Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 5 B – Hoppers
In FAVIN (Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria) Part 5 (see: http://wp.me/p1bOKH-pT) the issue articulated was the interactions between Cheaters, Grudgers and Suckers in perpetual selfish game. That is, within the membership constitution of UCGFs (University Campus Grown Fraternities). See Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene. From keener observation, there is another prevalent category of character within UCGFs. He has a more insidious nature. And certainly more of a threat to unsuspecting members of the fraternity and society than the dreaded Cheater.
He is the Hopper. Hopper is so categorised because he often plays the role of the Cheater, Grudger and Sucker. Even though he is neither of the latter two, Hopper sometimes plays these three roles simultaneously, depending on what suits him. The Hopper presents himself as a Grudger who but supports Cheaters with keen sophistry. He needs them. His distinguishing features are his arrogance masked with self-righteousness, his incessant caustic complaints about the fraternity. And his clear insecurities and delay in action [he acts last when it is safest, then claims he moved first].
Moreover, the Hopper is the guy who sees and proclaims to Gruders his UCGF as ugly, mindless, a waste of time, populated by morons, a mistake, evil, and criminal. But the more he derides the fraternity, the more he attends their meetings, the more strategic mercenary favours he offers them, the more involved he is in their projects, the more committed he becomes. The Hopper never promotes or adheres to the core interests of the UCGF, he is too pragmatic for such ideals. But he uses members to improve his private interests. He never wants to be known in public as a member to protect his “good guy” image.
Unlike the typical Cheater, the Hopper is not searching for money or personal power from the fraternity; he also craves their validation. He craves validation with at least neurotic enthusiasm, but often a manic passion. A few Hoppers may live as moderate successful in life and are self-sufficient. Nonetheless, most Hoppers are not that fortunate in life. By his wits, he has fake a “good guy” image and does everything to protect it. For many members, it takes a long time to see through him. His frustration is most see him coming from afar.
This good guy Hopper seems to only make friends within his chosen UCGF and never elsewhere. How can a person work in a public service department, a corporate concern, a university, or attend a church or mosque for 10 to 20 years and make no meaningful friends there? Something is wrong with both him and the fraternity.
His UCGF friends are all expendable. The less successful in life or the less useful they are to him, the more expendable they are to the Hopper. Hoppers cling “loyally” to those who have much more financial successful or capable than himself. Or those who hold significant power within the fraternity. But he hates them with emphasis if they do not support him of fulfill his wishes. Those who are much less well off than himself and have no fraternal power are the first to identify his well-hidden “chameleon-like duplicity”. But as time progresses, everyone gets it, often to the shock of the better-off ones. When he fails to get what wants from members, he damages them with slander, treachery and moral hazard when they least expect it. Ever cunning, he gets favours all the time but does little or nothing for anyone.
The Hopper is the doctor who will abandon his good friend on the high street and walk away if the friend out of the blue collapses. But he will claim he was the one that saved his life. Yet, he is happy to be a duty doctor at the UCGF annual convention. Hopper is a lawyer who will refuse to give you simple legal advice. But will announce to the fraternity how you did not listen to the gifted advice he gave you. He needs someone to flatter him as the legal adviser to the central executive of the UCGF. Hopper is the lecturer who refused help you with studies as a mentor but claims your good grades or even graduation were down to him. He relishes being relied upon by the UCGF for his strategic thinking. Outer validation is vital to the Hopper.
Like we see in gangster movies, the Hopper gravitates towards gangsters when he needs them with desperation. Only to abandon the gang when his “conscience” pricks him about their crimes and evils, well, after times and conditions satiate him. For Hopper, it is a constant cycle; fly with the bad guys today, reject the bad guys tomorrow. He is the informant who was naïve when he joined the UCGF but fervently backed the bad guys since he is always a good guy. The Hopper is ever-wise and ever-naïve, as it suits him.
The Hopper is nothing but a selfish, ruthless “Attachee” who cares only about himself. If he did not need validation, he would be a “lone wolf”. These are the homes UCGFs are, and in the end, many Hoppers end up in isolation from their chosen fraternities and society altogether. You cannot fool everyone all the time. He expects with entitlement, to be forgiven for despicable actions but forgives no one. Track the damage Hopper has done to lives of his fraternal brothers and members of society. It will amaze you at the handiwork of the self-styled “good guy.” Hopper is a born a back piece of work.