They say love is better than money, but you cannot pay your bills with a hug

Before I traveled to Nigeria I informed my friend Sandra who had previously lived there and she was so excited for me. “Nigeria is amazing, you will love the experience!” she said. It was the first positive response I had received after telling anyone I was going to Nigeria. Everyone else’s first reaction was that I should be cautious about Boko Haram and Juju. So I had mixed reactions when I was going there, I was scared but also excited.
nigeria

After spending 2 weeks in Lagos I have to say, Sandra was right! Nigeria is amazing! It has a very rich culture. The food is healthy and absolutely delicious! From the plantain to the bean cake and bean porridge (they make a lot of stuff with beans), to their roasted cassava and lots of fish… & of course the jollof rice! I am not crazy about spicy food but I love jollof rice!!! The people are bold, outspoken, fashionable, charming and undeniably good looking. They also LOVE MONEY! Oju Kokoro(This is an informal saying which I learnt refers to the big eyes of an insect. They use it to describe their love for money because “they have eyes for expensive things”). Nigerians will spend obscene amounts of money on anything that is “designer”.

Initially, I had thought of writing about how Nigerians love money a little too much and how they should tone it down a little. But after coming back to my own country, Kenya, I realized that we are no different! We love money just as much! The only difference is that Nigerians are bold enough to say just how much they love it while Kenyans pretend we are not as money minded.  (Better the honest wolf than the wolf in sheep’s clothing…)

The point here is: We all love money! Kenyans, Nigerians, other Africans, Europeans, Americans, Australians, Asians and even the residents of Antarctica. Money enables us to pay our bills, eat good food, buy presents for our loved ones and even take a holiday from time to time. Unfortunately, this love for money is making us lose track of what is really important in life. Families are fighting for inheritance and marriages are crumbling. Men and women are busy looking for “sponsors” who can maintain their lavish lifestyles and as long as they succeed in getting these sponsors, they are being referred to as “role models”.  How can we prevent our great love for money from making our relationships fail and our society from being destroyed?

Single.-Young.-Full-control-over-your-money.

Well, we need a way to remind ourselves that there are more important things than money. I have 2 suggestions:

  • Give back to the community, even if you do not feel like you have much to give, just give. It is often when people go out of their way to help those who are most in need that they realize just how lucky they are to have the “little” they have. Think about the billionaires out there. Why are they all philanthropists? They must have realized that even with all the money they have they still need to do more to feel fulfilled, to be happy.
  • In our relationships, we must find ways of enjoying each other’s company without having to spend any money. I challenge all couples reading this not to spend money on dates or presents for at least the next 3 months. (I would also say no spending money on airtime or internet but maybe that is pushing it 🙂 ). LEARN to enjoy your partner’s company without spending a single dime. I would suggest exploring nature as one of the activities you can do.

I realize that we may need to do much more to be able to fully control our love for money, so let’s consider these 2 suggestions as a starting point.

We need to take back control over our thoughts, our emotions…& our love for money!

Control-over-money

8 Comments
  1. This is awesome. I think the best way for couples to go is to MAKE EACH OTHER for ONE ANOTHER. A man/woman who only sees your cash is a liability you get rid of quickly. The one who sees the possibility of making that money WITH YOU are assets you should never let go.

    1. Hello John,

      Thank you for your comment. Indeed couples should strive to grow together. There is something magical about the process of growing together that makes a couple’s union stronger. & money is way too shallow to be used foundation for any relationship. What would happen if they lost it all? Do they stop loving each other?
      Thank you for pointing out the importance of growing together.

  2. A wonderful write up, i would like to add that Nigerian women don;t just love money they love men who can actually provide for their women. You cannot blame us, Nigerian Men are Naturally generous. and there is a saying in igbo tribe of Nigeria which says that if you want to see how successful a man is, you should look at his wife or girlfriend.For the Nigerian men it’s a source of joy to spend lavishly on their woman either wife/girlfriend. The funny thing is that a times it gets competitive among friends and business partners to see whose wife/ girlfriend wears the best cloths,shoes,bags,or even drives the most expensive car. A trending story last week was where a man bought a brand new G-wagon for his girlfriend just to say he was sorry.He was a young man,not a sugar daddy or a sponsor as they call it.
    We Nigerians not only love money, both the men and women work their asses off to support their partners whether married or in a relationship. I think a girl that truly loves her man shouldn’t make money her priority but should see his potential and should be willing to grow and work with him until both of them achieve their goal.

    1. Thank you for your comment Anastasia. I am happy to see Pendotalk’s Nigerian followers contributing towards this discussion. Thank you also for further explaining the Nigerian culture. I like that you say that Nigerian men are naturally generous. I guess if a woman comes from a society where all men buy for the women they admire very expensive material goods to express their love for them then they will expect other men from other societies to do the same. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with spending money, but there is something wrong if that is the only way the know how to express their love. I wonder, how do the broke Nigerian men show love to their women? Or is it that you cannot get a girlfriend/wife until you have wealth?

      As a point to note, I admire the hardworking nature of Nigerians…as long as it is legal 🙂

  3. Interesting. Well, of course even broke men have girlfriends, not all Nigerian men are rich. But even the broke men tend to be very generous to their girlfriends.

    Money is not everything, love and commitment is also necessary. What I feel is that Nigerian men see geenrosity as part of love. like if you love a Girl you should be generous to her, her too to you

  4. Very well said. Your article is so inspiring.

    Talking about Nigeria and our love for money, everyone knows Nigeria to be the giant of Africa. That applies in all things ranging from productivity to material things which money can buy. We work our butts out to make money and when we want to spend it oh it’s like something else! That’s what I call the good life. Nigerians like living it big and everyone needs money. As for a relationship without money well…in most occasions it doesn’t really work out. You cannot know your true partner when he is broke. Money is a basic necessity in every relationship. I cannot forget the wonderful moments we shared when u were in Nigeria my wonderful friend @pendotalk. The party was a blast. Nigeria likes rocking life and I believe you can attest to that.

    Keep up the good work

  5. Very well said. Ur article is an inspiring one. OK. Talking abt Nigeria and our love for moni. Everyone knws Nigeria to b d giant of Africa. Dat also implies in all things ranging frm productivity to material tinx wch moni can afford. We can work our butts out to make moni and whn we wanna spend it oh it’s lyk smth else, dats wat I call d good life. Nigerians lyks living it big, tho I can tell u everyone needs moni. As for a relationship wthout moni well…in most occasions it doesn’t rely work out. U can’t knw ur true partner whn his broke. Moni is a basic necessity in every relationship. And I can’t 4get d wonderful moment we shared whn u were in Nigeria my wonderful frnd@pendotalk. D parry dat 9t was a blast. Naija likes rocking life n u can attest to dat. Kip up d gud works my bae.

  6. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

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