Saturday 2 November 2019

Las las school na scam

I was thinking this morning...... about the real scam. Last weekend I read the article in Sahara Reporters by one Promise Eze titled 'Las Las School na Scam.' I was fascinated by the title but blown away by his lucid analysis of the ills be-devilling our educational system particularly the universities. I had not realised that the title of the article was lifted from the chorus of a song by Zlatan and Gururu in which they repeatedly chorused 'Las las school na scam.' For non-initiates to the pidgin English club, the phrase 'Las las school na scam' simply translates 'At the end of the day, education is a scam.'

How on earth could I have heard of a song by 'guguru and ekpa' sorry Gururu and Zlatan? Being intrigued by the cliche, I decided to check it out on YouTube and listen to the lyrics myself. After listening, I was surprised at the thinking of these young men but decided to look at things from their perspective for a moment. Like a big screen motion picture, I watched young, passionate Nigerians attend secondary schools where parents bribe teachers and examiners to pass their kids. I saw University authorities give admission to either those with connection or those that can afford to oil their palms. I experienced first hand the poorly funded universities where lecturers force male students to buy handouts and offer female students marks for sex. When they eventually graduated, they couldn't find a decent job but watched with dismay, the Supreme Court declare that you do not need a certificate to be President of Nigeria. As I watched, I understood the frustrations of these young men and why they shook their heads in dismay and concluded that 'Las las school na scam!'

As I thought about their conclusion that 'Las las school na scam,' I wished I could meet with them and anyone that reasoned like them. I would have offered them a warm handshake for such an insightful conclusion. But before then, I would challenge them to think deeply and widely. To think of how their parents gave birth to them and breastfed them. Teaching them to respect authorities, embrace education and be morally upright. But today, they wear dreadlocks, get high on drugs and drop out of school simply because they dreamt of becoming musicians. If they follow their own line of thought, they would have concluded as well that 'Las las parenting na scam.'

Oh I wish I could sit down with these young men for five minutes. I would've reminded them of how their parents sent them to Sunday school and taught them the fear of God from childhood. Yes, I will remind them of how their parents sacrificed and made special clothes for them for church, so they experience first hand, the love of God. What about all the efforts made by genuine religious leaders to shape them? Yet, they ended up being Yahoo boys, scamming people of their hard earned money. Where that did not fetch them enough money, they went into ritual killing, taking the lives they did not create. If I am to help them conclude, they will say 'Las las religion na scam.'

What about life? Many had mapped out the life they want to live, worked at it but got a completely different life. The challenges seem overwhelming, in spite of all their efforts. What will these young men say? You guessed right. 'Las las life na scam.' There are definitely failures and disappointments with the Nigerian educational system, just like nothing is perfect with parenting, religion and life, yet it is not enough to say they are scam. While Promise Eze is advocating for a revolution in our educational sector, I am gunning for a renewal of our mind. If you see the good in anything, you get the good. But if after reading Prov 23:7 that says 'As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,' you still think parenting, education, religion and life are scams, then you should be worried because 'Las las, your mind na scam.'

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey. 

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