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The relationship between myself and I is a love-hate one. I love myself, I absolutely do but there’s this lady, her name is ‘I’, she resides somewhere- I’m not sure where but I think it’s either my brain, my mind or my body. Sometimes I think ‘I’ is my shadow but then she lingers even after I can see no visible shadow. ‘I’ is more than the physical or tangible, in fact the fact that she’s not tangible makes her more powerful.

‘I’ is annoying, she annoys me to no end because she is too dauntless and daring and adventurous and she lands me in trouble all the time. Are you looking for bad advice cookie? That’s ‘I’. And she nags so much I find it hard to ward her off so to make her keep shut and have her off my case, I just go along with it… bad decision.

I want to lose weight so I try to cut down on food portions and avoid ‘bad’ food and even when I see a super juicy and cheesy chunk of junk, I direct my mind away by myself, but not ‘I’, ‘I’ redirects me. She comes with this super therapeutic voice and goes ‘do you really want to do this to yourself Hafsah? Do you really not want to indulge in this piece of edible luxury? You only live once you know’ and she is sooo good like an expert siren, I usually end up trailing her demands.

And later when I’m drowning in the guilt of it, she sits cross-legged on a plush chair by the side of the grey cube room that’s my mind and smirks to herself. She’s usually writing on a notepad- that’s one thing myself and ‘I’ have in common- and I think she’s scoring herself. By now it will probably read: ‘myself’ 7- 10834893 ‘I’.

‘I’ doesn’t like letting go of people so even when I have a crush on a guy and I want to move on, ‘I’ pushes me to just check his Instagram page one more time for updates, ‘It helps with the healing process’ she says. But she’s lying because I end up stalking him for three more hours….unhealthily.

‘I’ is (am) a hoarder. Like when she tells me I need stuff I don’t need. She’s like ‘Hafsah we are going to need this in the future, keep it’ and the future comes, and it goes and we never need it but we’ve kept it.

And she even hoards memories, some good ones- I must give her credit- but she hoards even the unnecessary, bad ones and that makes her hold grudges like an expert in the field of grudge keeping (there’s a pun lying here somewhere).

For example there’s a family gathering yeah? And I see that cousin and I’m approaching her because I want to catch up and… ‘I’ actually stops me. She says ‘remember when you were 4 years 7 months 1 week old and this cousin flicked a lit up match at you and it burned your arm? You still want to talk to her after THAT?!!! And the memory comes back anew, I feel the pain of the matchstick sizzle on my arm and I make a 360 turn away from the cousin. ‘I’, you are here on banned from interfering with my family life ever again.

When I learn a new song (which is usually some few lines), I don’t like letting ‘I’ know. Because when she gets hold of those lines, God in Heavens! It takes the whole spirit of the Earth to make her stop endlessly chanting them like a breathing mantra. And it annoys me because it’s stuck in my head every moment! But ‘I’ enjoys it. She just loves tormenting me.

You think you have naysayers? Mine resides within! This lady is my worse critic. Everything I do is subject to judgement. I can’t try to look pretty in front of the mirror, ‘I’ will start dissing me. And if so help me God I try to dance or worse sing, ‘I’ contorts her face like she’s smelling poop and grimaces, I’ll have to shamefully stop. That’s why I don’t like taking pictures because ‘I’ calls each of them ugly save one or two. Because of that, I may take 100 pictures and two days later, I’ll delete the lot to one or two. The ones approved by ‘I’. I hate her guts.

I know you are thinking I should let go of her and I’ve thought about it but even as I’m typing this right now, she’s in here laughing her heads off (wickedly) because she knows she’s here to stay. She knows she’ll outlive me, because I know that house, my mind will breathe and exists even after my body gives up the ghost.

And I can’t mute her because in between it all, she drops the most amazing writing and story ideas. She’s my perfectly ever-engaging muse. That’s where our love relationship comes in. I love her for the endless supply of stories she provides. Ever wondered why my stories are usually sadistic? Well….

And she’s my gossip partner, who else will I laugh about my boss with? Most times when you see me laughing to myself, it’s myself and I sharing an inside joke. And she spins the most romantic stories when she’s on her monthly’s. And she can be sweet in a mean way. She comes up plenty horrible ways to get back at people many of which I thankfully forcefully dismiss.

