No Testimonies in Official Forms Please! By Pius Adesanmi

This is a public service announcement to Nigerian kids applying for things at the international level. Some of the things you do wrong have reached epidemic proportions and one has to say something instead of constantly gnashing one’s teeth during evaluation. And that is why I am always in Ghana and Nigeria running those workshops in the summer.

I am very angry and frustrated!

I’ve just had to play native informant, explaining Nigeria and her swags and lingo to some colleagues because “these our shudrens” won’t hear word!

We just finished evaluating applications for an international scholarship reserved exclusively for students from Africa. Good spread from the continent if you look at the nationality of the applicants. As usual, when you are 180 million, you send more applications and dominate these things.

Just a straightforward scholarship scenario. The form asks about your academic profile, goals, how the scholarship would help achieve your goals, etc.

I am assessing the first one, I encounter “blood of Jesus” in the opening of the goals section. I swallowed deep and hard. I move on to the next dossier, “God willing, I hope to…” I move on to the next dossier, “By the special grace of the Holy Ghost, I aim to …” I move on to another one tackling the question of why you need the scholarship and I see something like: “Up till now, enemies have thrown obstacles on my educational path and I have been able to do back to sender but now I need help…”

These are applications in the Humanities, Social Sciences and science. By now, I am so uncomfortable I had to explain to other members of the evaluation team why there is a preponderance of the registers of prosperity Pentecostalism in the applications from Nigeria.

I explained that Prosperity Pentecostalism is more than faith in Nigeria now. It is a cultural phenomenon whose language and diction are now part of the cultural world of all these children on Facebook and Twitter. They just don’t know boundaries – hence they are doing testimony in scholarship applications. And these are kids who are already here o. Imagine what we often get from those who are still at home. Luckily, there were some who rescued one’s sense of injured national reputation by not doing testimony in the forms.

So, dear Professors and colleagues in Nigerian Universities, take care of this thing. This is what these kids that you are sending our way are writing. They write like they are filling forms to serve on committees in COZA or Living Faith.

If you fill your forms like I have described above, those evaluating your dossier here will also do back to sender.

E nor finish?

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