To say the difference between schooling in Nigeria and the UK is several miles apart is an understatement, even ages apart wouldn’t do what he’s found since arriving in the UK for his masters enough justice, only probably in eons apart could something close to the truth be felt. Unfortunately only fifty years ago things were less so shockingly disparate in comparison between Nigerian and British schools, so much so that one could easily waltz into any university in the UK with what he has from Nigeria without further qualifying exams, and not feel lost besides the cultural shock, weather and food, going by what he gleaned from those who walked the path he’s now careering back in those days. In the UK schools everything is painstakingly explained, as all efforts are geared towards helping students pass, students can also organize meetups with tutors to clarify concepts even. In fact during orientation they were intimated about some fund to help poorly scoring students. All teaching is related to everyday events rather than abstract concepts, as you’d find with schooling in Nigeria with the effect felt in output of graduates at the work place. The environment is also one that’s very conducive for learning, where there’s water (the lack of which Nigerian government owned, sometimes even privately owned university students, severely demonstrate against, annually a few times following the death or hospitalization of colleagues due to waterborne diseases), constant electricity (which Nigerian students have to plead to authorities to at least grant them especially during exams, the lack of which have caused many students take to reading under street lamps on campus, considered to be of higher priority than supplying student hostels with electricity by school authorities), and other basic amenities, removing that added stress that in one way or the other can impact negatively on student’s performance when such are absent or not adequately provided.
When the school hosts events, they serve some refreshments, which students can attend sometimes for the free food consisting mainly of fruits, sandwich, sausages, fish and meat, unfortunately the food is one of the worst he’s ever tasted, making the fruits a delight for him, of all that is set at table most times.
It seems to him that the essence of feeding in the UK is to discourage feeding, except one has lost the use of taste buds. It would appear that if potatoes, bread and sugar were removed from the British diet they’d have nothing left to eat, interestingly he’d been warned about the British diet not only from people who’d been to, but also from books he’d read (and from a few movies), written by visitors to the UK, including Nigerians who had at one time or the other attested to the terribleness of the British diet, and though older Nigerian folks that have spent a large part of their lives as emigrants in the UK say that it has much improved now, he wonders if it is testament to an improvement as it is to their taste adjusting to the British diet, that they now make such spurious claims. He’d have stuck to visiting OBALENDE SUYA in Peckham
on a daily, to ensure his taste buds remain Nigeria, if such a visit regularly indulged in didn’t have the capacity to drill too many holes in his pocket. He had for this reason opted to always attend get-togethers of Nigerian coursemates or other ethnically diverse scholars, just so to taste anything non-British like the Turkish one he’d developed a liking for since first tasting it at a birthday bash some days back.
The school event he attended on this particular November morning, wasn’t much because of what was up for discussion, but for the people he’d meet to sample their opinion about what had just happened across the Atlantic, the day and night past. The British were intrigued by and with what was happening in the United States keenly, so much so that in one of the lectures on plagiarism, Melania Trump’s convention speech was cited as an example, besides the fact that each time opportunity presented, talk about the election always came up in formal and informal gatherings and situations in school, as well as in classes. The British diet didn’t bother him at the school event, as the presence of British academia, scholars and tutors alike, and all the discussions they were up to, provided enough sauce for him, to make the small chops easily ingestible.
Much of what he wanted to do in attending, was to look in the face of many of the so called experts, who he thought should’ve learnt from BREXIT, who in his estimation are mostly liberals propounding one theory or the other, and pushing same out as incontrovertible evidence and facts. Unfortunately, their theories have been rejected, not once (as with Brexit), but twice with the Trump win in the United States, and who knows how many more to come. The only person that had been right about the whole election thing was an American coursemate of his, who had earlier on predicted a win for businessman Donald Trump, in his early days after resumption at school several weeks back, interestingly he was no supporter of Trump only that he could smell the coffee enough to make the right call. When democrats bailed out banks and the big men but ignored blue collar working types, following the crash in 2008, what did they expect? He could sense that the bad blood for the democrats had roots in that by looking at the distribution of Trump voters and the counties where he won, many of which are those inhabited by simple working class people.
