Its been three months since Ali became a Tingg Agent, He has gotten better and understood the rudiments of the platform, mastering how to provide quality service to his customers through the Tingg app. Ali’s rate of transactions has grown astronomically.
His kiosk has been branded with Tingg paraphernalia including roll-ups, flyers, danglers, etc and serves as the neighborhood mini bank. His father’s once silent front yard is now a beehive of events with customers trooping in to do transactions with Ali.
Ali’s life has witnessed a transformation in the last three months, He had moved from the helpless youth whose bag was stolen on his prodigal return to a super-Agent, Ali business acumen has seen him add two new agents to his ranks. Hajiya Fatima couldn’t be any prouder. She always sings Ali’s praises to all her other agents and friends in the network, hailing him on how he rose to the occasion and made a venture for himself from a conversation on the bus.
He had gotten a bigger kiosk to accommodate the increasing rate of customers patronizing him for mobile money and agency banking services, he had also opened up two new spots at neighboring communities, mentoring two new agents, Salisu and Usman.
It’s the beginning of a new week and a very special one for Ali in particular. When making his plans for the week the previous day, he noticed it was the last week for his expansion project.
A lot is set to change during the course of the week, Ali was certain of his goals and objectives and had it all planned and written on his personal notebook he had grown accustomed to due to Hajiya Fatima’s influence.
He had a meeting with Hajiya Fatima scheduled before noon to pay back the loans he had taken from her to finalize talks with her on completing the first stage of expansion. He wanted to finish his expansion debt free and he had saved enough to do just that, pay up his loan and set out to complete the expansion it was for him today.
After leaving Hajiya Fatima’s shop in town, he would get back inspect the new kiosk he was going to get installed on the far end of the local market. By Wednesday, the kiosk should have been completed for his latest protégé, Sani, to resume by Friday. Sani has been with him for the past 2 weeks watching and learning how to use the tingg platform for online and offline transactions.
‘Ali ya ya kake? We should talk’ His father said as he entered into his shop
‘ ina kwana, I hope there is no problem’ he questions whilst providing a seat for his father to sit
‘may Allah not allow us encounter problems Ali’ he replied sitting down
‘so, tell me Alhaji, menene?’
‘i got a message from the Mai Angwa, He said your business is a scam, that you collect money from people and not pay to the authorities. yaa damu, that it is only a matter of time before the police will come and arrest you, don guje wa matsala’, those were his exact words. before then, he will not allow you to continue stealing from his people, wannan mai mahimmanci ne’
‘Haba Alhaji, ta yaya ma za ku iya faɗi wannan!
‘when he was saying all this, what did you tell him? what I am doing is not fraud ya kamata ku sani mafi kyau, It is the electronic way of paying bills, hallal ne! You know I can never steal from anyone dagaske, ya kamata ku sani mafi kyau! At the meeting, I will explain everything to them.’
‘He even declined your request for a meeting Ali, yana da tsanani, he wants the shop to be destroyed kwo, yana da tsanani , He was adamant Na yi kokarin magana da shi, maybe you should just stop’
‘Babu Alhaji, they should just listen to me, I am not doing anything wrong, kada su kusantar da ni, Alhaji help me talk to them na, me yakamata in yi yanzu? maybe I should go and see him kwo’
‘wataƙila zaku iya shawo kansa, I will go and talk to Alhaji Yusuf now, do what you can’ he said and left Ali’s shop.
Ali could not believe his ears; it’s funny how people can be so scared about what they know nothing about. He couldn’t let this stop all his ambitions, thank God he would be seeing the Hajiya today.
‘abubuwan al’ajabi baya ƙarewa! Can you imagine’
‘Ina kwana,’ his protege greeted as he entered the shop
‘thank Allah you are here, I want to head out to town, I will be back probably in the evening, take care of the kiosk o bana son matsaloli!’ Ali instructed. He packed a few of his things and headed out.
