23rd September 2023
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‘Give me a job to demonstrate my ability,’ Geophysics graduate tells Petroleum Minister

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Monday, September 11, 2023

Lokolong John Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Honors Degree - COURTESY

A South Sudanese graduate from a prestigious University in Egypt who has become a rickshaw rider after failing to get a white-collar job is appealing to the Ministry of Petroleum to try him out.

Lokolong John Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Honors Degree in Geophysics and Geology in 2021 from Alexandria University in Egypt.

John who studied under the Egyptian government scholarship was 28 years old when he completed the course.

His dream was to make South Sudan a better country in the petroleum field.

After graduating, John returned to South Sudan hoping to get employed in the country’s oil sector and contribute to building the nation.

But despite applying to Petroleum institutions and companies, Lokolong said, he was neither short-listed for an interview nor given an internship to practice his field of specialization.

Having stayed two years without a job, the Alexandria University alumnae has resorted to working as a rickshaw ridder in the capital, Juba.

Lokolong often makes around 8,000 SSP per day from the cumbersome job but 5,000 SSP goes to the owner.

Despite making a living, Lokolong is still yarning for a better where he can exercise the skills and retain the knowledge he acquired from the university.

“When I came back here I applied off course for an internship and it took me so long without getting the request,” Lokolong said.

“I usually go and check my recommendation but I don’t find it then I try to apply also to companies but nothing I got up to now,” he said.

“I decided to make something apart from my field, that’s why I am now riding the rickshaw.”

“We went to school because we want to make South Sudan better to make sure that South Sudan doesn’t lack specialists or engineers in all kinds of fields like for example geology and geophysics, that’s why I came to build South Sudan.”

Lokolong is appealing to the Ministry of Petroleum to give him and those who graduated in the same field of geophysics and geology jobs, saying their knowledge is fading away.

“My message to the petroleum ministry is that we as geophysics or geoscience graduates need an opportunity because the opportunity is what we demonstrate our ability and what we gained from an outside country or within the country, This is what we are going to apply,” he said.

“The skills that we got we need to apply within the country but when the skills that we get and then, after all, it ends up with lazy work or now like am riding the rickshaw,” he said.

“It means that the knowledge that I gain will reduce when it reduces and you will find out that in some years to come, we shall not also have some engineers, as the ministry may need,” said Lokolong.

“I think we have to be included in the system so that we can work and deliver the service that country needs.”

Kur Lual one of his colleagues in the university has this to say: “Wilson is the kind of a guy I know very well since we were serving together in high school as Head-Boys, he’s a very committed and hard-working young man who believes in his abilities. Despite all the suffering, may God open ways for us who struggling to win the daily bread.”

Geologist Lokolong John another colleague of Wilson. “I studied with him in the same college for 1 year at Alexandria University. He is a hard-working person and that is why he took that manual job in order to facilitate his living standard. Hopefully, he will get a job with time.”

One of his high school colleagues, Denis Onen says Wilson is an amazing soul.

“He’s such an amazing soul, he’s a hustler, a good person. Am glad I have known you a long time ago brother from being the head boy during high school days you are a leader,” he said.

“If anyone wants to find him sometimes he’s next to Ramadan Pharmacy before Antipas on your way to Gudele with his Rickshaw call him and he will deliver whatever you want to be carried. May the lord keep you safe and bless you always brother.”

The geophysicist and geologist it’s a career opportunity in an environmental firm, the energy industry, an engineering firm, a government agency, or private consulting.

In June this year, the Vice President for Infrastructure Cluster called on Nile Pet, the national oil firm to build the capacity of young people by providing job opportunities.

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