“Canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification’ is the greatest corporate lie since canvassing leads to automatic qualification, you can’t get any job in this country without connections luck ended during Moi’s regime.”
It has been two years since I cleared campus, 18 months since I graduated and six months since I moved to the city, yes the big city. After staying in the village for 18 months, spending the last nine as a Board of Governors (BOG) untrained teacher, only to be paid meager wages for only four months after adopting scorch earth policy making the staff-room uninhabitable, waging World War III with the principal, bursar and director of studies as I threatened to drop nuclear bombs wiping out the entire staff-room. This was after I had taught all the subjects including those I wasn’t good at during my heydays such as Chemistry which I ‘left’ at the mole concept since I used to answer the uses of salt, aluminum, copper questions leaving the rest to God. Life hasn’t been a bed of roses
Spiritual; during trying times human instinct dictates that you become devoted to your creator. This is the time you start reading the bible daily, post biblical verses and prayer of the day across all your social media platforms from Facebook to Whatsapp as you give yourself hope that tomorrow will be a better day. You take up leadership roles in your church, become a serious bible study participant and accept Christ as your savior realizing he is the Alpha and Omega with the hope that he will remember you by opening ‘employment’ doors, forgetting you never set foot inside a church like structure during your 4 year college stay.
Relatives at high places disappear; we all have relatives at high places be it in government or private sector who promise to sort you out once you are clear with campus. They grace your graduation with sacks full of promises assuring you that once your certificate comes out, give them a call they will pull some strings, abracadabra, just like that you will have a job. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen they disappear leaving you stranded in the wilderness, they will stop picking your calls and whenever you pay a visit to their offices only to get clear instructions from the secretary that he or she will be out of the country for an unspecified period. Mine disappeared when I was sent for industrial attachment forcing me to attach myself at the chief’s office, doing everything in general nothing in particular.
Reality sets in; faster than the sun set you realize you have to start doing something meaningful with your life, meaningful in this case means income generating. This is when desperation sets in making you to demand any job as long as you can get something small. You realize that no employer in his sound mind is willing to give you the Ksh 50,000 starting salary you once thought off as the least you could take. Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) starts sending you those text messages reminding you how your loan is due thus you should start servicing it monthly, they top it up with “Si Ulisoma Sasa Lipa” radio and television adverts threatening a monthly 5,000 fine if you default. You take up any job hoping that you will one day get the job you went to college for as you hope to make ends meet.
The hustle begins; resorting to the mad man job application approach which involves dropping your job applications in all companies you perceive have vacancies only for them to end up in the shredding machine. You apply for certificate of good conduct, Ethics And Anti-Corruption (EACC) clearance and HELB clearance, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) which are statutory certifications for ‘serious’ employers who put the ‘Canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification’ caption yet its common knowledge this is the greatest corporate lie since canvassing leads to automatic qualification, you can’t get any job in this country without connections, luck ended during President Moi’s regime.
Your circle shrinks; you only remain with your close circle of friends, usually they are less than ten. The rest slowly abandon you as they get things that keep them busy furthermore, they have nothing to gain by maintaining friendship ties. Your Whatsapp messages drop from 5,000 in a day to less than ten as Whatsapp groups become inactive as massive exodus of those who have found important things leave. You go for weeks without even a single phone call as your clique shrinks faster than you expected. People attach value to friendship, with selfish questions such as ‘what do I have to gain’.
Pocket Money dries up; have you ever been broke till you start questioning why God didn’t create a Chinese man in the place of Adam so that he could eat the snake before it lied to Eve? If the Chinese man was to be the first human being to enjoy the Garden of Eden, he could have eaten the snake that lied to Eve who in turn lied to Adam into eating the forbidden fruit that lead to your current situation; right now you would be living a better hustle free life. If you have never thought along this line you don’t know what brokenness feels like? The only money you will be receiving from parents is either church offertory or barber shop levies “pesa ya kinyozi” whereas the only shopping you will be going for is kitchen or household shopping usually once in a month with a shopping list that won’t even allow you to pocket more than Ksh 200 as balance considering the price fluctuations.
Sobriety takes over; memories of how you used to be extravagant back in campus creep in. Your extravagance starts to haunt you realizing how you spent a huge fraction of cash on alcohol, trendy clothes and flashy lifestyle you realize how you could have invested the money in some serious business. Am I the only one who has business ideas when am broke but the moment I have money they disappear only to return when am broke again?
Social media absence; this is one place you go incognito since you don’t have the decent trendy cloths, pose and looks which used to make you photogenic. You become photophobic avoiding any visibility across all social media platforms including removing your Whatsapp profile photo. Taking a backseat monitoring status updates as you hope to stage a major comeback in the near future. Your female are always slaying getting all the attention social media gives save for those who are on maternal leave.
Beb takes cover; the moment the pocket money tap begin to show signs of drying up your girlfriend will start coming up with nonsensical issues of how you are insensitive nowadays, you don’t give her emotional support, you no longer take her swimming, for coffee dates blah blah blah in her attempt to leave. She will go ahead to tell you how you should move out of your parents’ home so as to start your own life, this is after landing some guy with a pimped bedsitter with a roommate somewhere in Eastlands who can’t take her for the same coffee dates and swimming thus dumping her. She runs back to you only to find you have a problematic job that can’t allow you to balance two problems at the same time. They normally take cover before graduation, if you are lucky enough she will take cover after your graduation either way she will take cover those campus relationships never last past the university main gate anyway.
Daydreaming; talking to yourself as funny ideas cross your mind on how you can make serious money fast enough to satisfy your needs which are always ballooning. Ideas of how can land a life changing government tender, hack your bank’s system to transfer funds to your account and how you can correctly predict those sports betting jackpots. This clouds your judgments making it impossible for you to think of any constructive income generating activity.
Societal pressure; the expectations of a graduate are far much higher since the society assumes education is the key to success, little do they know the padlocks are always changed immediately you graduate. Sentiments like “huyu tangu amalize shule hajapata kazi kwani alisomea wapi” casting aspersions not only on the credibility of your degree but also your personal abilities .