RAT RACE

Everybody is so desperate to get in the university now. Most people do not realize that they are cut out for vocational work and they do not need to go study Industrial math or Electrical engineering to go into their field. I do not blame them anyways; most of us are forced by our parents to go to school. The Nigerian economy considers any person who did not go to the university as a useless, (sorry) unserious person (SMH at the economy).

Apparently, our parents were not left out of the race to enter the university. My dad was a desperado when he was seeking admission and he also tried to gain admission, through normal means, hook and crook and then………. abnormal means.

He had been travelling to the village when he had seen a sign on the road saying:

                                DR MBAJI MAGIC TEMPLE

                                GET YOUR SUCESS REMEDY

                                MAGIC RING FOR : BECOME RICHEST MAN IN NIGERIA, FOR 

                                MARRIAGE, LOVE ME FOREVER, VISA IN 3DAYS,PASS EXAM, JOB

                                BONANZA, LOTTERY WINNING.

His eyes shone as he quickly crammed the man’s address (there were no telephones in the late 1970’s). He got to the village and quickly informed his friend of the end of their quest for admission. They set off the next day to “Dr” Mbaji’s Temple.

They were welcomed by an old croon living in a dilapidated shanty and couldn’t speak English to save his live. At this point while he was telling me the story, i wondered why “magic doctors” always offered wealth but lived in poverty. The guy made a stupid diagnosis about the inability for them to gain admission stemming from members of their extended family who wanted to see them fail (i know….i rolled my eyes too).

He gave them some ugly ring to wear and a stone for each of them to put in their mouths as they went to the school for interviews. The stone supposedly placed anyone who heard you talk under your command. They were to go to admissions and command the admissions officer to include their names in the list of admitted students that year. She was supposed to process their admission letters and make sure everything went off without a hitch. I stared at my dad not believing that he fell for such folly… well youthful exuberance strikes everyone once in a while. They paid a sinful amount for the rings and stones and left.

My dad and his friend were to go to school (UNIJOS) in a week but their confidence had been boosted and they moved it to the next two days. They spent that day, ironing their clothes and polishing their shoes. They took turns shaving their hair, anything to look dapper the next day. The day dawned bright and sunny and they set of for jos. They had packed their “interview” clothes carefully and their excitement was palpable as they approached the rocky city.

Sleeping that night was difficult. For Christ sake, they would be undergraduates the next day! They had a long discussion throughout the night about how they would arrive back in the village and fling their admission letters at their parents. Their mothers would hug them and prepare pounded yam for them. Girls would gaze upon them with admiration while the other guys would look on in envy and some in hate. They finally drifted around to sleep early in the morning and woke up in time to get into their clothes and strut into the school.

The Admissions office was an imposing structure and as they climbed the stairs, they slipped their rings on, put their individual stones in their mouths and flounced in………………

                                                                     …TO BE CONTINUED…
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