The stupid gown

The stupid gown

When Radio attacks the graduate, it is usually in the form a thinly veiled spat with the poor graduate from the now really ‘honoured’ and stilted self-made judges of the airwaves. The insults come in the form of torrents of petty quarrels on the veracity or the mendacity of the status of one as a graduate.

That the graduate is he or she who languishes in unemployment because the system forgot that it sent him to school, or that the system is full of jealous undereducated freaks (that is if they are ‘educated’ at all . . . for arithmetic shall never equal maths, nor will general knowledge ever match specialised training) that ensure that one does not enter the ancient offices of public service is of no matter; for the poor opinionated local ‘princes/princesses of the airwaves’ types are loquacious motormouths that follow no script and in their uncontrolled torrents of hogwash disguised as sensible talk.

These unchecked speeches cut huge swathes out of the pride of the unemployed graduates and cause extreme emotional torment among those that bother to listen to them.  I have listened over the years as my transistor set spewed obscenities with regard to the issue of the unemployed graduate: that individual who is sold the lie that wasting time in classrooms will grant them a nice little house, with a nice little car parked by its bedroom window.

The graduates in this country are sold lies, just like in that Serj Tankian song Feed Us. The system lies shamelessly at the poor graduates; as if the fool is not the fool but the one that is being told that they are the fool by the fool. I often wonder whether the roots of the unemployment in this country can be traced to the true source; the ancestry of this land that was gullible enough to believe the lie that what came from the outside was actually of more value than what was already existent locally.

These ancestors passed their sad belief on to their equally daft progeny, and as we speak; this country is dealing with the seventh generation of those cursed individuals that took up the false belief that to be, one has to be something other than himself, and if you are smart enough to understand how that lie has over the years continued to grow with each passing generation, you will understand one fact: leave the fools to their favourite pastimes, that old lie has grown to leviathan proportions and will prove hard to beat.

This country spends more time argumenting than implementing, and this is one of the reasons why the relevant ministers are bold enough to state that there are currently more than 10 000 unemployed graduates.  How they will be employed is never discussed, instead, the flummoxed individuals often in their early twenties and therefore at their most prime in terms of the necessary abilities to be of service to their state, are encouraged to form their own ‘companies’ or ‘cooperatives’.

Who will sponsor such ventures is never mentioned, as if Caesar’s lucre falls as manna did on the Israelites in the desolate deserts after their escape from Egypt.  Unemployment in this country is caused by one factor, misallocation of posts according to profession, it is quite common to find an accountant serving as a seamstress in an apparel factory, or a lawyer tending to gardens, while the garden boy enjoys a cushy job serving as a development officer in the public service.

Why one should just swallow the insults to their intelligence without retort remains a mystery, as if one were just a meek cow that should be herded to whatever pasture the herdsman wishes.  We do not get educated to be meek, we go school to gather enough knowledge to ask relevant questions, and the question that I pose now is: What did governments over the years do when the reality of the unemployed graduate unfolded? What is being done to address it at this moment in time?

Nothing! The lame excuse of the baldheads is the now jelled lie of ‘economic recession’ that occurred ten years ago in 2007-2008. This weak defence is presented as boldly as an army standard in that comic Obelix and Asterix.
If recession was such a major blow, how did Japan rise after the Kobe disaster, or how did it rise after the earlier Nagasaki and Hiroshima disasters?
The Japanese have a firm belief in their potential, and the state works really hard to garner in the young energy found in the ranks of recent graduates still in their prime to push the economy up.

A long CV will not get one a job in Japan, a two page CV stands more chance of getting the applicant the position they applied for. Out here, you are told tales of American presidents that rose out of the dust on their journey to the White House.
That they had mentors who were willing to part with the necessary dimes and dollars is never mentioned. We owls are supposed to believe that they rose out of nothing. Well, we don’t.

It is a fact that the First World has endless development grants and funds for the unemployed, their coffers are overflowing with the spoils of the riches they stole in the colonial years.

So, if some figure from a generation that actually did the cursing of the land dares to convince us that we unemployed graduates can make something of ourselves out of nothing, I just smile and curse back under my breath.
That we should struggle as our forefathers is nonsense, that we can toil like donkeys at a sugar mill is a travesty I boldly curse in the name of whatever the reader can guess . . . the reality is that we are never told the truth but are taught to accept this mountain of turd misrepresented to us in the form of the victory stories of individuals ‘who made it’.

