The project attempts to take you on a journey that is planned around how the life of a man is at different stages of his life. We use the lives of different men, some of which are intertwined to paint this picture. The stages are in ten-year intervals, hence the name project name.
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Two days before my sixtieth birthday, I’m the CEO of a massive 168 million dollar business enterprise. Most people would expect me to review the most recent decade I’ve surmounted and some of you would think I would be making plans for a thanksgiving service in one church or the other. Right? Well screw you and your expectations! If there is a God, he either has a massively cruel sense of humor, or he just hates me. The last 10 years and the fact that my pride and joy has been trod on have been proof enough.
I am Ruben Ajifolawe, and this is but a part of my life.
The last decade began with victory. On my 51st birthday, my main competitor in the industry: Otumba Jide Arawosafe unknowingly provided me with my birthday gift; a threesome on a yacht off the coast of the Cayman Islands with a set of beautiful, half-Fulani, half-Yoruba twin girls called Radeyo and Hauwa Arawosafe. Yes, his 23 year old daughters. What I would have given to have seen his face as he watched the little ‘movie’ I sent him as a show of my appreciation.
Why? You ask why? Well, to prove a point. His ‘well brought up’ daughters were just as useless as the rest of womankind. But this isn’t about the accursed progeny of Eve, or the fools that get entangled with them without guarding their minds and placing their hearts deep within stone chests as I learned to do early on in life. This is about my life. The many regrets, the many silly things I’ve done, and how Life decided to get back at me in the last ten years.
Money is everything. Success is everything. I wasn’t happy as a struggling young man. So I made many sacrifices to succeed and end my struggle. I hurt many people; I even destroyed some on my way to the top. “Destroy your enemy completely.” Isn’t that what it says in that book ‘The 48 Laws of Power’? Well I did and I made my way up. By 35 I was a wealthy man by any Nigerian standard, and by the time I hit 50 I was the CEO of one of the biggest firms in the country. One of the other ‘big’ firms was Jide Arawosafe’s. Jide and I have always had our differences. Our companies always went head to head. But why didn’t I like him? He had the air of a self-righteous romantic prat that I just couldn’t stand. He was always very “believing” in the good sides of people, especially women. And he would always tell me with a smug smile that his daughters were not like all the women that flocked around me. But I knew better.
Women are all the same. They may be fantastic pretenders but given the right conditions, they’ll eventually break your sorry excuse of a heart. Heed my words. At 23 those words were etched into my soul with the knife the one and only love of my life plunged into my heart when I found her doing the reverse cowgirl astride my closest friend at the time. Her reason? He drove a better car… I would have given her the world, but he had a better car. Imagine that. So what did Jide know about the evil in the hearts of women? I decided to teach him a lesson. I think I made quite the fantastic professor… or at least Radeyo thought so. I would have slept with his wife but at 47 she wasn’t exactly appealing, and in all honesty, even though in 25 years, I’d been with women from all over the world, half Yoruba, half Fulani girls was a bench mark for me. If that wasn’t winning, I don’t know what was.
But I deviate.
Knowing my sincere disdain for the female specie and the tears of the many women I had left biting the dust before they could attempt to do the same to me, Life decided to team up with Karma and get back at me. My last daughter, Elizabeth, was only named that because I was called away for business the day before her naming ceremony. My other daughters: Nefertiti, Venus and Athena were named as testament to the beauty and cunning of women, which always ends up as a source of trouble for men.
Yes, I had four daughters, from three different women. I thought I would despise them as I despised the owners of the wombs that brought them into existence, but something happened whenever the doctor placed each of them in my arms for the first time. I looked in their eyes, and that was it. They were my children, and I adored them. No. I loved them. Anything otherwise felt like I was breaking my own heart. I gave them all the love I could find and I taught them everything I knew about life and more importantly, about men. They were my pride and joy, because I had taught them not to be like the other daughters of perdition walking the earth.
