Saturday, 31 December 2016

In Defence Of The Nigerian Graduate.

In Uniben, i stayed at the hostels. Hall 3, Block A, Room 401. As the colonial master I was, I never paid for accommodation, I just bossed every new set of entrants. They complained and even protested, some bold ones even threatened to go call the porter to deport me. But i laughed. Because the chief of porters was a friend of mine. Na him even dey invite me to the Porter's Lodge to talk sef.
But that is not the story.
The story is about my roommates.
Ordinarily, there were eight people in the wide room. But
sometimes, there would be a whooping fifteen! Guys will collaborate to buy space and chop the rest of the money on broke days. As a result, every night there's a scramble for sleeping positions. For where to spread your mattress on the floor. If you carry last, na night class you go sleep niyen.
There was Benson(😇😇😇), Chris Orru(😍😍😍) Ikiriko(😕😕), Samuel(😎), Success(🙌), Nicholas(😈😈) Ejiro(😤😤😤😤). Fine boys. From year one to six, i saw a lot if characters. I was lucky not to put up with thieves. Nothing ever got missing. But i did put up with rats. Especially that Nicholas and Oguta who wont let you eat in peace without that annoying, 'Hymar, how far na? I dey here na. ' You will be washing clothes and they wee now bring their own outside because dem see small soap. Wretched boys!
The thing was, those boys knew book. Jisos! Those guys that I roomed with from year one to six, they were freaking brilliant!!! Gospel Obele was hitting first class level every session, Nicholas was being paid for lecturing his coursemates, Oguta was already studying for Masters even before he graduated. They were very serious boys, mehn. In that room, if you were to rank us by seriousness and exam grades every year, from year one to six, I will carry last. I swear to God na for that room 401 I come know say I no even know book sef. To think I was top ten in my first year and decently around 2.1 in my second year o.
Those guys didn't come to Uniben to play ten-ten.
That's why when I read people write off Nigerian graduates as 'half-baked' and 'unemployable' I laugh. I try to understand it. For six years, i saw all sorts of characters in room 401 and not one of them was an olodo. People keep commenting on how intelligent I am, but each and every one of those guys would destroy me in acada.
That's not to say all graduates are top notch. My point is those reports are being exaggerated to justify the high unemployment rates. I mean, the world is not that big, i should at least have met a roommate who no know book na.
There's another thing I noticed; sometimes someone could be brilliant in his field and struggle to express himself in English. So we go, This one is dumb. We make memes and trailer jam posts about such errors.
That's how I nearly missed being friends with one girl like that. Her facebook posts made me think she was just a slay queen with a slain brain. Until she mistakenly inboxed me one day and I accidentally replied. And true to God, she schooled me on so many things I was reeling.
The ability to write perfect sentences doesn't make someone smart. Look at those people in government like Madam Kemi Phoneh Adeosun who can blow grammar but cannot blow up the economy.
I think graduates should work on their English. They should read more and develop. But at the same time I think calling a graduate unemployable because she cannot spell well is stretching it too far. Are you employing a lecturer or an accountant?
Again, I think our institutions have not been fair to graduate employees. Just two or three weeks and they conclude this one is half-baked, that one is unemployable.
Let them learn the ropes for a little while na. That's how i got fired on my first day at work in one firm like that. Because the manager said I don't know anything. I just went home. I felt like crying. That feeling of worthlessness was strong mehn.
But a week later, another similar company employed me. The manager took time to show me the ropes and boom! In a few days i had adjusted perfectly. I didn't even need to hear what they were saying. I just knew what needed to be done.
The funny thing was the manager of the first company was a friend to my boss. So one day, he came visiting and expressed shock when he saw me.
Lets just say that at the end, he POACHED me from my boss. I ended up working for him for a couple of months before we fell out over pay disputes(don't pay me on time and I will just leave your ass)
That's the same motherfucker who said I didn't know anything.
I believe if there's anything wrong with our graduates, the blame should go to the system churning them out. People should stop talking down on our graduates. It is insulting. If you have ever gone to a Nigerian university, you will know that to go through the motions for four or five years is enough to drive one crazy. To graduate from a Nigerian university is a big deal. A big, big deal. Y'all gotta respect that.
I am especially talking to those old guys who are so disconnected from the reality that they had it better in their school years than we do now. Far, far better.
And there were jobs waiting for them when they were done. Now, getting a job is a job in itself. And people keep trying to excuse the government and our failing institutions by blaming graduates.
Blame the pot the water came from. Don't blame the water.
On Ambode offering graduates 50k to be bus conductors, I say it is rather unfortunate. We really have sunk that low.
People are castigating the graduates for speaking against it. I understand those people, they mean well. But i understand graduates more.
If after all they went through, this is the best Nigeria could come up with for them, then isn't it better they never went to school in the first place? How will their skills come into play standing at a door or hanging from it and counting money and change?
People go, But times are hard. Whats there to be proud of? 50k na beans? Oya stay home doing nothing na.
But if those graduates turn to runs and gigolo work, those same people will now remember some things are beneath them, "ees not good, you are disgracing yourself." " I am embarrassed for you. "
Oshey, custodian of morality.

Written By Hymar Idibie David 

Hymar Writes SO SO WELL! Most times I go through his posts on FB and I'm left in awe. Check him out on facebook. You'd get so stuck like I did.

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