First of all, this article is merely a form of expression. It’s my way of expressing the way I see my country, but our perceptions, and opinions could be different.
Our youths today graduate from university, obey the clarions call, serve their country, and join the ranks of the 33.10 % (as in the third quarter of 2017) of our population that remain unemployed. We have trained job seekers, not job creators, individuals’ content to accept being paid less than they’re worth because if they don’t, there are thousands of others who will.
I believe that a lot of the problems we have in Nigeria start with our mindsets. The erroneous preconceived notions we’ve passed down for years, only slowly being broken by today’s generation.
Let’s start with the dream crushers. From youth, many Nigerian parents already have ideas of who and what they want you to be. You’re either a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or any other prestigious occupation, and God bless your soul, say the words musician, artist, writer, designer, model, dancer. We should learn to release our children to find their dream.
A lot of youths have lost their ability to dream, their thirst for innovation, because society failed to see their value. We’ve crushed probable bestselling authors, CEO’s, artistes who could’ve become cultural icons, and reduced them to employees. Our society has only begun to recognize these careers because a select few chose to break the mould. Do we even dare to ask about the journey before getting to where they are today?
Now to the lack of education for creatives, never mind the poor facilities in our tertiary institutions. Even if you graduated from a secondary school where you had to learn the arts, for those creatives looking to delve deeper into music, dance and performance, creative arts and crafts, film production, and a whole host of other creative fields, very few schools exist, and for those that do, they cost a lot more than most can afford. Creative education should be made available to those who desire it. Rather than having an unmotivated workforce killing our existing businesses, let’s have youth driven by their passion.
To the youths ourselves, some of us have chosen the dream state, big dreams, no action. Some of us walk around goalless, directionless, with no idea who we are, or what drives us. Find your passion, educate yourself, set purposeful goals, take care of your physical and mental health. The path will not be smooth, but it will be worth it. Quit restricting yourself to the confines of society’s expectations, because when you embrace your individuality, no star will burn brighter. We all can be regular people making a difference, touching lives, some can be stars but first we have to challenge ourselves. Decide to be better every day, to live and one life at a time, no matter how long it takes, our lives can be better, and so can our country.
This article was written by Mercy Leghemo; connect with her on IG here