Have you ever heard the phrase “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow”? Well, that was our motto until a fateful day in 2018 when President Muhammadu Buhari crowned us with a new title, “lazy youths”. His declaration unbelievably birthed a colossal movement.
According to National statistics, the youth make up a little more than half of the Nigerian population, yet there are no standard structures and policies in place to favor us. Our peers in other countries have access to free tertiary education, or financial packages to help cope with the burden of tuition. Meanwhile, we have to deal with an ever-decaying education sector plagued with incessant strikes.
This year, the estimated youth unemployment rate in Nigeria was at almost 14.2 percent as stated by the United nations (UN), and in spite of that fact, we’ve had to battle insecurity and our failing economy. This reality has caused considerable distress in the heart of the average Nigerian, but fortunately, there has been a massive shift.
As the year 2021 stalks the horizon, it is pertinent to note that 2020 ushered in a revamped brand of Lazy Nigerian Youths- those who are industrious and innovative enough to see the problems at hand and seek effective ways to fix them. Although we have a long way to go in seeing the change we so desire, we have taken the first step in recognizing who we are as a people.
As lazy youths, we beat the odds everyday. From the moment we wake up, facing agonizing traffic, enduring tedious hours at the office, or pursuing side hustles despite the jam in our education, we beat the odds. Every time we face a setback and say, “we move” or “it is what it is”, every time we rack our brains until we find a solution to the difficulties that arise everyday, we beat the odds. Every time we laugh despite the horrors, to make light of the situation so we remain sane, we beat the odds. Every time we rally around each other, strangers, uniting in one voice to overcome the system of oppression even after years of conditioning, we beat the odds.
So yes, I am lazy. We all are lazy Nigerian youths. It’s not a derogatory tag, it’s a lifestyle. We are making waves and being exceptional in all fields despite all the cards stacked against us. Each time we fall, we get right back up and when the need arises, we put up a united front. If that’s being lazy, then I don’t want to be anything else.
This article was written by Obi Joan; connect with her on Instagram via here