Baba Alajo Series: MATTERS ARISING (Episode 3)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the words of John Lennon, “life is what happens when you are busy doing other things”. This past week has been so exciting and informative as I have been creating more groups. The intentionality behind customer onboarding has also been incredible. This intentionality was borne out of the predictable human character of borrowing and defaulting to return. In the bid of creating trust with my customers, I conduct necessary due diligence as this would help me reduce the level of default. I do this by examining the lifestyle and income level of the customer. 

 A proverb says “cut your cloth according to your size” but Mama Nkechi wants to just wear any cloth oversized or not. Much more than the Ajo contribution I take, I also include financial advisory. I believe that if one is to be free financially it must be actual freedom. Everyone has financial pressures and the use of Ajo helps to reduce these pressures. That is why I told Mama Nkechi that I can’t allow her to join a group paying a sum of Ten thousand (10,000) naira weekly because I know she will default. 

And this is because her business isn’t even doing so well at the moment, hence I told her to opt for the 2000 naira weekly, as this would go a long way toward easing her stress of repayment. I am a strong believer in giving my customers credit scores as this would make them have an idea of the limited amount they have access to. Eventually, she agreed. 

I do the due diligence check majorly to assess the benefits I can accrue to a customer, the risks involved in letting a person join the group, and also the referral opportunities I can get from a customer. I stood with Baba Gen sec. for several minutes convincing him to start Ajo savings as I believe that once he gets his lump sum, he would tell his other corporate friends. It is how referral marketing can help in improving a small business’s sales cycle. I meannnn, if a respectable man like him can join a group and speak well of it, then I have been verified. 

Even though I left Baba Gen sec. with nightmares and possible solutions I believe that the conversation was needed. As an elderly man, he asked various questions that sounded like threats. He asked what if I am tracked and robbed while coming from the market or other open places to collect contributions or what if my booklet gets missing. In retrospect, if my booklet gets missing it means that all my proof of payment is gone. If I get robbed then I land in serious debt. I walked home thinking but I am comforted by the words of Martin Luther King when he said: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” because as time goes on I would see the brighter light.

 Thanks— I’ll see myself out

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