Farming in Nigeria has taught me patience-Lawyer Turned Farmer

Farming in Nigeria has taught me patience-Lawyer Turned Farmer

Monday, April 15, 2019 2:22 pm


Titilola Aishat Damilola, third right, and the crew that came for documentary on the farm

By Titilola Aishat Damilola

 

I deal with very crazy people daily but I constantly have to be humble enough to get things done exactly how I want it. I know my projections, I know exactly where I am going and if calling a mad man ‘broda’ will make life a bit easier for me, I will

Yesterday, the brewery waste guys came to drop 10tons of brewery waste on my farm. The guys came down from the truck to check the road before entering. The road is not in perfect shape, yes we know. Just like most Nigerian roads, we all are managing the crazy system. So the driver kept complaining, kept threatening me that he would take the waste back because the road was bad. I kept pleading, ‘baba, you are almost at the destination’ . I understood his plight to be honest, anything could happen to his truck. The tyres could get stuck or something pierces through his tyres.

Titilola Aishat Damilola

I make the road better as much as I can. I am not the governemt, there is only so much I can do but still it wasn’t enough. I drive my small car inside the farm and I have never had issues, the road isn’t perfect but still a bit managable (what choice do I have really?). We always have issues during the rainy season. The truck driver didnt care! He was shouting at me and was so angry. I was close to tears, I kept pleading. I was already this close to giving up. I was close to saying ‘Baba, e jasi (dump it) anywhere, oti sumi’ (I am fed up), but I didn’t.

We have been on the list for this waste for over a month so I needed it badly. I was really angry at first but I had to calm down. Anger would have worsened the whole situation.

So I plead with the driver, I made him understand that I understand his plight but he needed to help me. It would cost me over N30,000 if he dropped the waste where he threatened to drop it. Then I resorted to emotional blackmail ‘Baba, e ni’rumi lomo, ejoo! Omo yin noni moje’ (sir, you are old enough to be my father; In fact, I am your daughter). Baba replied, ‘moo kin se baba e o’ (I am not your father). ‘ E ti di baba mi noni’yen’ (from now on, you are my daddy), I responded. I made funny jokes, he was still angry but was getting calmer and calmer until he agreed to drop it inside the farm. Whew!!! So he eventually entered the farm and he dropped the waste at the exact area I wanted it. The waste was even more than 10 tons. He told me how lucky I was to have gotten extra. I was happy!

The brewery waste-bearing truck

I think he was really impressed when he arrived the farm. He asked if the farm was mine or my husband’s. I told him I wasn’t married yet. His jaw almost dropped. I could see excitement on his face. All of a sudden, the man who was angry earlier, started looking really calm, he was smiling now and speaking encouraging words to me. He told me two of his children were studying at the Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy and he would like them to emulate me on how hard working and dedicated I am.

I told my staff to give them two chicken as a thank you gift for delivering the waste against all odds. They were happy. The driver kept praying for me and thanking me and apologising for being rude at first. Sighs! Everyone left happy and fulfilled. At this job, you learn humility, you learn to apply wisdom. Ogbon lafin lo’le aye (wisdom helps in getting on with people) .

I deal with very crazy people daily but I constantly have to be humble enough to get things done exactly how I want it. I know my projections, I know exactly where I am going and if calling a mad man ‘broda’ will make life a bit easier for me, I will.

The me that I used to know would have really gone mad at baba, said a lot of nasty things out of anger because of course, I am paying for this job but then again, it would have been too stressful for me. I am learning every day.

It is not easy!

-Titilola Aishat Damilola is a lawyer turned farmer


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