Mama may have, Papa may have but where is yours?

“Mama may have, papa may have…who can complete this quote?”

That was the question my principal threw to the whole school during assembly time more than ten years ago (sigh…I’m getting old). She asked the junior and senior students…none of them knew. Then she moved on to the prefects. I was a prefect at the time. I’ll not tell you which one because you will just laugh.

Anyway, the first prefect she asked tried to form something to end the quote. It was obviously wrong but he went ahead to say it anyway. The second prefect too tried to use ‘agbari’ (I don’t know how to fully explain this expression in English). When the second prefect missed it she then said, “Miss Jaiyesimi, mama may have, papa may have but?” I looked at her straight in the eyes and I told her I didn’t know it. Clearly disappointed, she went on to complete the quote by herself.

“Mama may have, papa may have but God bless the child that has his own.”

Even though I didn’t  know who said this particular statement, when my principal said it, it stuck. I remembered it years after I graduated. Sadly, I wish I had acted upon it earlier in my life. I wish I did not wait until when papa did not have and mama had a little to start thinking of having my own. But thank God…at least I started having my own.

Do you have your own? And this is not just about your parents. You may or may not be from a wealthy family. In your job, family, circle of friends do you have your own? When I decided to ‘have my own’ it was because I realised that if I continued to be financially dependent on my parents, I would not be able to fulfil God’s plan for my life. Having my own affords me certain luxuries like being able to pursue the business of my dreams. Nobody is threatening me anywhere to cut me off financially if I don’t follow their own plan.

So again I ask; do you have your own? I see a lot of people working tirelessly for organizations to the point that they forget to have their own. All their energy is used to serve someone else while they neglect their own personal growth and development. This shouldn’t be the case. I love how in this generation things are getting more and more flexible. Not so many people stay in an organization for 30/ 40 years. People are now seeing the benefit of having their own. You can call it a fall back plan.

I’m not saying you must start a business while working for someone but have something that can yield fruit for you in the future. You can invest in real estate. You can even invest in other businesses. Most importantly, you can and must invest in yourself. You don’t have to wait for your organization to send you on training before you learn something new. Go on Google, do some research and enrol for courses that will add some benefit to your life. Build a good portfolio for yourself beyond your day time job. If your job is taken away right now, you must have something to fall back on.

Having your own also means making sacrifices. Must you really put on Aunty Funmi hair? Like Pastor Funke Adejumo will say, you are wearing your cement on your head! Don’t you think that money can be more wisely spent to buy a plot of land maybe? Cut out frivolities. No one is saying you should suffer but don’t be excessive. Delay gratification. I read one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books a few years ago and he said that he buys assets that pay for his luxuries. I want you to understand that. So he wants to buy the latest car for example. He doesn’t just go into his account and put the money down for the car. Instead, he buys an asset…maybe a block of flats for example and the rent from the block of flats is what he uses to buy the car. Makes sense right? It certainly does. So the next time you want to use your salary to buy something expensive that you don’t really need, ask yourself “Is there a wiser way for me to spend this money?”

I want you to always remember this quote as you work towards fulfilling your dreams; “Mama may have, papa may have but God bless the child that has his own.”


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