Because I am a boy
My father, Jemkur Mallam Samson, retired as a soldier before I was born in June 1992 in Shishiri, Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau State, Nigeria, the last of four boys and one girl of my mum, Elizabeth Samson, for him. My mum was the last of his three wives.
I am Napshat Samson. My dad gave me Napshat because he claimed that he 'overpowered my mum, again, to bring forth a son.'
We are Christians of the COCIN denomination. COCIN is the Church of Christ in Nations although it was formerly Church of Christ in Nigeria. It is headquartered in Jos, capital of Plateau State. In my present location, I attend the Living Faith Church.
I attended the LGEA Pilot Primary School, a government school in Shishiri, from 2000 to 2006. From 2006 to 2012, I attended Lyangjit Community Secondary School in Ndem, also in Langtang North.
We are Tarohk people.
Our language is iTárók but many people can speak or understand English Language.
I love the English Language and that is why I have been in fervent pursuit of read mass communication in a university.
My other favourite subjects in secondary school are agriculture, biology and government.
Until I left secondary school I did not take education seriously.
It could be because the average secondary school leaver in Shishiri ended up getting married and raising a family. Or just waste away, constituting a nuisance to himself. Or, join the army or the police.
I also had a wish to join the Nigerian Army.
But, many of the men leave the town, if they do not find sponsors.
Livelihood beyond the village
I left too in 2013.
For Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
My friend and townsman, Raymond, a security guard there, was my host.
After about two weeks staying at his home doing nothing, he linked me up with an agent who got me a job also as a security guard at a bungalow in Rumuomasi occupied by the widow-landlady and her tenants.
My salary was twelve thousand Naira monthly, which I spent largely on food and drugs as mosquitoes feasted on me nightly.
My shelter was built over a drainage in the building.
I was guarding nice people but the environment was not friendly.
I worked there for about six months.
I complained to a neighbouring security guard named Garba who recommended me to another woman, Aunty Olivia, who lived in a one-storey building in the Rumukurushi area with her sisters.
My salary was also twelve thousand Naira.
But, this time around, my accommodation, a self-contained apartment, was better.
Auntie Olivia worked in an oil company.
I spent like three or four months on the job.
I simply left the job one day when Auntie Olivia was not around.
My friend had told me that there was another security guard job where I would be paid twenty thousand naira.
But, the job was not there.
I was ashamed to go back to Auntie Olivia who apparently was angry about my action.
So I stayed jobless.
I became a manual labourer. It was during one Ramadan, so I would go with the fellows I hung out with to eat at a mosque when the faithfuls broke their fast.
I later had another security guard job at Kay Kay Furniture on Stadium Road where I was being paid fifteen thousand Naira
It was upstairs on an uncompleted building.
Whenever someone came into the showroom, my job was to open the door for them.
Besides this place was a car stand, rented from the owner of KayKay Furniture.
On weekends, when I was not on duty at the showroom, I washed all the vehicles at the stand every morning.
Mr Danjuma from Kogi State, who was the Chairman of the car dealers, at the car stand, helped me to get a driver's licence because at weekends people came to rent cars there for weddings but I told him I did not have a licence although I had learnt to drive in Shishiri.
I soon got another job as a driver. Abdullahi, a Nigerien, who was a security guard at the stand, had recommended me to a car dealer, Mr Ugochukwu, who had told him he needed a driver.
Abdullahi had told me that the pay was twenty thousand Naira.
But, I got paid five thousand Naira less.
I complained to my boss's girlfriend not knowing that I would get him angry.
After paying me the fifteen thousand, Mr Ugochukwu fired me. I worked for him for only one month.
I became jobless again.
I returned to the car stand and continued to wash cars for small amounts of money.
Soon after, while at this, one Mr Azubuike wanted to start his own car stand at Rumukoro.
I got hired.
It was like a twenty-four hour job: I drove the cars into the car stand, washed them and was also the security guard.
I slept in the office. Around the place, there was a small container where cement was being sold.
One Mr Emeka was the one supplying cement to the container man.
Ifeanyi, driver to Emeka, took a liking to me, and said he was going to travel to his village for one week. He was also processing his papers to travel to Malaysia.
Mr Azubuike agreed that I could do the job.
If I left Mr Azubuike's place then I would not have a place to stay.
Ifeanyi came back and left for Malaysia.
I got the job as a truck driver on a pay of thirty-five thousand Naira and was back with my friends in the uncompleted building on Stadium Road.
That was in 2014/15.
I continued to live in the uncompleted building.
All this while, I was not thinking of going back to school
Quest for higher education
Until, my half-sister, twenty years older than me and my closest sibling, Sarah Nden, said I have to write my JAMB (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination).
I saved some money and I went to Jos, in obedience to my sister. She is a businesswoman in Jos.
I got a job with an elderly man, Dr Lucky Fomson who was later appointed the Public Complaints Commissioner in the State.
My salary was eighteen thousand Naira. I rented an apartment close to Dr Fomson's house.
I did not have to spend too much money. I got free lunch.
After about two months, I bought a bicycle for sixteen thousand Naira to ride to and from work.
I took the UTME with the intention of being admitted into the University of Jos to read mass communication.
I scored 220 and the cut off mark was 180.
But I was not given an admission.
I also lost my job over an issue concerning food and housegirls that got Mrs Famson angry.
Out and about - again
I went back to my parents at Langtang and was with them for six months before I moved again, this time to Onicha-Ugbo in Delta State, where another townsman, Moses Selfa, was a security guard at a filling station.
While in Langtang, I learnt how to make shoes because my sister, God bless her, said I should learn a handiwork.
I also got forms for the Army, Air Force and Police. None clicked.
At Onicha-Ugbo, it was the rainy season and I got jobs helping out at some farms.
My stay there did not last long.
Early 2020, just before the onset of COVID-19, I came to Ibadan, Oyo State, on the invitation of my townsman, Nansak, a security guard.
I got a security guard job at an estate in Olowo Nla, Bashorun, Bodija. I stayed at the estate gatehouse. The salary was twenty thousand Naira.
Meanwhile, my sister kept insisting that I must sit for the UTME. I did in 2020, with my university of choice being the same University of Jos and course of study, mass communication. I scored 252. Still, no admission.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, drivers were told to stay away from the estate. So, I occasionally helped one elderly woman to move around. I got a little extra money from that. I stayed in the gatehouse, and still do.
Around June 2022, I came across Africar e-hailing cab.
I applied to the company and was allotted a car.
We were paid sixty thousand Naira a month, and our target was eight thousand Naira or ten rides a day. We got a one-hour break. The car was maintained by the company and our phone recharged.
Last month (January), they stopped paying the salary but our revenue was reduced to seven thousand l, five hundred Naira.
I have registered for yet another JAMB for the same mass communication at the University of Jos.
I believe that I would score above the cut-off mark and I hope that this time around, I would be admitted. Because I really want to be a mass communication graduate.
To Keep Us Going
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Your kind support will keep us going. You can do so securely here.
Taiwo Obe, FNGE
Commonwealth Professional Fellow
Founder/Director, The Journalism Clinic
+234 818 693 5900