Muoneke Chukwuemeka: MY MANY YEARS IN OAU IFE.
I have had it rough in the University. I have spent 10 years in the university so far and still counting, while my mates went through it in 4 to 5 years at max. Was I a dull student? No! I wans’t. I was, to the best of my understanding a serious and committed student who had always been his best academically. I was the best graduating student in my secondary school, Government College Ibadan, Year 2009. I somehow just ended up unlucky with the pharmacy schooling program in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. I somehow just ended up unlucky with the pharmacy schooling program in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. The shame of my withdrawal from the faculty after being fondly appellated the name PHARMACO for the five-year period by all who knew me to be studying PHARMACY? What with the shame of facing the world to say that I’m no more a PHARMACIST-TO-BE, after spending five years in that ASYLUM of a faculty? Boy, it was a really trying time.
I almost came out of it a depressed wreck. I even fancied at that time that maybe I was altogether a FAILURE. I lost all sense of SELF RESPECT and self VALUE. I felt like a woman forced to the market square to bathe naked before the prying eyes of onlooking ogling spectators. Was she ever going to lead her life ever without DYING in her head over and over again from the experience of that SHAMEFUL event of one fatal day. I was about to lose my head too. I lost my scholarship. My parents were disappointed. My sponsor, my elder brother (many praise to him for funding me through school) was at that time disappointed and withdrew support for a while because they all thought all hope was lost on me. He only started to offer support again when he heard that I had been missing for days as my phone had developed issue and no one could reach me. That was when it dawned on him that perhaps they had pushed me too far. Too far off the brinks! “Could Emeka have committed suicide?” He panicked! He wondered at the moment if it was possible I had committed suicide. He was restless- calling everyone in Ife whose contacts he had to ask if they had set eyes on me. And when I finally contacted someone at home to tell them not to panic, that my phone was only bad for a few days. At that point, he resumed funding my education howbeit disgustedly. My relatives abroad whom I sought succor in at the time to find a way to get me to study in America as a postgraduate studying Pharmacy or Medicine again thought it was either I had joined some notorious cult groups on campus who were fueling me with the guts to make such brazen demands of them or that I was hallucinating. “Emeka, you need to get yourself together and finish your schooling in Nigeria first. You are only being desperate and confused”. I smile beside myself now in retrospect. If a young man asked his kin to study abroad, would he rather say he was being desperate than ambitious? Would you rather support his dreams or discourage him outright? Anyways, it’s not unusual for many Nigerian people abroad to refuse rendering help to people back at home (they believe we back in Nigeria are very demonized with a bazillion witches and wizards living inside of us- like they have been to the heaven of life and we were still in hell and woe betide them if they ever associated with us) who are in deep-shit situations.
It’s not new. Even our own Nigerian people abroad dislike having anything to do with us far more than the white man hates a Nigerian scam. So, instead of tangible help as I was sinking at that time, I was handed some lousy #25,000 (app. 100USD), sent to me from the US to get me off their backs (I do not take offence at this at all. They are part of the process that made me better today. I can still say it anywhere that I love each and everyone of them to my bones with the fear of God and will always root for them all both in life and in death).
The school health centre had adjudged me as depressed and prescribed for me antidepressants which I refused to use stemming from my knowledge in pharmacy school about drugs that mess with the CNS.
But, after spending (5) five years of my, I-don’t-know-how-long, life-time in the school of pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, I was advised to WITHDRAW from the faculty of Pharmacy for failing one single lousy course, PHC 401- Pharmaceutical Chemistry (which I am convinced in my heart till date that I passed if there wasn’t any mix-up somewhere along the line in the examination scripts marking or compilation process) out of 12 courses. I am even certain to this very day that if I was asked to take the exam even now after attending the necessary classes, I will BLAST Pharm Chem. Ask Owosho; ask Shade. These were my study partners. Owosho couldn’t bring himself to sleep the night I was withdrawn because I failed PHC401. I had taught them things in Pharm Chem (which was the short name we popularly called the course among ourselves as pharmacy students). He paced the floor of his room all night- unable to make sense of the whole withdrawalimplication of this was that I was to start schooling from part 1 all over again in another faculty.
I still wonder to this day what sort of a tertiary educational system robs student of their sanity and is belligerently unremorseful of that. (I hope they have to fix that RUBBISH soon because it is errant nonsense. Otherwise someday, I fancy that I might come back to gut out my pound of flesh and it will be bitter).
I have had more than three to four cases of students who got withdrawn either from Pharmacy and medicine who are today mental retards. Some eventually had to be laid off from the university unceremoniously as they couldn’t keep up mentally and academically in the new department stemming from the impact of their withdrawal on their psychology. Something had gone hay-wire upstairs for them- they have gone bananas! Did I hear you just laugh at them? I trust you didn’t. Otherwise shame should be to you.
You know, it is for these unsung heroes that I write. And my malady right now is I worry for the future unborn children who will yet turn victims of this same EVIL and WICKED TREACHERY and DEMONIC tradition of having to worry (that converts brilliant students into psycho retards LIKE ONE WOULD CONVERT A WORD DOCUMENT INTO PDF).
