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What Every Business Owner Should Take From Anam

like the air we breathe – when it’s present, nobody really notices. When it’s absent, everyone notices.

– Warren Buffett (1991, Salomon Brothers Bond-trading Scandal).

COVID-19 threatened further, the struggling economy of the African continent, especially Southern Africa (See here). Far beyond the crash in Nigeria’s oil price (here); the weak investor sentiment in South Africa (here), even the current state of the United States and European economy (here and here), the issue of trust has existed. Businesses even now, are losing customers, partners and investors. In a post-covid19 world where collaboration is key to growth, trust becomes indispensable.

Business owners, now than ever, would have to build an honest relationship with partners, customers, investors, and other stakeholders alike. Governments, now than ever, should be transparent, supportive and honest to the people.

An investor and friend have observed the Nigerian community for over 3years. One day she asked me ‘how well is the subject of ‘Trust’ treated in universities, especially, in business administration? Or are business owners and managers simply ignoring the lessons?’

The question came after she observed the hospitable and wonderful personalities of Nigerian people. In her words, ‘but when it comes to business, it is often hard to decipher who to trust. It seems that many Nigerian businesses are trying to outsmart their partners.’

Whilst the government may need to enable businesses, cut down tax ambitions, and support every sector and SMEs, including the informal sectors, enterprises would have to learn the importance of trust and the crumbling effect of dishonesty and greed to itself and to the economy.

For instance, many Nigerians wonder about the transparency and calculation of data consumption by network service providers (here); the varying meters used by fuel stations (here); embezzlement claims against the executive, legislative and judicial arms continue to rise (here); the massive fraud hovering around government awarded contracts (here); the dishonest attitude of  some entrepreneurs to their investors –  the list is endless.

A story is told about the old Anam (Anambra-West Local Government Area, Nigeria). The people of Anam are known among the Igbo community as loyal and trustworthy people. It is said that should you walk with an Anamite and ask the person to wait for you at a place, the Anamite would be waiting for you at the same spot throughout the entire day. Against all odds, the Anamite would wait, trusting the agreement reached. The Anamite is one that will never steal a penny despite a hunger strike. The Anamite is one everyone looks up to as a credible witness and a worthy business partner.

In a world, where greed and avarice have taken over, trust in our daily businesses and lives is inevitable. Every business owner must take from Anamites, the lesson of trust. We must trust you to give us quality food in our consumption. We must trust you to send the right invoice. We must trust you to perform the terms of our agreement. We must trust you to do your job. We must trust you to pay for work done… when trust is absent, don’t be fooled, everyone notices, and once betrayed, it is seldomly revived.

So, are you trustworthy? Have you been betrayed? Let your voice be heard below.

By Emmanuel Okonkwo – De Critic. DeCritic are Copywriters, Critics & PRs awarded one of Nigeria’s top 10 best by Sortlist International. Born from a near-death experience over a bad product/brand, De Critic was born to do two things – 1. Critique on brands, lifestyle, music and movies, and 2. help good brands with their copywriting and PR needs. De Critic – turning words into gold for you. –


15 Responses

  1. For me, trust is the very important strand that keeps people together or apart. I sincerely hope that the Moral Instruction subject that was taught in our days in Primary school would scale up to the tertiary institutions. There, we learnt trust, civic and social service, honesty as the best policy, actions; rewards or consequences .

    Impressive piece Okonkwo.

  2. Very nice piece!
    Trust is an essential commodity in business. It is lacking in businesses we have now. Only very very persons are trustworthy. When the few that are trustworthy get cheated out of what’s theirs, with time they too develop strong feelings. The cycle of mistrust continues. I’ve been betrayed many attimes. Now, I dont rely on people n I’m very suspicious of people’s motive. To me everyone is out to get a pound of I protect myself as best as I can.
    We live in a difficult time walahai!

  3. Does being cheated by transport companies count? I mean, not being taken to your agreed destination even after full payment and promises from you and the company respectively. I’ve been cheated that way, TWICE, by the same company. Let me know whether that counts before I name names. 😜

    An insightful read. Great lesson from Anam right there!

  4. Thank you for sharing, De Critic, and thank you for writing @Emmanuel.
    I enjoyed this piece. So Anambra-West are referred to as Anam?
    Does it have anything to do with the name Anambra?

    • Yes, Anams are the Anambra-West.
      History has it that Anambra is a coinage from Anam in honour of the meeting point of river Niger and Benue.
      Such a place should be one of Nigeria’s esteemed tourism location. But that is a story for another day.

  5. Almost had me in tears.😭. My mantra and lifestyle always upholds and reveres honesty, loyalty and integrity. I believed it is expected of us and it’s more natural as Christians and humans and well meaning Nigerians. I always believe there’s a lot of good in Nigeria and good Nigerians. Sure there’s bad but I think the bad gets to be celebrated too often and good not enough. How I get oftentimes told by mother a strong woman of Umuewelum Anam how integrity is untradable or the countless times my father, a chief of Mmiata Anam iterates very clearly how important a good name is in a life of any person and how it’s a peculiarity and common thread expected from us and proud of his background and heritage but hearing here is different, it is clear how large and far this name thing and this heritage has gone. May we all continue and grow in good deeds and love for one another. So far my most emotional and relatable read on Decritic. Well-done guys…💪

  6. Surely trust is needed in business because there are always ups and downs and it would be that built and earned trust that keeps it together, but unfortunately it has been neglected in our pursuit for interests

  7. This is nice. Every business owner, government and individuals can begin with this.

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De Critic Team
Emmanuel Okonkwo

Emmanuel Okonkwo is a professional content/creative/copywriter; and a critic. He is a published writer internationally and locally; the founder and editor of DeCritic. He holds a bachelor degree in Philosophy & Communications; a diploma degree in Copywriting & Marketing; and others. Crazy right? He has worked for and written for some of the world best marketing agencies, influencers, blogs and magazines. He is unique, rational, fun, radical and balanced.

Chinenye Chukwudebelu

Chinenye Chukwudebelu is a professional copywriter/content writer that enjoys writing about brand's products/services and lifestyles. She is also an investment banker and a data analysis enthusiast. She has a great voice and she is shy.

Tobe Nosike

Nosike, Emmanuel Tobe is a professional compere, a creative writer and a brand/media manager. He is also an IT expert and accountant. He loves creative writings and lifestyle. Tobe is playful yet gentle and stubborn. 

Chiamaka Ezeonwuka

Chiamaka Ezeonwuka (Dinma Caruso) is a professional digital marketer and blogger. She has an extensive experience in marketing and digital marketing. She is good with people. Chiamaka is a disciplinarian as well as a fun lady. She is blunt, daring, considerate and a goal-getter. 

Felix Echeta

Felix Echeta is a copywriter, video editor, and PR expert with lots of experience to show for it. He is straight-face funny and the spirit of the PR department. Felix is also a blunt writer and he loves to play around with video content.

award-winning PR and copywriting agency DeCritic.