By: Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez
Well, you had just got an admission into a higher institution after you had pulled strings by troubling your “connection” with pleadings to make your admission granted. This was after you had written the JAMB exams for so many times that the JAMB body had to put you on its watch list and subsequently admitted you as one of its persistent candidates in the hall of fame.
You had passed through the very embers of fire; after all, you got your admission into a course you didn’t apply for — well, it was said on the news that not so many people applied into your assigned faculty so some admission aspirants had to be moved there. And after you paid your acceptance fees, you were cleared into another department. You must have really gotten sad but your friends said you were ungrateful for not thanking God for getting entrance into the institution.
Like the strong-willed patriotic Nigerian that you are, you do not want to lose out entirely. You look for ways to impact on the campus and thicken your skill set. You have got to thicken your CV for recruiters and employers who require a five-year experience for the job you hope to apply for as a fresh graduate. Trust me, I come with the perfect panacea: be a campus journalist and shoot into limelight.
You are done being celebrated as a local champion. Those commendations you have on WhatsApp groups for posting your writings are not enough. You must blow on campus. Do not fade into darkness. How better can you stay admired, feared and respected at the same time by the school management, student politicians, and the student populace if you are not a journalist on campus?
My good friend, I come with glad tidings. I come bearing tips on how to make it fast on campus. Follow my tips and become a Nigerian campus journalist cum celebrity.
Rule 1: Join a campus press outfit
You need to groom your personality to suit your newly found discipline. You need the skill set for your status as a campus journalist. All these could be achieved by joining a press organization on campus. Don’t they claim to have folks who write for reputable newspapers? Don’t they claim you are bound to make it by joining their membership? Join the league in your journey to ‘prosperity’.
Rule 2: Pretend to hate politics
My friend, in the course of becoming a journalist on campus, you must be non-partisan. But who are you to shun politics when you know everything about life is political, including your admission? You have to outsmart those press bodies by portraying yourself as the saint they think you are. I know it would be hard but it would come in handy during your second semester when those political aspirants box you into corners to reel out the ‘paradises’ they couch into manifestos. Remember to flash your teeth and tell them you’re a pressman (it comes with its perks).
Rule 3: Feign dedication and commitment
Your new career would be too demanding but you have got to shoot into limelight really quick. Where do you have the time to report events, write articles, attend press meetings and draft editorials when you have got coursework? Repel those thoughts of multi-tasking and coping under tough challenges. I have gotten a life-hack: join committees and remain inactive. The Publicity Committee is the best bet. Shebi na to send BC?
C’mon, smile like you are one of the wise men the stars led to Bethlehem.
Rule 4: Project yourself
In your quest to blow as a campus newsman, you must get a press ID and a press tag. If possible, get a press jacket or vest, which you would convert into your ‘uniform’. Students on campus must know of your new god-given career. Feign humility when they hail you as a pressman and a man of truth. Smile when you are called the voice of the masses. Glow through campus with your newly found position. Attend events and sit in spots reserved for the press. Do not forget to request for the ‘press package’ after events (winks). Rejoice inwardly, for money is coming!
Rule 5: Explore politicians
To make it as a successful pressman, you must be the nemesis of student politicians. Know their dark secrets. Threaten them as the true watchdog that (you think) you are. Strike fear into their chicken-clouted hearts. Bloat their fizzling courage and egos. Make friends with the rich ones, for they are your goldmines. Accept brown envelopes! Criticize not the school management, for they hold the keys to your expulsion. Be in their good books. Enjoy the bounties, for they are the rewards of your hustle. Rejoice, for these are bounties from the Lord for your hustle in achieving greatness.
Rule 6: Be passively active
Well, the good news is that you are now a campus journalist. The bad news, however, is that you must never allow ‘anything’ to truncate your hustle in the realm of journalism. Avoid the Disciplinary Committee of your campus press outfit like a plague, for they are leprous to your hustle. Argue pointlessly in meetings, stating facts within and beyond your proposal. Show people that you are ‘conscience of the masses’, for you are the mouthpiece of the citizenry. Buy shirts and face caps with inscriptions like “Press Freedom”, “Free Campus Press”, “We Must Be Free”, “The Oppression Must Stop”, “Voice of the Masses”. Wear tattered clothes. (Because how else would people know what you undergo in voicing out their opinions?) Be always ready for “Free The Press” protests (that’s the best way to appear in photographs to be published in the dailies).
Rule 7: Lastly, join politics!
Remember in the second rule stated above, you must pretend to hate politics. If you follow these rules religiously, you must have become a campus celebrity status on campus, or perhaps you have been listed as one of the most popular influencers. But forget not that you must remain in the limelight. Now is the time to explore other terrains and being a politician is your best bet. Resign from your campus outlet. Of course, they would ask questions but what can they possibly do? Contest for political posts. Bankroll on your political connections. Use your previous ‘impacts’ on campus as your selling points to win the seat. Build your “motivational speaking” career. Narrate tales about your days of glory and exploits to students and lament sadly that the press is failing on campus since your exit from the world of journalism. Show people the transformation in the political sphere since your involvement in campus politics.
These rules would make you thicken your experience column in your CV. Follow them strictly and you are on your way to become a successful journalist and achiever on campus. Step up in your hustle, my gee.
Adedimeji Quayyim Abdul-Hafeez is interested in laws, media and communications, journalism and anything that knowledge can be found in. He views the world as a conglomerate of crumbling realities and is enamoured in how satires embodies hope of our collective humanity. He receives mails on firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets on the bird app @quayyimbakr