You will be shocked to know that this devilish university programme is still in play today. You should see the most recent result list pasted in the faculty of Pharmacy (just this February, 2020). They made many cry. It was like the DOOMSDAY itself! Tunde, my friend also got withdrawn from part 3 recently after spending six years in pharmacy school repeating each year and ultimately getting withdrawn (it was a long list of withdrawees). I always found Tunde studying all semester long. So, what the f**k exactly is wrong with the FOOLISH faculty? You should see him weep into my shoulders the night the KILLERS released their venoms of wickedness. Don’t get me wrong, OAU pharmacy with its team of brilliant lecturers are one of the best things that happened to Nigeria since Mary Slessor. Men and women whose worth is measurable only by their weight in gold. Excellence! Supreme excellence! But my problem is with what repeat and withdrawal births on the long run down the line. Some sad ones albeit capitalize on these DEMONIC tools to emphasize their relevance and tenaciously upholding traditions passed down to them without giving thought to the glaring need to review or scale these practices or traditions (in the light of evolving trends to suit the times and styles of the century), even if they spelt doom to the life of those who are on the receiving end? To make things worse, the counselling unit of the university are never proactive in seeking out these students with the aim to provide help and support for them to go through the period with guidance and counsel in adequate doses. Or do they want to claim thy are unaware students withdrawn from pharmacy school are usually needy of their services?
At least Tunde’s parents were there to be strong for him. I believe he will find his feet in time. But in my case, I was all alone by myself. My parents are only Ibo traders selling electronics part and my mother sold uGu leaves and palm oil in a side-street market under the sun daily. Albeit they themselves had no serious education, they put in their all to send all their four boys to school. Chibuike, Me, Anny (of blessed memory) and Abuchi. I was their STAR BOY student like WIZKID. Their best graduating son from secondary school. A dazzling brilliance! They hoped that when I finished from school, I was going to be help to them. As I type these words, with tears rolling down my eyes, my mum still sells UGU under the crazy hot sun. And my dad manages to get the family going from hand to mouth. Their STAR BOY had been SHOT down from the sky like a ballistics-laden enemy drone from PHARMA-SIN. Their hopes had been rudely cut short. I can hardly stand looking my mum in the eye without a sharp cut in my soul. I had failed her. I had failed in my major purpose in life as a young boy- to grow up to take care of my parents as I am already 27 now. I never imagined that at 27, I still would be groping about in life trying to make sense of my life. They had wasted my precious years in pharmacy school- I felt like one who pursued the wind for the past 5 years of his life because those 5 years of effort will now go unaccounted for. All the As, B2s and B3s and Cs, Ds and even the only E (I got in PHC 401 that led to my withdrawal) are now all gone down the drain- flown away like a cigarette smoke. Never to be seen to the visible eyes of men again
They celebrate the extremely brilliant only, leaving the not-so brilliant-but-bright-still out in the cold to DIE if they MUST! NO BODY CARES! NOBODY Fer-k-eihn CARES! They forget that we are humans too and what goes around comes around. I remember speaking to Dr Mrs Igbenewu of blessed memory (the woman was hardworking and astutely brilliant) that even some of the exam questions had leaked. Take for example a girl in my class I saw after an exam had all the answers to the exam questions written out in her book in their orderly fashion. I saw this as I peeked over her shoulder after an exam since I was significantly taller than her. Such people prevented people like us who went into the hall will only our functional brains (as one of the Pharmacology lecturers who taught us in part 4 will say, “you don’t need to cram it just need to go into the exam hall with your FUCK-SHAWN-AL brains. The same man will set questions that will make you doomed if you had not mustered mental effort to cram but just stopped at understanding. Funny, right?) from being considered for an upgrade because someone scored 86 in the same exam and if they must upgrade for one, they must upgrade for all. Then there were the DUBBERS and EXAM CHEATERS who today, have cheated their ways into becoming pharmacists and and may their conscience forgive them. I know two boys who are pharmacists today in my class who consistently cheated on the exams. I know this because I used to sit at the back of the class in my 1st and second part 4. Life is really not fair. It isn’t. Those of us who trusted God and counted on his help when the whistle of the commencement of an exam is blown are now caught up as victims of life. What a life? Do you know the STING of REPEATING a class alone in a university can singularly damage a person PERMANENTLY for life. Not to talk of a WITHDRAWLA from the faculty.
But we’re humans like them too! Or, are we not? I consider this an infringement of our rights to life and something needs to be done about this. I am tired of this criminal silence and challenge anyone affected to come forward and voice their discontent on this subject. They rob young boys and girls who should contribute significantly their intelligence to the rather ineffectively manned health sector of a debackling state of Nigeria and successfully celebrate some while turning the rest into PSYCHOS, SERIAL KILLERS, DRUG ADDICTS and ALCOHOLICS. My dear lectures, for the love of God, this is what your impact leaves in the lives of many when you take them to the Golgotha of your REPEAT or WITHDRAWAL crucifixion.
