Jobs Everywhere by Bamidele Ademola- Olateju
I wanted a painter and they brought me a Chinese. I wanted a “tiler”, they brought me a Togolese. On my way out of my Estate, all I see are armies of jobless youths. They are always on the move, milling around with rucksacks on their backs, ears plugged with earphones, sagged pants with lengthy belts, going nowhere. They are looking to hammer. If you no hammer nko? Will you be carrying those things on your back as a 40year old when life has hammered you? Why are our young not learning a trade? Why are they not farming? Why are they fixated on big money instead of incremental earning? Why are they running away from the villages where they can easily eke out a living? Baba Kofi my Palm wine tapper makes more than N10000 profit on market days(every 5days). He makes about N3k daily. His electricity bill is N500. His shop costs N1000 a month. He grows his own food. He doubles as farmhand while his wife sells the Palm wine. By 2pm he has none left. His expenses are very low. He is from Ghana and making good here in Nigeria.
Here, the Togolese are doing neater and better jobs in masonry. They don’t abscond with your money. They have their children in the trade already. Who wouldn’t need a plumber with the way we clog sinks and lavatories? First it was the Ivoriennes, then Ghanaians, then Togolese and now the Chinese! The Chinese are damn good! Their work is perfect with artisanal joy! They speak passable English and they grasp Yoruba quite fast. They love it here for the money. Our own artisans are sloppy and without any regard for quality and finishing. They tell you they’ll come on Monday only to show up 3weeks later with tales and bad attitude.
Elsewhere, they are only interested in riding Okada. No apprenticeship is required. It is a life of sharp-shap, now-now. Late in the evening after work, they sit with matured women with big ikebe who can turn their innards out with mind blowing sex. The money for the day gets blown that way. They do osusu and the “sexual collector” collects. 4 years into the daily N1,500-2000 per day, they start coughing. Before lung cancer can be diagnosed, they die! When you have no appetite for delayed gratification, you face whatever comes. Fear is catching me. I see it everyday, I prowl the Southwest hinterlands. I see a lot of stuff. Speak to those in your care. It will get tougher. 2019 will be painful. We have seen the end of free money. Now, everyone must earn their keep. We will get a brain reset whether we want it or not. Tell them o!
~ Bamidele Olateju