By Olusola Alli
Two days ago, Fela Durotoye celebrated his 46th birthday as well as his 16th wedding anniversaries. He was inundated with congratulatory messages all over social media. As an accomplished motivational speaker, role model, and mentor for a lot of young people; his reach is far and wide, way beyond the shores of this country. If his recognition as an entrepreneur and corporate strategist is not enough, he is also the husband to the equally accomplished CEO of the beauty brand, House of Tara International, which specialises in the field of make-up – services, training as well as a line of products called Orekelewa, tailored to the unique requirements of the dark-skinned woman.
This couple is so successful and wealthy they can’t but draw attention wherever they go. They are both (relatively) young, good looking, fit, famous, creative and business owners. They have also been candid about their very humble beginnings. Both have mentioned in interviews how the two of them started their married lives in a one-room apartment without even a TV.
A lot of young people – especially the men – have therefore taken to saying and believing that you don’t need to be comfortable before getting married. Throwing a bare mattress on the floor in a room with shared bathroom and toilet facilities will do just fine. Any woman who demands more is a gold digger who is not ready to be married. If she, by any chance, is in her late twenties or above, she is dubbed an old cargo that should be grateful a penis-bearer even proposed marriage to her!
What they failed to open their eyes to is that though the Durotoyes went into their marriage with a nearly empty pocket, they did not do so with empty brains. They had great, workable ideas they were willing to sweat and bleed for just to bring to life. They have also chosen not to complicate their lives by having only three children. How many young people today can do that?
A few days ago, a married couple were apprehended after they attempted selling their six-year-old daughter. To pay rent! They had fallen so deep into the quagmire of poverty and were unable to claw their way out that they chose to block their minds to the kind of depravity that could be in store for their little girl. Rape, sodomy, bestiality, and torture were possibilities they preferred not to entertain just for the desired end of having a roof over their heads.
That’s what poverty can do to you – shut-circuit your brain such that your thinking becomes at par with that of a four-legged creature. If you are still of the God-will-provide-everything-we-need-after-marriage school of thought, it is time you had a rethink. The maxim ‘heaven helps those who help themselves’ holds true.
Have a plan – a concrete plan that will feed you and your new (and possibly growing) family. Better still; hold off on marriage or on having children until you have a reasonable amount in the bank and a decent home to live.
Not everyone will be as lucky as the Durotoyes. In fact, they didn’t really get lucky; they earned it.