Wale watched in amusement at the consternation on his friends’ faces when he mentioned they need to see the Wizard of Iyanfoworogi. He was almost doubling over in laughter if not for the fact the discussion was serious and important. Nonetheless, he permitted a wide grin to spread across his face.
“What do you mean?” Asked Uche…”Did you do money rituals” asked Jide. They were in absolute disbelief about what their friend just told them. Both would have stood up to call the discussion over if not for the look in Wale’s face that told them he wasn’t kidding and that it was not what they were thinking.
So, they asked him to explain himself by what he meant.
“I had the same reaction when he told me… In fact, i got up angrily and was about to storm out when he said to me, “If you were not up to this, why have you been calling me for two weeks?” I sat down, taken aback, then recalled the statement he made about been poor because you are POOR. “Something is not right here”, I told myself, something is amiss that i need to find. So, I sat down, apologized to him over my reaction and asked him to explain to me and tell me what I need to do.
He smiled a toothy smile and told me the story of the Wizard of Iyanfoworogi.
Two friends in the village of Iyanfoworogi came to meet the Wizard about the woes they were experiencing in life and how they desired to do something about it. He listened silently to them as they went on and on about their misery and the dreams they wished to accomplish if they were wealthy at all in this life. They lamented the dearth of business opportunities to make ends meet and their wish to visit another distant village in search of greener pastures. They just wanted his blessings and counsel before they embarked.
For a long while he did not respond to them but sat gazing at them sternly as if rebuking them silently. They got uncomfortable and shifted in their seats waiting for his response, wondering if they had done the wrong thing by coming to meet him.
After what seem like eternity, he said, “You are poor because you are Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly”. “Go back home and look for opportunities around you that you are missing and give me feedback.” With that he dismissed them from his presence.
Both left perplexed and wondering, “what is this man talking about opportunities we are passing by repeatedly? Iyangbe and Iranu both wandered around the village for days, thinking and lost in thought of what the Wizard told them. Three days later, the King announced that he wants to build a reservoir for people to be fetching water. Iyanfoworogi was located in a valley and there was a fountain flowing on a steep hill where people go to fetch water every day. Because the hill was steep, people often get weary by the time they make a single trip and often accidents occur en-route. He offered to pay five shillings per trip to anyone would take it as a duty to be fetching the water everyday into the reservoir, so the people won’t have to climb the hill but buy at the reservoir.
Iyangbe tapped Iranu and asked him excitedly, “Are you thinking what i am thinking? This is an opportunity!!! Let’s go for it since we are fit, and we have climbed that hill several times in a day carrying firewood. This shouldn’t be difficult.”
They both ran to the Wizard and told him excitedly of the King’s offer. He smiled and told them to go ahead and take it and congratulated them. They met with the King, who offered them the job and said they could start the very next day as the reservoir had already been built.
Early the next morning with buckets tied to a pole on their shoulders, they trudged up the hill excitedly to fetch water. They made ten trips each that day, and there was enough water to serve their village for an entire day as it was quite a small village. Money was coming in; they could meet their basic needs. And in a month, they were “big boys” in the village. Spending as they were earning it.
Early one morning while heading to the fountain to fetch water, they met a hooded figure on the pathway coming towards them. He halted in front of them and exchange pleasantries but won’t allow them right of passage. They feared for their lives wondering who the person was, until he took off the hood and revealed himself to them. It was the Wizard of Iyanfoworogi.
They had totally forgotten about the Wizard and had not given him progress reports in over two months. They apologized profusely to him for having not seen him all this while. That they had been remarkably busy. He raised his hand to silence them and told them he had not come to see them over trivial matters, but to know how they were faring and how their dreams was coming along.
They both admitted that they had forgotten the dreams they set out to do and been caught up with making more money. He asked them, “How many trips have you made in the last two days?” Iyangbe and Iranu scratched their heads and did a quick maths. Both had made seven trips each because they had been exhausted. The Wizard now point the wear and tear on their bodies to them and told them unless they think of a way out, they will be out of business soon. Iranu puffed his chest out and proclaimed it was not possible, that he’ll simply work harder and make more money. Without as much as a glance, the Wizard was gone.
They continued their toil day in day out until one day, when Iyangbe had a brain wave. He suggested to Iranu, why not build pipes from the fountain on top of the hill and let it flow down into the reservoir. We save energy and make more money eventually since we have the franchise to this business.
