By Roselyn Kangara
…how far are parents willing to go just to say or brag to their friends that their kids are studying or living abroad.
Last month, I met one Jude Ogbulobu*. Pleasant young man I must say.
Jude has been in Kenya for three years now.
He left Nigeria with the hope of going to study in Spain. His connection i.e. the person that had made all arrangements from university placement letters right down to the accommodation was his fellow country man based in Kenya. Kenya was therefore meant to be his transit point for a day or two.
Jude left Nigeria a jovial young man, had an owambe thrown in his honour before he departed for the airport.
On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Jude waited for his contact to pick him up but na wa oo. An hour at arrivals, no calls answered, no texts replied and Jude was a worried man.
A ground hostess on noticing the young who had been standing at arrivals for close to an hour went to inquire what the problem was.
He offered to assist him find hotel accommodation for the night.
Three days later, Jude was still at the hotel, No progress made.
At that point, Jude decided to call home and let them know what had transpired.
His parents were displeased, dad, especially, was as mad as hell.
He could not understand what he was doing in Kenya almost a week since he had departed Nigeria. He hung up the phone leaving Jude more distressed.
Stranded and his cash running out fast, Jude left his hotel room with the few belongings he had. Out into a city he knew nothing about.
He attributes meeting Jackie to his incessant prayers. Jackie, a Kenyan lady who lives in the sprawling Kawangware slums hosted Jude until he was able to get on his feet.
When asked why he didn’t contact his parents again, Jude explained to me that his parents did not want to recall him and suffer the shame of explaining to their friends. Huh?
One thing we all should note is that his father is a high government official in Nigeria so flight fare was and still is not a problem.
His mother explained to him that he should stay and try making it here while she tried to quell his father’s anger.
Three years later, Jude is still here, no university attended and living in a slum.
Twisted story, yes, but very true.
It led me to think, just how far are parents willing to go just to say or brag to their friends that their kids are studying or living abroad.
Jude feels neglected and when I asked him to why he will not approach the Nigerian High Commission for help, he told me he has nothing to go back to there.
As far as Jude’s friends are concerned, he is in Spain!
Only verdict I can give… ‘Sad’.