This article is a tribute of sorts, to my wonderful Beninese friend Salifou Moumouni, to wish him happy married life as he ties the knot with his heart throb – Zuliha – over in Parakou today, in an event I’m sadly unable to attend, due to unexpected developments – despite being here in Cotonou.
[NB: Photo taken 2 years ago, on 8th Aug. 2013, in Calavi]
Moumouni told me about the wedding on Thursday, and I’d excitedly told him I would make it down.
I stayed back in Cotonou yesterday (Friday), to close out some online work till close to midnight – thinking I could make it the next morning.
What I did not know was that Parakou is actually 400km away from Cotonou…!
[Hold it, don’t ask me how come I didn’t know despite being here since 2013: I’ve moved around but not had time to get that far…lol]
That’s a journey that cannot be embarked upon at 8.30a.m in the morning of the day a wedding ceremony in Parakou would be starting at 10a.m!!!
As you can imagine, I felt so silly when I called Moumouni this morning when we had the following conversation:
Me: Ol boy, I’m sure you’re excited. Today is the day O!
Moumouni: Yes O.
Me: So, when is the ceremony starting?
Moumouni: From 10a.m
Me: Right, so how much does it cost to take transportation from here to Parakou?
Moumouni: Ah! Noooo. If you’re not here that means you can’t make it. It’s very far O. About 400km. You can’t make it on time.
Me: What? O I didn’t know it was that far away. I actually got so busy yesterday that I decided to come down this morning. But I never realized it would take hours.
Moumouni: No. Don’t bother yourself. I will soon be back in Cotonou. No problem.
After the call ended, despite what Moumouni had said, I still tried to find way…
I went out to ask a few friends about the fastest way to get down to Parakou. They told me to take the BIG bus from the park near Etoile Rouge, but warned that I would arrive quite late, and have to sleep over.
I told them I would NOT mind, as this was the wedding for a good friend that I did not want to miss.
So, I got back in to the room and began packing my things.
Just as I finished dressing up, my phone rang.
It was a call from Nigeria – specifically Abuja, from a prospective buyer working as a technologist with a research agency.
We’d been exchanging calls and emails for about a week and a half.
This time around, he was calling to inform me that he had just made payment – via online bank transfer – for my Ration Formulator and Feed Formulation Handbook bundle, and wanted me to confirm receipt.
I told him I would check.
Not long after, I called him back to confirm I’d seen the alert, and that I would get back to him.
When the call ended, it occurred to me that I would have to fulfil the order BEFORE leaving for Parakou – because the promise made in my sales offer is delivery within 24 to 48 hours post payment.
I realized there and then that if I went ahead to Parakou, in the hurried manner that had become imperative, I would be unable to fulfil my promise – since it would be a long trip, and I would have no access to the web.
Years of experience have taught me NEVER to fail to deliver on a promise made to buyers
Especially buyers in THIS part of the world, who take a leap of faith to send you money, without ever meeting you in the flesh!
If I went to Parakou, I could not be sure of Internet accessibility and connection reliability there since I’d not been there before. In fact it was not likely I would have the time to search, since I woud be there for the wedding.
On top of that, I realized that tomorrow being Sunday, finding a cyber cafe open at Parakou (since I would have to sleep over), would probably also be difficult, if not impossible. Even here in Cotonou, only few cafes open on Sunday, and some don’t have reliable connections.
The above considerations made it apparent to me that I simply could not afford to go ahead with my plan to make the trip to Parakou.
That’s why I’m typing this piece at my favorite cafe here in Cotonou.
After I’m done, I will prepare the personalized copies of:
c. the FREE bonus PDF “Annotated Pictorial Introduction to Feed Ingredients” (30 pages) that I give to EVERY buyer of my Feed Formulation Handbook
d. a PDF invoice confirming payment receipt
e. a FREE PDF gift version of my Agribusiness research paper that I got paid for in December 2013, by a European Union funded NGO.
I will then dispatch an email to the new buyer in Abuja – with download links to the above items & to video tutorials for the Ration Formulator.
To make up for my absence, I’ve asked Moumouni to bring back as many photos and videos as possible from the event…
My plan is to use them to create a special commemorative presentation they can keep at home and also share with LOVED ones – even online.
I’ll be posting a version here on my website to celebrate them.
It’s the least I can do for my GREAT Muslim friend with a golden heart, who welcomed me to his country with open arms, when I was a LOST stranger in Calavi (a town outside Cotonou, where the national university is located), looking for rented accommodation, and having no luck.
Moumouni helped me find a place to stay with friends who treated me like I was one of them. Less than a week later, I had found rented accommodation that I used for 3 months, in Calavi – before finding a self-contained apartment back in Cotonou.
That happened back in 2013, and we’ve been the best of friends since then.
In fact, Moumouni is like a blood brother to me: he has gone out of his way countless times to do what most others – even my own relatives – would not. I exaggerate NOT.
But do you know the best thing about this guy?
It’s how he responds when you want to thank him using more than words: He always points out that Allah expects us to help one another and NOT to demand reward for doing so.
Such a model God-fearing human being!!!
Happy married life to YOU Moumouni, my wonderful friend!!!
You’re reading Here’s wishing my wonderful Beninese friend, Salifou Moumouni, and his heart throb – Zuliha – Happy Married Life, as they tie the knot in Parakou, Benin Republic TODAY Sat 15th August 2015! by Tayo Solagbade, originally posted on his Daily Self-Development (SD) Nuggets™ blog. If you loved reading this post, be sure to follow Tayo on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
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