We are young.
You can call us “youths.” We are lost boys and girls, broken lovers and tired fighters, daydreamers and fleshed miracles. We are alive. We are internet nomads – flitting through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Nairaland and a thousand blogs -bearing creative, crazy and self-referential monikers. Our real names are Oluwasegun, Emmanuel, Chidinma, Ighodaro, Nonso, Ekemini, Blessing and Sadiq.
Old people say that we are arrogant, lazy, entitled and wild. We say that we are just confident, cool, assertive and jolly. To be honest, we’re not entirely without our good graces. So, if you see us twerking and popping bottles in nightclubs, don’t be shocked to see us speaking progress into our destinies in church. Yes, we like Game of Thrones, WizKid, Bet9ja winnings and free WiFi. But, we also live for enriching books and delicious food, the awe of starry nights and the healing of silence.
Don’t think that we have never wondered what the future holds for us. After all, if we no buy the Benz, wetin we gain? We dream of luxuriation in sky-high airliners, flying first class of course. We see pictures of ourselves in New York or Dubai getting thousands of reactions and comments. We yearn to leave our parents’ houses and build better ones for our children. We want our eyes to turn green from counting dollar bills. We want to “blow” like Davido or Linda Ikeji, E-Money or Kelechi Iheanacho.
But, we know how hard this life is. Nothing good comes easy. We know because we had to learn in different ways. We know the fire of the sun as we roam the world, hunting jobs. Desperation and suffering are core courses that we’ve been taught through pure practicals. People like to remind us that our mates and juniors are doing better than us. So, we stumble under the weight of expectations, frustrated. Some of us follow dark, diabolical paths to dubious wealth. And destruction. The rest of us lament that adulting is a scam. We don’t want “to do again” – we want our mummies. Nostalgia becomes a good friend, so we like remembering old songs and TV commercials and cartoons – vestigial memories of simpler times.
But, we just can’t give up. So, we keep rising from shadowy depths at dawn to face the world’s endless wahala. We pray, fight, hope and love. We hustle. We never stop believing. If you give us opportunities, we will return with testimonies. Give us power, and we will alter the very nature of things. Let us speak, and you will hear new languages. Give us sparks, and we will light up the world with wonders. Give us a little, and we will bring forth more than enough.
As we live, we will persist. We will keep pursuing the fulfillment of our dreams, now that we have the energy and focus, faith and smarts; now that we thirst for greatness; now that we are still young.
This article was written by Sima Essien; connect with her on Instagram here