Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here.
This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 36-year-old Nigerian woman. She talks about learning to save while jumping molue as a teenager, her experiences with sugar daddies and her rocky path to financial independence.
What makes you happy right now?
That at this point in my life, I’m financially independent. I have a steady paycheck and savings, and I don’t rely on anybody for anything. Although, as a baby girl, I won’t tell you no if you say you want to take care of me. But for myself, I’m financially independent as long as the naira doesn’t become extinct.
Asking for a friend. How does one achieve financial independence?
I became financially independent sometime in 2021, and I didn’t have a job then. I was doing a lot of side gigs — writing, planning events. But I’ve worked since the holiday between my secondary school graduation and university, so it’s taken a while, a lot of denying myself, to build a savings account I’m proud of. Then I invest the savings in things that would bring me returns on a monthly and yearly basis. I developed the habit of saving at a young age.
Ah, you’re one of God’s favourites
LOL. Oh God, I was so razz when I was young. My father would’ve killed me if he knew, but in secondary school, my parents would give me transport money, and I’d use it to jump molue. I had this friend I used to come back home from school with, and I would lap her on the bus every day. A seat cost ₦50, so I’d pay today, and she’d pay tomorrow.
I just loved jumping molue like my version of an extreme sport, instead of the smaller buses that moved like snails, which my father believed were safer. Safe was boring, and I couldn’t save my money on those buses. There was this particular conductor. When he saw us coming in our uniform, he would tell us to go straight to the back. And sometimes, he wouldn’t even collect money from us. I started saving all those extra ₦50s.
I have absolutely no idea how I knew to do this instinctively. I guess I’ve always loved money, LOL. I didn’t know it then, but it helped me develop a culture of saving over time. And as my earnings increased, I increased how much I saved.
What do you spend any of the saved money on?
Well, I used those ₦50s to buy things my parents otherwise wouldn’t buy for me. Don’t ask me what. But now, it’s just investments. I don’t like to spend on things, so I mostly save to invest or travel.
Tell us about your career journey
It’s been rocky. But in my current position as executive assistant to the CEO of a media company, I’m hoping to find fulfilment financially, mentally and career-wise. I have a rule to only stay at a workplace for two years, so I’ve worked in a lot of places in the last 11 years. I’ve worked in e-commerce, logistics, tech, media and hospitality. I want to have a rounded experience in different industries.
Sounds like you want to build a conglomerate soon
That sounds amazing, to have a conglomerate of my own!
I’ve always been curious, which is probably why my spirit animal is a cat. No matter the industry I find myself in, I want to know what the different departments are doing and learn about the company as a whole. I plan to take everything I’ve studied from every industry and start a consulting firm.
My dream is for companies to pay me to travel to different countries. I’ll write stuff about things like hotels and places to visit.
Scratch that; my real dream is to voice the lead villain character in a Walt Disney or Pixar animation — doing voice-overs is one of my side gigs. If I do that, I can die happy.
OMG, same. What does being financially independent look like right now?
I can feed myself, pay for my transportation to anywhere I want to go — not molues anymore but private cabs — cover most bills and take care of my mother. I took a trip to Rwanda last year, which I paid for myself; I’m already planning to visit Morocco and South Africa next year. To be able to pay my bills and do my own thing whenever and however I want is so satisfying.
Now, I’m saving to invest in a building I can use for something like an Airbnb. Real estate companies propose investing with them to develop a residential property and rent it out. Then you get a return monthly or biannually. That’s my goal for next year.
What was life like before this?
There’ve been times when I didn’t have a job, and my livelihood depended on other people’s kindness. I had to ask for every little thing I wanted. Those periods were traumatic for me, and I’ve buried them very deep in my subconscious, so I don’t remember. I never want to be in that situation again, which is why some people call me a workaholic today. I have a nine-to-five and still have side gigs. You know the Will Smith movie, In Pursuit of Happyness. I don’t just want happiness, I want wealth too.
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Who were you dependent on, your family or significant others?
Actually, both. You should be able to ask family for things, but if I have to ask you for money, then are we really family? I know things are difficult, and the economy isn’t what it used to be when elder brothers and sisters would randomly send you money. But still, if I have to ask, it means you don’t check up on me normally, so you don’t really care about my welfare.
