Back in the day a friend of mine called Cedric and I, used to trade second-hand cars.
By Adolf Chirimuta
Every time we looked through the classifieds section of one of the local dailies, we would come across an advert that went something like; “… 1990 Datsun for sale, previously owned by a white old lady, as good as new …”
We would laugh ourselves to stitches every time we read it until we one day decided to call in for a chat with this trader who had his own way of advertising his cars.
To our surprise, he indeed had a few cars that were previously owned by old white ladies, no pun intended here, yet we thought it was just a marketing gimmick.
We enquired with the fellow why he always made it a point to emphasise the nature of the vehicle’s previous owner in his adverts and his reply got me thinking and reflecting quite a bit on our characteristics as black Africans with regards to our ability, or rather inability, to maintain our acquired resources and assets.
He said that in his line of trade, he had decided to specialise in dealing with feminine pensioners of the white race because of their undisputed ability to take care of and maintain their motor vehicles in immaculate condition.
He went on to show us his collection and boasted that some of the vehicles that he had in his garage would make some new model owners turn green with envy, as they looked almost as good as new.
Since that day, I have devoted time to observe the lifestyles of our white brothers and have learnt a lesson about maintaining the assets that one has.
My pastor, who is a Caucasian of American descent, is always constructively criticising me and my fellow black congregants about our flaws when it comes to maintaining our assets saying we are awesome at acquiring them, but rank at the bottom of the list when it comes to maintenance.
The point that I am trying to drive home, as Chika Onyeani attempted to do in his book Capitalist Nigger, albeit in a less racist manner, is that we have a lesson or two to learn from our Caucasian brothers as far as asset maintenance is concerned, as a way of saving money.