Sometimes, however political one is, it is good to set aside time for personal reflection and introspection. I have been very busy travelling and speaking and I am only settling down to do this. And I have come up with very interesting ideas and thoughts.
As we go through life hustling, different people respond to our hustle in different ways. While some people just stand aside and watch, showing us neither support nor aggression, most people will either be for us or against us. And as far as this big bad world is concerned, the greater number will be against us, with some even mocking our efforts. However, it is said that a hustle that God has blessed has many mothers. And fathers. And friends. And relatives. As soon as one becomes successful, people begin to seek association where there was none, and claim friendships, even when they once openly antagonized you.
I am happy that President Buhari, in responding to a question at the United States Institute of Peace in the US a few days ago, said “naturally, constituencies for example that gave me 97%, cannot in all honesty be treated on some issues the same with constituencies that gave me 5%.”
Our president is an old wise man. I completely agree with him that in life, those who did not support your hustle cannot be treated the same as those who did. It is like you wanting to get married and then someone asking if the woman who tried to snatch your husband from you will be on your bridal train.
For me, there are two kinds of people in the world, people who are in the 97% and people who are in the 5%.
I have been thinking of people in my life who are in the 5% just in case God should suddenly bless my hustle. Some times God doesn’t give a warning and your blessing can sneak up on you like an unwanted pregnancy. It is important to have this in mind before you make the mistake of allowing those who did not even want you to succeed into your new space of success. That is how people get poisoned.
Here is a list of the 5% people I will snub when I make it in life:
1. My neighbour’s children in Kaduna who used to make fun of our clothes, calling them hand-me-downs, even when they could see that the clothes were new.
2. A group of boys led by a tall lanky boy called Danjuma who never used to include me in their team when we used to play football. I may not remember all their names, but I remember their faces. If they ever see me on the television and think they can just look for me and gain from my hustle, I will remind them of how much hurt they caused me by excluding me from football. If I was a white American child, I might have been severely emotionally damaged by this and ended up as a bitter adult who would walk into a school and shoot several people. Or ended up as a white police officer who would have killed an innocent black person. And they would have been ultimately responsible for that. In my head, those boys – men now – are technically murderers. In the likely event that I become successful, I will leave instructions with my PA not to even let any of those 5% people past my reception. I just thank God I am not an American.
3. South Africa is also on my list. In 2012, they frustrated my visit to their country and made it impossible for me to travel for an important workshop. When I become rich, famous and powerful and I hear anyone from the South African government try to praise or talk about me as a fellow African, I will remind them of the visa they did not give me in 2012 and warn them to stop mentioning my name as if we were friends. Because they are in the 5%. I think this is really fair.
4. The editor of my newspaper, Sunday Trust who always reduces my salary if I am caught up travelling and can’t send in my column. He used to be in my 97% but since he started reducing my pay, he has since been shifted to the 5%. I know that if I become rich and famous he will want to take a photo with me and share my glory. He will want to say: this successful man is my columnist. But I will tell him, get thee behind me, you 5% man.
Ps. The United States keeps killing its people of color. Only a few days ago, Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American became the most recent victim of police heavy handedness. She was found hanging in her jail cell a few days after her arrest. I will say this again: if America is tired of its black people they should return them to us. Suffering and smiling is better than being shot by a white police officer. Plus I think we need real Americans in our radio stations not these our presenters whose attempts at an American accent is often very painful to listen to.