Nigeria is such a blessed country and to be born in this part of the earth is a rare privilege. If you are reading this post and your delivery took place anywhere in Nigeria- Hospital, Church, Mosque etc, you are a rare breed with lots of potentials. We often make the mistake of comparing ourselves with folks from the west when in actual sense, we are destined to be greater than them. Right from birth, God has empowered us to rise above any challenges and solve myriads of problems.
Think of it this way. As a Nigerian child born in a hospital, chances are that you were delivered without power supply. Some people were delivered under torchlight or in traffic on the way to the hospital. This is why you should not be surprised if you have an interview and running late because there is no power (light) to iron your clothes or stuck in traffic, it didn’t just start today.
Mark Zuckerberg came to Nigeria and recently launched a campaign to leverage technology to cure diseases in the world. How many 32-year old Nigerians are on the Forbes list of 30Under30? This reminds me of an encounter I had during my first trip outside the continent. As a young 400 level undergraduate, I was sponsored to a summer school in France where I met other students from across the world. It would be surprising to know that I was virtually the oldest undergraduate at the school while those of my age already had a second masters or running a Ph.D. Nigerian system is totally different from the rest of the world, so there is no basis for comparison.
Let’s look at it in another direction. What is the average age of a typical graduate in Nigeria? Or how long does an average Nigerian who cannot afford a private or foreign school spend in the university? It is worst for most females due to pressures from male lecturers. If you attended a public university, it means your parents don’t have enough influence or affluence to secure a job for you before graduation. You are faced with a second hustle.
After graduation, your first tragedy is the compulsory national youth service. If you’re lucky, you may be mobilized for NYSC within four months of graduation, otherwise it’s a long thing. At this stage, your folks at home are expecting you to start job applications because in Nigeria, it is a curse to want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business. And the rat race begins…. you will start looking for a job that was neither there nor here.
To everything there is time and chance. Some people are so lucky to get a relatively good job like two years after graduation (remember one year of NYSC) but still needs time to stabilize, let’s say minimum of three years; you know the reasons- Unfriendly landlord, cost of leaving, generators, fuel, family pressures etc to mention a few. Before you could figure out anything, you’re already turning 29 and the hairs on your head have started running in a reverse motion. Tell me how you can compete with Mark.
Other factors that contribute to our hustling is the lack of leverage. Many Nigerian youths do not have privileged backgrounds where the father has left millions or billions of naira worth of assets. We left home with the saying; ‘mo iru omo eni ti ohun se o’ (know the child of whom you are). So anytime you see us either on the street of New York or under Ojuelegba bridge, we always remember how we left home.
On Sale of National Assets.
The import of this article is to remind the Nigerian youths to always remember the children of whom they are. Unfortunately, we are born to a generation of heartless leaders and politicians. The so called fathers and mothers in the National Assembly calling for sale of our assets are ready to eat our future in their life time. They don’t care if we continue to ‘hustle’ our way up even when we compete against our mates in other continents with privileged backgrounds. That’s why they are comfortable with us going to the Olympics without any support or preparation to compete against well prepared teams from across the world.
We would never know how badly we have been abused until we reach other nations where they don’t write exams in dilapidated buildings, drive on pot-holed roads, deliver babies in darkness, loose loved ones to negligence and the list just goes on.
I am @hopefield_net on twitter