With three interviews gone and one left, I was sure I would get the job. All I could think of was that there would be no job-hunting after NYSC. I would basically pass out from the service year and in three to four years, marry the love of my life whom I met months earlier in camp.
But sometime in July, after that third interview, I stopped hearing from the company. A month passed, three months, and the new batch of trainees resumed. I contacted the company’s HR team and was told that a document I submitted to the last interviewer never got to them.
Fam, that was how my dream of being a ‘worker’ before the end of NYSC disappeared. And my relationship? Well, that ended soon after.
And the next three years were spent working at one-penny jobs and applying to all the companies in Nigeria. Way to go, Fates!
So that’s why I could so easily connect with several experiences in 29, Single and Nigerian by NaijaSingleGirl.
From the NYSC tales of struggle to the experiences of Edikan, a girl from a poor background who strives to better her life. Her childhood years play out from a wicked aunt’s house where she doesn’t have the best of times.
Many bowls of salted garri later, Edikan goes to Lagos in search of greener pastures. At first, she lives by first rule of freshly minted graduates: only apply to jobs you want. Heaven forbid that these top performers work in customer service when they studied engineering. However, as her savings dwindle, reality dawns and she soon joins other veteran job seekers in casting their nets in Lekki and Makoko waters alike.
29 isn’t the age where most societies expect you to be single. I’m a few years shy of thirty (please stop guessing my age and focus) and I’m already feeling the pressure. It’s worse if you aren’t wealthy and can at least give an excuse that you spent your time hustling instead of looking for a husband.
Well, the truth is that no one cares. Parents and relatives will set you up on blind dates; you’ll get asked, blatantly, if you don’t want children before your eggs turn to dust.
If your parents are anything like Edikan’s, you’ll arrive home one day to find a scraggly young man with polka-dotted shoes and an orange bow-tie. “This is Ndufreke,” your mother will say. “He will make a good husband and buy us a gas cooker, too.” Welcome to the wonderful world of being twenty-something, jobless (or underemployed) and single! Here, have a tag.
While reading, I re-lived my life through Edikan’s story. From her experience at the National Youth Service camp, to the time where she almost got raped at a friend’s house, I felt her shadow fill my room.
The great thing is that this book isn’t all a sob story. Things actually worked out for Edikan in the end. Post dating a “Lagos Big Boy” and using YouTube to take driving lessons for a job interview, her life becomes the testimony most graduates pray for. I love this book because it explores the “Nigerian dream” and the reality most people face after university. With many graduates venturing into entrepreneurship and the other half fleeing to “better” countries, most Nigerian youths are working hard to avoid living the Nigerian dream nightmare.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s ever experienced NYSC, been single for an extended time or sent in more than ten job applications in a single month. Yup, I know I just described most Nigerians but NaijaSingleGirl’s 29, Single and Nigerian is that good.
Want to know why I’m obsessed with this book? Then grab your copy from the Okadabooks app now… download the free reading app from here and then select the book from the store and you will be reading the book in less than 5 minutes.
PS: If you’re wondering what the author’s real name is, no one really knows. She writes anonymously and has the most amazing blog: NaijaSingleGirl. Need some humor in your life? Go there.
Picture Courtesy: NaijaSingleGirl.com and Pixabay
Chiamaka Onu-Okpara is a freelance editor with an absolute love for anything weird. When she isn’t wading through punctuation errors, she binge-watches cartoons and writes speculative fiction.
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