Letter to My Little Brother as He Enters the University

They say my brother goes where the fighting is thickest and he’s only a pretender. – Game of Thrones (Season 2, Episode 9)

University education used to be a big deal in Nigeria. Real big deal. I remember growing up as a boy in the dusty streets of Southern Kaduna in the mid-1990s. There was only one guy in the university in the whole group of streets around us. He was a celebrity. We looked up to him, with awe and a dreamy eye. There was something in the way he walked, talked and looked at you that sets him aside, apart from us and almost too real for us.

In the early 2000s, university education was no longer such a big deal, but it was still a big deal. People in the university managed to stand out. It was at this time that people believed JAMB does negative marking, and passing could make you a local hero.

The big dealership of the university has continually declined to the stage where I wrote why you should go to the university  (one of my most read posts ever), to the stage today in which no one cares.

Or so I thought until I attended my brother’s matriculation about two weeks back. The road leading to Nsukka was quite busy. The campus was colorful with students dressed in their corporate best and carrying broad smiles; phone cameras flashed; photographers feasted on the kids. There were parents, canopies and jollof rice. People care!

University education is (somehow still) a big deal.

So today, after weeks of procrastinating, I sit before the desktop to write a letter to my brother to offer some words over his education. Because I am a writer; because I write whatever I want; because I feel like writing. It doesn’t matter why I write this, you are reading it so it serves some purpose. (I will close each passage with a quote from Game of Throne series which I grudgingly watched and liked late last year.)


Dear Brother,

You have become a man. You are leaving home to stay on your own for the first time. It is a big deal. You will be tempted to enjoy this new found freedom with careless abandon. Enjoy it. Forget about careless abandon. When I left for Zaria over eight years ago, mama gave me a simple advice; she said: “In all your reading, remember to eat well and draw close to God.” I pass this advice to you. If you spend a good deal of time on your knees and in the kitchen, you won’t have the time for careless abandon. I don’t even know what careless abandon means.

And now my watch begins.

You will notice, as you have, that life on the campus is unnecessarily hard. You know how hard it was to submit your files because Non-Academy Staff Union were on strike. You know how much difficult it is to follow the strange patterns of lecturers, how overcrowded lecture halls, how unpredictable the entire system is. How frustrating. You must have read my how my supervisor roasted me.

You already have a clue about how unnecessarily difficult some humans charged with the education of the next generation can be. Don’t let this remove sleep from your eyes, in fact, expect the system to mess up. Take a look at what a Facebook philosopher wrote:

“In this Nigeria Case, there are three things involved.

1. I cannot kill myself.

2. I cannot come and kill myself.

3. I cannot come and go and kill myself.”

This should be your watchword.

Storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish and I keep paddling.

Don’t lose your soul, nor personality, nor talent in the campus.

The degree you’ll be getting after four years in the university is just one aspect of the whole package. One over four. The other three are outside the classroom, in the Friendships you build, in the connections you make, in the skills you learned, in the experiences you undergo and in the person you have begotten. I daresay that ninety percent of the things that sustained me I got outside of the classroom.

Don’t lose your soul bro. You play football, carry your boots close to your chest; you were practicing the keyboard before admission, keep pressing this (in fact, learn the bass guitar and the trumpet before you graduate). Don’t let assignments, tests, quizzes, whatever rob you of your talents and ambitions.


Don’t just let anyone deceive you that you need to pass very well to make it in life. Lies. Of course, you must take your books seriously but first class or third class or pass doesn’t matter. Just have sense and use it. And please it’s a four years course. Finish it in four (or how long ASUU decides four years is)

It’s easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor.

Make us proud.

Like I did them. Even though you’re in the second best university in Nigeria. Think of UNN as the Kingsroad

Honour took you to Kingsroad and honour brought you back.

And now my letter is ended

Yours sincerely,





Eleven New Year Resolutions from the Angry Nigerian

January has wasted thirteen days as it is now. 25 days to go. Yeah, yeah, I failed my maths, I know, I know but January is always a long month. Last year’s January lasted 55 days. Mehn, saw my eyes with my ears. First, MMM waylaid me on the highway and stole the money I was reserving for Christmas. I got paid on the 19th and on the Boxing Day, le salary was bleeding profusely through the nose. By the end of the end of the month, I buried my transport money in my bra to avoid stories that touch the left side of the chest.

