That is the important question that you must begin to answer; if you are interested in personal success. School could be a wonderful experience; a great time of growing up and learning about the world and about yourself. It could also be the period when the trajectory of your life becomes totally ruined especially if and when your parents are not very rich and you attended the public schools.
Nigeria spots one of the world’s worst managed public school system (primary to tertiary) characterized by a deplorable dearth of initiatives, restrictive and regressive educational agendas, delayed or complete non-payment of salaries/benefits, government insincerity and double standards, unmotivated teachers/lecturers, inadequate and deteriorating learning and teaching facilities, outdated curriculum, incessant strikes/industrial actions, poorly trained students with little or no life skills upon graduation.
As I have already told in Who Took My Job? I had a wonderful experience as a student, except that I was not very interested in academics. I was more interested in making lots of friends and having maximum fun. Then I would figure out what I really wanted to do with my life, not what the school system or my family wanted me to become. So I would skip classes and often get in trouble with teachers. In secondary school my friends and I constructed a lounge in one of the bushes close to our class. It was our hiding place. Don’t get me wrong, I was a smart kid who found academics boring. Some of my friends were the smartest kids in the school like Victor Igbokwe who became the Senior Prefect (where is that guy?). He was in the sciences and he was the best. His handwriting was like a cool Microsoft word font. If you wanted up to date class notes, you borrowed Victor’s notebook. Everyone respected him for his brilliance. And the teachers and administrators loved him.
But Victor did not make it to the university. No, it wasn’t because of money. He couldn’t make it past JAMB for a couple of years after secondary school. I guess he may have felt frustrated by the system at some point. Why did I even talk about Victor Igbokwe? Well…
Like Robert T. Kiyosaki rightly observed, every child is born with a genius inside them (what the average Nigerian will call destiny), but the school system as we do have in Nigeria tramples upon such geniuses, eventually destroying it in the process, because it simply and unfortunately refuses to recognize such geniuses.
The special one
Genius means “exceptional ability and power in creativity, resourcefulness and intelligence” One who is referred to as a genius is thus an exceptionally gifted and able person. His gifts and abilities set him apart. Thus in a nutshell, a genius is a ‘special one’ and that is, the one that makes things happen in everything situation. There is a special one in you but our school tramples upon it and kills the genius before we are able to graduate. Once your genius is gone, you find yourself not being able to create your own job when no company wants to hire you. If you have your genius still intact within you, you would never be unemployed or broke six months after graduation or six months after P.O.P.
Dr. Mike Adenuga, Dr. Obi Ezekweseli, Professor Pat Utomi, to mention a few, what do they have in common? They are all very well educated and they are all highly successful in their work/careers. However, their successes are in spite of, rather than because of their education. So, this is a question that you need to ask yourself right now: Did school prepare you for the real world? In other words, are you good to go? With all that awareness that you have garnered all your life to this point, do you feel and think that you are ready to take on the challenges that life is about to throw your way?
The reason for this book
I had their undivided attention, almost a hundred of them seated with eyes fastened on me. That was exactly what I had needed. Then, I said to them, “It doesn’t matter what degree you have (B.Sc, LLB, B.Ed and so on) or the grade you graduated with (First Class, Second Class Upper, Second Class Lower, Third Class or Pass). They don’t necessarily make any difference. In five to ten years, some of you would become the most successful and influential personalities Nigeria would ever know. Some would become successful executives, celebrated politicians, CEOs of their own national and global companies, renowned professionals like lawyers, medical doctors, engineers and so much more…”
Then flipped the coin and continued, “There are however those who, in spite of whatever degree they may have graduated with, would become complete losers; jobless and broke, afraid of the future and angry, five to ten years after graduation.” Some of them began to nod their heads in affirmation – they agreed with me.
I was introducing my first book Who Took My Job to them. I spoke for about ten minutes then I sat down. Then I began to think about everything I had just said to these young people, thought about their future and felt even more passionate. It then dawned on me that I wasn’t actually done talking. There seemed to be so much more I wanted to share with them, so much insight that could not be accommodated in ten minutes. I wanted to tell them about the conspiracy of our rulers, about the machination that has been perfected against them. Little did they know how much those who run the system had conspired to put their lives in a certain direction that serves the rulers. I wanted to tell them about the tons of challenges that await them all after the National Youth Service; issues that await them in a world that the academic system had not sufficiently prepared them for. I wanted to tell them about how the conspiracy was designed to leave many graduates frustrated by not providing enough job opportunities for them. I wanted to reveal to them that their expectation of a job after service might elude them, and if any of them does secure one, it might not necessarily liberate such person.
I sat down but was uncomfortable as dozens of messages for this demography—that is crucial to the future of the nation—kept assailing my mind. It felt as though I had a calling from heaven and I might have no peace until I delivered it to these people. I began to ruminate on how best to communicate the message and then concluded to write this book.
The Local government Inspector (LI) was now speaking (saying something about discipline) but I couldn’t
get him as I wasn’t listening. My mind was spinning fast, thinking, and already formulating ideas for this book. I wanted to ask my friends and colleagues if they were truly Good to Go – ready for the world after NYSC. I wanted to tell them the truth; the truth that would open their minds to understanding and liberty. The truth, Like Paul said, leads to understanding and enlightenment which are necessary to grapple with the numerous opportunities and challenges that lurk in the nearest future. I wondered almost aloud: Are they ready for the future with its many challenges and opportunities? Ten minutes wasn’t enough to tell them the truth. So, I wrote this book.
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