Ójó Aje (Monday)
Today is Monday, it’s is called “Ójó Aje” in and the word “Aje” is has a very integral meaning that is as important as air is to living things to every business especially to the Yorubas. Every business owner involved in direct sales and services that deals with a daily exchange of values desire “aje” like life itself. The significance of Monday to any business cannot be overemphasized, and the importance of “aje” in every day business and more importantly on a Monday is defined and second to none.
If you live in Lagos you must have heard “today is Monday, Abeg carry your bad market go” especially when you’re trying to strike a bargain that is not profitable to the seller, even if the day in question is Friday. More loud in the market place after every sales is the chant “Aje a wa o!” meaning “You’ll make more sales o!” So invariably, “Aje” is not just “Monday” but “Sales”, it is the definition of business in Yoruba land, the life sources of every profit oriented establishment and the very essence of the day-to-day activity of the business world in this realm.
Aje is priceless but yet defined with prices. It is the inherent exchange of value through trade either in service or commodity and the desire to meet “Aje” is why every business owner all over the world wake up before the cock crows to prepare for their potential client and customers with readied value. This was the essence of my post this morning about Aje… it was a prayer that all that rose with the sun today will return happy and with profit on their endeavor and for me, it is either I experience the “Amen!” Of that prayer or become the “Amen! For someone else.
I had a busy day running round and round and spending money like the Babaolowo I’ve always been (you don’t have to know the amount I spent). Although I haven’t received a single alert today (debit or credit), I went out prepared to receive the answers to the prayers I shared with all this morning or be the answer to the prayers of others and to a large extent, I was the answer to the prayer of others, buying things like here and there the highlight is the story of this handmade leather wallet you’re looking at.
A lot of people display hundreds of wares on the pedestrian bridge in Oshodi, but nothing caught my attention more than this snake skin wallet, a product of the creativity and skills of the northern craftsmen. I remember buying one in 2010 during my NYSC year (I still have it) and I’ve always desired another but never been opportune to see one here in Lagos. I grinder to a halt and asked the frail 60something years old looking man how much he was willing to sell and he rang out N800. I haggled a little to get a better price and he finally agreed N600 and when I was about to pay him, he mentioned that he just came out and I was the first person to stop to price any of his wares so he wasn’t going to say no to my offer. Every word I had spoken in prayer in the morning came back rushing through my head, I had just N1000 on me, I gave him the N1000 and as he was about to beckon on another trader to look for N400 change, I told him not to worry and moved away as swiftly as I could from the spot. I became the answer to my own prayer, I became the “Aje” he sort as a trader and the blessings I’d prayed for myself and for all business men and women today. I could hear his voice as he prayed and prayed for me as I walked away, I even discovered he was Yoruba as against my assumption that he was an Hausa trader based on my own experience with such craft before and the way he was dressed.
Sometimes we pray and we expect answers from above or wherever we consider our own Eledunmare resides. Sometimes we speak out desires, we hope and believe that the wind of fortune will blow our way and bring our desires to life. Too many times we are blinded by what we want or need and we fail to see that our prayers, wishes, desires, needs and want are not unique to us alone and that we can be the answer to the prayer of others while we wait patiently for others to be the answer to ours. Every prayer we say has already been answered, what we desire when we pray or wish is to come in contact with this answers because Eledunmare will not come down from Isalu Órun to Isalu Aiye to do what he has done already. A land already exist, money is printed on a daily, cars are manufactured, houses are built for rent and sales and everything in the realm of want, need or desire is already entrusted into the creative hand of man, all that is required is for each of us to create the requisite value that we can exchange for this desires and then our prayers are answered. The only prayer Eledua will do Himself/Herself is a miracle, all that is required to satisfy the other prayers is “Aje” and as such a trade must be done for our prayers to be answered.
Look around you today! Whose prayer can you answer? Be the answer to someone’s prayer and in due time, your prayer will be answered by another man as long as you continue to create values because we are the God we seek and “Aje” has been given to us to make it all complete.
I trekked home sha because that was my last card. Thank God I bought a wallet in joyful hope of the alerts and subsequent liquid withdrawal of cash. I’m prepaid for Aje…
Wa Fi Ile Mi Śe Ibugbe!
I’m Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo