I have always loved fishes; their behavior, adaptation, survival instincts in the aquatic ecosystem, and of course, their edibility. Following the pattern of rotating units each week, we found ourselves in the fishery unit next. The unfortunate incident at the Garri Processing Unit, as if it had legs, followed us to the fishery unit. More accurately, it went to the fishery unit before us. The Garri Processing Unit supervisor made good on his threat. Our activities were not recorded, and, our logbooks were not signed. Each member of the group was asked to contribute the sum of ₦1000 naira to purchase a new phone for the girl whose phone went missing. I should mention that at this point in the semester, I was so broke to the point that if I had to rub two coins together, I’d need to borrow the second coin. This demand brought forward solidarity amongst us students. Come what would, we said, we would not pay. It is safe to say that the missing phone was the topic of discussion throughout that week.
But let’s go back to the fishes. The Teaching and Research farm has two earthen ponds. This is a perfect thing, except during my group’s stay at the unit, we did not see a single fish. The only thing we learned about the creatures was taught in a lecture format by the supervisor. We cleared the surrounding of the ponds, removed weeds from the waterleaf ridges, but we saw no fishes. It was a bonus though that the supervisor was bent on making us gain something while we were at the unit. I cannot honestly say that the absence of fishes from the pond bothered me, I was occupied with thoughts on how to get the ₦1000 naira. The other members of the group and I were labeled thieves, and in a way, we were ostracized from the ‘farm society.’
It is imperative for me to state that sometimes, tragedy brings people together. During the course of that week, I made a lot of friends and connections. Mutually lamenting people came together, and we formed a bond. Anyway, strangely and luckily, on Friday, the missing phone grew legs and made its way to the Garri Processing Unit supervisor’s office. The only time I have been more relieved in my life was when the ASUU strike got called off. We were now released from the supervisor’s oath, we got our full marks for the work we did and our log books got signed. But even with the resolution of the issue, the bond we had created did not disappear; instead, it grew and thickened.
Abdulwaheed Fatimah (Zahra)