Jide Salu on Nigerian universities…then and now

Certainly, the great man of our generation, Chinua Achebe, the author of the most translated title ever written by an African – dead or alive – would never have considered, whilst passing through the great University of Nsuka in the east, that any University in eastern Nigeria would condone rapists, alleged or not. Or that university authorities when presented with such a tragic occurrence would fail to use all media resources at their disposal to issue regular press briefings to reassure the public, especially other potential victims, female students, that their campus is safe. It is beyond belief. In my time I can’t imagine my university doing any less. I attended University of Ife, now known as Obafemi Awolowo University, believing I was going to graduate an informed man, and this indeed happened.My parents were not rich, but it didn’t matter, really. I remember with fondness buying a pair of jeans at the Okirika market; they were second-hand jeans, but nobody would have guessed. I could never have let those girls cotton on to the fact that my jeans were second-hand.

How about this; there was no BlackBerry in my days on campus, neither was there Nokia. News reached you at a crawling pace. The world wide web had barely been imagined.

But, honestly, life was happily lived without any of the get-it-immediately gadgets. For instance, I had to go to the library pleading with the numerous epistles found in books to pop up with the relevant information required to increase the number of words for my project in order to impress the Prof, and not otherwise.

You also had to be creative. You had to develop your own personality or brand. It was during my uni years that I founded Rockshock as a magazine. There were no lazy misspellings disguised as ‘text English’ in those days. You wrote in full English, even if it wasn’t perfectly constructed. It really prepared me for the man I am today. I am totally bemused by the graduates of today. They can’t write, spell or even speak well, yet they graduate with distinctions. How? You ask them, but it better be in pidgin in order to get a sensible reply. In my days, entertainment was fun. We had students who could play musical instruments so a university band competition was created to discover those talents. Oh yes, we also had a dance competition. It was just so fun.

On dating, you simply find your level, like water. Everybody had a level they belonged to. If a girl said NO, it just meant NO. To be honest with you, rape was not on the list of extra-curricular activities as it seems to be in Abia State University…what a shame.


3 thoughts on “Jide Salu on Nigerian universities…then and now

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