The COMPUTER VILLAGE SQUEEZE

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Here, we create something from
nothing
Shops don’t come cheap at the Computer Village.
Daily Times
visited the hard/software business hub recently and
witnessed
the people’s uncanny skill at managing time and spa
ce.
GBUBEMI GOD’S COVENANT SNR
reports.
One of the numerous reasons the average Ibo man wou
ld do
anything to sell just about anything sellable anywh
ere came to
light at the Computer Village when our corresponden
t talked
with some deeply innovative young men in the
software/hardware hub in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos.
To start with, 48 years old Joe Nwabueze, a relatio
n of a feared
native doctor from Ihunoma village, Mission, Enugu,
gave
Daily
Times
one good guess why. ‘Well, maybe the Ibo man loves
the
feel of cash, and he likes to make it quick’, our c
orrespondent
said, but Joe shook his head: “A lot of people thin
k that, but it’s
more than that. Sit down, let me tell you the reaso
n I came to
Lagos.
“If you go inside Enugu towns, you will find some v
ery rich
families with big houses and some jeeps and Mercede
s Benz
cars. The people around them know that one of their
sons have

given his life to become the source of that wealth,
but many of
the wealth don’t last. When they are making the med
icine, the
dibia
(native doctors) don’t tell them how long the money
will
last.
“After the person dies, the family will become poor
again over
time, but the big houses are still there. Nobody wi
ll rent it or
buy it because everyone knows the history. And when
the cars
cannot move again, they park them in the yard as me
mory.”
So why did you come to Lagos?
“I had two friends from the same family who wanted
to be very
rich; they wanted to make big names and become big
men.
There is nothing wrong with that. In Enugu, there i
s an adage
that says, if a rich man tells you what he did to b
ecome rich,
you will prefer to remain poor for life. So they we
nt to a native
to ‘cook’ them so they can become millionaires, so
that
anything they touch would become cash.”
That native doctor was Joe’s uncle. He told the boy
s, Oke and
Ike (not their real names) he would turn them to vu
ltures first,
then after doing his magic, he would turn them back
to persons
again. The boys agreed because that was the special
ty of the
man; but why vulture?
“We are told that the thing works like the blood of
vulture. You
know that wherever there is a corpse, vulture is dr
awn to it.

Money will become like a corpse; wherever there is
money to
be made, things will happen: he doesn’t have to wor
k for it.
Everybody will work, but they will be there at the
right moment
and that would be it.”
But the plot went bizarre after the witchdoctor tur
ned Ike and
Oke to vultures; left them in his shrine and went t
o the market
to buy some essential materials, but he didn’t make
it there:
the old fellow was knocked dead by a speeding vehic
le as he
tried to cross the road a few meters to the market.
When news of his death reached the neighbourhood; t
he two
vultures flew out in the evening and perched on top
of the
thatched roof. The incident was noised all over the
coal city but
nobody knew what had gone soar at the witchdoctor’s
shrine.
“By the second day, the vultures flew to their pare
nt’s home
and perched on the roof. When it was noticed that t
he two
boys were missing, it was thought odd for vultures
to be seen
on top of a living family home, but the concern for
that
moment was the whereabouts of their sons.
“When someone shouted their names, ‘Oke and Ike, wh
ere are
you?’ the two vultures were seen responding in body
movement on the roof. Later, the truth became known
. The

boys died in the body of vulture after the family c
ould not find
a way to reverse their condition.
“After that vulture incident, and other daring feat
s young boys
that we knew, some them one-on-one; some of us that
don’t
have the guts, or that have the guts but changed ou
r minds to
live by our sweat and labour, decided we will work
out our
wealth, with honesty, with fear, and with Godliness
, and that is
the main reason behind the unstoppable drive of mos
t of us.
We strive to make it anywhere, anyplace but not any
how.”
The Igbo race is diversified in their ethnicity; ca
n that reason be
generalized as the push behind the Igbo man?
“May be not generally, but the motive to make clean
is general.
If our people go to Kaduna, Maiduguri or Kafanchan
without
capital to trade, he or she can build up capital ov
er time, by
with selling handkerchief, snacks, etc until he get
s enough
money to start a trade line he likes.”
Back to Computer Village, Joe said the space squeez
e is what
brought the idea to turn your car into both showroo
m and
shop.
“We call it ‘shopcar’ because it serves both purpos
es. Every
trader with a shop or whole house here were part of
the
beginning of the computer village success story or
they

inherited the shop or got it through a special arra
ngement.
There is no new shop or space to rent in computer v
illage.”
Daily Times investigation revealed that some trader
s who were
displaced from Ebute-Ero were actually the group th
at said
‘look, every spot is a shop. If I park my car here,
I will turn it to
my shop and sell my goods.
They pay land rent to the market administration whi
ch in turn
honours its commitment to the Ikeja Local Governmen
t and
council officials.
Chuks Igwebuike, one of the shopcar owners showed o
ur
correspondent the contents of his car. Inside were
goods he
was advertising to customers while he goods on the
car roof, its
burnet and boots are for everyone to see and buy.”
The zeal and tenacity to ‘make it’ lawfully at the
computer
village underline the adage that says, necessity is
the mother of
invention.

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