The Old Man who Preys on JAMB Students: True Story

This is a true story.  It is my story.

"There is an old man who takes JAMB every year.  He has taken the exam countless times and he still hasn't passed it.  If he sits near you, and you don't let him copy your answers, he will snatch your exam paper, tear it up and say 'See you next year.' "

Those words (or a similar version of that silly assortment of words) were uttered by a wicked friend months before I sat for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board exam, otherwise known as JAMB, many years ago.  I'm talking more than 10 years ago.

See you next year.

I couldn't get that phrase out of my head.  My friend had planted a seed, a seed of doubt and fear (mostly fear), and I watered it everyday.  Every time I studied for JAMB, I would remember those words: See you next year.  It kept replaying in my head like a scratched CD.  I was perfectly sure that this man existed, that he was real and that of all the JAMB exam takers in Lagos, this man was going to sit beside me.  It never occurred to me to ask where my friend had heard this kain yeye gist, and more importantly, to disregard this tale.  But what did I know? I was naive and gullible, and I had never taken the exam before.

So, I kept studying and worrying, possibly putting equal amounts of effort into both, until the D-day arrived.  The night before, I barely slept a wink.  All that was on my mind was that old man and how I was going to avoid him.

Funny enough, I didn't have a strategy to handle this perceived threat.  I didn't have a plan to show him my answers or roll up my sleeves and punch him in the eye. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I eventually made it to the exam center and after the rigors of being searched and all the usual nonsense that goes on before sitting for JAMB, I got to the room where I would take my test.  When I entered the room, I scoured it to look for any gray-haired test-takers.  None.  I almost danced for joy.

To cut the long story short, I wrote the exam that one time and passed it.  I never had to re-take JAMB, and thankfully gained admission to study law at UNILAG.

Till today, I don't remember which one of my friends told me that story or if that old man was real, but I certainly remember how real my fear was and how silly I felt after the exam.

So, what's the moral of the story? Your fear is not real.  You're better off pumping all that energy into faith instead.

... I still wonder about that old man sha.  A part of me suspects that such things really happen at JAMB centers across Nigeria.  Thank God that in my own case, it ended up being just another horror story.

What JAMB or other exam horror stories have you heard before? Kindly share.

*Image Source: Pinterest

Lol. "See you next year" sounds really scary though considering that some people take jamb for years. You must have been terrified


Lool. I'm sure i would've disregarded the story. I wrote Jamb once and i didn't hear any horrible story sha, just that i knew alot of people resit for it.


That your friend's story is creepy oh....he or she will be good at telling scary stories.

Thank God you passed your JAMB exams.


That's some bitter old man if he actually exists! Glad you passed it the first time unless it would have been a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. God forbid bad thing!


"See you next year" has such a creepy ring to it. I never took JAMB but I can just imagine your fear especially since almost anything is possible in Naija

Toin: Scary is an understatement. It stole my joy and I lived in terror until I sat for that exam. Words are powerful o. And you're right. Seeing people who kept re-taking JAMB year after year made the story more believable.

Tomilola: Ah, you get liver. I can do that in retrospect, but at the time, I was really scared. Glad you didn't have to re-take JAMB. Like you, I know people who had to re-sit for it. Not cool at all.

Sykikblog: As in ... Creepy raised to the "100th" power. I wish he or she had reserved the scary story for a post-JAMB occassion. Thank God I passed abi?

Ginger: I'm telling you! Bitter and frustrated. I second you on 'God forbid bad thing.' This story had a happy ending, thank God.

Nollywood Reinvented: Really, really creepy o. You should do special thanksgiving for not going through JAMB wahala. I took the SATs after JAMB. There was no one to tell me any yeye old man tale for SATs. I knew it wasn't going to happen because those exams are more strictly regulated.


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