Money is power. Period!
We can talk and debate all we want (and trust me, I will listen) but at the end of the day, money is the answer. Money determines the steps we take, whether backwards or forward. Money is the number one propeller of happiness today.
Look up and smile if you ever stole money from your parents when you were young.
I once got a thorough beating for using the five shillings meant for offertory to watch a movie. I was young and in class two at Nandi primary School. I lived with my mother next to St. Paul’s Theological College in Kapsabet and like I once told you, you never tell a story alone. For how interesting would it be, if I was the only character? Even a relationship takes two right?
We had two neighbors in that little compound where we called home. The immediate neighbor had twins, a boy and a girl. The boy was Abdul. Am sorry but I can’t recall the girl’s name. The other neighbor had three boys. Oti, Omosh and Oluoch. I liked Oluosh because he was the first born and at the time mum would always tell me to be as responsible as he was. So I had no option but to like the guy. Abdul’s parents were business people while Oluoch’s dad was a chef at the Bible College.
They had dogs which made their house a no go zone and with my mother being the no-nonsense type, Abdul’s house was our meeting point. It’s no surprise that thanks to Abdul, we could hold and play with real coins from time to time during kalongo and other games that make a man.
“Mbai, endea sweets kwa shop.”
“Why me?” I would ask
“You are the one playing watchman. You’ll protect the sweets well along the way!”
“Where will I say I got the money from?”
“They won’t ask you. If they do, tell them uncle alikupea!”
Every Sunday, we’d leave the house early, Sunday school starts at eight, and make our way to Kapsabet town. The town was a five minute walk from home. Armed with five shillings each, Jack of Dallas movie show (as we called him) would let us in.
“Mko na how much?”
“Ngovo. ” We’d respond in a chorus.
“Nawalipia hii ya kwanza cuz iko karibu kuisha alafu mlipie the next one. Sawa?”
We’d hand over our coins then from there, it was movie time. Nowadays, I enjoy the Dj Afro shit and watch it from time to time but back then, we were fans of Rambo collection. Rambo i, Rambo ii, Rambo iii, iv all the way to Rambo v. It was all about living for nothing or dying for something.
We’d go to school and tell stories of how Rambo threw that fist or how he saved that girl from the Vietnam soldiers. It felt happy and lively. hehe! We made friends from the stories we told. Stories that a five shilling coin had helped make possible. Remember without the five bob, there would be no movie. And without the movie, there would be no story. No story meant no friends hence loneliness. Describe stress in one thought! We worked hard to have five shillings every Sunday.
At times we borrowed. Most times we stole. For you can’t borrow money every Sunday. For what? To watch a movie? From who? Which parent would give you that? Isn’t Sunday a day to go for Sunday school and return home straight from church?
Well, I don’t watch those movies any more. Five shillings isn’t valuable any more either. I don’t live in kapsabet anymore and I don’t even tell stories from movies I have watched, anymore. From time to time I will passionately talk about the originals or about suits but excuse me! the first episode of game of thrones was boring, right? And no! I didn’t need to steal fifty Bob to watch knight school or Bumble Bee.
I have grown from using offertory for easy pleasures. I have learnt to entertain myself differently. Tala, Mshwari, Branch, Ubapesa, Caft, shieet I even have borrowed some of you some money! My bad. With January gone, we’ll clear all the arrears this Feb. All of them. Some of you I don’t owe anything, so should you receive an M-Pesa message from me, take it as a free investment.
Some of you are starting to get ideas. You want something to get you started. Don’t let them lie to you that money doesn’t matter. It does! You can take it to the bank that it does. Do you want some?
Your reasoning is as creative and as dynamic as the weight of your account. Waking up every day to solve someone else’s problem does not guarantee happiness. Putting value on your head does. Unless you are living in a voluntary world, from where I come from, if you are not making me money or helping me save it, you are not man enough.
You are either the bird that saw an opportunity to land but couldn’t face the thorns or the boy with an opportunity to advance his career but can’t take the stairs.
To be man enough, one has to learn to use their little ability to accomplish something, even when it means sitting on the head of the mighty. To be man enough, you must have the desire to search, find and invest an extra shilling, because as you grow, you start to realize that a man with money is a man with power. After all, mkono mtupu…?