The Primacy Of The Legacy You Bequeath.

Where I hail from, there is this saying that,

The medicine that you did not procure with money is likely to be unappreciated and left carelessly behind the fireplace .

Also….

What we don’t toil for does not endure; it was what we struggle to acquire that stays with one for a long long time

Very often, wwy find situations where a man works assiduously throughout his life to build a financial empire and the children fritter away everything in a very short while…after his death. .

We can all notice that- in this part of the world -businesses hardly ever stand the test of time. We hear of companies like Mandillas, K. Chellarams, RT briscoe Paterson Zochonis (PZ), that have been operating for a long time …sometimes spanning step decades.

These are all usually foreign companies.

Soichiro Honda, Henry Ford, Mercedes-Benz are prime examples of people who established conglomerates that have been around for quite a while, and still doing very very well ..all over the world.

Let an Aliko Dangote die.. all he built will start deteriorating, despite the behemoth that he is currently operating in many countries- including Nigeria

Where are all the businesses of the Late Business Mogul, MKO Abiola,for instance?

In the banking sector, companies like Zenith, Diamond and Gtbank have been around for about three decades, but these are exceptions rather than the rule. Perhaps they are still standing because they have outgrown the original founders and the management of those companies are not based on family transference anymore.

Most of our very successful business people have not quite understood how to pass on their legacy to their offsprings, or choose competent successors – so that their businesses may stand the test of time. What is the essence of slaving all your life, building a very impressive business only for it to pack up shortly after you die?.

Here is an interesting fable I came across recently. It talks about the importance of being circumspect regarding the people you hand over your company’s to. This is too ensure that the business can continue to grow from strength to strength – after you are no more.

So there was this very wealthy man- an old man who has been able to amass a lot of mone, businessesy and properties for himself. He has a son who was getting set to inherit all his father’s wealth and businesses.

Naturally, the ageing father wanted to be sure that his son is capable of continuing his legacy. He therefore decided to test his son’s business acumen by mandating him to go out there and earn $10000 – all by himself.

Do that and come back to show me. by doing this, you would have proved to me that you know how to earn and handle money and will not just waste what I’m going to leave to you

It is only after the son has been able to do that successfully that he will be worthy of being handed over his wealth.

“Very well father”, says the son.

Very shortly, the son thinking he is very smart and being impatient to inherit his father’s wealth, collided with and collected the hundred thousand dollars from his mother and came back to his father to tell him that he has earned that much money.

“Good. Very good, my son”, said the wizened old sage.

The father promptly threw the money into a furnace, burning it up and told the son to repeat the feat of amassing so much money in such a short time to convince him that he’s actually capable, and this was not a fluke..

$100,000 dollars incinerated just like that !.

So, the son again narrated the story to his mother. The mother provided him with another $100,000 of her money.

“Give it a few weeks before going to meet your father”, she counseled the son.

Three weeks later, the boy again presented the money to his father as something he earned in business.

Again, this very wealthy but wise man threw all the whole wads of money into fire and burned them to ashes – while the son watched.

Unfortunately for this son, the mother had given her last money to him the other time, so she could not help him anymore. She’s especially unhappy with the sons report that her husband was burning the cash and wasting money.

So the son finally set out to go and do what the father originally told him to do – earn money by serious effort.

For many years, he laboured and toiled and was able to amass another $100,000.. It took him tremendous effort and a lot of pains and sorrow.

He triumphantly headed back home and presented what he has amassed to his father.

For the third time running, the father attempted to throw all the money into a blazing fire.

Guess what?

The son quick ran to the fire and retrieved all those dollar notes that his father was attempting to burn, wailing,

“Surely, father, you’re not going to set fire to money that I toiled for so long -to acquire?. Come on!”

Now the wily old man was sure that the money was indeed the result of his son’s struggles and effort.

The son has finally proved to him that he knows how to earn and value money and promptly willed his business and everything else to the deserving son.

Perhaps you remember the story where two women were disputing the ownership of a baby. A wise judge, King Solomon, who, after being unable to determine the true mother of the baby ruled that they were going to slice the baby into two and one woman would take half and the otherc- the other half of the baby..

Expectedly, the real owner of the baby quickly agreed to let the other woman have the baby because she didn’t want her baby to die. She preferred that somebody else raise the kid instead of having the baby sliced into two.

You don’t value what doesn’t really belong to you, or that you did not work for.


The purpose of this parable is to ensure that you only sell diamond to those that appreciate the beauty of diamond Do not cast diamond in front of a pig because they pig will not know its value. Do not labor throughout your life to build businesses and acquire wealth and then will everything to profligate children that know nothing about running businesses – or how to make / keep money. If you do, you would have laboured in vain because everything will be incinerated.

As my people say, it is the children that are not built up that will sell the properties that we built .. after we are gone.

The parable of our land.

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