NIGERIAN GRADUATES AND THE BIG QUESTION

There’s a long-held dancing tradition in my school. I cannot tell if that annual display of excitement is common to Ladokites, Akokites, FUTArians, UItes, Unilorites and other survivors of the Nigerian Education Firing Squad. But in OAU, it is such that graduating students of each department gather after their final exams to dance round the University halls of residence, accompanied by hired drummers and trumpeters shattering like those volunteering for rapture. Interestingly, a vast majority of these graduating students would return to their humble abodes (after the dance) to meet the big long-abandoned question, “WHAT NEXT?”.

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This is the one big question that makes the hearts of fresh graduates vibrate like a swinging pendulum undergoing a simple harmonic motion. When they consider the days of assignments and project works, the regular days of waterless fastings, the terrible times of empty bank accounts – with MTN’s daily alert testing people’s patience, thus elevating one’s blood pressure. Consider the days of protests against fee-hike and the angry seasons of wait-and-get semesters punctuated with slimfitted examination time tables. Placing all these on the platter of evaluation, one is tempted to rejoice and pretend the big question doesn’t exist.

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But let’s face it! There’s yet a microscopic few who needn’t bother answering the big question. They’re the descendants of the socio-political gladiators and economic goliaths, whose parents fall within the upper class of the Nigerian economic reality. I mean, the post-graduation working places of these ones have been settled before the receipt of their admission letters. Be that as it may, I think this piece is particularly directed at the vast majority whose uncles’ Doctoral degree couldn’t earn him a Truck Driving position with Dangote and those whose elder siblings got injured during the March 2014 NIS recruitment exercise.

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Taking the discourse a little further, I consider it unfair for anyone to put pressure on the expectations of the future without a prior evaluation of the experiences of the past and the experiments of the present. Most people will encounter the difficulty of answering the big question, “WHAT NEXT?” after shying away from the question, “Thus Far, how far?”. Trust me dear, this is the moment you ought to reflect on the invention ideas that popped up in your mind during ABC 306 class or XYZ 401 laboratory. Now is the time to gather the skills you’ve learnt outside the 8am-4pm lecture hustle and the evenings of fellowship engagements. Perhaps, the greatest contribution of Nigerian students to the nation’s unemployment woes is the coexistent duo of untutored creativity and unexplored capacity. Before you start getting tossed to and fro by the winds of economic doctrine, you must realize that your skills and potentials are the only hope for some organizations to survive.

But, hey! It’s not too late to return to the drawing board and set your life in motion, rather than “waiting” for service. The Chinese Proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is NOW.” Do you have a business idea? Get a proposal now! Want to connect with renowned specialists in your chosen field? Integrate your online presence now! Need to improve your oratory prowess? Take an online course now! Want to hone your writing skills? Guest post for Reflector now! Want to feature in Tunde Kelani’s next movie? Register for auditioning now! Lover of humanity and public service? Volunteer as an intern now! Now! Now!

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As I draw a conclusion of necessity, I wish to remind undergraduates of the throngs of young Nigerians who wouldn’t wait for the day of departmental dance, before connecting their skills to their society’s desperate needs. I wish to remind you of Olaoluwa Balogun, who started ACI with 400-naira as a 300-L Geography student of OAU, and is soon to train 10,000 Nigerian kids in Robotics. I wish to remind you of Muhammed Abdullahi, who built a digital home for young writers, while studying Law at the University of Ilorin. I wish to remind you of the young and bold Sheye Oladejo, whose fashion house is fast becoming a national phenomenon. What shall I say about Ishola Taiwo, who wrote for national dailies as a medical student of University of Maiduguri? What about Ore Ajewole, Ademola Ajayi,  etc? The list is endless, my dear. I’m convinced that the progress of our dear nation is consequent upon our social integration as individuals. Therefore, ensure you have what it takes to take what you don’t have.

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Adeniruju Adedapo-Treasure
A writer, wishful filmmaker and advocate who breathes and tweets via @TreasureNGA.

15 Responses to “NIGERIAN GRADUATES AND THE BIG QUESTION

  • Wonderful and mind-boggling piece. 5 stars

  • Treasure God indeed has placed several things in mans heart to make impact on his generation. This makes it pertinent not just to do anything but do the right things for eternity is in our heart. Great piece bro.. DO IT NOW

  • life is not abt possession but contribution,.. tnx 4 contributing to ds generation

  • Great one that is! The sooner we are conscious of these realities, the better it is for us and ours.

  • Hi, Adedapo,

    Your write up forced me to stop and give a feedback!

    Thank you for that we’ll crafted piece. Your last paragraph really should serve as encouragement and a call to action for the teaming youths who have enough potentials to impact their generation.

    Keep up the good work you’re doing here.

    Sincerely,
    Najeem.

    • Adeniruju Adedapo-Treasure

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read through and dropping a feedback.

      Let’s keep hopes alive that my generation – the young generation – will rise to the call.

      Your comment is a great encouragement. Thanks so greatly!

  • Great piece bro!

    We really need to act! In another 20 years, we would have lost the chance to create this “impact” we spend so much time dreaming about, and it would then be up to the next “young generation” to do so.

    May God see us through.

  • This is awesome Bro. I love you.

  • A reminder of the mundane realities of life.

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