The System 2

…you continue on, under the scorching heat of the afternoon sun, with the thousands of students who have graduated like you, the difference being the smiles and joy that decorate their faces, as well as the beauty of being enveloped by love from family and friends.
Time goes by, you come back to the same school that frustrated you, that you thought you were finally done with, to get cleared and collect your statement of result. You begin the rigorous process of going from office to office (in some cases, an open window), swallowing insults, shouts, hate, rudeness by people, workers who are even as or more frustrated than you, just to collect a piece of paper, proof that you were good, better or best at giving ‘garbage in, garbage out’ on the days set out for the over exaggerated examination. The sad reality of it all is the uselessness of the degree when you finally enter the labour market. You are sadly introduced to the power of ‘I ma mmadu or I.M.’ for short. Which can be translated to mean, if you don’t know someone in a high position, the likelihood of getting a job is extremely slim.
You register for the failed attempt of the government at unifying the plethora of tribes in the form National Youth Service Corp or N.Y.S.C. for short. A compulsory tradition without which, qualifying for a job is impossible. You must serve your country! Lol. 
You are thrown to a random state where you spend one year of your life living on a meager 19,500 Naira, (which in this time and age in our beautiful and blessed country Nigeria is practically impossible) and sometimes bribed by the same politicians in your country to risk your life by stealing ballot boxes or campaigning for them if it happens to be an election year. Election free years, Youth Corpers are at the mercy of ritualists, herdsmen, religious extremists and the likes. Those who have the money and resources skip it entirely and magically acquire the certificate of completion of their service year, while the others have to bear the unsanitary conditions existing within the different camps in the different states for a period of three weeks.
Armed with your two certificates, you move miserably from one office to the other. It wasn’t like that at first, you were happy, hopeful, brimming with confidence at finally being able to earn a living, take care of yourself for a change and also show your parents that you aren’t a disappointment. You fill your CV with truths about yourself. But as the months roll into years and the rejection letters keep rolling in, you begin to tell half truths then outright lies. Application letters for jobs which were sent to strictly Engineering companies and firms are now being sent to as many companies as possible. Who Engineering epp? Man must survive!
Finally, after being rejected from the latest office, you enter a taxi and are broken by the story told by the driver of the taxi. He narrates to you his struggles in the University and how he was finally able to study hard and graduate with First Class Honours from the department of Economics. His face beams from the memory of being celebrated by his lecturers and peers and he recalls being told that he would have a bright future. You watch as the smile slowly turns into a deep frown. Inability to posses the right ‘connections’ for the principle of I ma mmadu to take effect and a pregnant girlfriend resulted in him shelving his certificate and pursuing money in order to survive and bear the responsibilities that had suddenly been thrust upon him.
The story is a wake up call. The first thing you do when you finally get to the sorry excuse of an apartment that you’re sharing with three other friends of yours, is to call your father and beg him to call a friend of his for a coveted job. Within weeks, you have a secured position in the office of one of your dad’s old friend, a five digit salary with an official car and laptop. You sit comfortably in your spacious office, recounting your experiences over the years and wonder loudly,
‘Is it possible to beat The System?’

I also ask you all, do you believe it is possible to beat The System?

(4) Comments

  1. It is not impossible, only difficult.

  2. Reminds me of one of the conversations we had a while where I asked you this question.

  3. Really? Remind me on WhatsApp

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