According to My Land My Country, Terrence Kapipi Yakob is a self taught writer from Kumin village in Mendi, Southern Highlands. After finishing secondary school, he faced an uncertain future with limited job and education prospects coupled with the expectations of his family. He writes that working for a security firm was a humbling experience and the “best thing that ever happened to him.” This is his second year in university and first year as a political press officer. He was recruited through his work on a rugby league Facebook page which now has over 30,000 followers.
Published by My Land My Country | Thursday, June 03, 2021.
“Working as a security guard was the best thing that ever happened to me”
A G4S Security Guard to A Political Press Officer
It has been a tough couple of months so I look back on my first G4S posting as a night watchman in June of 2018 for Inspiration; The Rebirth
It had been a gloomy day and as dusk approached, it threatened to rain. The conditions, to some extent, matched the dark mood I was in. I underwent a rough year, the hardest I’ve endured.
It had been humbling and traumatic too. My worst nightmares had come to pass. Everything I thought I had, disappeared. All that I had left was myself and the fresh G4S watchman uniform clinging to my weathered figure.
I had tried my hand in a lot of things in this Sin City but the more I tried everything seem to fall apart too in equal measures. It was hard to shallow but coldly put, I was a failure on many fronts.
I need to start something, anything. Coincidently got word that G4S was hiring. What an opportunity to earn something in an economy that had no jobs. I backed myself and signed up for recruitment.
This evening would be my first as a nighttime guard. I arrived on a G4S pickup truck from Tokorara with a thousand thoughts playing games of chess on my troubled mind. Coming through High School I showed a lot of promise and potential but almost a decade had since passed with nothing to show next to my name.
The setting that I grew up as a child in Mendi had placed high expectations on me. My entire being was conditioned for big things but to be working as a security guard was truly a humbling experience. Never pictured cutting my teeth as a night watchman, but here I was. It was survival over pride and ego; and I chose survival.
I arrived at Konedobu, in Tango 100 which is the G4s headquarters to sign in for an all-new experience. Tango 100 is a modern facility with two separate buildings. I strolled into the second level of the back building to the post master’s hall where they would assign me a location for the coming night.
The crowded room was thick with the odor of tobacco hanging in the air. I hated the smell of tobacco but that was not important, getting my first posting was.
I joined the evening parade and as dusk approached, we sang the national anthem. O arise! I was surprised but this was the tradition at every G4S parade. Two hundred neatly dressed guards postured in front of the rising PNG flag and patriotically singing the national anthem. It sent chills up my spine.
Everything was new but having them there made it easy. We talked, joked and time passed. As the night grew late conversations died. We separated, moved around the premises’ and monitored the perimeter. This wasn’t a job for the fainthearted.
Six mile is a known criminal hot spot. Boredom and the night cold cuts deep too. I tried not to fall asleep on the table next to the radio as the rains that threaten all day showered the pavements in chilling cold.
It made me think long and hard again like I had been doing in the past one year. The mind is a beast that needs to be tamed. Controlling what goes on in there can make or break a man.
So far it had been tearing me to pieces. Most people think it is a lowly job but the guards know that they play a critical role in keeping people and their properties safe.
A sense of comradeship settled my nerves as the packed coaster bus sets off into the night. The location was Ideal Hardware, code named Whisky 13. The last stop at 6 Mile brought us to the brand-new hardware that sold everything a house need.
When we arrived at whisky 13, I found out that 2 other guards were to be stationed there with me. The younger was an Engan who had clocked two years and the other an older Kerema Lagu who had worked in the security industry for more 20 years. We clicked immediately.
I had to find something to help me stop thinking negatively through the long night hours or it would consume my soul completely. Out of my comfort zone and in the open, I had to find ways to control my thoughts, harness the mind and use its power. The important thing I learned was to live in the present and keep out distressing thoughts.
My plight reminded me of the book of Job which I read many times over back in Primary School. The great man lost everything that he held dear but still kept his fate in God.
Comparing my predicaments with an even worse tale from biblical times gave me a bit of comfort that perhaps this was my test too. I had lost many times over; and now I had nothing else left to lose.
I pulled out locations log book and started writing my thoughts and feelings on the back of the empty pages. I had expressed my feelings many times before but this time it was different. I had time on my hands so I dug deep and poured my soul on to the papers.
It immediately had a surprising effect. I felt better for the first time in a long time. Despair had consumed me but as I and pushed the mind like never before, I felt peace.
Nothing else mattered, my entire being revolved around the paper and the pen in my hand.
This was something majestic I had uncovered by chance. As the night progressed into the early hours, the clouds above cleared for the first time and the stars came out proudly. What a glorious morning I thought.
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