Iranu shrugged off the idea and said it was pure waste of time…”Am not interested in it, it’s just a silly idea that will wither away!” he declared. Iyangbe decided to go on with the idea, for the words of the wizard was throbbing at the back of his head. He decided to put pen to paper and draw up a plan on how to achieve this. He decided that out of the five shillings been paid to him, he will save three shillings for the project while he cuts down on his expense drastically. He stopped frequenting the bars he and Iranu frequented. And people began to see less of him daily as he retreated into his room once he finishes his work to think and plan. Unbeknownst to Iranu, Iyangbe had put money aside all the while, though infrequently over the last three months. So, when he began to work on his plan, his work rate dropped, but he made progress on his plan on paper.
He began to get the needed materials required to build the pipes and he met with the Wizard who offered him counsel on how best to do it and what should be done. He will work early in the morning, making five trips daily while he spent the rest of the day working on his project.
Iranu derided him so also a couple of their friends. “He is just a dreamer! A white Elephant project is what he’s doing!” They will exclaim to one another as they drank and partied. Iranu, hired an assistant to help him out most often when he was tired and ill. But on such days, the assistant makes a trip or two and goes home feigning tiredness as well. The whole village watched silently, wondering what was causing a rift between friends that they both failed to work together. Iranu had ultimately become a major influence in the village, dictating his terms and conditions for fetching water, while Iyangbe consistently made his five trips daily each morning, while working on his project during the day. The village began to experience bouts of water scarcity with this arrangement, with Iranu, always making demands before he fulfils orders, while Iyangbe assured them the water scarcity would be a thing of the past, by the time he’s done with his project.
The people watched silently the work been done by Iyangbe and marveled and wondered at how it was going to work. Iyangbe persevered through 3 months of strenuous hard work, with the help of a few friends of his and villagers who believed in the idea and decided to support him. Together the pooled funds together to complete the project before the dry season which was due in another two months. At the end of three months, the project was completed. And Iyangbe announced in the village square, “from tomorrow, to fetch your water, all you need to do is to turn a tap and the water will flow. You can fetch as much buckets as you can for half the price of what you pay before!”
The whole village was agog with excitement, the buzz was everywhere that water was going to be cheap and available round the clock!! Iranu scoffed at the people who came to meet him to ask what he planned to do. “The water is unhygienic! It’s against the will of the gods! It will fail within days!” On the D-day, people gathered at the new reservoir built for the purpose. The King was there to declare it opened and the Wizard as well as all the chieftains of nearby villages. They came to see the wonder built by Iyangbe. Precisely at 7am, the King turned the knob, and out came water, clear and cooling into the buckets of people. Iyangbe and his partners were on standby collecting 1 Shilling per bucket as against 2 shillings per bucket before.
That first day alone, Iyangbe made his two month wages and he was able to pay off his debts to his partners and remain in profit. He set up a system that ensured the business was following without him having to be there physically. He saw his dreams materializing and he was able to plan and do more business ventures in the village and in nearby villages as well. He was soon the wealthiest in the kingdom with Kings coming to him for counsel.
Meanwhile, Iranu, in the first week was still trudging up the hill to fetch water. He discovered that, people stopped patronizing him because his water was expensive compared to Iyangbe. He also discovered that, even for people who still wanted the water fetched directly from the fountain, he couldn’t meet with their demand. And soon they turned to Iyangbe for water hence putting Iranu permanently out of business. He became bankrupt and all his friends disappeared around him. Pride won’t allow him to meet his friend, whom he had derided in public several times. He packed up his belongings early one morning and departed Iyanfoworogi, never to be heard from again but in a far distant land, where he was doing menial jobs.
Wale sat puzzled with the story his customer had told him, he was trying to understand the meaning and significance. His customer smiled and said to him the same thing that the Wizard of Iyanfoworogi told him and the two friends. “You are either building your future with buckets or with Pipes.” “When you build with pipes, you are establishing your future and security and can help others. When you build with buckets, you are limited to the now, no prospect of the future.” “How are your finances like?” Asked his client, you are either building it with buckets or pipes. You need to find opportunities around you that will help you build pipes to secure your wealth.”
“So, I saw a business platform that I plugged into and within a year, my life turned around.” said Wale. Uche and Jide sat, spell bound as he narrated this story to them. It sounded incredible to the ears and unbelievable. They asked him about the business, and he informed them the company had been in existence for 5 years and he has met people whose lives were transformed. people like his customer. “How do we get involved in this business they asked”.
The company is holding a summit where the nuggets of the Wizard of Iyanfoworogi will be shared and business opportunities presented to people to choose from. he told them, you can either be Iyangbe or Iranu and make a choice of how you want to live your life.
After deliberating and sharing for a few more minutes, Wale got a call about a business appointment he had, and took his leave, leaving them with his card on how to reach him. With that, Uche and Jide realised that they had been building with buckets all this while, that now is the time to start building with pipes.
Did they eventually build with Pipes…… Story for another day!!!