I had lost a business; and already dropped out of my B.SC program at the University of Port Harcourt. I was jobless, broke, unhappy and clueless what next to do with my life that was now steadily falling apart. I was in a dilemma.
Dilemma is like cancer that eats out your legs until you have no more legs and can no longer walk – you sit at a spot and expect handouts and any sort of help from family and friends and the government. Dilemma is evil!
If people are willing to give to you, it is a blessing because generally people are stingy and greedy. But when receiving from others becomes your only option, then there is an unnecessary evil lurking at your door step. Move quickly.
So I moved on and did the next
‘unreasonable’ thing – got a car, borrowed some 2000 naira, fueled the car and used it as a taxi.
When I hustle, I hustle hard with all determination. I worked 14 hours a day taking all manner of people to all manner of places through the streets and back-ends of Port Harcourt; places I never knew existed; places I heard dangerous rumors about. I wasn’t sleeping. I was chasing money. Wasn’t feeding properly. Getting lean and tanned. Everyone could see the changes taking place except me. I was moving on and wasn’t looking back. But my body was dying.
Then it started getting dangerous.
During the day, illegal and authorized local task forces where arresting taxi drivers like us for not being registered with the office or “Not being painted” the official Rivers taxi colors. Heck, I was not ready to paint my car; this was just a part time hustle. One time they arrested my car to the Psychiatric hospital. Fined me 25k and detained my car for 24 hours – One whole week’s savings effing gone in a single afternoon – the terror by day.
The terror by night:
One night I dropped off a passenger, at about 2:AM on a Friday night. Making my way back I thought I could make a quick pass through the shortest route to my supposed destination, and that’s when I hit the road block. I tried to turn quickly before anything funny or unpleasant occurred (dangerous stories we had heard about these places at nights) – and that’s when I saw them. Young guys, machetes wielding, sticks and their leader brandishing a gun. At first I thought “What the eff!” My mind skipped to Jeruselem and back in a second.
Then I thought :”Not tonight. No evil tonight. No.”
They looked scary as they all approached closer to my car and rounded me off in military fashion like I was an effing terrorist; at a closer look, they looked like they were going to offer sacrifice to the gods. Oh, they even had a sacrificial lamb, another young guy, who was naked, dripping in his own blood, struggling to walk, weak. I wondered what his offence could have been that night. Did he steal and was caught? Or was he caught in adultery? What could he have done? I couldn’t think much about the ‘sacrificial lamb’ though, as I got interrogated by the leader of the group.
“Who are you?” “What you doing here?” And I launched into an incredible introduction of myself,
“Hello guys, I am Jack Stanley; a pastor from Christ Embassy church. I had come to drop off my senior pastor the next street. We had had an all night prayer meeting.” I had a huge Maxwell study bible in my car, I pointed to it while responding.
“We saw you make a U-turn here, why were you turning back?” “Yeahhh, you are right. I wanted to go through this route as it is the shortest to my destination but I saw it was blocked and I had to turn back.”
While I was explaining I heard one of ‘em say in his local dialect “This guy could be lying, let’s just search him thoroughly or fuck him up at once and move…” As I heard that I thought silently saying a prayer “Not tonight. No fuckup tonight. No wind of evil tonight.”
After looking straight into my eyes (as if he was searching through my soul for my true identity) – eyeball to eyeball, man-to-man, for a few seconds the leader said “Go…don’t come back!” I said “Sure, good night.”
As if that wasn’t enough for one night – I was driving a couple home who had gone clubbing that night – at about 5:30 A.M. and I fell asleep while driving. I hadn’t been sleeping. I had a terrible accident. I was lucky nobody got hurt – it was a miracle. As I slept off – the couple at the back were tired and slept off too – the car carelessly slided to the other side of the road, pulling out entirely a church’s metal signpost; the bumper and windshield destroyed in the process. As I jolted quickly repositioning the car back to my right side of the road I gave thanks that I did not “pull out” a human being.
Thirty minutes later, after I dropped off my passengers I almost ran into the bush – slept off again. I went home and never came out that day again. And never a night service again. Three months later, I stopped the taxi service completely.
It was time to “Move on.”
Life can never be static. Life is always nudging you to move on. Not in an extra dramatic way as I had in a single night.
You have to know when life wants you to move on. Don’t be static. Move on to something positive. Keep moving until you find yourself at a place pleasant.
That’s what a hustler does; he moves on.
Always move…I hear her voice, “Come to bed honey,” she calls
It’s 11:38P.M., my bed calls. Good night…
Stanley G. Jack
MD, Stanley Wallstreet Limited
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Stanley is the author of “Who Took My Job?”(@whotookmyjob) – coming soon!
Follow him on Twitter:@wealthyJACK