Striking undergraduates ke? Yes, it’s the higher institution workers that are on strike but the undergraduates have to stay at home too. So, in a way they are on strike too. While discussing and comparing events in different countries with an American I told him strike in universities is a problem in Nigeria. He asked me “what is strike”? He did not know what strike meant. Nigerians know the meaning of strike very well. For the benefit of the whites and others who don’t know what strike meant I will tell you what it means now. Strike is when workers decide not to go to work in order to persuade the employer to pay more of do more in terms of welfare or working conditions. In Nigeria, it seems strike is the only language that the government understands. University lecturers, polytechnic lecturers and other higher institution workers go on strike yearly to request for one thing or the other in Nigeria. Most times they are asking the government to implement certain agreements that they have made together. The government is good. The government is strong but no matter how that can be individuals have to plan what they want to happen to them. My mentor once said “no one will plan your future for you, you have to plan it yourself”.

Undergraduates need not sit at home and spend the free strike time away. They should invest the time in a skill. Some undergraduates who are not on strike invest an hour a day to learn a skill how much more those who have free time at their disposal. Skill here those not include olosho things as they say nor drug addiction plus sales. I am referring to learning something that can add value to you now and in the future. In Israel among the Jews, history has it that a man that does not let his child have any handwork is like someone who is training his child to become a thief. No matter your course of study you can learn a trade that will be useful to you, your family and the society at large now.

So what exactly can you learn? A lot of skills can be learnt depending on the interest of the individual. One of such is proper computer operation, data analysis, computer repairs/engineering, inverter and decoder installations, barbing, plumbing, electronics/electrical repairs, refrigerator repair, air conditioner repair, plating of hair, fixing of wigs, soap/deodorant making, bead works, tailoring, bag making, shoe making to mention a few. Skills that you can engage in are so diverse. With your level of education, you can do a lot of things with your time and with your life. A law student that I know of makes quality shoes and sells in the range of 10,000 naira.

Your ultimate goal may be to get to the peak of your educational pursuit but in the absence of finance it may be hindered. It may be stopped. The goal may be unreached. Not everyone has correct uncles and aunties or daddy and mummy that you can run to with your life goals. If you have a skill you can support yourself in your planned and prayed for targets. Don’t wait for people to make things happen for you, make things happen for yourself. Take your destiny in your hands and stop the begging streak by learning a trade or skill now.


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