Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 5 (Extended) – The Hopper

In FAVIN (Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria) Part 5 (see: the issue articulated was the presence of CheatersGrudgers and Suckers in the membership constitution of UCGFs (University Campus Grown Fraternities) based on the understanding of Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene. From keener observation, that there is another prevalent category of character within UCGFs that has a more insidious nature and maybe more of a threat to unsuspecting members of the fraternity and society than the dreaded Cheater.

He is the Hopper. He is so categorised because he often plays the role of the CheaterGrudger and Sucker (even though he is neither of the latter two) all in one. He sometimes, plays these three roles simultaneously, depending on what suits him at the time. The Hopper mostly presents himself as a Grudger who supports Cheaters with keen sophistry. His distinguishing features are his arrogance masked with self-righteousness, his incessant caustic complaints about the fraternity, his evident insecurities and delay in action [he acts last then claims he saw it first]. The Hopper is the guy who sees and proclaims 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 money he gives 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 uses them to improve his interests privately and within the UCGF not publicly. 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; all he needs is their validation. He craves validation with at least neurotic enthusiasm, but often a manic passion is evident. The Hopper is usually moderately successful in life and financially self-sufficient, but many are not that fortunate in life. He has a “good guy” image and does everything to protect it; it takes a long time to see through him. This good guy Hopper seems to be only able to 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 typically all expendable, the less successful in life or, the less useful they are to him personally, the more expendable they are to the Hopper. Hoppers tend to cling “loyally” to those who are more successful financially than they are or those who hold power within the fraternity. Those who are much less well off than himself and have no fraternal power are the very 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. He damages people mostly with slander, treachery and moral hazard when least expected. He gets favours frequently but never does any for anyone.
The Hopper is the doctor who will abandon his good friend on the high street and walk away hurriedly if the friend suddenly collapses but will claim he was the one that saved your life. He is exceedingly happy to be duty doctor at the UCGF annual convention. He 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 is overly flattered to be the legal adviser to the central executive of the UCGF. He is the lecturer who refused to look through his assignments but claims your good grades or even graduation was down to him. He relishes being relied upon by the UCGF for his strategic thinking. His validation is vital to the Hopper.
Like we see in gangster movies, the Hopper gravitates towards gangsters when he needs them desperately only to abandon the gang when his “conscience” mysteriously pricks into him their crimes and evils, well, when times and conditions sate him. For him it is a constant cycle; fly with the bad guys today, reject the bad guys tomorrow. He is usually the informant who was naïve when he joined the UCGF and 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 kind of homes UCGFs are, and in the end, many Hoppers end up in isolation from their chosen fraternities and society altogether. Track the damage Hopper has done to lives of his fraternal brothers and members of society. You will be amazed at the handiwork of the self-styled “good guy”, he is a born traitor.
Grimot Nane

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