“I have always been his costumer and I always patronise him year-in, year-out. No matter what, he always has maize for sale once you call him and funny enough I prefer his to that of women who are in the business. I prefer his because he takes his time to prepare the delicacy and he is neat, which attracts me to his corn,” says one of Musty’s customers, one Mrs. Johnson.
Another of his customers, Michael Obi, says he trusts Musty’s ability and has been privileged to have served roast corn at one of his parties, which was quite interesting and was everyone’s delight that day because it was something unusual since it was a period when corn was not in season. Though the business might be lucrative for musty, he still has some challenges threatening to his business. “Though I have every reason to be grateful to my Creator, there is also a problem that poses threat to how long I can remain in the business. Most times, task force and police, come to harass us and seize our wares saying that we do not have a right to sell here and at the end of the day we have to part away with some money.
This trade has also exposed me to a lot of people as I have been invited almost on four occasions by big men to come to their houses during parties or a barbecue and in such instances I am paid very well, so you see there are sorrows and there are joys in the trade,” he stresses.
Musty said though he always wanted a white-collar job when he was young. He thinks even if he had gotten one he would not be making half of what he is making from this business in a month. “There are challenges and I have had my hands burnt several times but it does not bother me because what I earn higher than what those with white-collar jobs cannot make. There were challenges when I started, but thank God today I have passed that stage and I find it amazing when different classes of cars park and wait for my roasted corn. It makes me wonder that if I were an office assistant somewhere whether I would be able to meet such people and personalities.
As if to prove the point, he told this reporter: “Look behind you, do you have these kinds of cars waiting to see you in your office?”
Watching him diligently and happily roast corn for his customers who were growing in number as they stopped by on their way from work, one cannot help but notice his jovial nature which seems to be a key device in attracting customers.
Does he ever want to trade his occupation for any other thing? With this, he ends the encounter with: “There is dignity in labour; even my wife cannot beat me in this trade. I take pride in what I do. Any day I do not come here, the kind of calls I get makes me wonder if one day I shouldn’t contest for the senate, or even the presidency,” he says laughing. A tall dream, indeed.