I sometimes ask myself that should any of my lecturers in pharmacy lost a 6 year old child of theirs to an accident or death, how would they feel such a pain? Are they inclined to mourn their loss at all or just simply bone it? But then, how come it seems easier for them to end the six (6)-year–long striving and toiling in the forest of academic SANITY of Tunde (my friend, who in February this 2020 got ultimately withdrawn and has to start all over again from part one), and the 5 years of effort of mine that went down the drain. What is the reckon for all those courses I had successfully passed including the 60 base-line courses up until part 4. And now for failing one course out of 12, I get kicked out like ROLNADINHO would kick a ball decidedly.
This is the reason why I am still in school. I am now in class with kids who walk up to me to say “your matric number, is 2011. How come you are still here? As at 2011 when you got admitted to this university, I was in primary 6. I will have to spend 10 years as an undergraduate student but with the extra year I now have for wrong course selections in Agric and a session of my despondent refusal to continue with school, I recently discovered that I was poorly advised and will have to spend another two more years doing an extra TIME in the PRISON of OAU for years. What ill did we do to the world to deserve this mental CHASTISEMENT from the men who beat up JESUS and put him to death? Did my lecturers forget to reconcile that to be brilliant doesn’t mean the same as to be intelligent? Where is the space for the intelligent-but-not-so brilliant among us? We all cannot be equally gifted academically. So where is our own SPOT? We demand to know it? We either CRAM or get WITHDRAWN! What if our strength was in understanding things and concepts. Or is our spot a condemnation to the perdition of MENTAL REHAB for not being as brilliant as some other folks who have a more natural ability to cram than to retain knowledge? Those who are only bookworms by all means, who hardly have little or no real value and legacy to be looked upon as a model for excellence other than to CRAM!
They forget how that we and our parents have to take a knife to our hearts for their decisions and indecisions of whether or not to have us WITHDRAWN from pharmacy school? If we knew that we were being matriculated into your FACULTY with the intentions of turning us into MENTAL RETARDS, wouldn’t we have been better of without the admission into you FAK-ALL-TEEN.
On my part, the future is unfolding slowly for me and I see myself being transformed into GREATNESS daily. I survived even those I was CONDEMNED by you to die. I still find myself talking to myself and asking: what about those who aren’t as strong as I am to keep going even in the tough times? What if I hadn’t found God’s word in the Bible reassuring and comforting, would I also have turned out a MENTAL RETARD like (Nifemi and co. who took pills daily to stay sane). Does anyone think about them at all and demand for justice and a redress and redesign of the programme before they move in to kill another PREY ANIMAL who happens to be a HUMAN like them too. I believe that at whatever rate, this sort of situations is not befitting whatsoever for a university in the millennium. Countries all over the world are making the best of the brains they have been blessed with to achieve the unimagined, but we DESTROY what brains we have. O FOOLISH NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. WHO ARTH BEWITCHED you. The young boy Muoneke Chukwuemeka (me) whom you were to EXECUTE is now a DATA SCIENTIST, WEB DESIGNER, NETWORK MARKETING PRO who is looking to take on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS for local african problems. And just yesterday, I was interviewed on phone by Mr John Bauer from the United for a remote job position in his furniture sales company as a digital marketer and secretary assistant to be paid in USD long term.
I strongly believe, it’s hightime we dis something about this and crash programmes designed for previously withdrawn students interested in furthering as pharmacisit, doctors, dentists, etc to retake a lenient programme and earn back their well-deserved certifications as pharmacists, doctors, nurses etc.
We have to take action to prevent the HATEFUL SADDISTS in tucked-in shirts and trousers for lecturers from continuing to shoot down the high-flying helicopters of our BEST-BRAINS yet again into complete RUINS.
Or do we abandone them and suggest that it is their lot to SENT TO SCHOOL to end up as PSYCHO cases? If this dastardly practice is not chanted down with a bitter anger and if the MASTS of this PERILOUS WICKEDNESS are not razed to the ground with FIRE, I would be moved to SUE my DEAN and any decision making AUTHORITIES for a denegration on my RIGHT TO A GOOD LIFE.
Now, in conclusion, why am I writing this today at 4 am in the morning still on holiday in school ( the same OAU I have been condemned to spend 11 years as an undergraduate)? I write because I want to encourage you out there whom the world has beaten to your knees and it seems they have left you out to DIE . i say to you, don’t give up on YOU. DON’T GIVE UP UNTIL YOU SUCCEED! DON’T QUIT. DON’T QUIT ON LIFE!
I leave you with the words of Martin Luther king Jr. I say, If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, make sure you KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
It’s gonna be better beyond the horizon. Don’t lose faith or ever stop believing that you are intelligent. they are just too dumb to see YOU ARE INTLLIGENT and that being intelligent far outpaces being brilliant.
I give thanks to the Lord my God who restored my life in Christ Jesus his son. I am sometimes thankful that them though that had me withdrawn because I may never have ever gotten to view life with the eye of boundless possibilities the way I now view it in its totality. (Just like the story of Joseph and Jesus- in which if the Princes of this world had known, they wouldn’t have gone on to crucify the KING of GLORY)
Keep on the fight!
Like me, you will surely win!
CREDIT: EAGLE POST