“I wanna be a billionaire, billionaire.”

This is a line from Teni’s hit song titled Billionaire. This describes my mood every day. Every month I ask myself “How can I make more money?” “What must I do to eventually blow?” “Am I destined to forever be broke?”

There’s a quote that goes:

“There is a time to be born, to die, to plant, to harvest, to find money in the unexpected of places.” If you can tell, I added the last part to make a point. The point is that sometimes you find things, especially where you are not looking.

So, I decided to share some of the things I have found. What have I discovered exactly?

Brokeness is a great lesson teacher.

I graduated from university in 2016. I got a job some months after graduation that required me to have a camera or a phone with a good camera. My biggest dilemma was that I was broke as I had been cut off allowance some months prior. So, I could not afford one even though my new job which was going to make me stop being broke required it.

There are times in life where you are ranting and someone casually mentions the solution to your problem. This was one of them. After narrating my dilemma to a friend, he raised up the option of selling off old laptops for a small fee to raise money.

He then linked me with his plug who arranged for a meeting the next day. I found the biggest bag available in the house and hauled as many old laptops as I could in a single trip.

For me, this was an eye-opening moment as I never realized you could get cash from selling practically dead devices. Needless to say, there are no dead computers lying around my house any longer.

Old Yoruba women see and know things.

It’s easy to write off the old woman that comes around the house every day asking for empty bottles that once contained water. Month in and out you hand it over diligently until one day you ask (in Yoruba): “What do you do with these empty containers?” when she breaks down the maths behind it and how much she earns per full bag, you understand how it makes her life a whole lot easier.

Sprinkle some “Yaya Aiki” when buying suya and you just might get a business deal.

So, here I am. After a long day of fighting Lagos traffic, flexing my small Hausa in hopes of getting extra suya. Just because a sweet boy deserves sweet things. The suya man beams up, impressed by my effort. Adds extra pieces of meat.

I return another time. He beams “customer”. It becomes our routine. He speaks his small English, I speak my abysmal Hausa – communication ensues. At least supported by gesticulations.

One random conversation touches upon the fact that he has been struggling to get newspapers and he is worried. I tell him (with my bad Hausa and gesticulations) that my father has a tonne of newspaper stored away with no use for it. He beams up and goes “customer.”

He offers me some money as payment, I refuse. After much deliberation, we settle upon regular extra pieces of meat as payment. I eat happily ever after.

I am man of steel.

One Sunday afternoon as idle as a painted ship on a painted sea, someone convinces my dad to sell off the old run-down generators at home. My dad not interested puts me in charge. The guy then brings along a guy who values the items and hands me more money than I was hoping to get. At least for run-down generators older than me.

Ever since that experience, no single piece of unused steel in the house has been safe from me. From worn-down appliances to old televisions to curtain rods, I collect them all. This is to be resold.

In case of financial emergency, sell off rods.

Not all heroes wear capes. Obviously.

Don’t judge a book by the cover…unless you plan to resell.

If you have a rare book, signed, and in good health, it’s surprising how much people are willing to pay for it. I have had a couple of people offer to pay me a large amount of money for my books. Also, I found a site that offers to buy lovingly used professional textbooks for a small fee.

The lesson I have learned in all of this is that if there are many undiscovered sources of passive income. I think the trick is to keep an open mind and obviously not be broke like me but that’s by the way.

These days, you can find me always on the lookout for how to increase my money.

If you have any idea, as you can see from my post that I am very open-minded, holla at me. As long as it legal.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.