By Stanley Imoisili
Fellow young people, dear compatriots of a land that has never enjoyed venerable stewardship; it is without gladsomeness that I flank you in deflating and retorting any and every attempt at undermining the collective hustle of majority of us!
Nigeria shows neither empathy to languorousness, nor accommodates sloths. Even legitimately rich people constantly work for their money. Only thieves can be considered “lazy” and that assumption, still is controvertible as it takes calculative effort to rope people into beguilement. Ask all those politicians the EFCC has hunted in the past.
Nigerian youths actually bother about their future and put in effort eventually especially from age 25 or soon after graduation. Even youths that spend considerable time in Bet9ja shops are “mentally hardworking” as every bet won requires solid observational, analytical, and extrapolation skills; attributes not many “elders” in places of political eminence can boast of.
IN NIGERIA, “HUSTLE” IS THE KEYWORD!
Hustling reflects in everything we (excepting the minority that are feeding off of execrable loot) do on a daily basis. Consider the fact that:
– Hustle reflects in our music as our singers – Adekunle Gold, Phyno, Olamide, Wizkid; name them all – tell their hustle stories much to the admiration of the young people who need it to carry on.
– Hustle reflects in our frequent attempt at seeking greener havens beyond the shores of this country – There is no country in the planet that Nigerian youths have not beleaguered in search of legal tender!
– Hustle reflects in our education as everything in a Nigerian higher institution – from entry clearance to exit clearance – is an agglomeration of organized frustration.
Even the youths at the Big Brother show are on a HUSTLE mission!!!
“AGE” IS THE PROBLEM OF “YOUTH”
There was a time when age meant certain people could see the future from where they sit even when “youth” can’t do the same from an Iroko tree. But not anymore. Not in this is android generation.
Today, “age” no longer sees beyond:
– What was looted
– What is being looted
– And what will be looted!
I still remember how disappointed an elderly woman was when I refused to let her withdraw money from the ATM before me. Yes. I refused!
Reasons? I had an exam to write in 5 minutes but she wouldn’t care. She demanded immediate obedience or I would come across as insolent. “Youth” is expected to always obey and look up to “age” even when age becomes psychotic.
Another reason was because this woman (a course adviser) would keep students (youths) waiting for hours before (if ever) she attends to them. On one occasion, she kept my friend waiting for exactly 83 minutes because she was in a chat with her grandson who was celebrating a birthday in Canada! During office hours!!!
At the ATM, she was a helpless mother stimulating my basic human instinct. In the office, she is a Jezebelian goddess mocking my biggest trepidations. It is like this with prime reservoirs of political authority in many echelons.
Forget the stupid promise to take youths to the next level. Forget the bipolar campaigns in support of the youths. Forget the cheap phones or bottles of beer that will be made available in the coming months. If youths aren’t leading, it is a political gaffe bourgeoning on power-hungry obscurantism!
NIGERIAN YOUTHS ARE CREATIVE AND HARDWOKING!
Although I cannot guarantee that this creativity is always positive, I am very certain that the creativity is there. It is true some youths can orchestrate their abduction and make their families pay. But what is truer is that an enormous number of successful youths became made without government aid!
While researching for #SecretsOfMillionaireStudents, I met various categories of success-minded students. From admirable millionaire cakemakers to millionaire photographers, from millionaire freelancers to millionaire farmers (some of who live very low-key lives inside school hostels), from millionaire fashion designers to millionaire makeup artistes, from millionaire tutors to millionaire mentors!
The creativity I saw at our markets during my research gave me shivers: Dear Lord, these are the good things the sons and daughters you put in this country have managed to do:
– Kanayo, a Delsu graduate built a house at the age of 27 at G.R.A Benin City; he was selling pepper at the New Benin market! Creative Element: He packaged his pepper in plastic and dresses corporately in a dirty market!
– Ben of Orlu couldn’t afford college but managed to grow from one wheelbarrow to two, then to ten, then to motorbikes, then to buses! Result? Millionaire!
– Yussuf, a young Nigerian went to visit an Uncle in Kaduna, saw an a lot of cheap ginger there, asked about the price in Port Harcourt, saw the potentials, started with N50,000. Result? Millionaire!
– Another solved the problem of thousands who had nowhere to poop in busy Lagos streets during work hours; came up with mobile latrine concept. Result? Millionaire!
– ASUU strike hit in 2009; government wouldn’t pay university staff; 3 brilliant students from Obafemi Awolowo University came up with a plan to tackle unemployment; Jobberman(.)com was born. Result? All three are multimillionaires!
So then, do young people in this country really do nothing or are they just unfortunate enough to have never enjoyed decent stewardship?
Some humans can naturally lack motivation. But situations; such as this horrible mess we’re in, can change all that. Give us nonstop power, give us industries, all capstoned with decent policies. We have enough adrenaline and common sense to do the needful. At this point, we can imperturbably verbalize that until that happens, we cannot be judged.
To whom nothing is given, nothing should be expected!