Making rounds in the media for some days now is the news that our favorite striking body, ASUU wants to do one more for the road. If this eventually happens, that would be two strikes in one session, disrupting the usual strike per session. I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m talking about an issue as serious as this in a very light mood, but that’s one of the blessings (or is it a curse?) we’ve gotten from Papa Nigeria. He has dealt with us so much that the only way to now stay sane is to turn to humour.

The focus of this piece isn’t to say whether or not a strike would happen, or who is at fault between ASUU and her archenemy. Not at all. History has taught us that no matter how much we write or where we write it, FG over and over again still wouldn’t meet up with their promises and ASUU would over and over again strike. It’s almost a ritual now. 

What I think should be everyone’s concern and which this piece concerns too is what the victims of this strike (students) should do if they are ‘stroke’ again.

Making the Most from a Strike

A popular saying goes thus “If the world gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Nigerian writer, Hymar David disagreed. Because while lemonade is some fine juice in Europe, not many Nigerians know it and thus affecting the semantics of the line. So he instead came up with, “If the world gives you lemons, make agbo”. Agbo is a herbal medicinal beverage made from lemons. What whoever does this manages to do is to produce a positive result (agbo) from what was otherwise a bad situation (lemons). 

So here are five ways to make agbo from FG/ASUU lemons:

1. Introspection Opportunity:

We are in a country where young people even up to tertiary level still do not know what to do with their lives. This is entirely not their fault. Imagine having your life figured out at age 10 with big and lofty dreams of being a Doctor; owning a hospital; doing all of the saving lives course to the latter, only to be offered admission for a degree in Agriculture. It will take only a miracle for that person to immediately figure out what to do after their studies. 

The time strike would avail you is an opportunity for you to look within yourself and find out that person whom you’re meant to be. It is also an opportunity for you to discover areas in your life you’re lacking in and work toward improving it. That way, whenever the strike ends, you are back to school as a more informed, focused, driven and intentional person.

2. Volunteer with like-minded organisations:

We are at an age where it is your impact and network that matter most. And one of the best ways of making impacts and building your network is through volunteering. 

Spend the time the strike avails you with being on the lookout for organisations that treat issues you care about and volunteer with them. This may be either physical or virtual volunteering. Do not limit yourself. Volunteer with as much organisations as you can. Besides the experience this would give you, it would also add to your portfolio, and there is a higher chance of you gaining employment with such organisation especially if you did your best as a volunteer.

So five things you gain from volunteering: Experience, impact, network, profile boost, employment.

3. Learn a skill:

That your education has paused, doesn’t mean you should also pause your learning.

Learn a new skill or two. The labour market grows more competitive every day and it is what you have to offer that gives you an edge. So learn new skills that would make you employable; that would give your future employer every reason to pick you from the multitude.

Don’t limit your learning to only skills related to your field, learn everything you can. Is it digital marketing? Is it content creation? Is it tailoring? Is it barbering? Is it coding? Is it writing? Learn it. Whatever it is, so long as it’s legal, learn it and make yourself better.

4. Learn a trade:

Humans are wired differently. Where one would excel, another wouldn’t. So if after introspection you learn that you’d do better as a tradesperson, by all means, pursue it. Find that particular trade that interests and aligns with your dreams, expend your time learning it, pay to learn it if you have to. But ensure that you don’t just pass time; ensure that every minute that passes is you learning one hack or two about the trade. Be intentional about the learning process.

5. Start something:

Start that business, start that company, start that platform, just start something. You know that long-term goal you’re saving for the future? Start it now. You might think you’re not ready and you may not actually be, but this point of your life is the best time for a test-run. So start and when you fail, you know what to do and what not to do when you feel the time is right. 

Don’t just fold your arms and watch the weeks or months of the strike pass you by without you making the most of the free time. Nigeria continues to fail us, but what we will not do is let her ruin that bright future we all deserve.

Uchenna Emelife,


Pen Press UDUS.

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