“THEY ARE TOO POOR!”
He screamed at the top of his voice showering almost a bucket full of saliva on my perfectly combed hair and my cheaply powdered face.
HELLO THECOMMUNITY! Let me introduce you to my ex-client, Mr. Obakpolor Idehen.
We met at the terrace of Kilimanjaro confectionery while waiting for the rain to cease before continuing our journey to church.
As a cool senior in high school, and photography aficionado, I always had my mini camera (Nikon Coolpix) drooping down my belt or beetling from my wrist to draw attention. So because of the rain I decided to take cover at the verandah where I met him blasting in prayers totally oblivious to my presence and numb to my salutation.
After his prayer session, we talked. To cut the long story short, he knew me from teen’s church media and offered me a photography contract; to snap his little sister while she celebrates her birthday in church the next Sunday.
It was indeed my first solo photography contract so I decided to do it at absolutely no cost. I felt both privileged and happy about it.
After the deed’s been done, we met somewhere in front of teens church where we talked while the files were transferring. I kept going on and on about how amazing photography is and how I would love to be his official family photographer and how I got the perfect shot from every single moment and how beautiful his sister and her cake was. He wasn’t talking much but at least he was responding until the file transfer had finished. Like someone who just saw a ghost he was completely still and quiet while trying to go through the files.
“Mind blowing right?”- no reply.
I should have stopped there but I didn’t; I went on talking about how photography helped in the World War II and while my mouth was still running, I heard a loud voice, his first reply after a long period of silence, “THEY ARE TOO POOR!”.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were using this DEAD camera”.
“We were getting along well”.
“You didn’t even pay me”.
“What were you expecting, a DRONE?”.
“Oh wait, you just called my camera dead”.
“I shouldn’t have taken the job”.
“Your sister is ugly by the way; her cake too”.
“Is this how I am going to be the next Clarence peters?”.
“Oh God, I need an upgrade”.
These and a million other thoughts crossed my mind. But the most important of them all was a tiny voice which said
“Welcome to the streets!”.
THAT WAS HOW I WAS INITIATED INTO “THE HUSTLE (a.k.a THE STREETS)”
The Hustle begins when you leave your comfort zone and work for your money (even if you receive an allowance). It begins when you build dreams and work towards it. The Hustle begins when you aim at being successful and settle for nothing less.
The most successful people in our society today were made successful by their dedication to The Hustle: They started and continued it.
Many people begin The Hustle but fail to continue because the streets get so rough and competitive that they can no longer cope.
The first rule of the streets is “DO NOT FALL, BUT IF YOU DO, GET BACK UP ELSE THEY’LL STEP ON YOU”
That was exactly what happened to me. I failed at my first contract but guess what? I’m still in the game. I didn’t back off, I didn’t quit, I continued the hustle; I got back up! The streets ain’t pretty so if you want to survive, keep moving!
They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Since then, I’ve worked with three media co-operations, where we delivered successfully on contracts, and now I’m proudly a CEO of mine and trust me, I ain’t leaving these streets until I’ve gotten to the top.
That’s what I’m talking about.
As soon as you get into the streets, don’t give up; keep moving.
The Hustle is not for the weak or the feeble; The Hustle is for the strong. It takes strength to begin The Hustle and it takes even more strength to continue in it.
So far, The Hustle has made me stronger. Today, I have transitioned from that young and naïve boy who delivered poorly on jobs to “King Bob” (King of the Andals, the Rhoynars, the First Men, the Streets and the Hustlers).
And because of my understanding of The Hustle and the strength I have acquired from continuity in the streets, I have consistently been contracted by persons of higher calibre and I have continued to deliver professionally and superbly.
IN CONCLUSION, GONE ARE THE DAYS WHERE A HUSTLER REFERRED TO A BUS CONDUCTOR, A DRUG ADDICT, A SWINDLER (YAHOO BOY), A PIMP, A MENDICANT OR A PAUPER. NOW IS THE ERA WHERE A HUSTLER REFERS TO AN AMBITIOUS, FOCUSED, PRAGMATIC, DETERMINED, SUCCESS-ORIENTED YOUTH.
Therefore, whether you like it or not, you are in the streets and you are a hustler if you possess the qualities I’ve discussed.
I hereby urge everyone who has not started The Hustle to start now!
To those who have already started, continue because at the end of the tunnel, there is bright light.
A luta continua, vitória é certa: THE HUSTLE CONTINUES, VICTORY IS CERTAIN!