless people who support their extended family members. Times are hard.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Everyone should try not to enable entitlement mentality in the name of helping families and friends.
    Balance it, but please help yourself too, help yourself to live financially free from poverty. Secure your own apartment, save for tomorrow, don't depend on your kids as pension settlement.

    ReplyDelete

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