One day, a young lady on her way to work passed by two beggars. She stopped and looked at them, not because they were beggars because such a sight was commonplace but because they were young. Kids really, not much younger than herself. One wore a hand-me-down t-shirt that proclaimed, “I’m too sexy for my shirt.” It was ripped at the shoulder and stained in over the front. The other one’s t-shirt read, “Classy and Cool” and it used to be white but was now just dirty grey.
She looked at them thoughtfully and asked. “Do you want me to give you money or teach you how to make money?”
The boys looked at her, she was dressed in a smart skirt suit. Her shoes alone looked like it could feed them for a week. And her handbag…
So, Mensah, Mr. Sexy, said, “what do you mean?”
“But we’re barely breathing! We haven’t eaten in two days! The boys cried.
Either way, do you want me to give you money or teach you to make money? She insisted.
They thought about it. Finally, Mensah said, “I beg, give me money. I need to eat before I faint.” He figured that she’d at least give him money worth the cost of her shoes.
“How about you?” she asked Tano, or Mr. Classy and Cool, if you prefer.
“You’ll really teach me how to make enough to dress like you?
“I think I want money education.”
So she gave Mensah N100.00 and told Tano to begin supplying firewood to her house.
Mensah looked at the money and cursed her for being stingy. Tano went into the bush to begin his work.
After several months, he began to supply all the houses on her street. He was making enough to feed himself. After two years, he ran out of brush wood, some of his customers started using gas stoves, and others found other providers. He could no longer sustain his firewood business. He went back to his mentor.
“No more firewood?” She asked. “Why don’t you sell water?”
So Tano began selling water. Initially, he just fetched the water from the stream and delivered it to the houses. Then he began to purify the water for drinking. Soon, he had enough money to buy equipment and he began bottling the water. As his business grew, he hired others to work for him. He married and started a family. He even bought a car and built a house. Several houses. He was rich!
One day, as he drove along Makoko street, he got stuck in traffic. A beggar approached him jiggling his can, “Please Sir, spare some change!”
Tano blinked. The man looked familiar so he lowered his window. “Do I know you? He asked the beggar.
The beggar looked closely at his would-be benefactor and gasped, “Ah, it is you!” Both men starred at each other – one in designer duds on his way to hanging out with friends, the other in a shirt that read, ‘I’m too sexy for my shirt,’ begging on the side of the road.