‘I’ is (am) a creative fellow, sometimes mean but usually to me and generally, there’s not a single dull moment between ‘I’ and myself.

I started making money for myself when I was in the University. My sisters and I used part of our scholarship, went to the markets and bought some gowns and skirts unlike the ones you’d find in Kano. I was very bad at marketing then (still learning) so my friends usually did all the marketing for me. 

Before then my sister was selling pepper and garin danwake. She was even taking them to shops. 

The profit wasn’t much. But it was something. I didn’t realise it at that time but it was the experience and orientation that mattered most and the responsibility that comes with sourcing your own income.

What I’ve always hated most in my life was asking for things especially money, not even from my Dad. As students sometimes it just doesn’t cut it. The pocket money doesn’t even cover the basics atimes and we want some stuff other than the basics for example my friend is getting married, I want to buy her asoebi on my own.

 Read through these five ways you can earn as a student, choose one that’s best for you, share with others and drop suggestions (What’s more, little or no capital is needed):

1, Craft- Anything involving hands and creativity. This is for people who can think outside of the box. Can you think up something unique and creative and make them with your hands with very little capital? E.g fancy ankara notebooks with blings for students or fancy decorated pens or totes or school bags (ankara or not) because Ankara and blings are in vogue. I know some siblings that craft coconuts shells into necklaces of different shapes. As a student you can think up something that other students may find appealing at little cost and sell them.

Are you clever with your hands when it comes to drawing or henna tattoos or plaiting hair? Can you design veils or clothes by yourself? The list is endless because the possibilities are endless. What do students need, give them.

2, Selling Phone Accessories- Phone accessories do bring in money. Everyday chargers get bad, ear pieces spoil, new phone cases are needed and batteries get weak. You could stock them up and sell right in the hostel, advertise on your timeline on Instagram and Whatsapp status. Unique phone cases are available on Ali Express at a good price and students will rush it.

3, Selling Clothings and accessories – You can sell clothings that are in demand or in vogue be it apparel, veils etc. Jewelries,bags and shoes for both men and women of affordable price also make a good market. You could always sell materials for both men and women.

4, Selling Perfume-  Perfume is a surprisingly good venture for students. I know of a student who is about to open a perfume shop and he started from buying one. If you want perfumes on wholesale I could always hook you up. Sell to those Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, colleagues and social media followers.

5, Freelance Writing/ Graphic designing- (Zero capital needed) Are you talented in writing? Then you shouldn’t just write. I started making money as a freelance writer as a student and it was the best thing that happened to me. It helped me a lot. You could apply on Elancer and Problogger but hardly do Nigerians ever make the cut. They always assign the jobs to themselves. Better option is to actively follow blogs and magazines and send them emails with sample write-ups. You might never know which one will send a positive reply.

If you are a web or graphic designer as a student you could offer your services to businesses. Plenty want a website , they just don’t know where to get one. Or you could design logos and flyers for them.

6, Blogging/Vlogging- Lifestyle blogging or vlogging (Youtube videos), travel blogging, Students blog (e.g Your life in ABU) believe me many in the same situation as you will troop in to read especially if you give them useful information they can relate with.

You could also have a food blog or vlog, makeup, fashion, or anything that interests you. With time, blogging opens up a source of income for you in unexpected ways.

7, Selling Makeup and Cosmetics- Make up products and cosmetics are always in demand. The trick is to sell things that get finished easily like cosmetics as opposed to things that can be used for a long period of time. That way, demand is always there.

8, Advertise- You have no capital? you cannot do things that need no capital? You are even confused on a choice of business? But you can see everyone doing one sort of business or the other? Contact them (preferably family members), offer to advertise for them, agree on a referral fee and start. Post on your social media platforms and get referral fee for each product sold through you. It’s as easy as that.

9, Edibles- Some utilize their weekends by making small chops and snacks, smoothies, milk shakes, chicken wings and nuggets, cakes for birthdays etc. They already have an established market and when it’s weekend, they sell.

So are you a student tired of being constantly broke? Get a light thing to do which doesn’t require too much effort and time and good luck.