There are too many first class degree holders that are out on the street begging for employment, and their flaw is that they don’t know anybody.
“Tope would you like to go with me to meet a prospect tomorrow? Lunch is on him.”
This was the first question my colleague asked me when I walked into the office on Friday. Now you have to understand that I am constantly stuck behind a desk with no one to have a conversation with except my computer screen and even that is not as much fun as the marketers who get to go out and interact with real people. I always envy them – not their outrageous target though. So as you guessed I jumped at the idea, even if it was on a Saturday. Lunch on someone else’s pocket was definitely something I was willingly to do.
So come Saturday we both head for Lagos Island. Our proposed meeting spot was supposed to be a seafood restaurant. When we got there, it sure didn’t look like the ones you see on TV, but I kept my mouth shut. Our prospect came out, received us and then led us to a table where there were about eight other occupants. All seemed to be quite prestigious and my suspicion was confirmed when the introductions were over. When we took our seat, the conversation continued. I tried to gather myself together so I could contribute constructively to the chit-chat, my colleagues target was riding on this, so I better not dull.
From what I could gather, the topic of the discussion was the incompetence of most graduates from Nigerian universities. A major shareholder from a high ranking bank that has gone under the radar expressed his shock at the kind of young minds that are being produced at the universities and how many times he just honors their request for a job because he has given his word.
A lecturer was part of the pack. His own argument was how the students are just eager to pass out without really knowing anything. He also said he blames the parents. He felt that their only concern was their children having degrees, even if their brain was full of sawdust. The gentleman that invited us for lunch jumped up and said that the youth aren’t as smart as they were when they were in school. He talked about how he played hard and studied hard. According to him, his social life was wild, but he made sure he stayed ahead of his class. Then as if by intuition, he turned to my colleague and I and said,
“Well these are the youth of today, let’s ask them what the problem is”
He didn’t know he hit my hot button with that statement. I didn’t even wait for my colleague to land I just went flying off the hook.
I was seriously trying to understand why they were complaining. It’s a wonder that most of the youth in Nigeria have reached the conclusion that no matter how hard you study and pour your heart into becoming the very best, chances of landing your dream job is zero to nil! Let’s face it, 70% of the time, it’s who you know that gets you the job. There are too many first class degree holders that are out on the street begging for employment, and their flaw is that they don’t know anybody. How in the world am I going to even have the will power to actually open a book and glance through it, let alone read it. I cannot do all that kind of hard work only to meet another brick wall when I’m done. It is logical to think that I’ll focus all my energy on landing a perfect job when I’m out, than trying to figure out who wrote some lousy theory in 1523? As if that is going to feed me when I am out on the streets and hungry!
I had no idea that my anger was been expressed with such vigour until I saw all of them staring at me. The lecturer was the first to speak, but I was already to agitated to even listen to his words. I just got up and stomped out!
Seriously, who is incompetent? We, the youth or the Nigerian SYSTEM?
Tope Ayo-Olofin loves to rant. She is a boisterous and hilarious English graduate from the University of Lagos. She believes life’s experiences are priceless and the best way to capture it is by writing. She blogs at www.toperants.com and tweets @toperants
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.