Blame Game

February 10, 2021


She started the creche right after
her NYSC
It had always been her life goal to
own one
She loved babies and when she
was in secondary school, her mother
ran a creche
Her mother was a matron with the
government hospital at the time
Her mother also took maternity
cases at home especially cases
involving members of her father’s
Her mother’s creche was a side hustle
It was located at the second sitting
room of her father’s mansion
A house built to impress the world
but was found to be too big for the
Too many rooms were unfurnished
and unoccupied this was primarily
because her father lost his banking
job before completing the building
and they had to move in before their
rent expired
Because her father married two wives,
one wing was built for each wife and
her children
To present a front of equality and
keep the families
apart while keeping them together
under the same “room”
As soon as her father lost his job as
the regional director of a merchant bank,
the second wife sold many of the
properties under her care and took
off with her secret lover
The move caught the entire family
by surprise, even the second wife’s
The body blows were too much for
her father
The loss of his job, his other investments
(a mill, hotel, and some hectares of land)
sold off by his second wife
Her father fell ill and almost died
By the time he recovered from the
illness, he was a shadow of himself
Her mother had to brace up to the
challenge of raising ten children
(Five from her and five from the
second wife) by herself
This was what led her to start a creche
Her father didn’t recover at the
hospital, he recovered at a uniform
wearing church
The founder of the church insisted
her father had a divine call and
must pastor a church
Her father bought into the idea
Perhaps in order to atone for the sins,
he committed in the past which were
haunting him at that moment or
because he really had a call
Her father started a church that
attracted a lot of poor people
Her mother was dragged into the
mess and she ended up providing
free maternity care for the members
of the church
As a secondary school student, the
creche was her baby
Her mother paid her and a professional
nurse to man the creche and she was a
a natural
Babies loved her as much as she loved
The parents of the babies placed in
their creche also loved her
It was her calling
It was all she wanted to do and she
prepared herself for it
She saved up most of her NYSC
allowance and invested in creche
She also registered her company
and since she studied nursing she
was certified to run one
She started small and it grew
Within a year, her creche had forty
babies ranging from week old babies
to two-year-olds
By the second year, she had bought
a property and employed more staff
the creche had over a hundred babies
One day she got a visitor, an old friend
from the university
They were not too close but they
were on talking terms when she was
an undergraduate
The friend came to inform her that she
was starting a nursery and primary
school down the street
and would like her to direct the parents
of the babies in her care to the school
She didn’t have any plan of starting a
school and eagerly agreed to help
her friend
Her friend sent marketers with fliers
to her creche to canvass parents
With her endorsement, many of the
started placing their children in the
Things were good for about a year
Then she began getting reports from
unsatisfied parents who tacitly blamed
her for introducing them a partner
who doesn’t really care for their
children beyond fleecing them of
their money
These are parents whose friendship
and respect she had spent years
She tried talking to her friend but
her friend told her point-blank that
running a creche and running a
school are two different things
They are also two different people
and their approach to issues cannot be
the same
Her friend said it was in consideration
of her that she hadn’t started her
own creche
The school should ordinarily have one
but they had a working agreement and
she was honoring it without poking her
nose into how the affairs of the creche
were run.
In order words, her friend asked her to
mind her creche and keep her opinion
about the school in her pocket
When she got home, she discussed what
transpired at the meeting with her fiancee
Her fiancee laughed and told her to stop
being short-sighted and sentimental
“Start a nursery and primary school
today, I will back you up with the
finances and recruit good hands for you.
If you want anything done to your taste,
you have to do it yourself”
She prayed about it for a week and told
her fiancee she was ready
Her fiancee was a manager with a
microfinance bank and such an offer
was too good to pass by
Her creche as at that time owned two
properties and had over three million
Naira in their savings account
All she did was remodel one of the
properties into a nursery and primary
school while the other property
remained the creche
She applied and got her
approval from the state’s board of
education and recruited teachers
By the time the next academic year
started, she rolled out her nursery
and primary school
Of course, she expected her friend
to get angry but it was the logical
thing for her to do both business-wise
and it wasn’t
as if her friend cannot start her own
creche as she had earlier insinuated
Within a week, her school was full
Parents who had been grudgingly
patronizing her friend withdrew their
children from her friend’s school and
brought them to her school
Her friend couldn’t hold back the
Her friend called her on the phone
and rained curses and abuses on her
Her friend called her a saboteur,
a Judas, a wolf in sheep clothing,
an unfaithful person, a witch
She tried to explain to her friend that
the problem was within and not
If your customers were
satisfied they wouldn’t be looking
for a better option
Customer satisfaction is the key to
patronage, not sentiment
Should she have insisted people
must patronize her friend when
even she knew her friend was not
running the business the right way?
Would she have told the parents
came to her with their complaints to
put up with it because there can be
no alternative?
If a third party had seen the lacuna
and started a school in that estate,
would her friend have the guts to
accuse such of sabotage?
The accusation was sentimental
and immature in her opinion
She tried to reason with her friend
and her friend told her to shut up
Then she starts her own school and
her friend felt it was done out of spite
She told her friend to look within and
do better but her friend was too
blinded by emotion to see things
as they truly were
Within two years, her friend’s school
folded up and her friend moved out
of the estate
Her school thrived and within five
years, she started a secondary school
which thrived gloriously too
She and her friend never reconciled
She still wonders if what she did
was wrong

PS: It is difficult to convince an
unreasonable person to see things
in the right light
Especially when such would rather
look for a scapegoat to blame for
his or her failure rather than do the
right thing
The Bible referred to some people
as wicked and unreasonable; may
God deliver us from such. Amen

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