By Emmanuel Adejoh
Growing up, I noticed that in as much as our nation was not born of fine politics, our nation’s birth theatre echoed loud languages, and rued the ruses of “as soon as practicable”. The colonial surgeons, by will or pressure, forfeited sweet cocoa in the west of the Niger, wealth beneath the east, and now with nostalgia, pyramids of grains heaped by the commitment of the Hausas in that dusty, audacious landscape. And then to the south, the Atlantic stayed ours; we gazed at the alluring scenery and vessel traffic.
The question to pose becomes, “what does the current Nigeria state present?” For many, the question is rather a hard one to crack and for others the only escape is a flight to the west in search of “Greener pastures”
In view of the posing question, there are only but 3 things I strongly believe we ought to do as young versatile minds if we want to change the status quo.
These things include ACHIEVE, MAKE IMPACT and GIVE BACK.
Achieve (Find a Problem)
The next few years of your youthfulness should be focused primarily on achieving. It is important that for you to become relevant in any society and in the larger world one must be able to have a prominent portfolio to come to dine at the table of “men”. Our world is rapidly changing and the game in the Nigerian landscape is swiftly changing, with many young ones taking their stake in the nation.
The current Nigerian states present so many problems that if only are seen as (business) opportunities for us young ones would give those who travel this road a strong edge. I met a Lebanese recently who was fully dressed in an “agbada” attire. For some reason, we got chatting and he was excited at the Nigerian opportunities and marvelled at why our young ones choose to journey to other continents in search of the “supposed” greener pasture whereas even the Nigerian flag says it’s Green enough.
His parting words were; “The problems of this great nation are vast business opportunities for you and I to take advantage of”. As such, one must learn to identify a problem or gap, develop a solution and in the process make money. In areas where there are no toilets, provide “shit solutions”, in areas where there are already solutions, provide a better alternative. It is imperative that young ones take hold of these posing opportunities presented by the Nigerian state and carve for themselves a niche. It is therefore safe to say that the future belongs to those who see it first before they become obvious. For example; we all know the brothers who made the first airplane (wright brothers) but we don’t know the President of Airplane manufacturers i.e. Boeing, Airbus etc.
This is the most important phase of this note and the singular reason is why I love Nigeria. With over 160million people you can’t fail to impress Nigerian people since they do not ask for much. With very little solutions you can touch the lives of millions of families in ways you cannot imagine. Your reach is limitless! It is your impact that gives you the calibre of person you can be. All they simply ask of you, is that you have the solutions. When you see Nigerians suffering, don’t look at it and insult the government or trade blames. Think of it as a business venture, provide a solution and make money. YES money. Money is a vital tool in order to create an impact. Rich people get everything free, as such your finances could be channelled to something positive.
Like touching the lives of many in a whole lot of ways, reducing the number of hawkers on our streets, helping that little girl on the roadside shuffling through cars just to sell a bag of pure water for a gain of 20Naira per bag and before I forget, eliminating what I prefer to call the “house girl syndrome”.
I cannot but stress the importance of this gesture. I believe a large part of our system decay today is as a result of the failure of many of our “great men” to give back to their roots. “Roots” applies to their local community, alma mater, university etc. Some of our leaders today went to public institutions and at the time, had their education given to them as a right and not a privilege.
Most of them had their clothes washed for them whilst at university and food provided for them but as it stands these public facilities are in a total mess and it’s very possible that these said “leaders” haven’t been back to their old schools where they had the best of their formative years. There is therefore the dire importance to give back, not just give back but to do so in a way that your generosity will act as a catalyst to many others. Give back to the society, back to the community, back to the “hands that moulded the fine clay pot”.
Brethren, the times are changing. The world is no longer looking for resumes and CVs. I personally believe that there are too many CVs out there. As dynamic young Nigerians, let us begin to channel our strength to creating more business plans instead.
Let us together reposition our society in the right shape. In all that we do, let us collectively strive to achieve greatly, impact widely and give back generously and as we do so, may the good lord guide us in our paths. At the end of the day, we would gladly align to the prayers of St. Paul when he said “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith.”