Categories of Students at a Typical JAMB Examination Centre

Visit a JAMB examination centre and you’re likely to encounter students that fall under most if not all of the categories listed here. A single student could even belong to two or more of the categories.

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Photo: Google

1. The Ones who came to Slay: These ones come to the examination hall looking like they just stepped out of a fashion magazine. They show up looking flashy and fully made up. Designer shoes, bags and watches. No books in sight.

2. “The Eficos”(Bro. Sabino and Sis. Sabina): These ones know the entire syllabus. They know the recurrent questions from 1988 till date. They know the part of the syllabus that’s almost always overlooked. “Almost” because those questions were set only
twice in the last ten years. They show up with one book containing jottings from the four subjects they registered. They’re ready for their answers to serve as marking schemes for the examiners.

3. The Ones with the I-don’t-care attitude: They show up with their exam slips, bubble gum(in their mouth), and ear piece plugged in. They roll their eyes occasionally at the “eficos”. They can be heard on phone saying: “Ehn, I don dey there. I no know why them dey waste time. Make dem let person do this thing, commot for here. I get better things to do.”

4. The Chatterboxes: These ones came to gist. They just talk about anything. From Buhari’s health to their principal’s dress sense, to what they had for breakfast, to who’s dating who in their school. The list is endless. Most of the time, they are “lucky” to have one or two schoolmates posted to the same centre as they. These schoolmates serve as their gossip partners.

5. The “Ajebutters”: These ones do not come on their own. Someone comes to drop them off. They do not have to stand in the sun like the others. They stay in the car until it’s time for them to go in to the hall. A lunch bag can be seen on the backseat of the car.

6. The Ones who have Written the Exam too Many Times: They arrive late. They aren’t really bothered about anything. They’re completely disillusioned. They can be heard saying “Forget all these things wey una dey do. Na negative marking dem dey do. No be by reading, na by luck. Nobody read pass me that last two years jamb. That last year wey I no too read, na im I pass pass sef”.

7. Add yours in the “comments” section.

Modern Football: A Clash of Two Greats?

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Over the last decade, the beautiful game has been dominated by two individuals – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The fact that the last nine ballons d’or have been shared between them is a testament to their dominance. But is Messi and Ronaldo all there is to modern football?

Many young players fail to live up to their potentials because after their first step over, they are dubbed ‘the new Ronaldo’, or after their first solo goal, they earn the tag ‘future Messi’. Once upon a time, Bojan Krkic was tagged “the new Messi” while Memphis Depay was dubbed “the new Ronaldo”. Where are they now? Bojan now plies his trade for Mainz 05, on loan from Stoke City while Depay left Manchester United for Lyon after a series of underwhelming performances. Not many can cope with the weight that comes with the tag ”new Messi”, or ”new Ronaldo”. Little wonder Gerard Deulofeu recently confessed that ”The Lionel Messi comparisons hurt my development. It generated too much expectation concerning me amongst Barcelona supporters. There is only one Messi. I don’t normally read the newspapers, but this comparison really stuck out” he stated per Marca.

Thus, it may not be wrong to assert that  that the ballon d’or award has not been totally fair in recent times. In 2010, Lionel Messi won the award ahead of Xavi and Iniesta but Wesley Sneijder, who led Inter Milan to win a treble and Netherlands to the finals of the World Cup, was arguably a better candidate judging from his general performance with both club and country. Surprisingly, he happened not to have a place amongst the top three finalists that year.

In 2013, the voting date for the FIFA ballon d’or was reopened after Ronaldo ensured Portugal qualified for the 2014 world cup by scoring four goals as Sweden lost to Portugal four goals to two. Extending the date prevented Franck Ribery from winning as Ronaldo ran off with the award. These two decisions show that FIFA does not promote the essence of the game. Football goes beyond goal scoring.

It is indeed true that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the greatest players to have graced the beautiful game. However, change is constant. Times change and over the next few years, the ”Messi-Ronaldo” era will come to an end. So it’s good for the world of football to enjoy their talents while we can and try to unlearn the habit of comparing the two great players. Let’s be more objective so we can have a clear view of the future and nurture the new crop of stars being born every day. The future looks bright for the beautiful game.

Great Oriahi,
Lagos, Nigeria.

Edited by Franca Ekele Oriahi(Phrankelle)

Probing Society

It’s a man’s world, isn’t it?

Photo: Pinterest

Why can’t I be heard?
Why do I have to shrink myself?
Why do I have to play second fiddle? Why do I have to be judged based on my gender?

The other day, a “well meaning” aunt called me aside,
She advised that I shouldn’t be “too anything”…
Don’t be too outspoken,
Don’t be too opinionated,
Don’t get too ambitious,
Don’t get too rich,
Just don’t or you’ll scare them away!!

There was this time I tried to confide in you;
I told you about that guy…
The one who tried to take advantage of me.
Remember what you told me?
“I told you that dress shows off your curves. You shouldn’t have worn it to see him!”

Why do you always try to blame me?
Why do you always find a way to point accusing fingers at me?
Even when I’m clearly the victim.

Look at my friend, Ada
I told you I had to visit her at the hospital,
Her husband beat the living daylight out of her,
Do you remember what you said?
“She talks too much. I’m sure she must have pushed the poor guy to the wall this time”

Why do my folks focus too much on me?
My curfew is 7:30pm,
My kid brother isn’t back from the game center yet
Check your clock, it’s 10:30 pm, isn’t it?

