August 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Recently , an advertisement from the Dangote Group asking for university graduates to apply for the post of professional drivers made waves on the internet.
The highlight of it all – the salary is N500,000 (According to Bella Naija)
That’s a hefty sum of money considering the fact that the minimum wage per month stipulated by the government is just – N18,000 (less than £100)
This makes this project an admirable one from the Dangote Group as it aims to train youths and pay them well thereby making our roads safer. On August 15 2010, there was a ghastly accident with one of the heavy duty vehicles under the Dangote group which claimed about 40 lives around Otedola Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway (May all the souls Rest In Peace) – so it may be that this is a step ensure that it doesn’t repeat itself in the future. If so, Kudos to them.
However, I can not help but ask – Why has Nigeria turned into this?
Why should youths who have worked hard to obtain a degree from the higher institution take up jobs as drivers? In the good old days of the country, top companies came to scout or head hunt able graduates to take up jobs in their companies with comfortable pay and company benefits. Now we are at an age where we would not be surprised to find out that our butcher has an Msc in Engineering. There are 36 states in Nigeria and since it is a developing country, surely enough jobs could be provided to aid the development of the nation! – What are the Federal and State Government doing to ensure bright futures for our youths?
Might I point out that there is nothing wrong in being a driver, but if you have spent the better years of your life obtaining a degree from the university – should this be your only option left?
Many of the graduates , after hustling through school go YEARS unemployed. Does the government realize what this could do to morale? Do they realize that this is the primary reason why the crimes rates around the country increase on an hourly basis? If the youth were not idle, where would these useless Boko Haram get their recruits from? Before solving any problem – the sensible thing to do is to admit that there is a problem. Instead of doing this, our so -called politicians go on NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) to sugarcoat whatever their ministry is doing while hiding the fact that they are embezzling billions!
May GOD help us in this country.
I came across her first book – ‘Purple Hibiscus’ a few years back and as destiny would have it, I had a reason to re-read it this
summer raining season. After finishing it, (in less than 8 hours) I had to get more of this uber talented author. In days to follow, I purchased two other texts by her – ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ and ‘The thing around your neck’. These books were nothing beyond superb. In her books, she is fearless, in fact, she turned me into a sponge – I just kept absorbing more and more of her writing and could literally not drop any of her books for more than ten minutes. When I googled her to find more about this amazing person who I am proud to call a Nigerian, I was not surprised to find out about her many laurels
(culled from wikipedia).
Awards and selected nominations
- 2002: Shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing, for “You in America”
- 2002: Runner-up in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, for “The Tree in Grandma’s Garden”
- 2002: BBC Short Story Competition joint winner, for “That Harmattan Morning”
- 2003: O. Henry Prize for “The American Embassy”
- 2002/2003: David T. Wong International Short Story Prize (PEN Center Award), for “Half of a Yellow Sun”
- 2004: Hurston-Wright Legacy Award (Best Debut Fiction Category), for Purple Hibiscus
- 2004: Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, for Purple Hibiscus
- 2004: Longlisted for the Booker Prize, for Purple Hibiscus
- 2005: Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book (Africa), for Purple Hibiscus
- 2005: Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book (overall), for Purple Hibiscus
- 2007: Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (Fiction category), for ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ (joint winner)
- 2007: PEN Beyond Margins Award, for Half of a Yellow Sun (joint winner)
- 2007: Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction for Half of a Yellow Sun
- 2008: Future Award, Nigeria (Young Person of the Year category)
- 2008: MacArthur Foundation genius grant (along with 24 other winners)
- 2009: International Nonino Prize
- 2009: Longlisted for Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, for The Thing Around Your Neck
- 2009: Shortlisted for John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, for The Thing Around Your Neck
- 2010: Shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Best Book (Africa), for The Thing Around Your Neck
In ‘Purple Hibiscus’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ especially, she explored in great depth, the whimsical politics practiced in our country and the pitiful outcomes which were produced by them.
Other things I salute her for is writing about a period in which she was not even born and venturing into literature after training as a medical doctor!!
She is what happens when a talented person makes use of what God has bestowed on them and she is also, undeniably, a role model for Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora.
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