by Farouk Martins Aresa
Has a parent ever said: if you dare ask how I used your money, I would return it instantly? Yeah, shakara as if she still has it. Fingers are not equal and some children do better than the siblings. The relatively less wealthy ones always go back to their parents to milk money out of them as they know their wealthier brother or sister would give more to their parents. It gets irritating if one of the parents is denying herself certain comfort that have been provided for her.
There was this lovely girlfriend that had her mother living with her. Each time we decided to give the mother a present, she insisted that it must not be money. The mother was on pension, as soon as she got her check, one of her sons was always around to raid her. No matter how much her daughter and other brothers insisted she must not give her money to him, she gladly did. This guy had a job and his own family but always dropped by to raid the mother’s comfort.
An extreme case is that of a grandmother that sent the grandson to school because his father died. The wealthier son provided bare minimum to get his nephew to school but refused to give the comfort his mother wanted to his nephew. So whenever he visited his mother, he would find out that the money he provided for her comfort had been given to his nephew that lived with her. The uncle was not mean, after all the nephew spent school holidays with him.
There are many cases where the mother would deny herself of the money given to her by a wealthier child to provide for the comfort of a daughter or son. We are all aware of some of you that never fail to visit mothers to make sure she is doing well. In the process, you also help yourselves to groceries, gifts, and items that will be more “suitable” for your house. When the buyer comes around, the mother claims she used them. So fast, between when and when Mum!
One wealthy son gave a ticket to his mother to travel. The daughter came, changed the ticket to her name and traveled with it. This almost came to blows. The mother threatened to give the son back the ticket or money. She even complained that she did not want to travel anyway, and cannot be bordered with all the trouble of going from one airport to another. So the daughter asked her brother: what is your business if that is the way she loved to use her ticket, happily?
There are other cases of providing a car and driver to parents only to be hijacked by one of the siblings and when the car breaks down, they return it to sender! There is nothing wrong with sharing what you have with your siblings. It is the African way. Is it fair for daughter to have two cars between her and the husband, and provide another one for the father, but none for sister?
We cannot forget those brothers and sisters living overseas. Some of those always complain of their money going to their siblings instead of their parents. Others complain of building the same house for over ten years without a certain date for completion. The brother or sister in charge of the house readily utilizes money coming from abroad to other more urgent purposes like taking their father to the hospital, buying drugs, birthday, weddings or AWOL contractors.
By the time some of these overseas siblings go home on vacation, they find out that the house is not half done, it has been neglected or the money has been used to build the brother’s house! Those looking to buy a land get the worst treatment of all. They have been warned several times to go home and buy the land themselves. Better still, take some time off, go home and complete your own houses in the village. Even that may not be enough!
Well, all parents are not that selfless. One lady was deported back home from Europe. She had feared that it could happen. So she saved as much as she could by sending money to her father in Nigeria. When she got home, she found out that her father was spending the money having children with young wives. The father had two houses in Lagos, he sold one and rented the other out. He then packed out of Lagos and went back to his village with one of the young wives.
Some parents redistribute the money coming from their children generously to little children from their young girlfriends. A friend of ours had this rich uncle. He could only afford to travel out of Nigeria on weekends so that his business could be completed on Fridays or Mondays. He could not wait to get back home. He sent some older children to schools in Europe and USA.
He definitely invested his money on the older children with the hope that they would bring up the younger ones, the African way of the older caring for the younger children. Unfortunately, he lost his job and had to depend on his investments in real estate, selling most. But his investment could not sustain the old active lifestyle of many girlfriends and younger children.
Since his older children were doing well, he demanded money from them to redistribute to the education and upbringing of the younger children. The problem was the amount of money he wanted from the older children and what they could reliably give to their Dad monthly vary by expectations. Children that are trained outside the country may not be different from those at home in giving back. If they think their parent spent their money unwisely, that’s another factor.
There are cases where some parents that had made their money illegally distribute it to their grown children so that whenever they are probed, their children could run with the money. However, the surprise for them is that; not even they can retrieve the money back from these children. Usually a good probe must include the children if they are within reach or within the arm of the law. If they are outside the country, not even the devil can get his money back.
Hey it is money, you cannot take it with you. Some people know how to spend it better than how to make it. Just make sure you do not invite heart attacks over your own money O!