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The Igbos! There is something about this tribe - Richard Henshaw

The Igbos...

There is something about this tribe.

A quintessence that many always tend to undermine.

Many have failed to appreciate what this tribe has done to the psyche of this nation.

And its relevance to the Nigerian enterprise.

These people that have come to be key players in the regulation of grassroot wealth.

I am not one who praises one tribe over others.

Or indict tribes for the way they choose to live.

But I was talking to a group of friends some days ago, and this became a topic.


Their culture.

Their relevance.

The Igbos.

It is this tribe who taught us a lesson in capitalism.

Made us know that wealth is not static.

Not destructible.

It is transferrable.

It moves from one hand to another.

It is this tribe who taught many how to dream.

How to hope.

And the power of servitude.

That you can be anything in life, irrespective of your background.

That you can be as great as your master.

Or even greater.

If only you know how to serve.

Because wealth is indestructible.

And someday it will transfer from your master's hands to your own hands.

Because that is the essence of capitalism.

Many don't understand how great these things are.

How a rich businessman would pick a boy from the street.

A son of his own kinsman.

The boy scared and ignorant at first.

But with his eyes on the gold.

The master brings him in.

Into his home.

Into his business.

Teaches him how to trade.

How big monies are made.

Teaches him the ropes of the game.

If only the boy knows how to serve.

And before long, you see that scared and ignorant boy beaming with confident and razzmatazz.

He serves in diligence.

And a few years later, the master settles him.

Settlement that runs into millions.

That servant boy now becomes a master of his own.

Give him a short time, and you will see his own business empire booming.

And then it amazes you how that poor and scared boy of few years ago has become such a big shot now.

A master in his own field.

And the poor servant boy, who has now grown to become a master, goes to bring another poor and scared boy into his business.

To serve him.

And within a few years, he settles that one too.

And that one too becomes a master.

And starts doing his own thing.

And like that the chain continues.

For it is better to teach people how to fish, rather than give them fish.

That is how to spread wealth.

Not everyone knows what this business culture of the Igbos did to the psyche of this nation.

And the contribution it made to psychological and mental emancipation.

You can be anything in life.

You can serve your way to greatness.

You don't have to make wealth static

Because that is not its nature.

It is transferrable.

It should continue moving from one hand to another.

A Hausa friend in the midst admitted, that if many tribes can be half the tribe the Igbos are, this place would be a better place.

Because a society shouldn't be made of one man who is richer and greater than the entire community.

And who delights in giving fishes to his poor kinsmen everyday, rather than teaching them how to fish.

He said so many things in indictment of ....

The downfalls.

The irregulation of wealth.

That in communities in the north, wealth has been made to be seen as a static thing.

In transferrable.

Where you see hundreds of people going to eat food in one Alhaji's house every day.

It is the cause of the high rate of poverty in the north.

It is the cause of the frustrations of the youth.

The hopelessness of the young ones.

It is one of those reasons that makes a Hausa boy to be ready to die for nothing, because no one has taught him how to hope.

It is the reason all the Okada business in Lagos are done by Hausa boys.

Who ride in recklessness and with zero regard for life.

As he spoke, I stared at the words trickled out from his mouth.

Thick like broth.

And he said, "Richard, it's true what you have said about that tribe - the Igbos. Let's admit it, that tribe taught Nigerians the power of hope, and servitude. And the rules of capitalism..."

You can be anything in life, irrespective of your low background.

You can aspire to any heights, if only you know how to serve. 

For wealth is not static. 

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