Be the answer

Wilson Orhiunu

First Gentleman with Wilson Orhiunu

Email: Twitter: @Babawilly

We all would love our names to be the answer to those million dollar questions. Those questions asked by stranded rich folk willing to pay any price for their problem to be solved. It could be a management problem, a legal one or a cyber security one. The bucks flow to where the answer lies just like the rivers flow into a lake.

But some of us dream up big questions such as “who scored the winning goal at the World Cup finals?” and in a fit of fantasy we answer with our own name or that of a close relative.  The thing about dreaming is that you will wake up and smell the coffee sooner or later.  That coffee aroma experience can be encapsulated in the Naija phrase, “your eye go clear na”.  You wake to questions like “who farted?” and next thing your name is mentioned.

The big rewards tend to go to the problem solvers. The people with answers. There are some problems so great that no one wants to have them. These are problems that you could write books about. Problems that deserve to have an office, personal secretary, press officer, publicity officer, historian, curator, analyst and ‘continuity’ (not sure what this job entails but it must be important as I see it in the credits of many Nollywood films).

Big problems tend to be deemed permanent by onlookers who are so glad they do not have to live life chained to this problem. Onlookers peep in the direction of the victim from time to time to see if they are still alive and to feel good about themselves that they are not as bad as the troubled one.

Imagine the shock the onlookers experience when they come looking and the problem is no longer there.  There is usually only one question to ask.

“Where is the problem?”

“Who took it away?”

It is the same for family friend as it is for nations. Once some nations are mentioned on television during the evening news you usually brace yourself for “disturbing images” even before the news station flashes their usual warnings. This is because these nations are chained to problems. Imagine your shock when instead of a worn torn desolate wasteland you find a paradise on earth.

“Who did this?” would be the natural question.

I recall the demand and supply lessons I had in economics years ago which made it obvious to all that when the demand is high for any service or product and the supply is limited, the price paid will go up.

Everyone wants to be paid highly but who wants to be the answer to difficult questions?

“Who is the bomb disposal expert we can call?” Many will hate their name to be the answer to that question.

Jobs with difficult entry criteria are well paid. Lengthy and difficult training is usually rewarded with a well-paying job.

Instead of sitting down hoping and wishing about the big bucks it might be better for people to brain-storm what the problems to solve are and if there is a great competition for opportunities to solve these problems. Going around looking for difficult problems might not sound appealing but that is where the money and glory is.

Introspection is also needed. A good study of talents and skills at one’s disposal helps one choose which ones to hone to perfection. Knowing that your local team needs a player who can get them fifteen goals a session is of no use if you do not play football.