Our teachers should have told us these

Razaq Malik Gbolahan renders his thoughts about life after school which teachers may not have been talking about.


Those teachers didn’t fail us. They didn’t fail us. But they never told us that we would leave school and find it hard to get jobs that would make our parents happy. They never told us that after reading passionately in order to pass WASSCE and NECO we would still be here, five/six years after graduating from universities, still unemployed.

They never told us that we would opt for menial jobs and the system would frustrate us till we decided to sit at home or pleaded to be released into the colonial hand. They never told us that we would graduate with good grades after reading in the rain and under the sun in schools where dictators increase fees and make life hard for the downtrodden ones.

They never told us that we would read till our eyes began to miss words on pages. They never told us that after NYSC we would return home to meet our poverty-ridden parents, their sunken eyes the testament of chronic hunger.

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Those teachers never failed us. But they never told us about the bad state of the country before we set forth at dawn, armed with dreams larger than the world.

They never told us that years later, we would return home to meet fallen school buildings and students who would vote for staying at home when what they needed most was to read their books. They didn’t prepare us for difficult journeys.

We left schools with the hope that we would meet the field of the future heavy with dews and smell of victory. We left schools with the sole intention of conquering the world.

We toiled and left schools with the hope that the world would embrace us wholeheartedly.

But today, the story never changes. We are here, weary of fighting for the future we desire.

We are afraid of raising children in this country. We are afraid of telling our children about this country. Because our parents told us the same sad story.


Razaq Malik Gbolahan is an award winning poet and creative writer. He is based in Ibadan.

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