Why are the shouts of “hallelujah” always louder when someone testifies of the birth of a “bouncing baby boy”?

Why? Just why?

BANG! IT HITS THE BAR: AFRICAN FOOTBALL HAS FAILED TO SCORE

Reflections of a young African boy on the “stunted growth” of football in Africa.

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The quality of both the international and local football competitions in Africa are light years behind that of the rest of the world. The fact that the  Africa Cup Of Nation’s best side over the years, Egypt ( with 7 titles) has qualified for just 2 world cups – the 1934 and 1990 edition says so much about the quality of the competition. Truth be told, the current Confederation of Africa Football champions league winners, TP Mazembe, would find it difficult to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world, especially South America and Europe, not to talk of qualifying for such competitions as the UEFA champions league, were they a European side .Thus, the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF, founded in 1957, only 3 years after The Union of European Football Association, UEFA, has played a major role in the snail-paced growth of African football.
    
In the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa, Ghana played a  quarterfinals match against Uruguay. It was a match watched by the whole of Africa. There was a ray of hope. This Ghanaian team, inspired by Asamoah Gyan were at the verge of breaking the quarterfinals jinx but “almost” doesn’t count. It could be said that Luis Suarez’s hand was the only thing that robbed Africa of her first appearance in the world cup semifinals. How I wish that were true!

Talking about facilities, African football is really lagging behind. As a matter of fact, the role of under equipped stadia in the crawling motion of African football cannot be overstated. In the 2013 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, CAF insisted on using the Mbolemba Stadium for a semifinals match. The pitch was earlier used in the group stage for some matches which triggered complaints by players, coaches and administrators. CAF responded by saying ”plan A is Mbolemba, so is C and B…”, showing their low level of competence. If that happened in AFCON, Africa’s major international football competition, what kind of pitch do you think are used in the local leagues? How can  we call it the beautiful game even when played on such ugly pitches?

Even with these constraints, Africa has two of the four most successful teams in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Nigeria (with five titles, three time runners up ) and Ghana (with two titles and two time runners up). Mali, Ivory coast and Burkina Faso also have their fair share of success in the competition. Also, in FIFA U-20 World Cup, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Egypt have at least reached the semifinals. The question is why can’t this translate to success at the Senior category? First of all, there is a case of fielding over age players, and even when that is curbed, these young players do not get the right development needed for proper transition. Best case scenario is that a handful of them get snapped up by foreign clubs and we get to hear about one or two of them in the near future.

There has never been a dearth of talented players, with Africa producing the likes of Abedi Pele, Roger Milla, George Weah, Kanu Nwankwo, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba, and so on. It has been the case of a faulty system, producing wrong results. In South Africa 2010, Asamoah Gyan missed that penalty and it was sad, but I fear
we’ve seen the last bang as it hit the bar!!
-Great Oriahi,
   Lagos, Nigeria.
Edited by Franca Ekele Oriahi (Phrankelle)

La Mujer

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Photo: Pinterest

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Photo: Pinterest

Being a woman means being at the receiving end of society(usually negative).
It means getting blamed for virtually everything. “The woman you gave to me made me eat the fruit”.
It means getting blamed for actions against you. Imagine telling someone about a guy that tried to rape you and the first thing the person asks is “what were you wearing?”

Being a woman means being strong-
mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Trust me, you need that strength to be able to give life and nurture it.
Being a woman means the ability to add life to whatever you do.
Being a woman means being strong, yet sensitive.
Being a woman means loving unconditionally.
Being a woman is the best thing you can be.

CLOUD 29

The Anonymous Cherif

370620cb7b7a53c00ba7cbc3748ab84b PHOTO: Tumblr

There I was at the rendezvous, guilt-ridden for supposedly appearing behind schedule.I looked around and thought to myself “She must have left disappointed in my frustrating absence”,but I ordered a drink anyway and sat at the “red dot” of the restaurant,making myself an obvious target for my MIA date.

I brought along with me my accomplice for escapism which fed me stories of the Louisiana Tract of 1803,the power play of Nappleon,Jefferson and Charles VI of Spain, hoping my fears would fizz out and she would miraculously “show up!”.Half of my heart was buried in the masterful delivery of conspiracist history by Joel Levy while its twin oscillated between the to-leave-or-not-to-leave debate that ensued in my growing social anxiety and bare nervousness.In my uneasiness,I looked around in the way a rotating standing fan peruses its surrounding to find that I was kinda the only one chilling solo at…

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BLANK PAGE

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Photo: Pinterest

Whenever I see a blank page
I think of its potential
I think of the possibilities it holds
I think of the million things it could become
If only it finds its way to the hands of the right person

Whenever I see a blank page
I marvel at what it could become
I think of the various use to which it could be put
I think of how it comes alive
When it comes in contact with a writer
I think of how much emotions it could contain
I think of the many opinions it could hold
I think of what form it could take
A poem, a narrative, an essay

Whenever I see a blank page
I think of a chunk of clay
And I marvel at what it could become
If ever it finds its way into the hands of a potter
A pot, a plate, a cup

Whenever I see a blank page
I see a person ready to learn
And I marvel at who he could become
In just a matter of time

Whenever I see a blank page,
I see possibilities.