By: Theophilus Femi Alawonde
Hello, good people of Nigeria. It’s a beautiful week! Welcome to Weekly Words of Wisdom. This week, we are going to systematically look into valid ways of becoming influential in Nigeria, following the Invictus Obi starter pack to the letter. Do you know our hero, the inspiration for this model of becoming influential, Invictus Obi? Perhaps you know him by the name Obinwanne Okeke? Oh! You have heard the rumours too? About him being a fraudster and all? They are rumours, disregard them. Invictus Obi is an investor, and an eagle-eyed entrepreneur, who went phishing and caught millions of dollars.
So, how do you become influential in a nation where your wealth is your worth, a nation where the bulginess of your pocket determines where, or where not your feet can find their way to? You need not do much, trust me. How do you find your feet and rise above the murky waters, in a nation where subtle stealing is the order of the day? Following the steps I have below will sure take you to the promised land. So, what have we?
Before I go on, do not forget that Invictus obi is our model, and why should he not be? After all, he made the Forbes Africa 30 Influential Persons under 30 list in the year 2016. What an example. I digress too much. Now, to the koko:
If you think the woke I mean is sharing thoughts that would not even be bought for a kobo on social media, then you don know was going on. The new woke is to get into the hustle, mingle with boys, and be taught the black trade that is fast making white men fear. If you want to play slow and steady, go for Yahoo. It might take you some time before you blow sha. If you are more interested in quick riches and the resultant early visit to the grave, you could try Yahoo-plus-ing. However, the best I have to offer, the most suitable in line with the Invictus Obi model, is wire, or what some know as wire-wire. This is not for lazy youth, please! It requires bright minds and much more capital than all other forms. It is an entrepreneurial skill, and facilitators would sure be paid.
To improve the efficacy of your dabbling into wire, get degrees. You do not necessarily have to get an education, just get degrees; Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate, if possible. Let one of them be from the abroad, so it would be easier to form your success story when you have blown.
BE AN INVESTOR
You see all those ones that run away to Dubai or Malaysia after having blown from the chache business, they can never be one-yard influential. So, do not depart from this path. When you have blown, – and that should be some two to three years, depending on how good you are, and how few your village people are, or the level of their determination to ruin your life- invest the money you made. Do not be tempted to spend on women and betting and drinks, you will end up miserably. Look at our model, he founded the Invictus Group with the 11 million dollars he made. Once you have capital as huge as some millions of dollars, it would not be difficult to start a company.
Buy a large expanse of land, build a state-of-the-art infrastructure, bribe the Corporate Affairs Commission, register the company, do some wuruwuru interviews and employ about 2,000 Nigerians at once. Don’t worry about what they would be doing, they are Nigerians, they would be perfectly cool with coming to office every morning to do nothing, in as much as the salary does not stop. Don’t stop there, dabble into whatever sector you can dabble into. Scatter their heads with money, and you would start making profits. The profits might not be massive, but you could start adding your ill-gotten wealth to it little by little, as you declare your assets. Have a working ratio, say profits 45% and ill-gotten wealth 55% of your net worth. This way, it would be hard to smell foul. In five years’-time, you would have blown
DO THE NEEDFUL, DO THE EXPECTED
At this time of your life, the elites in the echelon of the societal strata would begin to notice you. They would invite you to parties, go, and spray them plenty money, don’t be stingy. This way, your face would make it to more and more glossy pages of the dailies. The governor is a year older? Buy multiple pages in the dailies to wish him well. The president has just returned from another treatment of his ear in London? Buy multiple pages in the dailies to welcome him back to the soil. This way, you would become more popular. Remember, the goal is to become as influential as you can be.
At this point, the king of your village would have heard of the son of the soil doing exploits. He might, no, he would surely invite you to take on one or two chieftaincy titles, do just that. Build a block of classrooms in the community primary school, dig a borehole, and tar the road to your parents’ house. No one would say you have not done well. Do not forget the God that gave you the wealth. Take huge amounts of money as a tithe to church; or if you are a Muslim, donate handsomely to the building of an ultra-modern mosque, and give alms to whoever you can give it to. This way, God would not be so cross with you.
My brother, at this point, the poor and the middle class would have noticed you too, including the media. They would want to know how you did it, your success story. At this point, we are almost getting there!
START A CHARITY FOUNDATION, AND GIVE MOTIVATIONAL TALKS
Yes, you saw that right, start a charity foundation. One, it would be a way of asking God to turn away his eyes from the evil you did in the beginning, and two, it would be a way of reaching out to more people and getting more influential. Ensure you are married before starting a charity foundation. Name it after yourself, and let your wife run it. Even if it is to share rice to thousands of Nigerians during Christmas, just start a foundation.
Nigerians are a humble people, they do not need much proof before they revere you. After all,
N2,000 is enough to buy their votes. When you have started the foundation, the media and NGOs would start taking you more seriously. You would be invited to shows, and talks, both locally and internationally. In simple terms, you have blown.
However, do not forget “your success story.” Nigerians love stories, and they would sure want to hear yours. Thankfully, this is not difficult to form. Yes, you talk about your humble beginnings, and how you had to struggle. Talk about your determination to stand out. If you schooled abroad as I advised earlier, talk about having to run multiple menial jobs, the frugal way you spent, and the handsome way you saved your money, till it became enough to start a business. You could talk about the small loan you obtained. If you did not go to the abroad to school, there is a plan B for you. Just say, “It’s been God, it’s been God’s grace.” No, Nigerians will not overreact, they will surely forget you all enjoy that God’s grace. This plan B is actually subject to you dropping a large lump of money to shut them up. And like magic, they would keep mum about your stories that touch but do not spark. Some yards more, and we would be finally there.
WRITE A BOOK, OR GET SOMEONE TO WRITE ONE FOR YOU
Yes, this is the last step to fully becoming influential in Nigeria. Forget about the maxim that the best way to hide something from a black man is to put it in a book. If the book is by one rich somebody, people will buy and read. So, what types of books do I advise you to write? An autobiography, a biography, or a motivational book. The bottom line is, be the subject of the book; its A-Z. If it is an autobiography, write your flowery but watery success story. If it is a biography, ensure your praises, and yours alone, are sung therein. If it is a motivational book, make sure each chapter leads to one story or the other in which you are the hero. This way, millions will get to read about you.
My brother, if you have not started gracing Times Magazine, Forbes, and other business and achievement magazines by now, then Buhari does not hail from Daura. At this point, let me congratulate you on having successfully become an influential somebody.
However, shine your eyes. Ensure you do not leave trails that would jeopardize your blissful-looking future. Because, the village people factor. FBI or CIA or worse still, ordinary EFCC, might start looking for you. Omo, cover your tracks well, and be woke.
Have a wonderful week.
Theophilus Femi Alawonde spends his time on tutoring, journalism, and academics on the University of Ibadan campus, and if he is not engaged in any of these, then he is sojourning into one of his daydreams. He is in his penultimate year of study for a B.A. (Ed) French.
Twitter: @lil_allawonder, Instagram: @theo.lil.a_lla_won_der, Facebook: Theophilus Femi Alawonde.