“Mummy, is it Buhari’s fault that the economy is bad?” My daughter asked me this when she returned from school one day. She’s referring to Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria. “You must always call him President Buhari,” I corrected my daughter. Then I realised this was another opportunity to educate my daughter about economy and finances.
I told her it’s not President Buhari’s fault that the economy is bad, rather it is the choices we made as a country. I told her Nigeria is like a big family. Imagine that the father had a big job and they paid him a very good salary. In this family, perhaps the mother chose not to work because the father’s salary was so good. The family lived well, and often traveled abroad for holidays, wearing designer clothes. Everything they did was expensive. They had huge parties all the time. Their children went to expensive schools and they go abroad for treatment even for a simple headache.
The father earned well, but did not save anything and sometimes borrowed even more money to maintain their extravagant lifestyle. At one time some family members started stealing the money for their own personal enjoyment. They stole this money right out of the family account.
One day the company the father worked for was no longer able pay the father his big salary, so they gave him a pay cut. Remember, the father did not save when he was earning a high income. Remember, the family led a very expensive lifestyle. Remember, the mother had no job, so she couldn’t support the family. So, there was problem.
Eventually, a new father was brought in and the salary was reduced further and further. The family still had no savings and money was still being stolen from the family account. The new father found it difficult to support that expensive lifestyle the family was accustomed to. In this case, there would be economic problems and it wouldn’t necessarily be the father’s fault. In the meantime, the father must still deal with the people who stole from the family account, and try to recover the money.
“Do you understand now?” I asked. “Yes, I do,” said my daughter, and she went away, satisfied.
Our children know something is wrong and we need to explain to them what is going on. At a school meeting recently, I overheard a parent wondering how can she tell her child they can’t afford to pay school fees? I told them as parents you need to financially educate your children. This is not done in school, so it’s the parent’s duty to ensure that children are aware of economy and finances.
My children are part of our family’s economic life. They know what’s going on in our businesses and their father’s job. They know when things are good that we are investing, and they know why we invest. They know where the money for their school fees is coming from and what sacrifices were made to make ends meet. When business is bad, they know. At one time I thought we couldn’t pay my daughter’s school fees and I told her she had to delay a week or more before starting school (we always pay school fees before resumption date. It’s my personal stand). Luckily we managed to pay on time, but she learned that it’s a possibility and understands life sometimes throws a spanner into the works.
When we joined my husband in Abuja in 2011, my children’s school fees were fifty times higher than what we were used to paying. I had to sit my children down to explain that we needed to make sacrifices for their education. One of the decisions we made as a family was to reduce travelling abroad for holidays. So we did, and my children understood why.
In December, my daughter went to Europe for her school’s annual ski trip. She noted that there were a lot fewer students on the trip than previous years. My daughter also went to Wales this month for the Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Similarly, not all the students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh programme went for the expedition. I had to explain to her there was economic downturn and it was not easy for all families to afford such trips. At the moment, we are seriously worried about paying for education because our currency was losing value. She gave me a worried look and said, “God willing, everything will be okay.” “Amen,” I replied.
My daughter left the house a better-informed child. I hope that when she becomes an adult, she will be better prepared for economic and financial challenges because she learned about it as a child. As parents, we cannot shield our children from the reality of life. Let them learn from us and be more financially savvy.
How do you ensure that your children get a good understanding of your family finances?
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Aisha Yesufu in Nigeria.
Photo credit: Bob Ryskamp / Flickr
Chibok Girls Remain in Captivity
Hmmmmm…today is Christmas, as I write this, and for many all over the world it’s time for félicitation, a time for merriment and sharing. But for our Chibok girls and their families, it’s time to wail and cry silently, while putting up a brave face for the whole world.
Freedom of worship is what a lot of us take for granted. A confirmed right, but for our #ChibokGirls, alas, it is not so. Most of them we heard have been converted to Islam. Islam doesn’t need forced converts. There is no compulsion in religion says God in Qur’an Chapter 2 verse 256.
Why, then, would someone take girls, who, even in the rules of war islamically, are never to be attacked? And forcefully convert them to Islam?
World Mom, Aisha Yesufu, speaks as activists gather in Abuja continuing to demand the rescue of the 219 Chibok Girls captured in April 2013 in Nigeria.
While others enjoy Christmas, our Chibok girls are weeping silently in their hearts. They probably do not even know that today is Christmas. That would be the worst.
For 620 days our Chibok girls have been in captivity. Mocked by their captors that no one would come, and, indeed, no one did.
Our Chibok girls have had to spend another Christmas in captivity, while the world moved on and forgets that 620 days ago the lives of 219 Chibok girls were frozen in a nightmare they never envisioned. They were captured by Boko Haram when they set out to get an education. Young, educated girls, whose empowered voice the terrorists found threatening.
For daring to have a mind of their own by getting an education, they have been put in bondage for 620 days.
How are Chibok parents faring during this day of festivities knowing that their precious daughters are with monsters who have no drop of humanity in them?
How do they cope thinking of all the atrocities their daughters have had to endure this past 620 days? Ahhhhh…they must die a thousand deaths everyday imagining what their daughters have had to go through.
While many in the world are waking up today after celebrating Christmas with their family and friends, please remember the 219 #ChibokGirls who spent their second Christmas away from their loved ones and in captivity.
Please remember #ChibokParents who have had to celebrate a second Christmas without their daughters and struggle to put on a brave face for the other children. All so that the terrorists would not steal the joy of the season from their children the way in which they stole their daughters.
#BringBackOurGirls NOW & ALIVE
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by World Mom, Aisha Yesufu in Nigeria.
