Jonathan Mairiga: Times and seasons [Nigerian Voices]

by Jonathan Mairiga

Most times in life, the picture we get from events and situations are not exactly what they seem to be until we find ourselves in similar a situation, that is when we can truly narrate the big picture.  That was exactly my ordeal when I was a fresh graduate. The feeling of being a potential sought after resource and a voice to be heard sparked a lot of wild unimaginable fire in my head. Based on my assessment, not even the sky will be my starting point. The confidence within me was high and the only missing link was the ideal time to manifest my desired dreams.

Years passed on yet things never changed. The primary target of securing my dream job as a writer was beginning to be like a mirage. I attended countless job interviews, made different contacts, attended so many trainings, and capacity building seminars, yet nothing positive came out of them all.  Things got so bad that at many instances, I was given the lifeline of paying an “appease fee” to easily help secure a job that I was qualified and fit for.  Some of my friends advised me to embark on special prayers for a divine breakthrough. It got to a point that I started nursing the feeling that some certain things happening to me then were not ordinary.

One particular day while I was sleeping, I got caught up in my thoughts.  I woke up with mixed feelings and started reflecting soberly how well things were and how all of a sudden i am stuck in the middle of nowhere.  I had a strong conviction to revisit my past to be sure nothing was responsible for my present predicament. At the end of it, I was at the middle of a questioning segment that I could not provide answers to; “What actually went wrong? Did I offend anybody? When will a job come my way? What am I to do that I did not do right?”

In the midst of my thought, a text message notifying me of a job interview slated for the next three days beeped in my phone. When I read the message, it further compounded my miseries just when I was neck deep in my thoughts. I recalled how I reluctantly sent my application online as requested by the media firm and how I instantly gave up on anything about them as it looked exactly like all other previous applications that ended up in disappointments.

Suddenly a silent voice convinced me to attend the interview. I got to the venue an hour before time with the sole mindset to fulfill all righteousness. When it was my turn to go in, I quietly said a brief prayer and walked in. The interview panel comprised of two gentlemen and a lady. They warmly welcomed me and offered me a seat.  I sat down and waited patiently for them. It was the lady who addressed me;

“Mr. Jonathan”, the lady finally spoke to me with a warm smile. “Tell us why you think you are the best for this job and why we should hire you”.  At that moment my heartbeat changed its tone and intensity.

Strangely, a strange wave of boldness came into me then. I looked at her and said “Ma, God has helped me through many life experiences. That alone qualifies me for this job”.

The room took a new form of silence. Then momentarily, the interview panel whispered something to one another.

“That will be all” the lady’s voice broke out while looking at me. Her broad smile indicated the end of my interview. Eventually, I got up to leave, assessing my chances and what would be my fate. One thing I could not get rid of in my mind was anger. Yes I was angry with myself for giving an answer for giving that I later realized was unsuitable for my interview question.  It was obvious that I had clearly wasted a golden opportunity. Even as I walked away, I still thanked God for the privilege he gave me to attend yet another interview.

In the scheme of things, an unbelievable thing happened.  It was a phone call which I received one week later from the organization asking me to come for documentation and resume work immediately as the Core Writer of the firm. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I was handed my letter of appointment and taken to my office. I had to pause for a while to reflect on what exactly I said or did that qualified me for this job but found no tangible clue. That was when it dawned on me that time and seasons are important in human existence.

This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by

We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected]

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