Since FG and ASUU decided to
go on their annual vacation beat the drums of war again in February 2022, Nigerian students have been the most affected party.
For some students, it’s an endless wait for the strike to end, while for others, it’s time to keep busy one way or the other, at least till school resumes.
“To be honest, I’ve moved on with my life”
— Arin*, 19
For the first two months of the strike, I just sat at home washing plates and doing nothing else. I tried to convince my dad to let me get a job, but he kept going, “What if they call off the strike soon?”
Luckily, a friend introduced me to Fiverr, and since I’m good at making designs, I thought to try offering graphic design services. She kept telling me that it might be a long time before I make any money on Fiverr, so I spent time learning about the website in order to understand it better.
I’ve done two gigs since I joined in April 2022, and while it may not be too impressive, it’s a big deal for someone just starting out. The strike can go on for as long as they like; I want to get better at this and earn dollars abeg.
“I now have a full-time remote job”
— Nino*, 23
This strike has me stuck in final year, and as someone who already feels too old to be in school, it’s been more than annoying.
Immediately after they extended the one-month warning strike, I decided to take my freelance writing more seriously. I collated all my write-ups using Journo Portfolio, an online writing portfolio website, and started reaching out to connections on LinkedIn.
I eventually connected with someone who needed blog articles for their baby food site, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I earn ₦80k (more if I get other freelance roles that month), and I’m actively searching for more [writing] opportunities. School is the last thing on my mind.
“I’m trying to get better at affiliate marketing”
— Ola*, 21
I’ll always advocate for the “school is a scam” narrative. I’m almost grateful for the strike because I’m not even looking forward to struggling to graduate with a second class lower in Physics.
I already know my degree may be useless, so I’m always looking for other opportunities. I got into affiliate marketing with Expertnaire in July 2022, and I just made my first sale last month. I’m already on the path to making good money with it, and that’s my priority now.
“I want to work in a foreign firm before the end of the year”
— Tinu*, 21
I started looking for a job immediately after they announced the one-month warning strike in February 2022 because I knew there was no money coming from anywhere. This proved difficult cause I live on Lagos mainland, and everything I saw was Island-based.
I have some skills in social media management, so when my church organised a free content marketing training in March 2022, I jumped on it. I now work with the organiser of this training (she has a company) and I’m good, if I do say so myself.
I’m really inspired by this Nairalife subject who earns $93k a year doing the same thing I do, and my goal is to work [remotely] for a foreign firm and earn in dollars before the end of this year.
“I’ve made $200 in a week. Who school epp?”
— Josiah*, 20
I’m a writer, and I’ve been on Upwork for about two years but had only done two gigs before this strike started.
When the strike looked like it’d be everlasting, I got bored and decided to revamp my Upwork profile and actually pay attention to it. Just last month, in July 2022, I got a copyediting gig that paid $200. It was for an entire book, and man, when I tell you that I went above and beyond, I overdid sef.
I was so excited. I’ve not withdrawn the money yet because I’m waiting for the exchange rate to get even higher. I’m ready to die on Upwork now. ASUU and the entire federal government will be alright.
*Names have been changed, and answers slightly edited for clarity.
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