When I came back to Enugu in January, it was a total angry man (not me) that was walking the roads and parading himself as myself. To add injury to salt, one babe like that was carrying face over allocatory matters. January is as long as your bank account. This year, January, God pass you. In fact, let’s not bother the Almighty with this, I can handle this particular January. The Lord has given me victory and I have made a public show of January 2018 in front of Diamond Bank cubicle in Garden Avenue.

That is by the way.

I have resolutions. Normally, at the beginning of the year, I release prophecies but since I went to the synagogue and prophesied that a woman will be president of the United States and the last son of Lucifer became president, I have decided to respect myself.

Resolutions! Eleven of them. Why eleven? Well, a certain Man of Galilee had twelve disciplines and one of them betrayed him because of thirty pieces of Zimbabwean dollars or something like that. I don’t care. I don’t pay close attention to the deeds of villains. Man’s not hot, I have decided to do with eleven resolutions. Keep the Judas. Have you ever seen a bicycle in a filling station?

1, I will laugh more often.

I laugh once a year. Hehehe. That’s all. Till next year. My Instagram bio described me perfectly. Writer, blogger, sadist. Anger is my facial default setting. I am angry until someone annoys me. I never laugh. Those who know me will say it’s a lie. What do they know, because I laugh on phone with you? Let me confess, it wasn’t me. I have a broken tape with which I recorded a laugh. So when you crack a joke, it is the recorded laughter that laughs with you. Yeah, one robot to another. I am waiting for you to end the call, so I can save my battery.

If I were a character, I would be Stannis. Stannis of the House Wailers. I will lead my army to the capitol, capture Jibril and set Aso Rock ablaze. Hehehe.

I have already laughed two times on this post. One last laughter for the rest of the year.

2, I no longer have a special barber.

I came back from the village this year with a bushy head because I didn’t want anybody except my barber cutting my head off. Plan was to go to my personal barber first thing on arrival but nigger was too tired, nigger rested his bones, nigger went to work the next day with bushy head, scattered sideboards and overgrown beard. Wasn’t so proud of me. After work, at night, midnight I think, I got a New Year message from my colleague on Whatsapp. She wrote:

You coundnt even cut your hair. O gini?

I died a little. An early shot on target. Wow.

My barber’s name is Tunde. Before Tunde, Olaniyi was. Before clipper, razor was. Before I came to this town, I have had haircuts.  He’s the only one who understands my head and all. Vanity, says the barbee. All na wash. Wanity, if I may. Who my barber help? If my hair gets due, I will get the nearest barber to cut my head off.

I am handsome with or without Tunde. The style of haircut on my big head has little influence on my crush and crushed, why kill myself? Monkey no fine, says Tekno, but im mama like am…

Wait o, are you trying to call me a monkey? It is your village igwe that is a monkey. Oloshi.

3, I will no longer woo girls.

I have been toasting, yarning, and chyking and lying to girls since 1924, what have come out of it? Nothing. I am done. I am going to face my allocatory matters. Think I have used this word before, but I can’t suffer to invent a new word then use it once. Allocatory matters. Back to the wooing decision, take a look at this list.

Uche Jombo,



Linda Ikeji,


All of them rejected me. I am done chasing girls. If you like me, block me on the road, shoot your shot, buy me shawarma, sing my name to high heaven, after all said and done and undone, last, last, I will give you a wrong number.

I am proving hard to get.

4, I will buy my second car this year but haters will say I don’t even have one car. Pay them no heed.

5, I will make one billion this year.

Paul and Silas, they prayed

After praying, they sang

After singing

The Holy Ghost came down.


I the dreamer, I dreamed

After dreaming, I wished

After wishing

I made my first billion.


You the reader, you laugh

After laughing, drink your garri

After drinking

Watch your back for your village people are coming.