If anyone wants to take care of me, I would gladly allow them as long as we aren’t dependent on each other. It’s nice to be asked what you want to eat: “I’m going to this place. Would you like to follow me?” “Where are you going on vacation? Let me buy your ticket,” or “I’ll send you a blank check. Write a number and do what you want”. Those kinds of things are nice even when I’m earning my own money; it’s nice to be taken care of.
Sounds like you’re describing a sugar daddy
Yes. Even if I get to have some fun with a sugar daddy who has sense and is willing to financially, sexually and mentally support me, I still want to have my own vex money. So there’ll never be a time he’ll say, “I made you”. You didn’t make me in any way. You just spent on me, and in exchange, I gave you company, good sex and other things.
Have you ever had a sugar daddy?
I have a few times. I wish I had one right now — not even one, like three. But I haven’t had a sugar daddy in about seven or eight years. TBH, they bored me easily, especially when they start talking about their wife and kids. I was with my last one for like two years. I ate him well, but I got tired.
If you’re going to be a sugar daddy, at least, know how to play the game. My business is enjoyment. My job is to eat your money and have great sex with you. Why are you telling me about your family? After two years, I did what we now call “ghosting”. I ghosted him completely.
What’s it like having one?
In my experience, older men like younger women because they believe we’re sexually more creative. When many of them got married, they didn’t have access to information on different sexual positions, aphrodisiacs and toys as readily as we do now.
The advantage of dating a much older man is they tend to pet and dote on you and give you whatever you want. It’s the poor ones who package, and then, give excuses that business is bad or they just paid school fees. Like, what the fuck do I care?
Sometimes, I’d feel guilty using someone’s husband to do acrobatics in the bedroom. But it’s not my fault their husband decided to look elsewhere. If a rich man comes my way, I won’t say no. Imagine him giving me foreign currency, with our naira that’s depreciated so bad. Of course, I’ll play the game well.
The con is they think they know everything. You tell them something, and they’ll be like, “No, I’m older than you. I know better.” They wouldn’t be going around chasing young girls if they knew anything. There’s also always the distant fear of having acid thrown in your face.
But how did you find them?
I found a particular one at the bus stop on my way to my afternoon shift at work in 2013. He had this really sexy black car — I don’t remember the make, unfortunately. I’ve always loved cars, so I was admiring this one and wasn’t even looking at the driver. Then, he wound down, and I saw him sitting all laid back with only his left hand on the wheel.
He asked where I was going. We were heading in the same direction, pretty far away, so he offered me a ride. He was married with three kids and a businessman. He came to pick me up when I closed from work, and we went out for dinner. He took me to a local place where we had isi ewu in two wooden bowls, and that’s how it started. He would travel and bring me gifts from every trip.
I enjoyed that for like a year and a half until he did the one thing that goes against all the glucose guardian rules.
What did he do?
Somehow, his wife got my number. I was at work one evening when she called and just started raining abuses on me. I cut the call. She used her daughter’s phone to call back. I blocked both numbers and sent him a message: “It’s not that deep. How can you be so careless? Why is your wife calling me? Why is your daughter calling me?”
He called me apologising that he didn’t know how she got it or he left his phone somewhere. In my mind, I was like, what if she found out where I live? He kept calling and sending messages, even money, for about two weeks, but I was done. I had to block him.
That’s the story of how I met one of my sugar daddies. Nothing fantastic or romantic. I’ve actually noticed it’s when I stop looking that they start coming. If I decide I want to find a sugar daddy and put in the work, I never find. So I can’t really say there’s a technique.
There are places they claim you can find them, but that was before. They now have sense, and they know people are looking for them, coupled with the state of the economy. Before, they’d try to hide the fact that they’re married. Now, they’re bold, choosy and full of themselves. It’s so annoying.
I still want to live a baby girl life, but I’m fiercely independent. I have a low tolerance for unnecessary masculine behaviour like when they ask, “Who are you talking to? Who was that on the phone?” When they start talking about their family — I hate that one — or start giving excuses when I ask for money. I’m like, “Hello. Why are you a glucose guardian if you can’t give glucose?”
What’s your relationship life been like beyond that?
My relationship life has been almost non-existent. I can’t remember the last time I was in one, to be honest. I’ve had more flings in the past seven years than relationships. I don’t know what that says about me, but I’m fine.
You know, I’m not cursed or anything. I just don’t know why it’s like that. I try not to allow it to disturb me because, as I said, I’m all about my pursuit of wealth. I’m just trying to have a career, make money and be happy. If my happiness would involve a man, fine. If it doesn’t, I just want to be happy.
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