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As the bus headed for the Kano metropolitan area, his mind kept replaying all his dad had said to him that morning. Things were starting to get good for him here. Why would Mai Angwa suddenly decide to question how legitimate his job is. ‘the Devil is never happy when we enjoy good things’ he murmured to himself. To think he was already drafting out his speech for the Thursday meeting, he had planned to wow the community leaders ‘ wannan abin mamaki ne’ and now everything was at the verge of crumbling. If he should pull down his shop what then would he do? Look after cows?’ Allah ya kiyaye! this cannot happen kwo!’ he spoke out again
‘ina kuke tsayawa?’
‘Yaayi, next junction ne’ he replies, he was lost in his thoughts, he didn’t realize how much distance they had covered. The driver pulls over and he alights from the bus
‘keep the change kwo’ he said to the driver as he walked into the street Hajiya Fatima’s shop is located.
‘Ali! Look at you’ Hajiya Fatima speaks up excited to see him as she saw him enter into the shop.
‘Barka da ra na Hajiya, it’s been a while’ he greeted
‘If we were to pass ourselves on the road I wouldn’t recognize you, you look different to me’ she teases Ali. He was definitely looking better as the day progresses.
Ali smiles a little, ‘Allah has been kind Hajiya, how are you?’
‘I am fine Ali, the business has been okay too, I have been able to bring a couple of agents onboard tingg here and there and we are thriving, how is business Ali? When we last spoke you said you wanted to build a team, how has it been?’
‘Hajiya business has been good dagaske, i am installing my last kiosk for this phase this week and the boys are picking up real good.’ Ali said.
‘Everything has been going fine, muna godewa Allah, I would have been smiling broadly now but for the news I heard this morning’
‘What news? menene? I hope all is well?’ the Hajiya asks looking very concerned
‘My father told me this morning that Mai Angwa has ordered that I stop my transactions, he seems to think it’s a fraud, I don’t know who is feeding him such lies. why would he think like that? Ali complains bitterly to the Hajiya while she smiles and takes in a gulp of her fruit juice.
‘It is not a funny matter Hajiya, I am scared’
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‘Ali these things could happen sometimes, you don’t expect it to be all rosy da gaske, they just don’t understand yet what electronic finance is, you need to lecture them, that way they will come to terms, honestly, I faced this challenge too here and I had to explain the whole tingg idea to them in simple terms and before you know it, it became a common way of making payments, I mean who would not want an easy and secured way of making payments? The tingg app provides ease and security. You should tell them this Ali’ she says and continues drinking.
‘I tried to set up a meeting with him this Thursday but the has canceled it, my hands are tied’
‘Then you should go see him again, explain things to him first before the meeting, make him understand your language’ he looks Ali sternly in the face
‘Ali secure that meeting on Thursday, your community needs it, I will be there to speak alongside you. I know that’s what you want to hear.’ She concludes
‘Thank you Hajiya, I feel much confident now. I will do my best to get the meeting for Thursday Hajiya’ he replies, pauses for some time and continues.
‘Hajiya I also wanted to repay my debt to you, I must confess you have been the angel Allah used to change my life, Nagode ma, May Allah bless you abundantly’ He says as he tries to give her the money
‘How are you a tingg agent when you still carry cash about Ali? Transfer the money to my wallet from yours’ Ali smiles taking his money back. He would have done that earlier, but he wanted to speak to her as regards the meeting and since that has been accomplished he can breathe easy.
‘I have a lot to learn from you Hajiya’
Me? Ali, you are my competitor now she responded
‘’Three sub-agents in your first three months, I couldn’t even do that much’’ she laughed his claims off
They laughed, talk about random stuff and joked about some trending issues in the country. After what seemed like hours, Ali decided it was time he Inspects his next investment. Hajiya Fatima was concerned about Ali’s business stress but she knew he would be able to handle it. He is one smart young chap she thought to herself as he prepares to depart.
‘Ali’ Hajiya Fatima calls out, ‘make sure you secure that meeting’ she said to him as she left.