I always thought it a thing of pride not to borrow; especially money.
But as I grew older, especially when I began to do business, I saw, there really shouldn’t be any shame borrowing.
I have found myself in situations where I needed to balance a school fees payment, rent…So yes, I have had to borrow money in the course of this lifetime of mine.
For me, shame should come from one’s inability to pay and even at that; shame shouldn’t come unless push came to shove. The person is totally unable to raise the money borrowed and have to face the creditor in tears…thankfully, I never had to do this.
I have encountered people who have no shame. No shame at all from their inability or their refusal to pay debts owed!
I have heard stories of people who will borrow and never repay; go back to their debtor to ask for more money promising to pay…They never do and these are “respectable” people.
Imagine my surprise, when a friend invited me to talk to another friend who had borrowed money from her for more than two years and never paid the debt nor even acknowledged her inability to pay; instead came back to the creditor for more loan.
Now, when the creditor reminded the debtor she hadn’t paid the first debt; the debtor got angry and told her even “Nigeria is owing debts”; adding that she didn’t see the need for the “noise” from the creditor.
“So you mean, she has no intention of paying you back?” I asked the creditor.
“You dey ask me? Go and ask her.”
The said “debtor” is a friend we both kind of admired. She was selfless, would show up when few would,. If you had a party, for instance, she would wait behind to help clean up. We knew she had financial issues. Which is why the debtor felt “ashamed” to ask for the money borrowed after one year the money was given.
Two years down the line, same debtor approached creditor and got a shock.
But this debtor is even the kind type. She acknowledges her debts and makes no promise to repay. I heard the story of one woman, both traders, who sold on credit to her fellow trader. Four weeks after, the creditor trader asked for her money. The debtor trader opened her gown. Underneath, she wore cowrie vests and amulets. She looked her creditor in the eye and said; “I like you. That is why I am going to ignore this. Don’t ever ask me for that money again.”
“That’s how I lost half of my capital…” the creditor trader was quoted to have said. She never asked for the money. She lost a great deal of trade afterwards and had to leave the market.
Anyway, back to the friend who wanted me to mediate between her and our mutual friend.
I called her, skirted around the issue of money, about trust; but couldn’t bring myself to ask her…the money isn’t even mine.
I had to call again to bring myself to ask for my friend, “…did you forget to pay?”
This friend reminded me of when she had helped the creditor, had helped a few other friends; was disappointed that the creditor was “announcing to the world” that she had borrowed money. She went on and on about us gossiping behind her and asked me; “Will I be the first person to borrow money from a friend, someone I call my sister?”
I had no answers. I found myself apologizing, in fact. When I put the phone down, I knew my friend, the creditor and I, had just been scammed!
I have left my friend to decide if she wanted to walk away from the money or help this brazen, scamming friend of ours…she chose to walk away.
Some friends do hav’em, I guess.