The first tertiary institution to introduce the Rag Day in South Africa was the University of Pretoria in 1925. It is referred to as “The Procession” and is still carried out today. The origin of the word “Rag” according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “an act of ragging; especially, an extensive display of noisy disorderly conduct, carried on in defiance of authority or discipline. Much more recently, monetary donations have been integrated into this activity. Rag Day displays have seen passers-by “ragged” until they made a donation.
Rag Day is an activity carried out by student-run charity organisations and are widespread in the Britain. Most universities in the UK and Ireland, as well as some in the Netherlands and South Africa observe the Rag Day.
Many children in the then South Africa, were highly poor and malnourished, they are mostly known by their dressing (Mostly torn and patched cloths) which made a fraction of some student of University of Pretoria build on this condition, taking cognisance of the most glaring situation of the poor children who are always in rags to raise fund for them i.e raising fund to remove the rags from their body(some are now putting on that rag intentionally, some even half naked to get money)
WHAT IT MEANS IN AFRICA (ESPECIALLY NIGERIAN INSTITUTION)
On a very fine morning to you, as you walk out of your house (going in search of your daily bread, of course), and behold, you sight this group of crazy youths walking towards you, armed with metal tin cans (a.k.a. kom-kom), filled with coins which they shake as they approach you smiling and laughing.
Your first thoughts would be to run back into your room and shut the doors tight so you don’t get mobbed or bitten by these “mad” men. But just then, you realize what is actually happening. These are not mad men. They are not crazy at all. These are students from the nearby university; of course, it’s another Rag Day!
They are dressed in rags, and as you watch, you see them stop people going about their legitimate businesses and ask, beg or demand for money. They enter homes, shops, and offices with reckless abandon, begging for money. They litter the street like a bunch of zombies who have taken over the town and are trying to infect everyone (a reminder of those blockbuster zombie movies like the Evil Dead or the Return of the Living Dead) and you wonder what their driving force is.
Rag Day or Rag activities is suppose to be a charity work in the form of fund-raising campaigns for the less privileged people in our society by Nigerian higher institutions.
‘Ragging’, as students like to call it in Nigeria, is usually part of the Student Union week when students, especially the newly admitted ones, adorn rags or dress in a less sensible manner and storm the streets in a bid to raise funds for charity. Over time, the concept of “charity” has been erased from the exercise as “rag day” has now become a day in which Nigerian students are “permitted” officially to extort money from the general public. Monies realized are not submitted to appropriate authorities as there are no laid out structure of ensuring that the students are accountable for the donations they have received. But how did we come to this point?. Students who go out for ragging don’t do so with charity in mind anymore. Rather, they do so in a bid to enrich themselves. Even persons who are not students “join the queue” because its purpose has been defeated. It is now deemed to be a highly “lucrative” venture. That is why you see a final year student who is supposed to be in school concentrating on his academic work, out there on the streets in the name of ragging.
In conclusion, if something had lost it original meaning, then it is something else, therefore it is nothing at all.
- It’s fun for you, but will it be for your parents if by accident they get to know: remember they go through hard and thick to get that same money you are looking for as a 1 day abnormal person.
- After that day you’ll. Still fresh up and shake head for a mad man( forgetting you were in the same class yesterday.
- You get something and you discover its not leaving you for life.
- Insults that you’ll abhor from other sources may come yet it doesn’t matter.
- You’ll put your integrity and honour away just for what.
- Dangers lurking around is not an overstatement.
I’m not stopping anyone, but just ask yourself What Do You Think Of RAG Days In Universities?
Thanks for reading, please share if you have nothing to be afraid of.