What next?

Ore (21)

I must have asked myself this question more than I can remember especially the past few months after passing out (National Youth Service Corps, I mean). Trust me this is not some clueless or some ‘No Future Ambition (NFA)’ typa rant. (‘tis some rant…but not clueless. Lol)

As a Nigerian, the plan has always been there. Go to the university, study something you love, graduate and go for the compulsory one year service to our fatherland, then… then…

Then… words just seem to fail me. A little help with suggestions would do right now. I feel stuck. The only phrase that keeps playing back like a broken record is “what next”.

Here I am, a nocturnal being by default or reset, watching the sun go down and the moon take charge of the night, then observing the breaking of dawn before hitting the sheets… and snooze…

The day is so bright, it’s almost blinding… with so much colour, looking like a typical telemundo scene. Then the surreal feeling, it is clearly a summer feel! Walking into a ‘madhouse’, so much filtered noise and all I hear is the ‘click-clack’ of my heels. I passed what used to be my office to a much bigger one. I dunno why but i couldn’t stop, my feet were in control. Then the madhouse got still…all eyes on me…all applauding…I am still very much confused but a smile managed to stain my face without my consent. I must have done something right with this kinda reception. Ok, I guess I have to speak now because my lips said so, but I don’t even have any control, I’m like a 3rd party in my own body. Speech time… but words won’t come out… there’s lip movement, yet no sound. Speechless. Blank. Black

“Wake up dear, it is just a dream”. So back to reality, back to the phrase, “what next”. With a plethora of knowledge and ideas, the phrase keeps lingering on like a bad habit.

There was always a manual for getting an A or an F: get the handouts, go for lectures or photocopy notes, do averagely well in tests, then a little extra in exams, do the maths and you get your A or whatever grade you desire or deserve. Sometimes the formula or manual fails then you go spiritual. And then the religious centre in the school becomes your haven / or if you are the happy-go-lucky type that is a believer of symbiosis only in exam halls (or parasitism, so long you are the one getting). There was always a formula. Honest or dishonest, 1+1 just always equalled 2.

Every day, every test, every time-table, every gate close, every resumption date, every closing date, every deadline constantly telling us what to do next. And even when it felt like the stress was consuming and lecturers were unfair, and the exam fixtures were crazy, we were still being spoon-fed. Someone somewhere was responsible for answering the question “what’s next”. We never had that responsibility, we never had to worry.

Service year just made things worse. Like some throwback to Secondary school. Back to the era of punishments, lights outs, uniforms, seniors, bullying, mise-ing, saving, ‘visiting day’, prom, social nights, bants sessions, ‘he likes you, he’s cute’, ‘I can do bad all by myself’, match pasts, beauty contests, ‘I­_too_know’s, ‘oversabis’, platoon ‘prefects’, bond 007… forgive my digression but I hope you get my point. What was next wasn’t even something to worry about in the slightest form. NYSC got us covered! And even over-booked! Like Robots, we had a program.

Once there was some motivational gathering, we gather and grope like new-born birds with mouths wide open, waiting to be fed a worm from the mummy bird and jostle to get some piece of the slimy delicacy into our mouths. Ten speakers, the first nine say the same things, downloaded from the internet and recycled, buttered with charisma, seasoned with a sense of humour and packaged in some tailored Marc Jacobs suit with shiny Italian shoes and Rolex to add the cherry to the ice-cream top. Getting all the hungry young’uns all riled up and sucking from the mother’s breast. Then the last speaker comes and opposes everything the first nine have said and *pheeeeeew*out the window goes the motivational and inspirational build up… Back to deflated… back to zero …back to the question: “what next”.

Yay POP! Like some high school graduation, #turnup parties, grad book, ‘say your bye-byes to new friends or lost friends’, then back home… in your mind you are free at last!

Then days roll in weeks… weeks into months… and the phrase hits you like a heart attack “WHAT NEXT?” time for networking, surfing the net for vacancies, travelling miles to meet up for some interview, getting turn down…

Mr X: why do you want this job?

You: blank blank blank…

What really is next?


  1. Avatar

    Reblogged this on LightSpeaksBlog and commented:
    Someone should actually try tweeting ” B. Sc in xxx. 2’1. Help RT. My employer might just be on your TL”
    [Don’t take my word for it tho]

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    words clearly said out of our mouths! i’m sure everyone at some point in our lives have asked this question and have come to live with the reality of it. Nice one babes

    1. Avatar

      asin ehnn… it is almost like a compulsory phase … I appreciate you reading this piece and reblogging. thank you very much!

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    Oyin this is great…I love it…thumbs up.

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      Thank you Linda. I’m soo grateful

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    hmm…will be passing out i July BGG and I’ve begun to think “What next?” 🙂 God dey …nicely written *thumbs up*

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      Thanks dear. I wish you all the best in your post-service journey 🙏🏾🙏🏾

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    You just had to mention Telemundo! #EkaeteBehaviour

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    Wow.oyin this is terrific.to use the words fantastic is an understatement sef.thumbs up.the way the story started i thought i’d be bored but the flow of the story and your style.kudos

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    You already have “what’s next” that’s you been a writer. Good write up.

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    Wow! My boo be hitting the nail on the head! Nice topic, nice flow of words with a ring of truth. U need to work on the nocturnal part though so it doesn’t slow you down when you discover what’s next

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      thank you sweetheart. :$ okies…

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    Salisu Titus

    What next? …maybe writing professionally…
    This has to be the first blogpost that i’ll read, that has more than 50 words, that’s a testament to your writing prowess, kudos

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      looool! Engr Titus, thank you soo much! honoured.

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    Abayomi Richard

    Speechless. . . Guess I read this first. . . Just too truthful. . . @a point, the monthly allowee gingers you but after several failed interviews. . . The question #WHATNEXT comes in. Nice write up #subsidy

    1. Avatar

      we can relate! thank you dear for your comment

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