Nigeria, O Nigeria.
As we celebrate a great nation at 57, there are fundamental questions every concerned Nigerian has on his mind. “Which way Nigeria?”
The amenities that once worked or seemingly did are a luxury even to the rich among us today. Everyone wants to know what happened to the promising Nigeria we knew as far back as in the 70’s.
117 years since the creation of Nigeria and 57 years since independence, yet it would appear many Nigerians are not satisfied with the state of affairs in the country. A lot of the people are blaming the political leadership and a corrupt public service for the country’s failure to make rapid economic and social strides. Still others want to opt out of Nigeria and recreate a secessionist state. In all of these and many more daily unpleasant and sad news, the people are agitated for a better country, a proud country.
Social studies taught me that the family is the smallest unit of the society. Just maybe if we begin to take extra look at the upbringing and values we instill in the small units, perhaps there can be hope for tomorrow even if it looks impossible from where we stand today. I was conversing with a friend earlier about the state of the average Nigerian mind. While little things of the Western world intrigue us, we ourselves debar our liberation by confining our minds from embracing the endless possibilities of creativity and innovation.
Take for instance back in the days, it was almost a taboo to go out on the streets to play football. Our parents would scream and shout. All that was important then was education and books. Nothing else was as important. Now because of the likes of Falz, Neymar, WizKid and a host of other talented individuals, parents are now encouraging their children’s interests in other areas besides education. Now, there are ballet classes, music classes, football academies and all these things are taken seriously. On a second thought, perhaps parents are also encouraging these things now for self-interested reasons. But maybe if we had listened to our children, understood their tendencies, encouraged their talents and helped build them to be more than we are/were, we might be celebrating a nation rich in diversity and talents today without crying wolf at every threat.
So instead of restricting the talents and silencing the opinions of fresh minds, instead of overprotecting and guiding on same paths that go nowhere, we can maybe let the young ones live a little, make their own mistakes and trust that they will learn better from their own mistakes. All minds are not equal, one that is academically inclined might not be good with anything else and the other who is inclined in other gifted areas may not be academically. Learn to observe, listen and nurture the seed that is deposited for the benefit of the community in your child.
Possibilities. Let’s empower the future generation and build a grounded succession plan for the Nigeria we want to see before our time is done.
Great lofty heights we shall attain!