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27 Sep 2017

The Life of an Unemployed Nigerian Graduate

A Nigerian higher institution graduate struggling to get a job in the fragile local economy of Nigeria has cried out in an open letter shared on a popular online forum.
The unemployment rate in Nigeria increased to 14.2 percent in the last quarter of 2016 from 10.4 percent a year earlier. Nigerian youths are roaming the streets with their colourful certificates with nothing worthwhile to fall back on.

The struggle has forced a Nigerian youth - Aeker who graduated with a Second Class Upper from a reputable university to voice out his frustrations.

Read his touching story below:

Life as an unemployed graduate isn't always easy. Sometimes, things get so tough that you begin to wonder if you wronged the gods, somehow.

Most times, your life can be summed up in one word: 'frustrating'. Your ability to achieve a mental balance gets challenged each day.

As soon as you get a moment to forget the struggles of life, that friend with whom it seemed like you had become partners in the labour market calls in to tell you how he's managed to secure a well-paying job.

"Ahhh. So my own case is the handiwork of my village people, as feared?!"

"But I thought my destiny and EMX's are tied together nah!"

Then you remember, that other members of your clique like Emeka, Roland, Wale, Aliyu, Emike, and Daniella have all secured jobs since the turn of the year.

Immediately, you look up to the sky (or ceiling in most cases; sometimes stepping outside the house may seem like a privilege) and question God in a Balotelli-esque fashion: "why always me?!"

You begin to feel alienated by success. Emotions begin to pour. But regardless of your reaction, that's not an easy question to answer.

Life gets you to suffer humiliation and hardships of being considered not good enough for any job at all. All the questions that went unanswered, the advances that were met with a stern, unwelcoming attitude at different offices... or is it the people debating issues of whether to turn you to an errand boy so you could earn some 200 bucks for recharge card or just leave you be (to suffer in silence). "Imagine! People wey no reach to even lace my shoes before."

On the home front, some of your siblings' chores become your duty. Why? Because you are not much use in the house. For every meal you eat, every time you go to bed, each time you sit idly, parents want you tasked.

Your value continues to drop on a per-second basis. It feels like nobody cares about you for anything. You grow anxious and frustrated with life. Your happiness is about to be taken away from you by unseen forces.

"But this no be the plan we been plan from the start!" Soon after that thought, you see an advert on TV reminding you that life doesn't always go according to plan. Or is it the pastor in Church reminding you that everything in life is God's design? How then am I supposed to relate to God not wanting me to succeed? You begin to question your belief in God. "Is there even a god?!"

But all of that is not you. It's frustration playing out. So many times, you feel like a lost soul in a human body. Trapped and without help. You're not sure when redemption will come, or if it will come at all.

Carefully redesigning a CV that never gets more than a glance. Your life is no longer filled with fun an excitement. Grief, self-pity, and anger are gradually taking over.

"What a sorry soul!" No money for business, no means to learn a skill or two, and no jobs to keep you busy. Life can't get any worse.

But what can you do in all of these?

You continue to reinvent, hoping that someday, your salvation will come. All that 2.1 from a reputable university doesn't feel so important anymore. Set all of that aside, believing that only grace can rescue you now.

This is my life. I am Aeker. Things are HARD! Please help a broke soul.

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