Benue Youth Are Not Lazy
We have little to no opportunities here in Benue State!
My name is Juliet Baaki – IamBenue, a Theatre Arts graduate of Benue State University, BSU Makurdi local government area. I am a model, a basketball player and Benue Carnival Queen 2014. I am passionate about modelling and playing basketball; however, it is quiet challenging pursuing any of this career in Benue.
In basketball, it is either you play representing your University (of which we have University of Agriculture or BSU when competition arises), alternatively I only know of a Benue female basketball team called ‘Benue Princess’. They train in Aper-Aku stadium, so for anyone interested in getting involved with them should contact coach Apir and coach Tina. In addition I know that Benue has a male basketball team too.
This means that if you are not in higher education studies you will struggle to find a basketball team to play for here in Benue and get enough money to live. I believe this is one of the primary reason why our talented youths move out of the state in search of greener pastures. Living out of home could be challenging and in most cases this may force them to do any other work available to pay for their expensive which end up with them having no time to train.
This same challenge applies to modelling when it comes to Benue State. We have no companies, firms, clothing lines, fashion houses and so on to model for. In general life could be boring here! As someone who has the zeal, passion and love for modelling, I have travelled out of Benue State on several occasions in search of jobs and from my experience, I believe we do not have people (even those in position) with the mindset of supporting to develop the career of others.
In Nigeria, communication companies like Glo, Airtel, MTN, Etisalat and so on prefer famous models which is understandable – it’s business. Nigerians like myself with the talent and true passion but are not yet known to the world are often classified as ‘up coming’ yet are not given an opportunity to demonstrate what we can do but allowed to roast here doing nothing – except you have a helping hand (or what some refer to as upper hand) somewhere. This has made most of our youth lose focus and courage to believe.
I put it to you that, Benue youth are not lazy!
Benue State is primarily a civil service state with nearly no companies, industries to work for and we all know how things work here; It is either your dad, mum or relation is in position to assist you or else there is no work for you. Our leaders and everyone that made it to a better position prefer giving job opportunities to their own people (which most expect something in return).
So Benue youths are left with no option than thinking of starting a small business that will sustain them, but this also involves money to accomplish and if they don’t have the funds for their business, they stay home idle. There is this saying that an Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, which I agree as in the process of staying home idle, some involve themselves in prostitution, robbery, gambling and so on.
In general, Benue people have this myopic reasoning that anyone who indulges in modelling and games is heading for doom. As a model in Benue State you are considered as one who sleeps around with people especially politicians to get what you want. Thanks for IamBenue, a platform for all regardless of tribe and class to allow me express and share to many globally. I am sorry to say this but some of you think like fishes. For instance, when I was crowned Benue Carnival Queen 2014, haters were busy making up stories to say that I slept with our former governor, Gabriel Suswam and the president of the organization to win the competition, while others without the knowledge of who my mum is, were accusing her of lobbying for me to win.
I am glad that I have passed that stage and gained such experience in life because it was very challenging and had its own negative effect on me as a person but no one cares of how I feel as a human – imagine if it was you. Hands were pointed at me wherever I was as ‘the girl’ or ‘the Queen who sleeps with governor Suswam for a Carnival Queen Crown’.
My Benue people made me highly depressed, I was disrespected, I was disappointed, I was sad with life at the time. My boss was mad at me having heard all the rumours, everything became so scary that I did not go for any courtesy visit to Benue offices. I was forced to run around friends and relatives that believed in me to get funds for my pet project. I thought of dropping modelling but my fans and family members encouraged me not to. Friends and family to me are simply my source of encouragement as with them by my side I feel strong. With God, I bounced back!
At the moment, I don’t play for any club. I would like you to know that I am comely and God fearing, I see myself outside Nigeria someday, and I am a lady who will be a boss of her own and will one day have her family next to her.