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He half walked, half dragged to the front of my aunt’s vet store. I had no choice but help aunty Kemi man the place as she is trying to open yet another store in Ikeja.
I was counting on my fingers, trying to find out how many days we had before we resumed back to school. This holiday had been as boring as watching paint dry. I was counting my remaining days of boredom when he knocked, taking me away from my reverie.
He instantly reminded me of Frank Donga. “Please, is there vacancy here? ” he asked. I looked at him from head to toe. His shirt had definitely seen better days. His hair was like a refuse dump and his mouth smelled like a mortuary. His shoes reminded me of canoes. Worn out canoes.
I was still assessing his unpresentable appearance when he shoved photocopied documents into my hands.
“Please sir, I have bsc and msc zoology from OAU, ife”. I thought he was joking. A quick scan of the papers confirmed my fears.
He continued “please give me a job, any job. I will work for free for three months if you want. Please!”. Desperation oozed from his thin frame.
He must have thought I owned the place. “No vacancy” slipped from my lips. He looked at me, fought back tears and snatched his papers. He trudged on.
I watched him go. My aunt who owed the store this masters degree holder is begging for a job didn’t go to any university. Her business is worth over thirty million naira. She always told me the university is a cage that force you to sit behind a desk for four years so you’ll be qualified to sit behind another desk for forty years.
She said university will teach you to look for jobs but never create one. It will teach you yo work for a living but never have a life. I sat. I thought.
She had blamed the craze on the oil boom in the seventies. Then, graduates were entitled to cars and automatic jobs.
She said people still live in that delusion. She told me the richest man alive is a college dropout who followed his dream.
She asked what my dream was. She said ” do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I am convinced, college degrees are overrated.
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