Posted in Coaching and Training, Marie's Garden, Parenting

Their Budding Bicycle Business and Co


When Alain was 9 years old and asked for a bicycle, I quickly got him one because I remembered how he loved his tricycle as a kid and will carry David behind as the zoomed the house. I had left Cameroon when he was 8 years, and was still dealing with so much guilt. Anything he asked for (given that I had easier access to him and barely any to his brothers), I quickly bought.

That was how he quickly learnt to ride his bicycle at his granny’s, and became the ‘chef du quartier’ par excellence (translate this as neighbourhood hero by popular acclamation lol). He always had what I call 12 disciples following him around, negotiating for even only 2 mins on the bike. We don’t have a bike culture here, and most middle or struggling families can’t afford the luxury of buying bikes for their kids, not to talk of each kid having their own lol

So, I got one for Alain, and when his brothers started visiting, they’ll learn how to ride on his bicycle. Their dad the ever his type, refused to get theirs for different reasons. He said they’ll run into the road when I offered to send the money to buy them…his first reason had been he had no money…

Anyway, fast forward to 2018 of course, we now have 3 bicycles for three guys in another neighbourhood like at granny’s. David of all, the one his dad feared for most, is the chief errand guy in the area. He flies on the bicycle, he rides almost standing, and does business with his bicycle more than the others.

They (except Gaby oh lol) ride their bikes to school too, and that spares me some change for taxi etc. It gives them so much autonomy and empowers them, they even give me some coins every now and then. They are fast learning to save and manage their finances and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful.

Alain is now with his 3rd bicycle since then, and he takes immaculate care of his bicycles. David does too, Gaby is just Gaby.

The chain is still on this time around lol

He puts the chair and chain on each time hahaha, but he still has some clients too; just for smaller amounts like 25 frs a ride or even a mango in exchange for some time on his own bicycle lol.

Alain bargains the most and he is big guy now right, so his own generation use the bike for more serious reasons like going on a date etc. One paid 500frs just last Tuesday for 3 hours. You can bet he needed that bike, maybe to go impress a chap lol.

I also seize the opportunity to continue teaching them to save and manage their finances, save also for when the bike breaks down and a wheel needs air for example. Alain and David have been doing that so well, Gaby is still trying to get that right hahaha. They even try fixing it themselves sometimes too and from them I have learnt some parts of a bicycle like the chain, brakes, nodes etc

Talking about business further, David is what we call a real Bamileke man (These are like the super business minded in matters of business in our country – a tribe renowned for being business inclined and with all the pride we can give them). He also has a sticker business. Stickers are called ‘autocolants’ in French, and he gets a packet of say 20 at wholesale price, then retails them for a profit.

The small downside of this business atmosphere here is that they tend to neglect other stuffs like washing their clothes. Nope I don’t do it for them, and nope I don’t have a washing machine, and nope I don’t have a housemaid.

So one day when I got back home and they had all gone out wherever, I didn’t want to raise my voice on their return – see am also fasting from anger and attack thoughts etc. I therefore left them a note on the kitchen door, and went to the nearby lake to read in peace. On my return, my obedient sons had done their laundry and we were all so happy. All is well that ends well, parenting can be fun if we are creative and let the children be themselves too.

Be inspired and motivated all you parents especially single mothers in here

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Author:

Marie Angele Abanga (simplified to Marie Abanga) aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist and an etc! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

2 thoughts on “Their Budding Bicycle Business and Co

  1. Always enjoy seeing the creative ideas you come up with to help your children learn to DO for themselves. Teaching children self empowerment while respecting adult authority is a rare thing to read about today. Well done!

    1. Thank you very much Doc, my own not so childhood largely inspires me to try it this other way. The results sometimes move me to tears in awe and gratitude to the universe.

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