– Only crazy people have a potential to transform the existing reality.
– The Nigerian youths have always been experiencing lack of opportunities to give their numerous transformational ideas a go.
– As soon as young people in Nigeria break into every sector that needs improving change won’t be slow in coming.
A few weeks ago I engaged one of my new friends in a short but memorable conversation on whether or not Nigeria could become one of the greatest nations in the world. I described Nigeria of my dream — safe, with uninterrupted power supply, high-level education and advanced healthcare system, a model of perfect governance and youth empowerment.
My friend suddenly exclaimed: “General Kopho (as my friends dubbed me), you must be really crazy! It’s so weird to think Nigeria could achieve the feats you’ve just highlighted, especially the stable electricity supply. Haba, na wa for you oooo.” I guess you are as shocked now as I was. I replied with a gentle smile: “Ordinary people don’t change the world, crazy people do. By the way, if the Wright brothers were not crazy, perhaps, we wouldn’t have had aircraft today. Ditto Facebook wizard, Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the other folks who have changed the world. So far we believe and work towards it we would get it done.”
I know many Nigerians, especially young ones, who arguably share my friend’s views. That’s not surprising anyway, because the present situation in the country presents a hopeless picture. However, we young people must strive to take our eyes off the dark picture, and build the kind of nation we desire. So how do we achieve this?
The Nigerian youths can actually transform the nation. For decades we have been deprived of the basic enabling environment needed to develop the robust ideas locked up in our minds. But we can take the destiny into our hands by penetrating deeply into every sector, and cause an unprecedented transformation. Remember, the future belongs to us, and we must start now— we can’t afford to fail the next generation of leaders!
In this article I would focus on a number of sectors that we must turn around. They include entertainment, business/entrepreneurship, agriculture, technology, politics, education and health. These sectors should be developed in such a way that any Nigerian can naturally belong to any of them depending on their talents, choice and passion. This new system should reward every talent or passion thus creating equal opportunities for everyone.
You would agree with me that the entertainment sector in Nigeria has been growing rapidly during the last decade due to the Nigerian youths. This is highly commendable, and more should be done to help the budding entertainers all over the country. With no doubt it will create more opportunities to build a world-class entertainment empire. After all, the Nigerian entertainers rank among the best in the world.
Let’s move on. Teaching should be reserved for those who are indeed passionate about it, not those who has no other options available. In my previous article I mentioned the Nigerian education system needed serious overhaul. I am convinced that only if we have young and passionate transformational teachers armed with the profound knowledge in the Nigerian primary, secondary and tertiary institutions the system will churn out well-prepared and competent graduates.
I think it’s time for the Nigerian youths to actively get involved in politics. A great political analyst Isiaq Hammed once said: “They (youths) should decide and not be decided for. Only youth-oriented and ideologically inclined parties can provide the needed third force to swing the balance in favour of the masses…” We should have our brightest minds, those who can develop every section of the society, as councilors, local government chairmen, state and federal legislators, deputy governors and governors, and presidents. There must also be strong collaboration among young people in terms of creating thriving businesses that would outlast this generation and provide opportunities for younger citizens mentoring. I know quite a number of young Nigerians who are building the industry in a fascinating way. At this juncture, we must begin to see ourselves as members of one big family working together for a common future.
Agriculture and technology are very crucial sectors. The majority of the Nigerian farmers are of a certain age. There is the need for fresh and more energetic hands to take over the sector and improve it. Technology must also be put at the forefront of everything we do as it drives almost every sector today. As a matter of fact, we also need a formidable health sector that can guarantee an adequate life expectancy. By breaking into all these sectors the Nigerian youths will undoubtedly create a brighter and more secured future not only for themselves, but also for the generation yet unborn.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently stated: “When young people have decent jobs, political weight, negotiating muscle and real influence in the world, they will create a better future.”
I strongly believe the things will change if the Nigerian youths embark on acting. Let’s get it done and hope for a better future.
As for me, I’m proudly Naija, what about you?