Short Story: Nigeria And The Menace Of Unemployment

To say that Kunle was a man of letters, will be mitigating the truth. The 27 years old cove was a graduate of the prestigious University of Ibadan. An institution that he left with his footprints behind. Kunle bagged the enviable 'first class honours' in Mathematics, and when often asked what the seceret of his success was, he will answer with a pathetic, yet witful smile 'nothing'. As Kunle had a flashback on those years of stardom, he relished in himself 'I am good, you know', he will often soliloquize to himself. Now, as he returned from the University of Leeds, where he had voyaged in further pursuance of the golden fleece, he clutched to the utopian belief that jobs awaited him on the streets of Lagos. Five years had gone by, and reality have fully dawned on him. The search for a job was a cumbersome ordeal for Kunle. For those five years of 'penury', he lived his days cap in hand, accepting whatever crumbs came his way. Bolaji had been a faithful friend to Kunle. Though an illetrate of the finest order, Bolaji could still afford the luxury of a home. It is in this home that he accomodated his 'well read' friend, Kunle. Each time Kunle will him, 'You should get some education, you will need it in life someday'. In response, Bolaji will laugh with a scorn that is better imagined. It was a laughter of mockery, a laughter that reeled in ignorance. Three more years elapsed, and Kunle's optimism was fading into obilivion. Finally, the NNPC test came around. Only ten vacancies were to be filled, and yet, 18,254 candidates came to tussle. Kunle marveled in disbelief. He tried anyway, and luck finally smiled his way. He got passed all the hurdles called, interviews, and just when he thought it was carved in stone for him to finally get a job, the silver lining in the cloud that he had imagined deserted him. 'we are sorry, but authority above us demanded that we give the job to someone else, a relation to our boss', the voice at the other end of the phone said. Kunle broke down, not knowing weather to 'cry' or to 'weep'. Bolaji walked in, and he related the heartbreaking news to him. 'Na wa o, sorry sha', Bolaji said in a tone that made it difficult to tell if his sympathy was sincere or scornful. Kunle turned on the T.V set, and there was the president of Nigeria, talking of how successful his administration had solved the unemployment puzzle. One of the shenenigans at the gathering muttered, 'create a job if you can't find one'. 'I have taken enough', Kunle said as he switched off the T.V set. He left the house swiftly, running, gasping for air. His destination was the third mainland bridge, in Lagos. Kunle stood at the tip of the bridge, ready to take his own life. The helpless pedesterians and motorists were all standing at a spot, looking at Kunle. They wanted to stop him, but he was too far from them. Kunle gazed at the water, he smiled. Flashes of the past, pains of the present and despair of the future, all beclouded his mind. Tears began to freely flow from his troubled eyes. Down and out, Kunle left the tip of the water, and entered into the road. He tore his clothes, danced along the road, and mumbled words that made everyone watching to know that Kunle has gone mad. 'He must have sinned against the gods' one of the passers-by said. 'For where! Na blood money dey do am this thing', a truck pusher said as he laughed uncontrollably.

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