In 2005, I worked for three months in the record office of the postgraduate school of a certain university
There are four of us in the file search section
We were all students looking to make some money while on break from school
The salary was fair but there was a lot of money To be made outside of the salary itself
Many post-graduate students and graduates come to the record office looking for their files and they give us “incentives” to find it for them on time.
This incentive encourages us to work overtime and also earn some more money from the school.
I remember a guy I met there, Abraham, he was an OND holder who got a job there three years before I joined. He was supposed to work for a year and move on to his HND or Direct entry but the money was too good to be left behind.
He had rented an apartment and bought some Gadgets
He was already planning to settle down and start a family
When he told me his plans one day I couldn’t help but scold him for being so myopic
We were not staff of the university, the job was an ad hoc thing and it didn’t come with any benefit outside of the salary and the tips we get from students and ex-students looking to speed things up so that their transcripts can be processed.
He didn’t listen to me
He told me his mother went to pray and they told her that he should stay where he is
He had lost interest in furthering his education I worked there for three months and moved on
I met him in Ibadan last week, looking old and weary
I was invited at a function close to the Polytechnic and he got a whiff that I will be there, so he came to solicit for some support
The money was not sufficient to meet his needs And that of his immediate and external family
The big money was nothing to write home about when responsibilities came
His wife left with the children
He got bitten by a snake in the process of searching for a file and almost died
He resigned and now works as a security man It was a sorry tale
Today, I met another man a few minutes ago at the passport office Ikoyi
He was trying to leave the country for greener pastures
He said he studied civil engineering and got a good job with a driver and official car 16 years ago
The job was so good that his mother became concerned about his safety and well being (after he built her a house under a year)
He said he did it because whenever he went to visit her in the village, people look at him somehow because of the kind of car he drove and all
He said he felt they were ashamed of him How can such a successful young man not move his mother away from this sort of place? He said he felt that was what everyone was thinking
He wasn’t married and was making good money, so he bought a piece of land and developed it
He moved his mother there and his mother became alarmed
Enemies are here to catch you
A rise like this could mean an early grave
He said his mother went everywhere to pray and consult until someone told her that he had to leave his job and go into bricklaying!
He said his mother cried and cried until he resigned
He became a Bricklayer and of course he became poor
His mother died last year and suddenly he realized at age 46 that he could now do whatever he wanted
So the issue of leaving the country came up and he plunged into it
How do Christian and educated children listen to their illiterate parents to this extent?
I remember a prophetess in a white garment church approached me years ago saying I didn’t make spiritual inquiries before choosing my course of study at the University
I looked at her and said “How would you know what to tell me? Are you educated?”
People felt I was rude but it is true!
Paul outclassed Peter in certain aspects due to his level of education
An illiterate can be wise but he or she is limited to a certain degree and the counsel of such should be weighed carefully
Sometimes, the educated must guide the non-literate too!