REWARDING MEDIOCRITY AND SENSUALITY
Ojechemah Sunday Freeman posted something short that immediately caught my attention. He said :
“Anytime I remember that someone will win ₦85M for just staying in a house kissing, gossiping & eating free food, I open my drawer, bring out my certificate & use it to be fanning myself because it can’t be useless to me outside & still be useless inside.”
It reminds me of something. In 2006 I was the Best Graduating Student of the Department of English, Benue State University, Makurdi.
At the combined convocation in 2010, it was announced, and I was issued a letter indicating that I had won the HOD’s Prize for the Best Graduating Student of English.
The amount was One thousand naira. I mean, 1000 naira only.
I didn’t feel excited about it, but somehow, armed with the award letter, I went to the bursary to cash the #1000.
Twice, I was told that the University had not released the money.
Hmmmm, I just gave up and never went back there till today.
In that same University, individuals and organisations were sponsoring miss BSU, miss this, miss that, and awarding them cars, huge sums of money and other consolation/ runners up prizes.
I couldn’t help thinking that our society is one that has no respect, honour or proper recognition for intellectualism.
Instead, it lavishly rewards mediocrity and sensuality. Little wonder, we are not making much progress, and academic hardwork is fast disappearing.
Why would a beautiful girl want to work hard to make good grades when she knows that winning a MISS can fetch her a car and cash with little sweat?
This, among other reasons, is why there is a rise in the establishment of the “missing or misses” institution in the university, where stellar academic performance should be the most honourable and admirable thing.
We began to have “misses” in so many departments and faculties on campus: Miss BUTASA, miss MACOSA, etc, etc (even tribal and community associations began to organize their misses and faces).
Perhaps, the rise of the “missing” or “misses” institution in the Ivory Tower was a prophetic indication that the Citadel of Learning had begun to MISS out on the issues that really mattered.
This is why someone will not think of gathering scientists and sponsoring them to bring out world shaking inventions and rewarding the greatest inventor at the end of the show.
Even at this critical time in history, that someone is not thinking of sponsoring medical researchers, housing them to bring up a vaccine against Covid 19.
Instead we are waiting for America and Europe to bring up the solution while we spend our money to sponsor sensual indulgence that only serves to satisfy our base instincts and fantasies.
Meanwhile, when a pastor builds a big church, we suddenly become very wise and begin to hector him for building a big Church instead of a factory, as if he is called to be an industrialist and not pastor! When a society has been so properly denuded of such simple moral reasoning and decorum that it places sensuality above intellectualism, we cannot expect to go forward at reasonable speed.
© Joseph Orhii