I’m sure when Pa. Alphaeus Taiwo Olunaike took to thrift collection as a profession in the early ’60s, he never had the premonition of how far he would go in life. He probably engaged in it just to cater to his need as a man while his colleagues were taken up a white-collar job.
There’s no doubt about the fact that many of his contemporaries would have queried his decision to engage in such a profession that demeaned his status but he believed in himself and dedicated his time and energy to ensure it worked for him. And so, it did truly!
Thrift collection is not what one can wake up to do. It’s a profession that requires trust, discipline, and dedication. If one is not known or trusted, no one will want to put his or her money in such person’s care knowing fully well that anything can happen to the money and through his dedication and discipline, he did not only make it in his chosen career as a thrift collector but also became a household name in the entire Somolu and Yoruba speaking states which earned him more clients base and respect
The more clients base he gathered, the more money he accrued from the business. He grew from bound to bound from where he bought his first car to ease his movement and bring efficiency to his business but when he discovered that rather than for the car to give him the needed result, it was the other way round.
He sold off the car and bought a bicycle which he felt was more durable, less expensive, easy to maintain, and could also go farther places than the car because there were few motorable roads in Somolu and some other areas then and it was the best decision for him to take.
Many of those who didn’t see the logical reason behind the decision started to question his decision and there was uproar in the community as to why he decided to buy a bicycle instead of maintaining his car which they felt pushed up his status as a sensible and respected personality in the society.
But to him, the decision was logical enough as he didn’t see the need to keep what would be draining his purse in the name of maintaining vehicle, unlike a bicycle that doesn’t take much to maintain.
At long last, he became an irresistible brand in the Somolu community who through his service to humanity help others build their businesses, help those who want to send their children to school as well as helping others achieve their goals in life.
Invariably, he helped himself and helped others as he was able to plan his life through the same thrift collection. He raised his family and built houses like every other serious human being. He made his mark as far as thrift collection is concerned which many see as a legacy that will stand the test of time.
At a letter date, those who chastised him for selling his car to acquire a bicycle regained their consciousness to understand the logic behind selling the car that bore the acronym that “Ori e pe bi Alajo Somolu t’ota moto fira keke” which went viral right from then with many still using the ‘wise saying’ till date to praise “logical reasoning” where and when necessary.
Alajo Somolu became a reference point that open doors of job opportunities for many others who want to follow his footstep and be self-reliant.
Lesson from his life
Pa Alphaeus Taiwo Olunaike was indeed an exemplary personality that chose to follow his rainbow and never allowed what people said to distract him from following what he chooses to do through dedication, discipline, and contentment.
In any legal business, the customer is very sacrosanct. Reports have it that Pa Alphaeus Taiwo Olunaike was friendly, respectful, and jovial which attracted more people to him and his business. He was said to have been blessed with good memory such that he would collect money from 10 people at the same without recording and would not mistake one for another at any given time.
Right after his exploit in the thrift collection, there’re many known and unknown who have also taken to the trade and they’re making a livelihood out of it.