Sadly enough, liberals immediately after the elections have started sounding like the Republicans they loathe. Clinton’s unsportsmanlike delay in making a concession speech (which he doubts she’d considered writing ab initio) as soon as it was clear she’d lost further portrayed her, as well as democrats and liberals as sore losers. Their throwing of insults the way of Trump supporters and voters is akin to what Republicans and conservatives would do, without trying to understand why things turned out the way they did. The bailout of Wall Street while the MAIN STREET was ignored hurt many American families, which had to deal with the loss of jobs, means of livelihood, even homes. Experts kept blabbing rubbish that the blue collars could make neither head nor tail of, and from. Those voters from his estimation had issues that needed sorting out, which Hillary Clinton hardly spoke to, or about. They were worried about jobs, immigration, changing demographics that pointed to the fact that if things continue the way they were, whites will soon become minorities, with unbridled immigration from just about any country worldwide, but especially Mexico across the southern border, coupled with low birth rates amongst whites; not about the different kind of toilets that public places should have to accommodate growing gender diversities, or the dangers of climate change, whose devastating effects was yet to reach home, at least in the short term.
A hungry man, they say is an angry man, it was to those that Donald Trump connected to and with. He’d overheard some of the guests at the school event wondering how someone who wasn’t making sense could go on to win the American Presidential Elections. But he didn’t totally agree with them, though he couldn’t just butt in on the discussions some of the attendees with whom he wasn’t familiar with were having, to register his disagreement, he stayed close enough to glean as much to know they were mostly liberals who still haven’t learnt the lesson, American voters, just like their British counterparts (in Brexit earlier on) have resoundingly expressed by voting. They didn’t understand that Trump’s words didn’t necessarily have to make sense, as sense and the making of it is stuff for professors (which many times ain’t it for the layman). The thing is, Trump connected with the simple American voter, who might be vilified by his liberal neighbour for supporting Trump and therefore held his/her card to heart till that one very decisive moment when s/he cast the vote. Trump connected the same way Obama always connected with his audience, just like Bill Clinton, even George W. Bush (in spite of his shortcomings) did. He couldn’t put it to one thing why Hillary Clinton couldn’t.
It couldn’t and shouldn’t have anything to do with her gender, because he’d seen other females in her shoes connect. Angela Merkel in Germany for instance, may be having a bad time in the polls over something gone wrong with her policies, but once she hits the podium to air her views about what people see as her failed policies, her sins are immediately forgiven. Such is the mettle astute politicians are made of, the kind that’s totally lacking with Hillary. When she went on to refer to a section of the American public, with whom she has opposing views on issues as “basket of deplorables”, he felt it was a pit from which a come back would be difficult in an election season, regardless of the fact that Trump may have used worse adjectives to describe his opponents, seeing that dirt and the purveying of same plays to his advantage. Obama must’ve gotten away with lecturing and talking down on people, but the electorate took it out on Hillary who in doing same sounded like a mother to a rebellious teenager, and we know how that pans out, and has panned out!
As he left the school event that day, he ruminated upon the events of the past day in the United States, and the reaction in school earlier. He wasn’t happy with the Trump win, but he was less so happy with the way liberals reacted badly to Hillary’s loss. Liberals believe so much in models, in science, and living in an echo chamber (as they enjoy listening to their own voices reverberating), amongst other frailties, where when the contrary (opinion) shows up, rather than swallow their pride and acknowledge the error in their model, insist that the problem is with the people they try to convince (who disagree with their analogies), by disseminating their message (even when they are right), from a high ground, as if it were from some so called civilized people to a barbarian tribe. He felt that that election was Hillary’s to lose, but the liberals were blindsided not so much by the activities of Trump and his mob, but by their (liberals) self importance and self-conceitedness, making the United States of America slip into a Plutocracy, run by its greatest advocate.