That they had the support of some secret benefactor is never mentioned, but common sense and experience has taught me and those of my kind that one needs a financial mentor in the implementation of an idea.
That kind of mentor is virtually non-existent in this country; one has to be a political fanatic first to make it to the crumbs falling off the royal tables in this here land.

For those ones that are apolitical, the best they will get is the shamefaced countenance of a former fellow graduate who for some reason nepotistic got a post in a ministry that is not even related to the course they studied at university.
The consolation is that they got a job, and so they can forget (conveniently) about the plight of those that are forced to doing menial jobs. And Bob Marley goes on and sings Babylon System:

Tell the children the truth . . .  Coz we been treading on the winepress much too long
And we been taken for granted much too long

This mystic sang me into my senses in my first year at varsity; a highly enlightened brother of mine in his final year had me listen to the words in depth, and to interpret the meanings thereof in depth.  So when a speaker on some podium wants to convince the masses of the unemployed but educated that they should be content with a piece of paper on the wall while their families suffer in squalor and his family lives in splendour, I just look the other way.

I cannot stand the stench of the hypocrisy that one should spend more than twenty years of their lives in the pursuit of the dream to be something, only to be told that the dream they have been in pursuit of was actually a lie they should have forgotten about in their third year of primary school and gone on to herd cattle and to shag ewes in cattle posts high up in the Malutis.

A radio personality was very vocal one morning, in her usual demeaning and sarcastic shebeen-queen tone, she derided graduates and their letters; stating that such letters are useless because the richest men in the land are those with little or no education.
I wondered whether she asked herself why those ‘rich’ natives have not donated a single cent towards the curbing of the tide of unemployment in the country.

I also wondered how far she had gone in terms of real school. I got my answer less than two months later when huge delegations of Africans were seen at Waldorf Astoria when we thought they were at the UN Headquarters. This state as an entity is self-defeating, and no matter how many processes of reformation we shall come to witness in the years to come, we will go on to sing ‘Going nowhere slowly’ for there is no real introspection or sense thereof in the relevant sectors of society.

How someone goes on and sends their child to school only to see them languish with a brown envelope full of transcripts vexes my understanding.
How the fools always declare ‘they were sent to school with our taxes’ and somehow manage to be part of the crowd that blocks the graduates’ entry into employment flummoxes my humongous graduated pea brain.

I remember well the last time I went to ‘public service’ department to check on the progress of my name on the list (for the third time). My name was there right, but there was no surname, and for some strange reason, that name had magically slid down the list (maybe only those names with gecko feet could climb up that strange list).

Still dazed with the sliding of my name down the list, I was further given the shock-treatment those in sanatoriums go through by the maid with lipstick on her teeth who boldly told me that my qualifications rendered me ‘unemployable’, that is, that I should consider enrolling in the teacher training college.

That I then held an honours degree did not matter to her or that I had been carrying that cursed brown manila envelope for more than seven years from office to office did not count in her Scheissestein brain. She actually thought it smart that I should go back to school and do a course in teaching. She does not know and you do not know that I cursed her mother very loud in the privacy of my angry mind as I left the office of public service for the last time.

Growing my dreadlocks would prove to be more meaningful than subjecting myself to tosh.
There are smart Jills and Alecs who hold the false notion that they can insult the intelligence of the graduate with their motivational speak on holding on.
Do not hold on, forget patriotism for it is a term of convenience for those who are getting something out of the equation. Let go of the lies you were told from your toddler years on how good education is, it too is convenient for those that can go to private schools and be guaranteed of a cushy job after they are done with their 20 year routine in class.

Find something that makes you happy and do it with all your might. Do it silently, but always remind them that you did graduate so they remember their place. I found out that I love gardens and designing them, I found out that I love the smell of paint and the feel of the roller sliding up and down the wall, that I love the look of wood after the planing and the sanding is done; I found out that I prefer the more physical jobs to the cushy pen-pusher type of occupations many seem to covet.

I self-defined because I could not let no fool insult my intelligence by calling me a graduate that effected no change. Well, they can insult that stupid certificate hanging on the wall and the university that granted it. They can never insult me to my face; because my claw hammer and my screwdriver are always handy. That stupid gown I wore those years ago actually means nothing right now, what it is but a memory of dumb foolishness.
As the mystic that sang ‘Top Rankin’ used to think of the ‘educated’. I’d be a dumb fool to believe education meant more than what it is . . . education, conformity . . .

Tsepiso S Mothibi

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