6, My landlord will not make heaven.

But this is not a resolution. Whatever. That man will not make heaven. He cannot. Last month, one fine morning, I was whistling, on my way to somewhere or nowhere, he saw me and I said, “Morning, sir.” He said morning, then added: “I hope you remember that your rent expires on April 27.” Imagine the dickhead. He never remembers my name but somehow he knows the exact minute and hour whence my rent hits the end. How can such man see the Holy Son of God?

(Note that April 27 is not the day my rent expires. I don’t know. Only the man who will not see Jesus knows. I am saying this so that if in July you mistakenly pinch for a loan and I say I don’t have because I just paid my rent don’t call me a liar.)

7, This is item seven. Well, that reminds me of my desire to cook more often this year. I was unable to sleep some night ago so I decided to analyse the sources of my food.

Tea and bread and noodles and eggs and sprite and Nutri Milk = 30%

Zinc restaurant = 30%

Restaurant = 20%

Home-cooked by those who will not be mentioned = 5%

Home-cooked by he or she who shall not be mentioned = 3%

Home cooked by this nigger writing this = 1%

Other = 10%.

My goal is to increase the times I cook real food for myself to 3%. The guy I buy gas from is my friend and he expects me to buy the gas more often. So I will cook and I will cook difficult traditional food like akidi, fiofio, okpa, osu une, agada, usana, pripri, kpikpi, njanja etc. (For your information, 70% of the food doesn’t exist anywhere. Swallow your saliva and take your pot belly westward, you glutton!)

8, The state of war still exists between me and Nigerian tailors.

This one is not a New Year resolution. It is an old beef carried over into the New Year.

Sunny, hello, Sunny? Please open the door. I just want to talk to you.

hidden stones


9, I need more rich friends this year.

I am sick of friends who complain over Nepa bill and who moan and whine over fifty naira increment on some provision and stay away from the internet for days because of “MB” and have heart attack over buying boo a handbag. I love you but this year I prefer to be more with guys who talk like this:

“Victor came back from Turkey since July and has been staying in a hotel, eating breakfast, lunch, dinner in the hotel and entertaining friends every night.”

“Emeka bashed his Toyota on a pole and bought a Ford Edge the next week.”

“Agatha apologized to her boyfriend by taking him to Dubai for a weekend.”

A Facebook philosopher once said if you don’t have up to ten people on your friend list who are able to give you 100 thousand naira loan on a short notice, you are a broke ass. He is right, you are as broke as the five people closest to you. Being wealthy has a lot to do with psychology and the unconscious so the people and atmosphere you create around you matter.

Psqaure said, “If I no get money, I get where to borrow.” Last year, I had a problem with EFCC and they froze my three accounts, I needed to raise 30K urgently for something. Ordinary 30K you people couldn’t raise me; you people were swearing on your grandfather’s grave that you don’t have. Is over between us. Go away, it is people like me that have Wizkid, Davido and DJ Cuppy as friends. I know what to do this year. Don’t be emotional about this. Go and make money.

Signed management.

10, I will walk down the aisle this year.

As a best man or one of the men in suit. Since my mother gave birth to me (before is it your mother that will give birth to me?) I have never been part of a wedding train. A train is going too far. Never been part of a wedding motorcycle. I can’t take this. I am putting an end to this, this year. Where are thee, you sons of guns that call theeself my friends? Take your ass off that Betnaija shop and do the needful.

11, I want to be more forgiving this year.

It is a fact universally unacknowledged that it takes me a while to forgive. No, I am not talking about Jibrin and Rochas and Kogi’s Bello and Fulani herdsmen and Femi Adesina and Lauretta Onochie etc. These people don’t need my forgiveness. Their matter is already out of my hand. It’s for the gods and the oracles of the hills and the caves to decide. Any other person not on this list and who is not my landlord I free from my heart and offer a hand of friendship forget-me.

No, I won’t forgive that babe who sent the “You coundnt even cut your hair” message to me. Baby, watch your back, I am the oracle that kills one when her life is in the sweetness.

I will destroy you.

Tweets to @oke4chukwu