It was a bright Monday morning, Kamsi woke up rather late for work. She rushed through her devotional mindlessly, mumbled a few words of prayer and headed for the kitchen.
She had planned to make chips and egg for breakfast but she didn’t have a lot of time so she opted for her life saving instant noodles.
Thankfully, she had a little carrot to garnish it. She threw them into the pot and headed off to pick her phone that was ringing for the second time.
She wasn’t surprised; there were only two people that could call her twice on a Monday morning- her mother and her boss. This time, it was her mother.
Kamsi hesitated. Why was her mother calling? She didn’t want any morning lectures today so she left it to ring out. But she felt guilty, what if there was something wrong? Was her Dad Okay? What about her siblings? On a second thought, she decided to return the call.
She had picked up the phone to call her mother back when the call came in again.
“Hello mummy, Good morning ma.”
“Ehen Kamsiyochukwu, where did you keep your phone? I have been calling you since. How are you? Have you gone to work?”
Kamsi’s mom was a typical Nigerian mother. They would ask you ten questions at the same time and expect you to answer all in one sentence. Kamsi knew that the only solution was to apologise for missing her calls and explain her reason.
“Sorry mummy. I was in the kitchen and I wasn’t with my phone. I was just about to call you back.”
“Send me your account number before I change my mind. I don’t have it on this my new phone.”
“Ewoo Mummy, please don’t change your mind o. I am sending it right away.”
Kamsi couldn’t believe it. Nobody had sent her money since she graduated. The last time she received money from home was during her final year clearance when she needed to pay some dues for her convocation.
Her Father had reminded her that they had done their best in training her and made it clear that it was time to start fending for herself. She was a graduate now and as a graduate, one was expected to start making money and sending a good portion home.
So why her mother would suddenly decide to send her money amazed her. But she didn’t mind, who would reject this timely and much needed offer? Maybe her motherly instincts told her that her daughter was in trouble. She was almost flat broke and at the verge of packing back to the house. The whole adulting thingy was obviously not for her. She had tried it but it didn’t work.
She liked the freedom that came with being an adult; having a whole house to yourself, deciding when to sleep and when to wake up, what to eat, when to go out and when to come back without anybody harassing you. She had her life all in her hands.
But all these came at a price that she couldn’t continue paying. She couldn’t keep up with all the demands associated with growing up. She could use a little help and it wouldn’t hurt at all.
Her mother went ahead to tell her that she had just received her pension and felt like sending her some cash since it had been a while she did. Kamsi wished every day was pension day.
“Thank you so much Mummy, I am so grateful. Let me send it now now.”
Kamsi was almost jumping out of her skin with excitement. She didn’t even know when she hung up the phone. She had her account number off hand so she quickly sent it to her mother.
“This must be a miracle!” She thought.
Though she didn’t know how much her mother was sending; she was glad. Any amount would do; she needed money and she knew this was an act of God.
Kamsi knelt down in her room and for the first time in weeks, she thanked God. She prayed!
The money Kamsi’s mother sent was enough to offset her rent and leave her with a little extra for her upkeep. She was so happy she couldn’t stop thanking the poor woman.
She decided to use her salary to start a small tiger nut juice business. She loved tiger nut drink and learnt how to make it from her mother’s friend who was from the North. When she was at home,she made it for her family on most weekends and everyone enjoyed it.
She had been considering turning it into aa small business for a while and had mentioned it to her colleagues at work severally.
Sylvia discouraged her saying it was a business for unemployed housewives. Sylvia was the office slay queen. She was known for her fake lifestyle that she had to do all sorts of things to maintain.
“Kamsi, you are a graduate for God’s sake. You want to join unemployed housewives to be carrying tiger nut up and down? Ha! Abeg, e never reach like that o.” Sylvia told her.
But Chiagozie was different. She encouraged Kamsi to give it a try even if it meant just making in small quantities for people in the office.
“If you make it well, everyone would love it and order for it. You don’t have to be carrying it around. A little side business will not stop you from being a graduate and besides we all must not have white collar jobs. People are doing bigger businesses that are clearly unrelated with their certificates and this was how they all started.”
Chiagozie encouraged her to start and kept asking when she would start. Kamsi knew this was her perfect time and she couldn’t wait to break the news… She was going to give it a try!
The first batch Kamsi made was so good her boss paid for everyone in the office. The twelve bottles she made sold out! Unfortunately it didn’t go round, some of her colleagues that didn’t get insisted she made for them the next day.
That was how Kamsi began making chilled tiger nut drinks for her neighbours and colleagues. Everybody was talking about Kamsi’s Tiger nut drink.
Her boss bought for his kids and they loved it so much that it was the first thing they asked for once he got home.
Kamsi was really surprised at how things blossomed so fast. Soon, her profit started trickling in but she was getting overwhelmed with the demands. She had to keep awake late into the night to make them and wake up early to deliver to neighbours and drop some at a few retail shops before heading out to work.
Sometimes the neighbours bought all she made and she would have none to sell to her colleagues at work.
She needed to expand. She needed a bigger refrigerator, bigger basins and possibly more people to help in distributing the drinks. She began saving her profit.
Kamsi got so busy with her work and business that she almost forgot Philly until he chatted her up. He was settling in gradually and getting along really well. It was good to hear from him too and She told him about her booming business. Philly was happy for her and wished he was there to help her.
Though it wasn’t easy, but Kamsi had let him go in her heart. She had come to understand that not all friendships were meant to last forever. She was determined to learn from her past mistakes and become a better person. She was on the path to a whole new life and she knew it was beautiful.