Saturday, March 12, 2011

Convocation, Greatness: Random Thoughts

(This is me, and MBFF - Eno-Mfon Efiong. You can read my 'tribute' to her (on her graduating and 'leaving' me behind) here).


It has been a great day, albeit a stressful one.

Today, for the first time since gaining admission into the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria in November 2006 – I participated in a Convocation Ceremony. Beyond the usual 'begging-for-rice' thing that is characteristic of the average non-graduating student in OAU, I actually went all out to engage graduates (and at times their parents) and to get them to discuss their plans for life after school.

It is encouraging that the average graduate of OAU has a pretty good idea what they want to do with their life, but I also could not shake the feeling that some of the answers were too 'textbookish', and 'stage-managed'. Evidently, a lot of the graduates still have their parents 'managing' their lives.

I think one of the many 'challenges' of African society is that it tries to impose on everyone an obligation to every other person, particularly your immediate family. That is not too complex, I hope, and I hope I put it right. Yes, and please, do not get me wrong – that can be a good thing from a moral standpoint.

The AVERAGE Nigerian parent rears their children with the ultimate aim that they grow up to become 'big men' and then take care of them in future. The AVERAGE Nigerian parent spends less on Female Education because of the misconception (although it is sometimes right) that their male offspring are better placed to take care of them in their old age than their female counterparts (after all one boy can just come from somewhere and start dictating to the girl how much she should send to her father). One father expects his son to deliver his first-month-salary to him untouched, in appreciation of the fatherly role he has played over the years. Another father submitted that he would plan his son's monthly budget until he marries (I laughed out loud at this one o, and launched an appeal for the young man – so that they might let him manage his own life – abi ke...).

The AVERAGE Nigerian parent expects their child to allot a portion of his monthly income to them, for the rest of his life. They also expect him to immediately begin to 'bear the burden' of educating his younger ones, whether or not the fellow has secured a job yet. Yes, and 'woe betide' the young graduates if they do not secure jobs in the next few months (before or after NYSC)! I reserve my thoughts on this 'African society obligation concept' till a later post – if I ever get to make it

What do I want to do after school?

The answer to this is a long thing o... Some of my friends find it impossible to believe that 'a whole Koye' (as if I'm not just this my small young self) does not have an answer to that question. Well, maybe I do – and maybe I don't yet... Maybe I have answers, but not an answer.

I believe deeply that the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the LORD (Psa. 37:23), and in the same vein I believe that a man's heart devises his way, but the LORD directs his steps (Pro. 16:9).

One of the best opening lines I have seen on a book is this – 'Good is the enemy of great'. In the opening chapter of the book, the author argues that we have very few that becomes 'great' because we are content with 'good' things. Come to think of it, that makes perfect sense. (The difference between a 90A and a 70A is much more than that between a 70A and a 50C – even though there are only 20 marks involved!)

Yet, for me – and others like me who play for the same team – these things are not exactly so complex.

I may not be sure yet which company I will work in after I graduate, but by God's grace – I know I will get a great job for starters. I may not know yet which girl I will marry (and while I am at it I promise to daze all of you the way Adedeji Adebusoye is dazing the men with romantic stuff about Busola Taiwo), but by God's grace – I know I will have a great home, etc. I may not be sure of many things yet, but by GOD'S GRACE – I know I WILL have a GREAT LIFE!!!

Only a few months ago, I wrote 'Musings of an Afraid-to-Graduate Student' – but today, I take those words back. I refuse to be 'scared'. Tomorrow holds for me, better things I know; His light is shining on my path, I will rise – and SHINE – for I have got this light; Jesus IS my light!!!

I challenge you to make a commitment today. Commit to having a GREAT life. Refuse to settle for being good. When the going gets tough, or if the future looks scary from where you stand – remember that you do not have to walk it alone – Jesus lives in you, He walks with you! (Yes, and if he doesn't yet – ask him in, it's that simple).

Let's do this, shall we?



  1. Congrats to your friend and all those who graduated.

  2. awwww>> k luv. i just saw this o!!! oh my lord...I have missed you silly!!!
    i wish i cld just come to ur dept now and hug d life out of u! literally!!! mwaaaaaah

  3. Hello Koye,

    I am looking for the full lyrics of the song you abridge in your article - 'Tomorrow holds for me. Better things I know, light is shinning on my path, I will rise and shine, I have got the light, Jesus is the Light.'

    Hope you can help.


    1. Hi Soj, if you will drop your email address - I will mail you the full lyrics of the song! :)