Thursday, 28 February 2013

The disease most AUN students suffer from

I graduated from The American University of Nigeria, a university where you see a lot of folks who suffer from a disease I call “Misplaced priority.” I, too, at certain stage of my life (may) have suffered from this particular disease, but as I grew more mature, I discovered the remedy for this disease that plagued me for the most part of my life (thinking from ‘consequences” to “decisions”).  Now, that doesn’t mean I occasionally don’t fall sick of this disease, I do! But like any reasonable person would do, I never allow this disease to fester before I take my meds.

As a student, I was actively involved in the Student Government Association popularly known as Student Union Government in most, if not all Federal /State Universities in Nigeria. One of the persons who inspired me to go into politics was my cousin, Teinye Akobo, popularly known as TY who was then very influential and active in the system. He was someone I really admired and looked up to because of his passion for students and good governance.  Everywhere you go, you would see Teinye Akobo . Even in the toilet, he was there. It was that bad. But one thing that strikes me till date was how he was able to combine politics, social life and his academics and still graduate with a good grade.

Curious to know his strategy, I dragged him out of his room one evening, and we sat under a tree to talk, just a stone throw from the dorm. Long story short, he made a profound statement that has echoed in my heart till date, “Never ignore that which contributes to the development of your life and that of others. Always know what’s important.”

Ok, enough of myself and Teinye’s gist. Now to the main issue. I had a telephone conversation with a friend yesterday, and we spoke for nearly 2 hours. Our conversation started out with our usual gossip, and “babes talk” and the babe(s) we are eyeing from afar and all those type of gist. Bla bla bla.  You know what am saying… Don’t pretend like you don’t engage in such conversations with close friends. You do!

As we spoke and laughed our bellies out over the phone, he interrupted “You know Steve Harris, the life strategist was in school last weekend right?”  I retorted “of course I do, and am sure the hall must have been full to capacity” He laughed and responded “Are you a learner? Don’t you know AUN students again? They didn’t show up. The people in that hall weren’t up to 70 persons despite the numerous reminder mails that were sent to students” so basically, for the purpose of not generalizing I would say most Aun student knew about this “career talk” with Steve Harris yet some chose not to show up. Pathetic I must say. 

As we spoke, my mind flashed back to the numerous events the university spent thousands of dollars to organize of which over 70 percent of AUN students never showed up and probably considered these events as rubbish. From the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, to Ambassadors of several countries, to Google officials, to Chima Amanda, the Noble Prize winner, To Fela Durotoye, Nigeria most sought after motivational speaker and life coach and most recently Steve Harris, the life strategist and to name a few.

It is shocking and quite unimaginable to know that a typical AUN student would rather attend a concert or show where he or she gets to pay as much as N50, 000 for a table than attend a seminar or an event charged at no cost that would help better their lives. Lest you say I am exaggerating, let me cast your mind back to Fall 2008, the Naeto C show, organized by Shuffle entertainment where some students paid over N50, 000 for VIP sit. And as most AUN students know, the VIP session becomes useless/ irrelevant as students rush in masses to the front row when the artist comes on stage. I still remember how a boy’s laptop was seized by his friend because he was unable pay back the N50, 000 he had borrowed to buy a VIP ticket to impress who? I don’t know. Misplaced priorities. 

I’m pretty sure some of you would remember the show organized by 3 AUN students where MI happened to be the guest artist. You would also remember the bottles of Champaign that was popped that night at Pibz club. Interestingly, on my way to the cafeteria for breakfast the morning after that night the popping went down, I saw a fellow student crying like a baby. This was around 7am in the morning. When I enquired of him why he was crying at that early hour of the day, I found out that he had spent part of his next semester tuition fee popping Champaign that night just to impress people; N270, 000 (Two hundred and seventy thousand Naira). Misplaced Priorities.

Should I mention a few perpons who deferred the semester and used the money meant for their fees to buy a car just to impress who? I’d rather not.

So you wouldn’t think am against having fun or living the “youthful life”, I attended most of this shows back in school and a few of which I even sponsored quietly. At least am not that boring. But one thing I always had at the back of my mind was that more than the “swag” and youthful exuberance will all pull is a word called “substance.” The world don’t respond to your swag, it responds to the stuff you are made of; the capacity you’ve been able to build for yourself over the years. 

While I may sound a bit critical and annoying in this article, let me say here that this article isn’t intended to castigate or humiliate anyone or to brandish myself as one “good guy” but rather to point out the issues that need urgent attention.  I once met a student who was in his sophomore year second semester, who asked me for the way to the main University Library. That’s Peter Okocha hall. Quite unbelievable I know, but it happened.  What more can I say if a student in his sophomore Year didn’t know the way to the main library.

Unapologetic, I would say this disease has eaten deep into most AUN students and most of us alumni’s as well and the quicker we find a cure the better for us. I have come to realize that most AUN students take a lot of important things for granted. Here you are taking for granted big opportunities that the University offers on a platter, while many others out there wishes to have access to what you don’t see as important.

Fine, you may think these guys are just talkers, but what you fail to realize is there are “talkers” and there are” branded talkers.” I mean, what does s/he wants to say that I don’t know or haven’t before? When actually in reality there are many things you are ignorant of. For most people, talk is cheap. But I stand to be corrected. Talk isn’t cheap. You pay big box to have some people speak for 45 min or anchor an event.  Do you know how much Bill Clinton is paid to speak for just 20min? Do your research. Haha! I’m sure by now most of you must have heard how much Kim Kardashian was paid for spending just 20 seconds on stage.  Just in case you haven’t heard, she was paid $500, 000 (Five Hundred thousand Dollars not Naira). That’s about 80 Million naira.

