Don’t get me wrong, maybe 20 years ago Jane’s plan would have been perfect and realistic. Then there’s also the rule of exception (that one lucky person that has things go for them exactly as planned). But, we can all agree that our present economy isn’t smiling, and the streets are getting crowded as a lot of people are not avoiding the same mistakes we made back then. If someone had told us, then, what we know now, we would be at a much better place.
In another part of Nigeria, Miriam was also preparing to leave for NYSC, “Omo! NYSC don finally show o, that 19k no go fit do anything for person o. how am I going to manage?” She got an idea! Brought out a sheet of paper and pen and started making calculations. Miriam and Jane were not so different. Same destination, same level but different approaches. What is it they say about ideas again? “ideas are the beginning points of all fortune.”
It’s wasn’t enough that Mariam got an idea, she put pen to paper and began drawing up her plans, she reckoned that there were certain ways in which she could raise money during NYSC and after NYSC, even as she waited on her dream job. She had never been a dulling girl. She was a ‘hustler’. Always was, since her uni days. Back then, she would sell recharge cards, make her colleagues’ hair, cook soup and sell to her neighbours and flatmates that didn’t want to cook or couldn’t. So, when she got her call-up, she knew she had to find a way to raise money, but it had to be the right skill set.
She couldn’t cook in camp (cooking is prohibited). She could sell recharge cards though as that wouldn’t require too much capital. She could also make braids and quick fixes for her fellow corps members, but that might’ve been too time-consuming. She asked questions and got engaged with SAED (Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development). She figured she could learn how to make beads and makeup artistry and add to what she already knew.
We all have a lot friends and colleagues in school who are currently doing something different from what they actually studied or planned in school. Our economy isn’t friendly, one has to sit up and get their hands busy, nobody is going to hand anything to you. If you want something (a nice house, car or to travel the world), you have to start working for it now. All those our rich Uncles that told us not to worry, that once we finished school that they would get us a job, don’t fall for it. Issa scam. I repeat, issa scam! Ask those that came before you. Some of our Uncles stopped taking calls sef.
You want to talk about life after NYSC? It’s going to be all good for the first 2weeks. Your parents will try to fatten you up. You know, to relieve the camp stress and all, but after that! You wouldn’t want to be in that house. You would be miserable. The questions would start coming in.
“Are you not going out today?” “I saw Ebuka o, he works in a bank now”. “All you do is eat all the food in this house and watch TV all day!” lol…
Don’t let it get to that point, learn from our mistakes. Be like Mariam, think of what you can do now with what you have. What solutions can you bring, does it require a special skill? Get to work on it. Your dream job will come, but until then, put your ideas to work and start creating wealth. Don’t depend on 19k allawee.
This is Nigeria, they told us education is the key, but when we finished, they changed the locks. I once read somewhere that “if we were allowed to be what we wanted to be as children, that the moon would be full of unemployed people”. This statement is pretty accurate. Go on IG or Twitter, you see lots of people selling different things, a closer look at their bios and you will find out some even graduated as medical doctors, but the situation of the country has forced everyone to adapt.
Don’t be like Jane. Get busy (in a productive way). At the same time, while doomsday might be the reality of our economy, never forget that you also hail from a superior reality. We might be in an economic recession but you do not have to participate in it. The one with God inside of him/her is the one that overcomes the world, its recessions, bad government and the like. Also, don’t forget that those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits.
We are telling you to work and work hard, but work from a place of faith, because my darling, you can work hard all the work you want, attend all the SAEDs you want to attend, and plait all the hair that you want to plait, but the broken slot machine that is life can still decide to give you zilch, zero, nada.
And that’s where both faith and grace come in. #StayWoke