The Elephant gift

Posted September 30, 2020 from Nigeria


Three years ago, I sold a beautiful elephant.  The buyer is one of my kind hearted sister.  The goal of that purchase was to present a start up capital to one of our dedicated sisters in Ibasa. 

She is a very dedicated sister.  She is zealous and loving. Always ready to work for women and children. 

The only obstacle in her journey is the husband.  We love our husband in Nigeria.  It is our culture to respect, listen and abide by our husband's words. The Holy books taught us and our parents also.

 The peace of any marriage depends on an obedient wife..

An opinionated woman can never make a good wife in Nigeria.  Many of us are not cut out as house wife fabrics.  We have personal goals and ideas. When I observed that about me, I made up my mind to never interfere in any marriage. Never. 

So I made it a point of duty to concentrate solely on the economic empowerment of women. No more, no less. I don't meddle in anyone marriage. 

When this sister joined us, she was a very sad woman.  But I discovered that whenever she was with us, her sadness usually disappeared.  She had an aura of inner joy that lits up whenever duty calls. She was energetic and will always throw herself fully into whatever work we were doing. 

The work of ten women was nothing to her, she would singlehandedly without supervision complete the task without any frown or hypocrisy.

I have known her since 2010 when we started our Free tie and dye training in Ijegun-egba.

When the opportunity came calling, I called her....and I presented the grant to her. She was weeping as she prayed for me. The Elephant gift was meant to help her walk away from poverty. 

I gave her the gift with prayers.

She told me about her business goal and I made some phone calls to my sisters and she began her business.  The business entails travelling and selling.

More than fifty of my sisters buy their items from her and I usually deliver the proceeds from the sales.

Within a year, her living condition changed. I was very happy.  That was the my objective of giving her the proceeds from my treasured  Elephant.

She is a very industrious woman. 

In less than two years, she was able to rent a beautiful apartment and was paying her children fees. Her smiles became genuine as the business grew.

Her skin was glowing and she would buy some gifts for me too. I do not accept gifts from our women.  I will never, and I always find a way to pay for the gifts. I have enough. 

On many occasions, we would find time to discuss as her business progressed.

Two occasions, I was able to extend some loans to her business.  She paid back.

Her business was a good example of women supporting women. 

Suddenly, her husband returned to her, he became a changed man. 

I was very happy. 

They had sex too.  Wow.

All the diseases that he was complaining about before had suddenly disappeared.  The stench stopped. The vagina was no longer repulsive. 

He began to sleep at home.

God has answered our prayers. 

One day, I received a call that Mr husband bathe his son. What? Warisdis?

He entered the bathroom poured water and a sponge and soap to wash the body of his son.

We danced. But, I was afraid. 

My heart sank.

My fear grew.

Was it an answered prayer or the Elephant gift?

We had to intensify more efforts at observation. 

I am a good observer of people. 

I quickly invited my sister, the business was placing three square meals on the table. She could take loans and repay as at when due and she was travelling to two countries in Africa to make her purchases already. 

 My joy was double....

But my fear increased.

And I received another call, Mr Husband walked his children to school.  Ah, this Transformation needs my mentors to allay this fear. I was struggling to understand the reason why Mr husband would bath and walk his son to school. 

It reminds me of some story of Transformation told by David Bangalore a decade ago. The transformational  story of Tulasi. The difference was that one placed me on my toes from the beginning to the end while the other made my heart beats rumble like drumming for rhumba dance.

Mr Husband has changed. I didn't believe her. Abusive husbands do not change without any reasons.  People change because of a major shift, a word or a walk.

I was at peace within me because I made my stand known.  I have met changed men and women, they all have their behind the scenes stories.

One fateful day, the local radio walked up to me and greeted me in a mourning manner as if someone had died. I moved closer to ask why such horrible and fearful manner of  greeting ....she you have not heard about the business of your sister that sells....

Immediately, I placed a call to my sister....what happened?  Was it fire? Did Ibasa river drown the items on the way from the market? 

No. She said....

She began her narratives in tears.

"Aunty Tosin, you know that my husband has last week, I was travelling and had to go and buy tickets while I sent Mr husband to withdraw the business money from bank and bring it to me.....

I waited

And waited..

And waited...

I had to leave the station...

On getting home, I discovered that he has packed his loads....and at the bank, he had withdrawn all my money, leaving 5,000 Naira for me.......that's around $10. That should be enough for her and their three children. 

It was a sad story. 

She had already sold every item and retrieved all monies from her debtors in anticipation of travelling to two countries to buy various items for sale as usual. 

And her business collapsed.

She became a different person.  Tragedy has a way of draining the living daylight out of a Poor woman. But I hope that she is wiser if she has such opportunity again in her lifetime. 

She remains my sister as usual. Her husband remains my brother 

Life continues. 

Comments 4

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Sep 30, 2020
Sep 30, 2020

Thank you for telling this interesting story.Even then,do not sell your heart--soul

Oct 01, 2020
Oct 01, 2020

Hello, sell your heart or soul as how?
Please you don't have to comment on my post.

Nini Mappo
Oct 01, 2020
Oct 01, 2020

'Warisdis??' You are an insightful woman, Tosin. It is unfortunate that although your instincts warned you, you could not intervene, as that is not the done thing. It is so sad to see what you have build gone in a moment. I can imagine your friend's helplessness, and even if she did learn something, which she did, it is a hard way to learn. I hope that she is now vigilant, and doing something worthwhile with her life.

Oct 01, 2020
Oct 01, 2020

Thank you for reading. It is a hard one. She is not my friend. She is a beneficiary who has been one of our women since I started working in the Riverside areas.
I pray that she is able to save and start again, now wiser. I hope.