Ladi Olukola is a nice lad, a kind-hearted fellow and a joyful one; he is tall dark and handsome, a dream man for every lady and the cynosure of eyes while at the University. He became a banker at the age of 24 years and rose through the ranks within a period of 14 years to become a Manager at a first generation Bank. He was married and his kids attended one of the blue ivy schools with class in Gbagada Lagos, and always spends their summer across the atlantic in either Paris, Dublin and of course London. He was doing well by all standards. However, tragedy struck at his new generation office and He and a few colleagues were asked to resign. It was unpalatable, and with three kids to cater for struck a big blow.
Being a smart fellow, he has amassed about N2.4 Million as savings as at the day his appointment was terminated, and being a brilliant and well-rounded guy knows that getting a job should be easier. But his wife was a disciplined teacher, a pragmatic one and a financially disciplined woman.
Being in dilemma of paying the third term school fees of his kids (which amounted to N1.6 Million), and a house-rent (1,300,000) that was due in 2 months, Ladi became seriously apprehensive about the future. His first generation bank had off-set his severance package with various loans he has accrued. How will I pay my rent? How will my kids not be sent out of school he mused? After 6 weeks of idling at home, he noticed his phone was no longer ringing. Most Friends that he partied with have suddenly became evasive. What will the son of man do he mused? How will he face the LandLord in two weeks when he comes for his rent. Sweating profusely in his posh Air-conditioned duplex, he knew he had to develop a plan for survival…….
He had a ramshackle property he had roofed in Mowe, Lagos-Ibadan Exp. Way. How will I relocate my family to a bush like this expressway he thought. He hadn’t visited the site in four years. He couldn’t imagine coming to live there. He only bought the land, developed it to Lintel Stage and regularly ignored his wife when she harped them developing the site. What would he do now he opined. Having being idling at home for two weeks, he paid a visit to the site at Mowe, having not being there for about 5 years , it took him 2 hours to locate his property as several developments have sprang up. He had been looking for a ramshackle area, but behold is a modern city like environment with desirable facilities. Though some of the roads are being constructed, he could sense the bushy areas of long ago has being replaced by a conducive city in-the-making. His heart leaped for joy that at least it is not too dishonouring to live here he thought. Strolling to his property, he noticed that the ramshackle building of yesteryears now has now been fenced round-about, gated and wired round about. He observed the windows have been fixed, the ceiling boards, plastered and just not painted. Spurring for a fight, and a little scared about what had happened he banged the gate of his property. So many thoughts have filled his heart, have omo-oniles taken over my property? Have someone else sold the house? Being so sure of the location, he braced up for an altercation.
After banging the door for the third time, someone came to open the gate. Lo and behold, it was a family friend, a known lady architect. Angry and surprised, he challenged her that “what the heck are you doing on my property?” The lady smiled and ushered him in. lo and behold, there were many other labourers working on site. What is going on in his world he thought? What has happened to his ramshackle property? Has it been sold? About to lose his mind, the lady told him to calm down.
With a huge smile, the lady narrated how his wife has contracted her for the project and told her to keep it secret. Over the last five years, the woman has been saving hard and struggling to contribute to the development of the property. Being a gigantic structure (a 5-Bedroom duplex), she has struggled to cope with the demands but pressed through. Having done the piping, the electrical works, the ceiling, and other inner fittings, they were at the point of plastering the externals of the house. His heart skipped several times, but became so speechless. “How dare will my wife do this without telling me “he mused. Then he remembered the series of verbal fights that sprang up when she brought forth the issue of the property. He remembered how he told her that he will never live there and will get a mortgage to buy a duplex in Ikeja in the next five years. But all that was gone, he had become a lonely fellow now with a compulsory humble spirit. Within five minutes of being there, the wife showed up. Sighting him, she almost fainted, having known her fiery husband and knowing what he is capable of she knelt down, her face to the ground from afar off. Then she began to cry, wailing excessively and uncontrolled. Ladi had to step in to control the tears as they trickered down heavily. The wife began to narrate how her Three Years Leave Bonus as a civil servant was used for the ceiling and piping. How her cooperative society loaned her money for four years while she did the roofing. Sighting the pains she has gone through to do so much for family, his proud gaze vanished and showing his soft side, he carried his wife and straight home they went, discussed with the lady-architect and wrote her a cheque of N1.3 Million Naira to complete the externals of the house. The rest is now history.
Narrating His story after five years, Ladi now owns two housing estates in Mowe/Ofada environment, got a job and rose to being a Director in a multinational Organization in Ikeja Lagos but has this to say “OWNING A HOUSE WAS MY LIFE SAVER, AND RELOCATING TO MOWE WAS DIVINE; THE OPPORTUNITIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN DEVELOPING AREAS WHILE WE ALL KEEP SPENDING OUR LIFE’S OUT IN THE CITY CENTRE”
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