Dear Nigerian Youths,
I'm sorry to bother you. Reading this letter with patience and an open heart will reveal to you my thoughts, which led to my writing this piece. I'm writing to open our eyes to the opportunities that daily abound around us with renewed strength. We should de-orientate ourselves from some old-legged ideas and orientate ourselves with new ideas and thoughts that can help us become a generation of masters.
I'm also a youth. My parents are Nigerians. This makes me a Nigerian youth. I've had to depend on my parents for help financially. At my age, most people in developed countries of the world would have set life-patterns for themselves that would drive them and shape their entire lives. Only few Nigerian youths would be able to match their focus.
Youths in developed countries aren't better than us. I believe we are smarter; I stand to be corrected though. I believe in us is the African heart that made white colonial masters sheath their slave-trade business and 'rulership' of our fathers, and allowed them a chance at governing themselves. We are the children of our fathers! Their traits are in us. All we need to do is to de-orientate ourselves from their then in-vogue way of life and have new orientations that follow the current trend. We have followed them way too long!
In the days of our fathers, educated people were few. Majority of them attended free schools. Agriculture and other ethnic-inclined occupations were the in-thing. Education was, in most cases, free. Parents and guardians were pleaded with to allow their children and wards attend school. Those who graduated even primary schools had jobs awaiting them, not to imagine university graduates at that time.
That is not so with us. We are living at a time when almost everyone has a secondary school leaving certificate. You are a graduate; so are many others. Being a graduate is just a way of reminding yourself that you attended and finished a higher institution specified course of study. As much as being a graduate is appreciated, much more is needed to attain success. Think of something you can do to better the country. Think of something you can do to positively change lives. Think of adding value(s) anywhere you get. Value is what makes you relevant; and that’s ultimately what brings the money!
Bill Gates was 20 years old when he unveiled Microsoft. Ditto, Mark Zuckerberg when he launched Facebook. These men weren’t really graduates, but they thought-out ideas that have been adding values to lives. These values brought each of them money. These values brought them fame. These values put their names in the History books. They weren’t so concerned about what the world or the United States owed them. They busied themselves with inventions that is still adding values to mankind.
The major problem I think holds down our youths is the ‘been-owed’ mentality. The ‘been-owed’ mentality is what makes a man think his parents owe it to him to train him. It makes a man feel a sense of entitlement to already established settings, thereby limiting his ‘thought-life’. Most Nigerian youths believe government owe it to them to provide jobs and ease their lives just by being citizens of the country; true, but shallow. We can think Nigeria out of her numerous problems. We can help put the country on the world map for good reasons. We can set examples for youths after us to emulate.
Industrially, we can take charge. We can think-out ideas that will birth multi-billion companies. We can invent new things. We can approach even governance from a new perspective for the good of all by getting involved in politics and governance. These old generals are passing away, but how prepared are we to take the baton of leadership from them? Are we not still dwelling in self-pity, while blaming the government and all that didn’t ‘help’ us for our failures? We all need help at a point in life, but we are the reason why we will or will not get the help. We must be better.
I dream of a country where graduates will be multi-billionaire tailors. I dream of a country where graduates will be multi-millionaire shoe-makers. I dream of a county where graduates will be wealthy and fulfilled farmers. Being a graduate should make you stand out at what you do. Not being a graduate isn’t a reason to fail; Zuckerberg and Bill Gates made it really big without being graduates. All it takes is having God inspire and teach you an idea that will add value to the world.
Before I quit typing, I need to share my thoughts on the issue of ‘quick-money’. Money answers all things; even the Holy Book agrees with that fact but was quick to point out the love of it (money) is the root of all evil. Nothing good comes easy! There is always a price to pay! Don’t let your price be someone else’s blood! Hard work, dedication and commitment will surely get you all you want in life; ask Linda Ikeji. Don’t be in a rush to make quick money; but rather be in a rush to make quick impact by adding value, even to many generations after you.
Imagine what the world would have been like if Bill Gates hadn’t invented Microsoft. Ditto, the world without Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook? The Facebook-idea triggered other programmers to stand up on their own; think instagram.
We are better. We are strong-willed. We are leaders. We are Nigerians. Let’s contribute our quota to make the world a better place.
Aroso Akintomide Adedamola,
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