Scorn over UNMSA N10,000 for best graduating student is further proof Nigeria’s feeling of entitlement


On that GTB and UNMSA N10,000 prize for the best graduating student issue:

1. GTB wasn’t the donor. It was a cash prize from the departmental student’s association. The University of Nigeria Medical Student Association awarded this money to one of their own.

2. Even if it were GTB, calling them out is flawed because as much as we hate to admit a lot of stuff, nobody owes anybody shit.

It’s a prize, that’s not what the student studied for. Nobody studies hard to become the best in class for any sort of prize. Your real prize is your degree, that’s what you worked for. If you get anything else, large or small, it’s a bonus.

But we like to compare what is being given to graduates with reality shows as a yardstick for how much of a priority education is. In the process, we forget that the critical discussion we should be having is how underfunded and how far-behind our academic institutions are. Giving 1 billion to any best graduate fella won’t fix shit.

One of the oft ignored Nigerian problems has always been to look at the money before considering the value. The truth is, if all you want to do is to make money, then you don’t need to be in the university. You’ll be wasting at least four years, depending on what course you have in mind.

People will entertain, people will make clothes and cook and all that but we go to school to make the world better by gaining the knowledge needed to analyse and solve complex problems in ways that even our mistakes can be beneficial. The people who created Viagra set out to create a drug that would reduce high blood pressure. Penicillin was discovered by mistake too. The awesome bridges you see weren’t built by bricklayers. Your satellite technology that you use to drag people online wasn’t created by an illiterate.

No inventor has ever set out to make something because of money. Thomas Edison didn’t make the electric bulb because of money, he wanted to improve the world. But the money came anyway because…VALUE!

That barber down the street gets your money because he makes you look good. VALUE.

But no, graduates will be envying pop stars, actors and sport figures who are doing their own jobs. Those people have entertained you and one way or another and you have paid. What have you done to deserve anything yet? What value have you added?

We get a degree and suddenly act like the sun shines out of our asses, even though we haven’t done anything of note yet.

I’m done talking. Just remember that nobody owes you anything. For everything you hope to get, it will all be due to you.

Just add value first.

Or shut the front door.

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