I used to think that life wasn’t that hard. I used to think that all I needed was just a degree. I used to think that the degree was what would give me a job. I used to think that this job would be the antidote to all my suffering and garri whacking days. I used to think all these things until I became a university graduate in Nigeria. I got to know what it meant to be truly unhappy, broken hearted, bitter and angry. In truth, life is not a bed of roses! The things we labour for last longer than things we do not struggle for but the disappointments faced after going through the pain of schooling with the educational system in Nigeria will make you wonder why one goes through the stress in the first place.
Firstly sir, getting into school was no walk in the park as a matter of fact, I don’t know if you know that an average Nigerian secondary school graduate would wrestle ALMIGHTY JAMB for a minimum of three rounds if lucky. Some even go as much as ten rounds. We then get in thinking the struggle is over only for ASSU to strike for close to a year causing an extra year we never envisaged.
Truly, the importance of education can never be overemphasized. Nigerians have lots of expectations when it comes to graduating and making an impact in the world outside but the labor market is a different ball game that leaves graduates frustrated and depressed. Sir, my friend, Sade, currently works as a hairdresser in Shomolu axis despite finishing with a first class in Biochemistry. Emeka, the four pointers Engineer, the one we all thought would end up in an oil company now teaches Maths and Physics in a public school somewhere in Egbeda. The list is endless, I could keep going on and on sir. These were people who during their undergraduates days, we could tell how excited they were about graduating from school. They seem to have had their lives planned as they can tell you what they would be doing as soon as they graduated but the surprises they get afterwards leave them confused and devastated. The futile search for job leaves them in doubt as it dampens their spirit and allows depression to set in.
They become more worried especially when they see people who are not as educated as them making it in the same market. Sad story!
More painful Sir, is the fact that being jobless reduces their self-esteem. If their employment status does not change over time, fitting into social groups may be difficult. The other day, Rahman and Otubu called me up and told me how they had to break up with their girlfriends since year one, all because their parents claim they cannot give out their daughters to jobless and broke men. When all has failed in the labour market, finding love has become another major challenge. Sir, when would all these end? When would sanity return to this nation of ours? When would things actually change for the better? Sir, when would you finally give us the CHANGE you promised us?
The most annoying part of it all, is that one stupid small company in Lagos that can only pay you 30k a month would be asking for six years’ experience. Mtschew! Like they are not in 2017? Is it not in this same year that your senior colleague sir, Donald Trump, with no single experience in politics or government administration, won the elections as President of America, the strongest nation in the whole world?
Mr. President, please do something, there has to be a way out. we need jobs – befitting or unbefitting; we just want something, anything. We are frustrated. Sincerely, some of us are contemplating suicide. Our aged parents are losing money and resources to feeding us. They have sent us to the universities with the hope that we would one day fend for ourselves, with the hope that we would one day pay their bills, with the hope that we would one day make them proud. Mr. President, the truth is that our parents are still feeding us one, two, three, four, five years after graduation. When would the ‘one day’ come sir?
Mr. President, prove to us that you are a good man. Prove to us that we should vote you again in 2018. Give us jobs; give us life; give us hope; give us a reason to remain good citizens.
From Your Favourite Citizen,
An Unemployed Graduate
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