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"The enemy always comes to plant weed in the farms of our lives, whenever we plant a garden, be it in our relationship, our finances or our health. The enemy sows weed in the form of gossip, a bad staff, a bad investment, an illness, or one negative fruitless things or another. We must be diligent to watch our gardens and tend them. Whenever you see a weed sprouting, uproot it" Rev Wisdom drummed into the microphone confident that he had made his point.

“Touch five people and tell them, ‘uproot it’” bellowed the exhausted preacher.

The chorus went through the whole church “uproot it, uproot it, uproot it…” like the growl of an angry dog punctuated by slapping sounds of ‘Hi-fives’ and enthusiastic handshakes.

After the service, Favour and Hard-work stood under the balustrade outside the chapel entrance waiting for Hard-work’s chauffeur to bring around his car.

“When would you stop driving yourself my friend” Hard-work asked Favour as they sighted the black tinted Lexus jeep rolling slowly towards them, the white bearded chauffeur behind the wheels, staring ahead blankly.

“When you drive the latest Porsche 911 GT3 convertible, limited edition, with super turbo engine that goes from 0-100km in 3.5seconds, you don’t use a driver; in fact, you have to pay me to drive me” Favour replied, dangling the keys to his newly acquired car in Hard-work’s face.

“You can’t change, can you?”

“Not in this life my boy! Not in this life” Favour called out as he made his way to his Porshe parked by the church auditorium.

“Don’t forget lunch with the reporter by 3pm” Hard-work called after him to which Favour gave the thumbs up.

Seated in the private section of the 7 star Arabian owned hotel, Favour was just about to place his order when a slim, light skinned girl approached the table.

“Good afternoon Sir, good afternoon sir” She was obviously western trained from her accent. “My name is Achievement and I am the reporter from RealLife Magazine. I believe we have a meeting scheduled?”

“Oh great” said Favour, “we were just about to order, sit and make yourself comfortable,” He said gesturing at the empty chair between he and Hard-work.

“You are so young” interjected Hard-work “I was expecting someone more experienced”.

Favour frowned at Hard-work and turned back with a smile at the lady, “Don’t mind him” Favour beamed, “he’s a grouch, always has been, you can quote me”.

Smiling sweetly, Achievement turned to Hard-work and said, “I am very good at what I do; I won’t be here if I was not. My boss is your friend and I’m sure you know he’ll always send his best to you. I hope you will depend on my competence not my age”

Favour slapped the table with a huge smile stuck on his face, “Hear! Hear!”

“Ok” Hard-work agreed groggily, “we’ll see.”

While the immaculately dressed deft waiters arranged a table with every kind of edible condiment, Achievement picked on Favour’s cue and started the interview.

Achievement: “your story is legend in the business community, forming your first company at the age of 17, and together, now, you own one of the biggest business conglomerates according to Forbes list. Please can you tell us how it happened? And can you clear the biggest riddle of all; are you brothers or friends?”

Hard-work cleared his throat “Well, you draw your own conclusions, but the story is this; as a foster kid at 7 years old, I hawked akara on major roads for a living. One day a car parked beside me and the man behind the wheel bought all the akara in my tray. As amazed as I was, it didn’t prepare me for the next two weeks. Every day like clockwork, the car would appear and the man would buy all my akara. At some point, I concluded that he must have a very large family. My opportunist foster mother seeing what was happening kept increasing the quantity of akara she sent me out with. By the second week she appeared one morning with a barrow full of akara, the neighbour’s teenage son even had to help push the barrow to my selling spot, at a fee of course, because the goods was too large for me to move. As usual the car appeared right in time, but instead of asking for all the akara like he usually would, the man behind the wheel took one look at my barrow and wound up his window. I was sure my aunty’s greed had chased away my angel. Yet even though the windows were up, the car didn’t move so I approached to see whether I could make a plea or something, because before I left the house, I had been given clear instructions not to come back else the barrow was empty. That’s when I realised there was someone else in the car at the back seat. After a while, the back window came down and the most insolent looking youngster I had ever seen in my life looked straight at me and asked, ‘Why don’t you go to school?’. I was tongue tied by his directness that I just stood there staring at him, only for him to twist the knife further by saying, ‘are you dumb, can’t you talk?’.”

“That’s not fair” Favour interrupted, “I was not saying. I was asking. He was just there staring at me, I wondered if he was disabled”

“You will get your turn to talk” cut in Hard-work “let me finish my story”

At this time, Achievement was no longer jotting in her note. The glass of wine in front of her remained untouched.

“Please sir, go on” she said.

“As I was trying to get myself, he continued his lashing, ‘Is that why you don’t go to school, because you cannot talk?’. At this time the man in the front seat, cautioned him to let me be. It was only then that I could get myself to answer in a timid voice, that I could talk. That released another torrent of questions; ‘so why aren’t you in school, is it because you don’t have money?” The man behind the wheel after reining him in the second time, wound up the window and I watched them as they had a muted conversation. After what seemed like forever, the window came down again and the man said, ‘Son, I can’t buy all this akara, the truth is we have been giving away those ones we have been buying; Favour does not even eat akara.’ But just before my heart sunk, he continued, ‘I would like to meet your parents if you would take me to them.’ I swallowed a mouthful of saliva wondering what they wanted. All I wanted to do was sell all my akara. ‘I don’t have parents,’ I told him, to which he answered to my relief, ‘take me to anyone you live with’. I took them to my foster mother, and as I sat outside under the tree wondering what the man and the spiteful little boy wanted, my foster sister ran towards me from the house, she crouched by my side and leaned in, desperately trying not to speak above a whisper in her broken English, ‘they wan send you go school! They wan send you go school!’, she said excitedly. Later that day, my foster mother told me that the nice man that came said his son wanted me to join him in his school and that he will cover the fees, that if I do well, he will continue to pay. So that was how this young man and his family walked into my life and literally changed the course of my history”

Achievement dabbed the tears from her eyes with the napkin from the set table and turned to Favour, but before she could speak, Favour chuckled mischievously.

“That is not how it happened, it was not so mushy, don’t mind him. They had just finished fixing the roads and everywhere was neat and nice, except for one raggedy boy selling akara, I just wanted to get rid of him so they could plant flowers there or something.”

At the shocked look on Achievements face, Favour and Hard-work burst into laughter, Hard-work choking on his drink.

“I’m joking, but please can we eat before we continue, all this sentimental mombo jumbo is making me hungry”

There was a unanimous agreement and Achievement excused herself to touch up her makeup at the ladies.

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Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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