According to Encarta dictionary, Posterity means all future generations or all of somebody’s descendants therefore posterity has to do with a collection or a group.
My friend Kabiru is one notable character we had in University. Kabiru was rear and his determination was second to none. He is from the middle part of Nigeria. Born of parents who could not really afford his education, he strove to ensure that he gets educated. I remember him telling us on graduation day that his education was a miracle. Kabiru came to school with sacks of dry garri, rice and beans. He often traded his dry stock for other condiments and with these condiments he would cook a decent meal. In the absence of condiments, he soaked his dry garri or made a meal with garri and beans. Also, he augmented his finances by helping grooving students, working class students and unserious students complete assignments or copy notes.
From our first year to final year, Kabiru may have used the word moment at least 1000 times. He was fond of that word and his stories went thus;
The moment I graduate, things will change; this situation will be a thing of the past.
To his girl friend he often said, the moment I graduate I will marry and settle down because I will be too rich to waste a second.
The moment I finish my NYSC I will go overseas to do my masters because I will work for two years to gather money.
The moment I graduate I will work, then build a house, by some trucks and start a business of my own.
For the sacrifice my parents have made towards my education, the moment I graduate I will move them to my new mansion. In fact, the moment I graduate I will work and train my siblings.
Kabiru often mentioned his uncle’s success story while making the assertions above. His uncle graduated 15 years earlier. Upon graduation he was offered a job with Leventis, a scholarship to further his education overseas and a bank job. He had the prerogative of choosing his career. Kabiru’s uncle chose to go overseas and upon his return to the country he went straight to work with Leventis and soon grew to GM status. Kabiru had mentally prepared himself for such elevation having put in every effort to achieve it.
Unfortunately, Kabiru’s case was not to be like that of his uncle’s. Kabiru who was one of the 1st Class contenders soon lost speed and grip because of harsh conditions of life. He was thrown out of the hostel after his first year in school because he failed at the hostel ballot. He had to squat with his friend that was a cultist since he had no choice. Soon after a fight with a rival gang, his friend was sort after and this made Kabiru a prime target so he went into hiding avoiding lectures. His grades soon dropped. In his 3rd year he moved from that friend’s house to another friend’s apartment. The apartment housed the owner, 3 other occupants including Kabiru. There, Kabiru was accused of stealing and thrown out shortly afterwards (he was not rich so he was the likely suspect). He kept roaming until finally he moved in with his girl friend that had middle class parents. Kabiru graduated after a year with second class lower degree. He served in Port Harcourt afterwards. The camp was so full that Kabiru could barely find his footing. After camp, he got a placement in a remote secondary school. Upon finishing his NYSC he left the school for greener pastures but at each interview, the interviewer would say “wait we shall contact you in due course”. Other adverts required a minimum of Second Class Upper division and so Kabiru did not apply. The worst of all interviews was a civil service interview, Kabiru lost out because he had no money to purchase files, move the files from table to table or even apply online. On and on it went until Kabiru realized that his uncle’s time had passed, here is a new reality. Kabiru went back to the secondary school he served and neglected. He was promptly employed because they were in need of teachers. Who wants to teach these days? He was reminded by other teachers that teachers take home pay may not take him home or build that his dream future. The teachers were already preparing to go on strike at the time to protest deregulation. After 8 years, Kabiru realized that his MOMENTS were only wishes that had the prerogative of fulfillment. Kabiru could not translate the moments to reality because the system had made it difficult to translate it. He realized that while he was working towards his dream man made factors (corruption, bribery, ethnicity, nepotism, poor leadership etc) were working assiduously against that dream.
He then remembered his uncle’s success story that went thus; I went to school in hard conditions, trekked distances, was farming and going to school etc. I was determined so I made it to university at a sitting, I did not know who paid my fees, maybe the missionary or state government, had good rich friends that helped me because I was intelligent, lived in the hostel throughout and we had hostel canteens, had caring lecturers that did not sell handouts or books because we had books in the library, my lecturer once moved me to sit in front of the class because I was small and could not see the board, I graduated with flying colors and before graduation I had letters of employment from different companies. Even my friends with Second Class Lower degree had gainful employment. We rarely had third class students. Money had value so where you worked mattered less. Anyway, those where my days in Nigeria, most of my friends that enjoyed this period are past ministers, serving ministers, senators, representatives, governors etc. Gone are those days.
Finally, Kabiru remembered that 23 years had passed since his uncle’s time and then wondered what it would be in the next 15 years. Will there ever be moments of joy, peace and harmony? Will his children’s moments ever become reality?
Kabiru then remembered posterity and said emphatically that “POSTERITY will never forgive anyone who gained from free education, government scholarship but yet corrupts (destroys) the educational system that there is no education (let alone free education), anyone who was given a job immediately after NYSC but yet destroys sectors that would have employed young graduates, anyone that lived in a free hostel, read free books, ate free tax payers food but yet he/she is stealing funds meant to build the educational system and other sectors of the economy. Kabiru’s list was in exhaustive and his prayer’s went on and on like his moments. Most Kabirus have prayed this prayer, will these prayers go unfulfilled?
WRITTEN BY IFIOKABASI UDO