My ‘lesson’ to Jide started a war that lasted three long years. But I was prepared. He tried to get at me in every way possible. He sabotaged my company, attempted slander; everything. He had no chance. I deflected every attempt to ruin me with ease, and in return, crashed one of his companies and forcefully took over another. To top it all off, I made sure I was at every function he would take his daughters to. The smirk on my face was unmistakable every time. In desperation, he then tried going after my daughters by baiting them with several young men. Now that was a laugh and a half.
By the time Elizabeth, my youngest daughter was 20, I had crafted four of the most beautiful, intelligent, and extremely focused women in existence. With their training and the fact that they were my daughters, very few men had the brass balls needed to go after or keep up with them. Those dimwits Jide sent to try to woo them? My girls chewed them up like they were breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. Jide eventually gave up.
54 years old, with nothing to challenge me, life began to get boring. I started looking for new challenges. I travelled again, slept with women of different ethnicities and basically spent about a year doing nothing. I was almost 55, but thanks to 35 years of Ju-Jitsu and a strict diet regiment, I had the body of a 35 year old. Imagine how confused I was when I went in for a routine checkup and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Right there. That bitch called Life bent me over and once again reminded me who was boss. On my 55th birthday, I was castrated to keep the cancer from spreading. I would never have sex again.
I spent the next year recovering and burying myself in my work but I had lost my taste for life completely. It was then I met Benjamin. At 26, the boy was more focused than anyone I had ever met at that age, including myself. He had done quite well for himself too. Still struggling a little bit, but his work had brought him to a meeting with me so he wasn’t half bad. We began to talk less and less on official terms, and over time I recognized so much of myself in him; a fearlessness that was needed to survive, the realist nature I had, discipline, and of course, a way with women. My oh my! Did that boy know how to get them. He got me so engaged that I started to demand information about his conquests. We would talk, and plan out strategies. For those young girls that were out of his league, I was there to give him a little push in the right direction.
I spent the next three years with Benjamin teaching him everything I knew, advising him on his business decisions, and secretly grooming him to be my successor (maybe it had to do with me literally lacking balls, but I was quickly getting tired of work).
Through Benjamin I lived vicariously. He was the one that continued my triumph over women. His milestones were mine. Every new challenge he conquered was my victory as well. Unfortunately, by taking up Ben, I began to neglect my princesses, and they were far from happy about it. How were they to understand that this boy was the son I had never had? I never expected them to be so bitter about it that we would grow so distant. Nefertiti moved out of the house, Venus decided to get back at me by becoming the talk of the town in every negative way possible. I thought I had raised them better, but there it was. I spent my 59th birthday without them… the very girls I had worked so hard on and for… Life could not be crueler. Or so I thought.
“Daddy, I’m 3 months pregnant”.
As if to further complicate things, she added:
“The baby is Benjamin’s and I’m not killing it”
That was Elizabeth. Seven months ago. That bastard… He stole my pride and joy… Right under my nose.
Now I sit here two days before I’m sixty, the CEO of a $168 million business enterprise, father to four gorgeous daughters but empty; I am empty because my daughters decided to hate me for something as trivial as not giving them my attention, because I am grandfather to David, a child from the ‘son’ I took in and showered with the attention my daughters wanted.
I should give Karma a fucking standing ovation.
SO THANKS FOR READING AGAIN. TO WHICH DEGREE DO YOU SHARE CHIEF’S OPINION OF WOMEN AND TRUSTING PEOPLE? WOULD YOU FIND IT EASY TO LOVE A CHILD YOU DON’T WANT AND DIDN’T PLAN FOR? IS MONEY AND SUCCESS EVERYTHING?
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS? HERE’S A POUND, GIMME CHANGE!
FIND THE ART OF @capoeirapanda here
N.B. The project still goes on for the following two days. Tomorrow we have The Seventh Decade by @JibolaL.
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