Photo credits to the author.
World Mom, Aisha Yesufu in Nigeria, has an incredible amount of drive. From humble beginnings, she worked hard at her education and it became her family’s ticket to a better life. We’ve had the chance to join her virtually on World Moms Blog’s panel at the World Bank on the right to a universal education in April, and she is truly, an inspiration.
Just in time for International Day of the Girl on Sunday, get ready, women and girls everywhere, to reach your goals and make things happen!…
If you want to reach your goals, start a business, or start doing anything else for that matter, it has to start in your mind. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that you can do it, and this is where most times we have a problem. We start something without actually believing that we can do it. Sometimes we just start certain things without truly believing in ourselves.
We are either pressured into doing it, or doing it because others are doing it; and its expected of us. We start never truly believing in ourselves. You just go ahead to start something, and even you, yourself, are not sure you can do it. You don’t believe you can do it and along the way things begin to fall apart and you begin to blame external forces.
There are no external forces affecting us. The problem is our mindset. What is your mindset when you are about to start? That is something that we can change.
Other times we never start something because in our minds we do not think we are worthy of it or capable of it.
You have to realise your mind does not know the difference between reality and what is not real. Let me give an example. You are just sitting down having a nice time and all of a sudden you hear bad news. You know what happens when we hear bad news? Everything changes, and we begin to cry or scream or feel sad. Your whole body, your whole mind, everything changes. What happened? It’s only that the news got to you!
You don’t even know if what you just learned is true or not. Have you confirmed the bad news? Fact checked it yet? No! You just heard the news and that’s it. That’s the mind. It does not ask for confirmation whether the news is true or not, it goes into the mode it’s fed. That means your mind does not know the difference between truth and a lie. It is reactionary.
If you have continously been told you would amount to nothing all your life and you feed your mind that same notion, well, then, guess what? You may think this is true about yourself! You have to free yourself from the shackles of mental bondage.
You can always trick your mind. For example, you can tell your mind you are the greatest business person in the world. In fact you are at par with Dangote, a billionaire and businessman in my home country of Nigeria. Your mind doesn’t know whether it’s the truth, or not. It’s going to accept it, but the thing you need to do now is to begin to do what smart business people do. I listened to Dangote once on a live interview on TV sometime in 2001 or 2002, and he said he goes to work around 9am and doesn’t close before 9pm.
For me that was a wake up call. I had one of my “Aha!” moments then. When I first saw him I thought, “If only God will bless me the way he has blessed this man.” And when I heard he works 12 hours a day, for me, that was a wake up call.
If you trick your mind into thinking that you are among the ranks of the leaders, and you begin to work as they do, you may begin to set bigger goals for yourself. You can run with the best of them, but you have to BELIEVE it.
When you are trying something new with the mindset of negativity, it could impede your progress. At that point, you may not want to even bother starting. It failed before it took off because it failed in your mind, if you did not have the right mindset. But I believe this thinking can be changed.
World Mom, Aisha Yesufu, speaks out in Abuja on August 17, 2015 against anti-corruption in Nigeria.
Business and goal setting starts in your mind and you need a lot of patience. Business needs patience, patience and more patience. There is nothing like overnight success.
It’s a whole lot of hard work starting something new and having the right mindset. Persevering, focusing on what you are doing. Setting goals and moving on. This does not come easy, but I believe if you keep going that is what leads to that “overnight ” success that a lot of people see. Our mindset is very important and often times when you talk to people the mindset is just not positive. We are looking at our past and looking at who we were and not who we could be.
Where I grew up, we didn’t have anybody. We were born into less privileged homes. It didn’t matter. Whether you are a billionaire; the child of a billionaire; the child of struggling parents making ends meet or from a rich neighbourhood or the slums; it doesn’t really matter. It’s your mindset that matters and determines who you are at the end of the day.
If you don’t believe you are a star you can never be a star. If you don’t believe you are a success you can never be a success.
You can never be greater than your mind.
You have to set your mind higher. Give it goals. Give it targets. Give your mind something to work on. Trick yourself into thinking positively. It doesn’t know the difference between truth and a lie. Tell your mind a good lie. “You are a big time business person.” “You are a billionaire.” “You are on Forbes list.” Let your unconscious mind even when you are sleeping work on that.
Our mindset is of such utmost importance and most often we neglect it. We don’t work on it. There is a need for us to work on our mindset to project ourself mentally where we want to be before we begin to work on that.
Some use Affirmation like repeating to yourself…
I AM THE GREATEST BUSINESS PERSON. I AM THE GREATEST TEACHER. I AM THE GREATEST ASTRONAUT. I AM THE GREATEST CHEF. I AM THE GREATEST POLITICAL LEADER. I AM THE GREATEST MUSICIAN. I AM THE GREATEST FRIEND. I AM THE GREATEST PEACEKEEPER. I AM THE GREATEST HUMANITARIAN.
You can keep saying that repeatedly so it becomes engraved in your mind. Whatever you want to be, you need to let your mind know.
Once you have a positive mindset and believe you CAN, you can start thinking about setting goals to achieve something in your heart. Something that you would ordinarily look at as impossible, but because of your mindset you don’t see the impossibility. You see the POSSIBILITY. You just strike out the ‘im’ and you move on.
Have a positive mindset. Believe you can do it. Why not you? Why can’t you achieve it? If people are achieving it why not you? The difference between the achiever and the non achiever is the MINDSET. Go get ’em, World Moms!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor Aisha Yesufu in Nigeria.
Photo credit of Aisha to the author. Images to World Moms Blog.