By Femi Aderibigbe
This is going to get ugly, I might lose a few friends and gain a few enemies after this, but retaining narrow-minded friends is not on my to-do list today and as for the enemies part, please pick a tally number and get in line.
My anger, unfortunately, is directed at our young people. The most vibrant, the most talented, the most energetic, the most adventurous and the most dominant group of individuals in my country, Nigeria.
Sadly they have over the years also proved to be the most disorganized, the most self-centered, the most easily manipulated and the most dysfunctional group of people in my country, Nigeria.
Effortlessly over fifty percent of Nigeria’s population, the failure of our young people to articulate social ills, proffer practical solutions, build viable platforms and structures that will give them more relevance and leverage in the scheme of things, is mind-boggling.
Youth Unemployment Rate in Nigeria increased to 24 percent in the second quarter of 2016 from 21.50 percent in the first quarter of 2016. It is however, a proven fact that Nollywood alone has the capacity to add a million new jobs, mostly for young people, not to talk of the potential billions of dollars we are missing on in the social media and digital space.
At this point, I know that the hailers and wailers will take this as a cue to show us who’s to blame for these woes, but sit your asses down guys, this is really not about you, I’m talking to the more important group of people, those who actually can bring about real change in our society.
Unfortunately, most of our young people are caught up in mindless self-indulgence and unprofitable hero-worship of expired politicians and parasitic elite who really have nothing to offer than crumbs from stolen loot and our collective wealth.
Young people have unconditionally surrendered their destinies and future to people who daily reinforce the false message of “young people cannot be trusted with power or with anything of value for that matter.” For every young person that fails when given an opportunity, there are a lot more who succeed, so don’t believe that hype.
The system has no doubt been unfairly skewed to favor the rich and keep the poor in perpetual poverty no doubt, banks no longer fund enterprises and those that still do ask for collaterals that struggling entrepreneurs cannot possibly have. Most young people unfortunately fall into this category one way or another.
Political power is also seemingly out of reach for brilliant young people who have revolutionary ideas and inspiring visions. They do not have the resources and access to the type of funds required to drive a nationwide campaign and mass mobilization initiatives.
These seemingly daunting challenges are reasons why most young people simply give up and join the “hailers” and “wailers” club, hoping to get a piece of the pie from their pay masters. The vicious cycle goes on and on and there seems no end in sight. At least that is what they want you to think.
The fact is, with your numerical strength, you can become a nation within a nation, your population size is probably the second or third biggest in Africa. You can create the biggest crowd funding platforms in Africa, you can create the biggest multi-level marketing platforms and create wealth in different sectors.
You can also register political parties and start off by taking over the over 700 local governments in Nigeria, you can write computer programs that will fix a lot of our societal problems, you can raise funds within yourselves for large-scale farming in every local government across Nigeria, you can shoot movies, you can do just about anything you put your minds to. This is not the place to talk about the possibilities, that will come in due time.
But instead, you pout on instagram, take hotel room selfies, pose with your new or tokunbo iPhone, show us pictures of you popping bottles in the club, curse your “opponents” on the other side of the divide and pray that a president who’s trying to clean up years of waste and build a better future for you and your descendants, should die so that your paymasters can resume the mindless looting that got us here in the first place.
If you refuse to rise up, if you refuse to wake up from your slumber, if you refuse to wake up and smell the coffee, if you choose to continue being led blindly by the powerful trio, politicians, preachers and the parasitic elite, you will continue to destroy your destinies, before you even get a chance to use it.
Step one, wake up.
Step two, drop the ego, lose the self entitlement
Step three, unlearn the rubbish and relearn a new way of doing things
Step four, stop the hate, the attacks, the blame games and the negativity
Step five, start building networks, physical and virtual communities
Step six, build structures that does not revolve around one man and has a clear succession plan
Step seven, learn to put the collective above self
Step eight, choose leaders from within your ranks and learn to be loyal to them. Stop empowering expired leaders with your numbers
Step nine, learn to be patient, success takes time and years of cultivation
Step ten, put in place checks and balances to ensure you don’t fall into the same trap as those before you.
This piece was inspired by the late Eric Arubayi, a young man we just lost to EXPIRED DRUGS, another youth felled by the EXPIRED POLICIES of EXPIRED POLITICIANS, yet another EXPIRED DESTINY.
Rest in peace bro
Femi Aderibigbe (Kwame) is the CEO & Founder of Nigezie (Virtual Media Network LTD). He is passionately involved in Youth and National Development and he is a Social Media Enthusiast a platform he readily uses to engage youths.