The other day, my now 10-year-old son shocked me with one complaint. A complaint that still lingers fresh in my mind. “Will you ever play any game with me, dad? Every time you seem to be so busy!” Oh! This was too much to bear. So my son could think I do not have any time for him.
This reminded me of one renowned motivational speaker who is a former Inspector General of Police. He once told me: “You know what, play with your children while they are still young. Time will come when they will have found their own friends and their memories of you will be faint. They will hardly cherish your parenthood. While they are still young, let them build a picture of having the best parent ever. The picture will never go away.”
So I decided I was not just going to play games with my son but even watch cartoons with him that day. He had some playing cards in his hands, but I decided I was going to teach him chess. As I was looking around for the chess pieces, my phone rang. “Akulu, mundipeze ku golf club pompano (find me at the golf club right away).” It was my uncle on the other end. I knew something was terribly wrong. Coincidentally, the previous night my wife had complained of my working late at night and I now thought: “Shaa! Mzimayiyu nkhani ija wakayifikitsa kwa atsibweni (my wife must have reported me to my uncle).”
So, I went back to the lounge, some chocolates in hand and gave them to my son while politely requesting him to play computer games. I also promised to buy him his favourite food, pizza, on my way back from the golf club. He beamed with joy at the mention of pizza and so we parted ways. I then went to bid bye to my wife: “Ndapita komwe munakandinenera kuja (I have been summoned by the man you reported me to).” She looked surprised but I went ahead to grab the car keys and sped off.
So there he was at the Golf Club impatiently waiting for me at the reception area. ‘I won’t be long, I came by taxi’ he quickly spoke as I walked in. I saw he had a beer in hand. Very unlike him—I had never seen my uncle drink. Of course, I heard that he used to drink but the doctors advised him against it some couple of years back. “Koma lero ziliko (something terribly wrong is up today)’, I soliloquised.
Contrary to what I first thought, my uncle had called to ask for my wisdom. He had an affair and his wife discovered it the previous month. The wife then took away the phone, car, and even curtailed all the favours that come from a wife. My uncle had resorted to using taxis, he got another new phone and was putting up in a hotel. He could afford it because he is well-off economically. ‘Nephew, my business is getting under, any finance management advice?’ he asked.
I was there imagining how much it cost him for having messed-up at home. The extra money he was now spending could have helped propel his investments. Lack of peace at home was even costing him his health.
“Uncle, you want to maintain a healthy personal and business income? Then make sure you have a happy home,” I said like one wiseman from the East. It was my turn to shine over him. “Next time you pick a quarrel with your spouse or family member, know that you could be compromising the health of your personal and business finances. So think twice,” I concluded, while sighing with relief that my wife had not told the uncle anything yet about my habit of working late at night. I had to dash back home and be a good husband and dad.
How we finally got things sorted for my uncle is beyond this column. But the key message being that a healthy home can save you a lot of money. It offers happiness which keeps you in good health thereby minimising your medical bills; it helps one spend less on junk food since you would be eating more at home and less in restaurants – you just want to be home with your family eating cheap but yet more nutritious food. The cost cutting advantages are enormous. It is even worse when you are having an affair because the propensity to spend suddenly increases—those who have been in it know what I am talking about.
Blessed week-end to you and yours as you make efforts to be at peace with your family always. It’s really good for the health of your personal finances.