By Yasira Muhammad Bello
Since the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike from the first week of their warning strike in February, I have been busy with my literary activities, busy schedules and many other things.
In the first three months, I was engaged with an empowerment program called EGMA and EGRA (Feed and Read program for Almajiri’s) taking place all over Nigeria under different NGOs. Luckily, I got to be on the supervising committee under the Halimafactor community initiative (HFCI).
During this period, ASUU extended their warning strike, allowing me to continue my empowerment program skills.
Spending time with the Almajiri’s teaching them, feeding them and interacting with them gave me an instinct that ASUU has done me a favour because it’s a splendid opportunity to be with them and see their understanding of English and Mathematics.
I feel that it’s a considerable achievement and fulfilment. However, right on track before the completion of the program, I heard that ASUU would soon call off the strike (maybe or maybe not).
Alongside I saw another fantastic and golden opportunity; the NGO I am volunteering with will host training for Photography and Videography in collaboration with ITF/NECA. Immediately after I saw the form, I decided to participate since photography was my hobby and passion, and it would be another huge achievement during the ASUU strike. So I registered free and was screened and interviewed. So luckily for me, I got hitched up and selected to participate.
It wasn’t an easy-going job waking up as early as possible to be there at the training venue from (9:00 am to 3:00 pm). Sometimes it went beyond the closing time. Still, I kept going by putting my unending effort and strengthening my mind and soul for the task full option.
Right on the way, some of my co-trainees got tired and left, but I did not give up. On the contrary, I struggled every morning for the task ahead. Gradually, they say, an elephant can fly. Of course, it did.
The three consecutive months weren’t easy, but with all the hardships and criticism, I strived for it to be independent and stand out from other women of my age who think that women don’t have room in photography. Independence is my most cherished and number one value.
All of a sudden, it ended with a great one-week entrepreneurship class. Wow, it’s a massive point for me in 2022 and during the ASUU strike. The classes ended just a week ago (on Friday). I am now a certified photographer and videographer.
From last week to today, not up to a week, I have been doing nothing but staying at home. I feel like I have been idle for a year without doing anything. It’s a big step back to my dear independent life. Since the Federal Government is not ready to dialogue with ASUU, and ASUU aren’t prepared and willing to call off the strike, I wouldn’t hesitate to call myself to strike hard for my independent and entrepreneurial habits and morals.
This is just a brief account of my struggle during the period of ASUU. I decided to share this story with all my comrades at university and outside campus, especially my dear girls sitting idle at home doing nothing and expecting everything. If Nigeria cannot do it for us, let’s grow to be responsible and do it ourselves. With or without school, my 2022 agenda is almost fulfilled.
Be independent; you must overcome all the challenges and critics before you get to the root you want to grab in life.
I was criticized to the extent that I was thinking of backing down, but I decided not to. I learnt a life lesson that we can never do without criticism. When they criticize and talk about you, this shows that you are getting somewhere high. Believe me; many people are praying and hoping to be in your constant point. It’s their praying point, but you might not know. I refused to be trapped down doing nothing.
Yasira Muhammad Bello is a 100L student of Science Laboratory Technology, Gombe State University. She is an entrepreneur, writer, poetess, photographer, videographer, and spoken word artist. She sent this via email@example.com.
One of our kind eerah