Hi dear, hope you don’t mind if I take a little time from your busy schedule. Of course I know you are seriously thinking of returning to your study desk right now. Let me start by painting a picture in your mind through this story.

(Chike’s eyes waters as he stifles a yawn) “My God, UTME is just some hours away and I’ve not covered my syllabus. Jesus Christ, I thought I had a whole year, now is just around the corner. What’s wrong with me?” he hissed. This was exactly what I did last year and my result was nothing to write home about. Gosh, I can’t believe I’m writing a computer based exam and I had been this lackadaisical with preparation. I’m finished,” he hisses again.

(Chike kneels down and tries to pray) “Oh God, you know I’m your child and the holy book says that we shall be the head and not the tail. You also say in your word in Exodus 14:14 that you shall fight for us and we shall keep our peace. Father, I’ve kept my cool all these while; my JAMB exam is just some days away. Send Angel Michael to come and help me.”

            He continues praying, “Holy Mary mother of Christ pray for me. Angel Gabriel fight for me. (He stands up from where he had been kneeling for long and makes the sign of the cross. His eyes darted around the familiar room until his gaze rested on his Blackberry phone. He shakes his head in regret as it suddenly occurred to him that he has given his phone more time than he had done for his books) What sought of rubbish computer based exam are this people planning to do this time. Ojerinde you better take time o! Maybe one of these days they will tell us that JAMB exam will now be done by pinging. Well, if they try-am God knows I go smash-am. (He laughs at his dry joke).

            (The monologue was still going on when suddenly PHCN restores light. The season movie he was watching prior to the time power was interrupted came alive on the TV screen. He turns it off and sighs). These idiots una no want make I read abi? (He picks his Ababio Chemistry from where it is lying on the floor, dusts it and sits down to read. Twenty minutes into the reading his phone begins to ring)

            (He picks the phone and speaks into the mouthpiece) Otamgbe, my guy, kedu nke neme? What’s happening?

Otamgbe : My guy e don show!

Chike : Wetin don show?

Otamgbe: Guy, which kind question be that one. Are you a learner? Keske nafio. Chemistry don show life!

Chike: Oh, my God, thank you! (he punches his fist in the air) I knew it! (he rushes out in a hurry)…

“What a story,” you will agree with me.

My dear, the purpose of this long article is to bring to your notice, the pathetic situation of quite a number of people. I want to believe that your situation is not like Chike’s. Somehow, although not by witchcraft, I saw you burning mind night candles.

            Please, I have a few things to say to you, dear. Just grab a glass of water, take a sip and relax while I take you through what I know will be important to you. Even the Bible says that the wise man shall hear and increase in his wisdom. Have you taken the sip? Then let’s go!

Dear, I want you to know that JAMB is not your enemy; it’s just a step that will launch you onto a higher level where you will need to take more steps along the rungs of academic ladder. I, for one, did not have the privilege of gaining admission at my first JAMB (this is not your portion), but one thing kept me focused____ my dreams. Let me pause to say that dreams are better than academic certificates. If you’ve got none, please try and have one. I am a lad that was jammed by JAMB a number of times, but I refused to let go of my dreams. Well, let’s leave my story for another time. However, I want you to know a dream is what keeps you going when other things has failed you.

            Like I already pointed out, you need to know that JAMB is not an enemy that must be defeated by whatever means____ malpractice.  On the contrary, it is a test that has to be attacked by hard work (study). You may not have prepared fully; you may not have read your textbooks cover to cover, but there is just one thing you need to do away with____ FEAR. An acquaintance gave me the acronym for FEAR as:

F>> False

E>> Evidence

A>> Appearing

R>> Real.

            No matter how lacklustre your preparation had been, you can still make it. Not by malpractice but by believing in yourself. Telling yourself that you can do it has a way of calling all the powers within you. Truth be told, the JAMB that gave me admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka some years ago was not the one I prepared for the most. It was the one I wrote believing in myself and in the one that says He will never leave me or forsake me. Of course I did it without malpractice.

            I don’t want to take much of your time, as I know you want to return to your revision. Please, even if you forget all that I have said in this article, don’t forget to do this: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! A man wrote a book and titled it, You Can if You Think You Can. As I round off, I shall from time to time reach you through this medium, even after your JAMB. I shall write to you when you start preparing for Post UTME. But before then, if you have any kind of response, email me at: talk2justman@yahoo.com

I will like to end with the words of Barrack Obama, “YES WE CAN!”

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