Failure is a Nigerian extolling the virtues of a third class graduate over first class excellence


Everywhere you see success stories in Nigeria, we proudly emphasise the uselessness of formal education.

“Many third class graduates are on Forbes list while First Class graduates don’t have jobs.” Or sometimes, we bring that old talisman: unmerited favour or divine grace “He graduated with a third class and still got a job in an oil company. Amen? Emem!!”

Listen. Any company that rejects a first class graduate over a third class graduate is up to something and may go bust shortly.

If our first class graduates are so useless that they cannot improve processes and solve problems, we should be ashamed and sorry for our future.

The reality is that most people who choose third class graduates over their first class counterparts have ulterior motives. Either they are doing a family favour, running a family business, or they are looking for cheap labour.

In other cases, the level of ineptitude of some third class graduates is on a level that the person hiring sees them as potential mugus. People whose self-esteem have been so eroded by failure that they will never question the boss.

In some rare cases, one also finds that the boss is himself a self-absorbed and insecure leader who finds success intimidating and would rather work with people he can bully around.

This same syndrome can be found in our schools where lecturers make their grades in school the ceiling for all students they teach.

There is immense motivation and lessons one can share from excellence but we will rather extol mediocrity to soothe our inability to forgive ourselves of past failure.

Failing in school does not equate failure in life but boasting and indirectly recommending academic mediocrity is the worst genre of failure I have ever encountered in my short life.

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