Several universities were invited by the government to take part in the annual youth event
It was meant to give the youths of the country a sense of belonging and inclusion in government
The invitation came to their school at an awkward time
The main school session was on break
Ordinarily, the vice chancellor would have written to the ministry to express his regret
But they had a summer school provision for students who had ‘Carry Overs” to address
“Carry Overs” are failed courses which students have to retake.
Instead of adding such failed courses to their course load for a fresh session or semester, the school made a provision for the students to address such courses during the summer break
Naturally, those in the summer school were not the best and brightest students
The Vice-Chancellor decided the experience and exposure would be good for some of the summer school students
He called the Dean of student’s affairs to organize the trip, the Dean summoned one of the brightest academic stars of the school, who was also the student union leader to lead the team
Student files were vetted
Some students did not have the luxury of leaving the campus even for one day because of their workload
Eventually they compiled a twenty man list
On the list was young lady who was in school the previous summer
During that summer vacation she reached out (via phone call) to the students’ Union leader with a complaint that another student was cooking in the hostel (This was against the rules and regulations of the school)!
The student union leader felt she was just being petty! Because the school was officially on summer break and the food vendors on campus were not operating at full capacity!
Many of the students had to walk to the nearby community to get something to eat. This was especially difficult for many students in the evening period
Some of them smuggled in electric cooker or boiling rings with which to prepare noodles
The school authority frowned at this!
The students’ Union Government was aware that some students did it, but they purposely looked the other way because the school authority had refused to address the issue of providing food vendors for the student’s comfort.
This was despite the huge amount the students paid for the summer schools
The student Union leader said “Is the person cooking in your room?”
She said “No”
“Then Mind your business”
And he rang off
She felt very insulted!
Who did he think he was to talk to her like that?
She nursed the grudge!
The Dean of students’ affairs invited the twenty students on the list for a meeting, the student union leader was assigned to be the captain of the team
After the meeting, she walked up to the student union leader to discuss the issue that occurred the previous summer
The student union leader couldn’t remember the discussion
She tried very hard to remind him of their conversation and his dismissive attitude
He simply didn’t remember it
She concluded he was deliberately feigning ignorance so as not to own up to his rude behavior
She resolved to get even!
Whatever the cost!!!
They got to the event!
There were think-tank sessions, debate sessions, mock parliamentary sessions, quizzes, lectures, group meetings, discussions and communiques
On the eve of their final day at the event, their school was chosen as one of the best three represented at the event
They were to present a five minutes ideas pitch to the Honorable Minister for Youth and Women affairs who would be with them for the final day of the event
The student Union leader worked on the pitch with the team all night
They rehearsed several times
Just as they were concluding the final rehearsal, she struck!
She: Somebody else must present this pitch! One person cannot come and be lording it over all of us
The other students were taken aback
She: The pitch had been done over and over, we all know it now so anybody can take it. If you guys insist it is the Student union Leader that will take it, then I will stand up afterwards and announce to the gathering that my opinion was not taken into consideration! I will tell them this was a one man show and it didn’t consider the opinion of others
The students had a meeting and decided somebody else should do the presentation
She turned to the Student Union leader and said “By this time tomorrow, I would have forgotten so quickly how I watched you work all night only to give your moment of glory to another”
The Student Union leader shrugged
The pitch competition began
The organizers listed their school to pitch last
The first school did very well
The second school did very well
The reputation of the Students Union leader had grown amongst all the participants in the few days that they had eagerly awaiting his presentation.
He had been erudite and concise! An original mind
When another student emerged from their school to do the pitch, the hall booed!
The minister wondered why.
The pitch continued but it was drowned by boos.
The minister asked one of his assistants what was going on.
He was informed about the erudite student union leader whom everybody had been waiting to hear from
The minister called for a short recess and asked the Dean of Students affairs of the school to see him
Why isn’t the young man presenting?
The Dean said the students made the decision amongst themselves that another student should do the pitch
The minister met with the students
“What is going on?”
The students explained that they were blackmailed by one of their teammates who had threatened to destroy their pitch if they allowed the student union leader to deliver it
The minister got the picture.
The pitching session resumed and the minister declared the first school winners of the competition!
He turned to the participants and told them he had discovered a young bright star amongst them during the short recess
He called the Student Union Leader by name and offered him a job and a huge cash gift for his contribution and maturity.
The minister turned to the Dean of students’ affairs of the young man’s school and said “If you were asked why your school failed at the final stage of a competition which you ought to have won by a landslide, tell your Vice Chancellor a young lady poisoned your team with her toxic mind and actions. Tell those who sent you here that the spirit of Judas came with you and betrayed your cause for petty revenge!
And young lady, I hope you will change and mature into a fine young woman. If you remain like this, you are heading nowhere in life!
PS: This Event occurred in 2007
The Student Union Leader remains a renowned leader in his country
The young lady was made to apologize to the Student Union Leader and the team
She was never invited to another team event
She owns her own jewelry business in the east