The life of a broke student in Nigerian universities

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The life of a broke student in Nigerian universities  

Nigeria is no doubt the giant of Africa. But then, her citizens are really suffering. Contrary to the yahoo boys lifestyle you see all over the social media. 

The life of a broke student in Nigerian universities is somewhat personal (hope you ask questions at the end of the article).  Well, I’m an Ajepako and I attend a public University Called Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, in the northern part of Nigeria. So please note that I’m not different from what am describing here. (remember to put and image of ABU zarua )


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For most Nigerian students, running out of cash is a very common experience. Except if you are an Ajebutter, but its the AJepakos, that can relate well to this article. Ajepako’s always come prepared with bags of different foodstuffs.  In preparation for the hardships faced towards the end of the semester. For us, preparation is key because for the next three months that’s all we have to eat.

There are specific foodstuffs at most University student’s disposal. These foodstuffs are the special case for an emergencies, rainy days, bank accounts getting low or the 0-0-1 eating formula. (0-0-1 eating formula is breakfast 0, launch 0 and dinner 1) This mostly occurs when the semester is coming to an end and as exams approach.

When feeding and living conditions becomes that critical, and students are broke, they turn to the following for survival

Garri Aka Gariumsulfide

The word Garri is of Hausa origin from Northern Nigeria. The word Garri is generally used to mean any powdery material, as Garin Dawa ( Guinea Corn flour ) Garin Masara (maize Flour) and Garin Quaki (Cassava Flour)


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On campus, Garri is popularly known as G4. Well, I’m sure any Ahmadu Bello University (A.B.U), Bayero University Kano (BUK), University of Ibadan (UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to mention a few understand the role Garri plays in their lives as students.

Public universities in Nigeria are completely different from Private ones like Covenant . In Nigeria, public universities students cook their meals, wash their dishes and do their laundry.


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As much as we take and consider G4 to be an ajepako  food on campus, it has quite a number of health benefits such as prevention of cancer, perfect solution to diarrhea, and  also packed with Vitamin A for good eyesight Health benefits of Garri  and at some point,

Garri-The supper food that can raise your self esteem

Eno Rxplores 

Although students in the university cannot do without taking Garri, the cassava used  in producing the Garri is rich in cyanides and aflatoxins  Garri and 4 other daily foods that could kill you  although it is unfortunate,that many Nigerians are aware of these things they simply choose to ignore these findings saying;

disease no dey kill Nigerian student

which means Nigerian students are immune to diseases.

Another common life safer for Nigerian students is the concoction.

Concoction for a university student

Often times in school, when almost all foodstuffs are running out and you do not feel like taking garri and in most cases, garri has been exhausted, the best option is concoction. There is no shame in it because it’s the normal thing.


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Concoction is the combination of any food item or anything you can lay your hands on just to quench hunger for most Nigerian public university students.

It is important to note that when public university students speak of concoction rice, concoction beans, concoctions potatoes etc it looks and tastes totally different from Concoction Rice Recipes . Concoction is only eaten to quench hunger. It doesn’t matter if it tastes good or not, it is just eatable.

Beans for a university student

This is undoubtedly the preferred source of protein to any Nigerian public university student. Not for its health benefits in combating the amount of Garri introduced to the body but have always been the first choice for mostly, male students and also during those critical moments of brokenness. It is preferred because


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1.      When cooked semi-done digestion takes longer than necessary.

2.    When eaten with Garri, it takes an even longer time to digest.

3.    Eating a small quantity and drinking a lot of water can keep you satisfied for a long time before getting hungry again.

Beans is the saving Grace of most public University students in Nigeria. I say it without an apology. This is a fact. There’s no recipe for cooking beans on campus, just get it half-cooked and serve it.


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More so, have you heard about  11 Health benefits of beans? We as students don’t know about this, we just get what’s not gonna make us feel less hungry over a long period of time.

Sweet Potatoes as university student fast food

This is another food for critical moments where you can't afford to eat beans because you've run out of it and cannot afford to buy. It is cheaper than yam and way cheaper than beans or  rice so the next food on the list is potatoes because it doesn't need any special talent to make it edible.


image credits: Wounds_and_Cracks via Pixabay

It may not be the desired food at a time, but gradually it becomes the best and the only option since, hunger has no choice. Sweet potatoes are always boiled in water. With the addition of pepper, Maggie and salt, it becomes a delicacy for broke Nigerian university students.

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Although these are what to expect from every public university student in Nigeria there are some (students) who cannot afford to buy garri which is the cheapest and easiest to access from every road side vendor (a milk tin filled with garri) is N25 Naira  among the above listed foods


image credits: Couleur via Pixabay

Life for a broke Nigerian university student is mostly a struggle. And living is a one day at a time phenomenon. It may not seem very much of a life to write about, but this is the reality written by a broke Nigerian university student.


About the author


Simple, Kind and always keeping it real

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