His name is Elijah, and he used to work as a Liberian at the University of Benin after he had graduated from the Department of Business Administration, in the same University.
His work there involved traveling around several states to gather books and stationeries for the University Library, keeping the book records of the library and much more. But most importantly, he was constantly on the road, either getting supplies or making deliveries.
However, Elijah didn’t study Business Administration for nothing. Ever since he was a child, he had dreamt of the day he would own his own business and grow it to the pinnacle.
The day he gave the library notice of his resignation, his boss was sad because Elijah had proved himself over and over again, to be a trustworthy person who knew his job and did his best to deliver to the best of his capability. No other staff had such ‘A’ record.
Elijah however, chose not to bend to the pleas of his boss. He had a whole life ahead of him and he was going to be somebody.
It was after resignation he had ample time to draw up his business idea. While he did that, he still made private supplies of stationary to the people he used to make supplies to on behalf of the University library. He pushed to get other new clients and his business soared, while he continued the plan of the main business.
The real business had to do with getting money from clients, more like individual investors, and starting businesses like real estate, clothing facility, transport services and even acquiring machines for manufacturing iron roofing sheets.
When returns came, the profit was divided among everyone who contributed. Those who wanted more profits had to put in more money.
But something happened. Elijah had a friend, Tega, who he trusted and loved so much. Tega was like an elder brother to him and he was the one who provided the office space Elijah used in starting out the business.
Elijah knew his business was going to be big and he wanted this friend, turned brother, to partake of it. So he approached Tega and offered him the overall head position of his company. Tega was happy, he felt respected and appreciated. He accepted the position and pledged his commitment to the business.
Now even though Elijah had placed Tega as number one, he was still the brain behind the business start-up and growth. He did try to always bring Tega up to speed though, about what he was doing and how he was doing it.
The business grew so large within a year. A lot of people wanted to put their money in it instead of leaving it idle in the bank. And so they withdrew their money from the various banks and placed it in Elijah’s business. Elijah would pump the funds into all the businesses he managed. The business raked in huge profits which he shared with all those, (by this time, almost a thousand people), who invested in his business. The payment they received covered their capital and still had a lot of profit.
Due to this, the people put in even more money and brought in their friends and family to put their money in Elijah’s company. Business was sweet and growing fast. All parties concerned where satisfied, workers were well paid and there was constantly room for more employment as the business was always growing.
Elijah ensured that anything he bought for himself and his family, he also bought for Tega and his family. Same went with Tega. There was nothing one had that the other didn’t have. But still, problem struck in the form of Tega’s wife.
Tega’s wife always felt that Elijah bought more quantities and better qualities of goods for himself and his family. She was always jealous of Elijah’s wife, even though she could see with her clear eyes that whatever was bought for Elijah’s wife, was also bought for her. They wore the same outfit and quality jewelry almost all the time. But she was not satisfied.
She started to push her husband to demand the best, not the nonsense she felt Elijah was throwing at them. But Tega didn’t listen to her because he knew first hand, that Elijah actually bought the same thing for the both of them. He asked his wife to stop her hatred and be happy with the comfort she now has. Besides, he wasn’t going to let anyone make him quarrel with a friend who he now considered a brother.
Tega’s wife was pissed with him for being soft, blind and vulnerable to what she called, ‘Elijah’s deceptions.’ Elijah was only a second place man in the company but she was bitter at the kind of respect and cooperation her husband gave to him. Why would he do that? Why wouldn’t he just collect what is his? She decided to take matters into her own hands. She was going to throw Elijah out of the business so that only her husband would own and manage it.
And so she resorted to diabolical means, visiting voodoo priests for rituals. Her efforts paid off. Things started to take a downturn for the Elijah. However, Tega’s wife didn’t understand that Elijah was the brain behind the business and that should anything happen to him, her husband would go down too. She didn’t know this until it started to happen.
Suddenly Elijah and Tega were accused of all sorts of crimes they never committed. The police were mostly at their doorstep causing one problem after the other. The duo resorted to getting people who were in power to ward off the policemen and the accusations. Unfortunately, they were not prayerful enough. They thought they were fighting mere humans, they didn’t know they were up against pure evil.
While Tega and Elijah spent, time fighting these cases, their staff, and junior managers, taking advantage of their absence, started to loot the company dry and even sold out some of the equipment in the clothing and roofing sheet sections of the business. They almost ruined the entire business and by the time Elijah and Tega returned, the company was beyond repair. So much had been taken out and when the investors came asking for their money, there was nothing with which to pay them.
Elijah tried to explain what had happened, and pleaded with them to give him time to find the looters and recover their money. He also pleaded for some time to build the company up again saying he would increase their percentage interest. But they wouldn’t hear of it. They wanted their money and the fastest way to get it was to call the police, again, to arrest them and charge them to court.
This time, the business did not survive their absence. Even those they trusted their accounts to in the bank to help safeguard it, stole a whole lot and even started to go for overdrafts using the company name and plunging them into debt.
The wives couldn’t run the business or salvage what was left. It was beyond them because they never really were involved in the running of the business. But while Tega’s wife had abandoned her job to be a full-time wife, especially as there was plenty, Elijah’s wife had kept her job. And it was the salary she got from the job she used in assisting her husband and Tega with the bail fee and court processes.
The kids of both men were still very young. there was nothing they could do.
It’s over 25 years now, Tega’s wife is late. Tega joined her about 7 years after. But Elijah and his wife are still alive. Some years before Tega died he opened up to Elijah, about how he discovered that his late wife was responsible for the problems they encountered and the failure of the business. But that didn’t make Elijah hate him. They remained very good friends until his death. And Elijah was by his side all through.
Elijah, still alive though, has not recovered from that fall. He does business on a very small scale and never fails to advise his children not to make the mistake he made by placing someone else in charge of their business(es). In fact, he frowns at any form of partnership unless there is a drawn up agreement signed by both parties and stamped by the court. That business partner might not turn out to be a problem, but those around him/her, will.
PS: This is a true life story, written so someone can learn from Elijah’s mistakes and also remember that no matter what you do, you need to put God in charge of your life and business, so that nobody, messes it up. Names and locations were changed in this story to keep the identity of each person involved, secret.
If Elijah’s story inspired you, please share it with others, so they too can learn from his mistakes.