Monday, 23 May, 2022

thenewnigerian

The “Genius” Who Graduated at Thirteen


The “Genius” Who Graduated From Secondary School At The Age Of “Thirteen” (13)

In 2007, I was a year old at the Bar at the time and like most of my Call mates, I was “job hunting”. I had a job really, but I needed a better one. For your information, I gained admission to the university to study Law exactly ten (10) years after my graduation from secondary school (1990-2000). Arising from the foregoing, having “chased”/”pursued” Law for ten (10) years of my early life, one thing was certain, I could not have studied Law only for the purpose of adding that unknown “title” of “Barr” to my name or for the purpose of glazing my certificate and displaying same in my shop/office. That, in part, explains why I have never done anything outside the legal practice in my little years of practice. 
However, the take-home pay of young lawyers has always been poor and mine was no exception. Mine could buy me two (2) bottles of beer and one (1) plate of “nkwobi” on my “Pay-Day”, fuel my car only on Fridays and transport me to and from work in some rickety “Danfos” for fifteen (15) days. The remaining two (2) or three (3) days, my late sister and “Jimmy my barber” always intervened!
Like most of my contemporaries at the time, I prepared about four (4) different types of Resumes, with each one tailor-made for a peculiar role.

I made one for banking roles while another was made for oil and gas and other two (2) were made for teaching and law firms respectively. At the time under reference, the minimum age for banking recruitment was pegged at 27 and those were even the magnanimous ones. Some put theirs at 24 (the ones with fine white pillars) and guess what, I was well over 30 and so, for the very first time in my life, I conceived the idea of “doctoring” my age to make myself suitable for the roles. Some of my CVs, the ones for teaching and law firms had my real age while the ones for banking and oil and gas roles had my “football age”. I actually yanked off just five (5) years and by the time I printed out my CV, it turned out that I had graduated from secondary school at thirteen (13) and primary school at seven (7). Great feat right ?


There was an opening in a law firm, a promising one at the time and it has grown so big today. My cousin had a robust relationship with the partners and he had confidently referred me to the firm. The partners requested my CV and I “erroneously” submitted the one that was designed for banking and oil and gas roles. It was too late! I could no longer retrieve it. The moment the first partner who is now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria saw it, I could see that look of disappointment on his face. He voiced out his displeasure later. I didn’t get the job because I was “dishonest”. This was a job I could have got on a platter of gold, but due to that lie, I lost it. 
After that incident, I swore never to misrepresent my age for any reason whatsoever in my life again. If you know me very well, you will know that my age is in the public domain and for your information, it is always on display on my social media pages on the 9th day of August of every year. 
Guess what, six (6) years after that incident, the same law firm offered me a job but unfortunately and or fortunately for me, I got a better offer about the same time and I opted for the latter. 
Take Away:
You know what, for as long as you live in a clime where there is no data bank where information could be readily accessed, citizens will continue to falsify records recklessly.
For as long as employment is tied to age, citizens will continue to cut corners or do you want them to be unemployed for the rest of their lives? 
For as long as every Tom Dick and Harry can procure an affidavit without tears, citizens will continue to falsify their ages. 
Guess what, if you depose to an affidavit falsely (lying under oath) you are toying with a crime -“Perjury”.

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