As I conclude this piece, may I be careful to say that it’s imperative people, AUN students especially, know what priority should be placed above another. We should know what matters most and learn not to take for granted that which contributes to the development of our lives. Like a friend of mine by name Debbie always says, “party hard, play hard and work hard’
The comment box is right below for you to express your opinion on this subject
Huntly Anabs


folake said...

Well said Huntly!!! I hope over 70 percent of AUN students get to read this?

Okechukwu Anyanwu said...

This is amazing! Tosin. Komolafe called me that same day and told me the same thing you just said! So many did not show up! Meanwhile very important things were shared at that event that could have been life altering! Some just think about grades and honors society! They forget that honors society doesn't exist in the world where they have been born to make a difference!

I wish you could copy and paste this on Facebook, create a trend on twitter and all.

This disease is not just an AUN disease, its a national disease. People have little or no regard for developmenmtal issues and the few who do are considered to be wasting their time. Only time will tell.

Keep up the good work. I am sure I'd always come back here to be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Nice one huntly.keep up the good work.

*Michael Onobote* said...

That's the sad reality we face in the world of today. Value and meaning is lost in the search for fun, quick fame and the likes.

It goes beyond the school, it's very much in our present society. There are a few who still choose to stick to what they believe in and make an impact though. Such people make me know that there's still hope.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece. . . (Y)

Donatus Edi said...

Well written Huntly. But you fail to put into consideration the reason(s) behind their absence at Steve Harris' talk seminar.

Anonymous said...

Nice 1 huntly, well said

huntly anabs said...

Thanks alot for your comments guys! I really appreciate.

Omasiri said...

I think the problem is a general problem not 'AUN' Problem. It existed even before the walls of AUN were built.

Anonymous said...

Misplaced priorities-- a menace eating deep into the fabric of the society not only an "AUN" problem.

Jude Okwuibe said...

Yes indeed a great blog Huntly, unfortunately the people who could benefit most from this blog aren't likely to read it from this blog site....getting this piece closer to them could go a long way...

Anonymous said...

I was in aun 4rm 08-11 n dis problem has always bn der n its nt jst aun. Thng is u cn't force ny1 2 beta demselves, u cn only shw dem d way its der choice 2 follow, even God doesn't force his word on us!

Anonymous said...

Dis is a general problem, most tyms its jst a faze dat ppl grow out of, sme tak longer dan normal bt in d end mst of us learn 4rm our mistakes n bcome mature.. Every1 cn't b mark zukerberg, ppl will learn 4rm der mistakes n forge a gr8 future 4 demselves.a lot of millionaire n billionaires had misplaced pirority as youths. Its ttly human 2 mak mistakes especially at dis stage

Emeka Osigwe said...

Nigerian youths must turn their complete focus away from revelry and channel their energy towards things of good report. As students, they must seek knowledge. Positive knowledge both in their career path and beyond.Doing so will keep them on a par with their contemporaries outside the country. AUN students ought to realise that the country expects so much from them. As a result of the high standard of education they receive (compared to other Nig Univ), they have no reason not to equip themselves with all it would take to be leaders and life changers in this country. Nevertheless some AUN students are immune to the disease stated in the article and I love that. As for the others its not too late. Don't be a disappointment to your administrators and Nigerians who look up to you. Please for the sake of the future of this Great country, read hard, pray hard, party less and use the rest of your time to think of how to change a life. I love my alma mater, I love my country and I love God. Welldone Huntly

Ini (Bos) Daniel said...

Nice blog Huntly. Nice work, this is impressive community keep it up.

Not much to add to this sweet article, but sometimes AUN organises seminars and some other things on dates some courses would be having quizzes/tests. It would've been great to read it with everything taken in its proper perspective. So, somehow it seems like the school "after much spending" expects some not to attend.

Jake said...

This is great, i must thank you for writing this. Things need to change around here

Scribe said...

well done mate, but note - its Chimamanda and she did not win a Nobel Prize.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to differ but i do not think this is an "AUN disease" as you have put it. IT happens at every other social structure especially where you have a concentration of youth. Don't we have cultism in other schools? Dont you see such lifestyle among our old and youth elite and most especially entertainment industry. How many of them went to AUN? In fact i regard it as offensive to the top-notch alumni network we are building and the great and diverse faculty base we have.

If you aren't proud of your alma mata, no body would help you praise it. you can consider returning your diploma because you are not any free from that disease neither am i. Yes, some were reckless on campus, but they still have a great destiny. Before you attended AUN, you were a different peson but that doesn't define who you are now. Give others a chance.

Very Often, I hear very false perceptions about AUN, the more you encourage such insane perceptions, the more "AUN disease" trapped you become.
I do not deny the social abuses and misconducts we endeared and witnessed while in AUN.

AUN is a great school, if you had gone to university of Calabar or MAdonna university or anyother UNiversity locally, it's a different person you'd be today. But you are happy and productive where you are, thank God yes and thank him again for the privilege to pass through AUN walls.

Huntly Anabs said...

Lmaooooooo. My own fowflo! Cool your blood! That's harsh! Lollllll. Ok I get where you are coming from. I didn't write this article to portray AUN as Bad school! Neither was it wrriten to portray the students as spoilt kids. Not at all. Rather, this article was written to point out some of the things AUN students take for granted which ofcourse shouldn't be.

I understand that this happens in Universities as well as the society at large. But I had used AUN as a canvas on which to paint on because I experienced it myself while I was a student. I'm grateful to God I am a product of AUN and to castigate the school that contributed to who I am today is the last thing I will ever do. Aun is and will remain the best school in Nigeria and West Africa. But schooling in the best school doesn't make you any better than someone who schooled in the worst of schools if you make no effort to develop yourself beyond what you are being taught in the class room.

Thanks for stopping by! I really do appreciate

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