A quote of mine says, “Discipline is censored when irresponsibility is in census.” Discipline and sense of responsibility seem to have been misplaced in today’s world. So many teens and youths lack the “charity begins at home” norm.

For a long while, there has been some banding as to the populace of youths in Nigeria and Africa. The Federal Bureau of Statistics shares that a whopping 70% of Nigeria’s populace is cornered by Nigerian youths. Youth and the African Union Commission also state that “About 65% of the total population of Africa are below the age of 35 years, and over 35% are between ages 15 and 35 years – making Africa the most youth full continent.” Such high figures of youths in Nigeria and Africa, right? Yes it is, and looking at these figures, you’ll perceive this to be an advantage; a plus, an honour for any African country. Unfortunately people, the reverse is the case. What’s the essence of having such high percentages in population and have little or nothing to bring to the floor. This shows that youths in Africa have tattered the saying “strength in numbers”. I’ve realised that many teens and youths leave much to be desired where a sense of responsibility is required, and I see a lot of this in my country, Nigeria. And it makes me ponder, “Are these truly the leaders of tomorrow?” Indeed, the high voltage of determination to succeed distinctively has gone out the window. This days, you hear statements like these from students: “I don’t even want to go to school”, “When would this school thing end?”, “Must I go to school?”, “I want to dropout and sing” etc. They find utmost pleasure in leisure, nay Laissez faire. You’ll notice the exodus of students from the school gates to the entertainment doors. They just desire to conclude school anyhow, not perfectly.

Many of my fellow country men, in attempt to exonerate themselves from being tagged “undisciplined”, based on their nothing-to-write-home-about behavior, compare themselves with internationals. They, being blind to the truth that, American, Breton, Indian teens and/or youths are more purpose driven than a multitude of my Nigerian teens and/or youths. Although, teens and youths abroad also are undisciplined, which is why I said this is of universal importance. Ask 10 teens and/or youths the question “Who is your mentor?”, 2 will declare they have no mentor and 7 will respond giving the names of musical artistes or someone with no worthwhile credentials. And if possible, one of the ten might have a professional and responsible mentor. I am by no means implying that one shouldn’t have a musician as mentor if he/she wants to study music. No! But even that theory of having a mentor for your career field had been tarnished, because now, everyone wants to be a musician. So, musicians are no longer mentors for wannabe-musicians, but competitors.

Many teens and youths desire to be like Bill Gates, Farrah Gray, Aliko Dangote, become presidents and so on, but they lack entrepreneurial and/or leadership qualities. Let’s view Irresponsibility’s Equation, shall we?

Indiscipline + Irresponsibility = Uselessness

Uselessness + Recklessness = No purpose

No purpose + Laziness = Poverty

Poverty + Stupidity = Unlimited shame

In my parents days, they worked quality jobs to earn quality money while in high school. Today, my generation desires to grab without giving. The teens and youths in my country occupy the kidnapping, armed robbery, bribery and human sacrifice circle. They hide under the guise and/or lie of not having money and jobs. And so called sympathizers sheepishly support and broadcast their claim and ‘whine’, not pausing to ask, “Are you the only youth around?” If not, “How are others in public schools and from poor backgrounds not doing what you’re doing?” Unarguably so, our government has its numerous, grievous faults in not providing enough jobs and other necessities, but we feign ignorance not to know that even where there is enough, there will still be those who waste their resources. No one made you a robber other than yourself. Don’t blame it on situations or circumstances, because you certainly aren’t the only one encountering difficulties. Put someone purposeful, optimistic in that seemingly bad state, and he/she will have the KFC dream or invent something incredulous despite whatever education inadequacies. After all, did Einstein begin unveiling his brilliancy from young? No he didn’t. To be a champion, which I know everyone desires, indiscipline isn’t condoned. Be the leader your followers are proud of. An undisciplined leader would have goats for followers, because you reproduce after your kind.

Want to discover what others enjoy in being happy? Then you need to seek your happiness. And that foundation is laid when you first enter yourself and purpose in your heart to be disciplined and responsible irrespective of your status (poor or rich). You do this by constantly admonishing yourself that you aren’t ordinary, useless, shameful or anything negative and then work at making your life meaningful for your good and that of your society.

Raphael Olufisayo Champion (ROC) Akomolede, is a Leadership Blogger/Enthusiast, he is the CEO of Champions’ Meal, a leadership blog.