The future of Nigeria is what we make of it today
It is often said that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. The youth of a nation are often a pointer to the future of a country. If this saying is true, then should we be worried and concerned about the future of Nigeria? Today’s research shows that our youths are one of the most depressed, suicide prone, and highest abusers of substances and drugs in the world. As if that is not bad enough, Marvin Chow who is the Vice President Global Marketing at Google, released a list of most searched words by Nigerian youth in 2018, as follows:
Soco, music released by Nigerian Artist Wizkid
World Cup Fixtures
How to Prepare Banga Soup
Richest Musician in Nigeria
How to Dance Shaku Shaku
Big Brother Naija
How to Tie Gele
The major interests of our youths, are revealed through what they search for on the internet. Are these the kinds of future leaders we need? If this persists, will Nigeria become one of the greatest nations in the world with leaders like this?
In a fast growing world where we have individuals like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who made their first million dollars in their youth (early 20’s) through their interests in technology, it may be a bit worrisome to see the mindset of our youth who make up 75% of our population. I was greatly alarmed, when I saw this top google search results, and decided to do a research and comparative analysis on what youths in other countries were searching.
Below are 5 most searched words in Singapore, according to Google, in the year 2017:
Superhero Movie: Wonder Woman
Fantasy Movie: Beauty and the Beast
In Kenya 2018, the most searched word is ‘Samantha’. Samantha is a world first Artificial Intelligence Doll by Dr. Sergio Santos, said to have the abilities to mimic a real life woman.
The most searched word in the U.K was Meghan Markle, amongst a few movies and games topped the list.You can imagine my temporary relief with these discoveries, which tells me that a youth is a youth and the same anywhere in the world. These results show, that the issues of the youth is a global dilemma. Whilst some may call this search results disgraceful, and disappointing, I choose to see it as a cry for help. It is a subtle cry for help to those willing to hear and heed the call. If we must GROOM the leaders of tomorrow, we must start from shaping their minds very early from home and school. Parents must begin to take their roles more seriously, schools must begin to deliberately NURTURE the future leaders of this great nation.
“As a man thinks so is he”. This also means that; “As a nation thinks so it is”. The human mind feeds on and reproduces based on what it is fed. We are a reflection and expression of our mindset, and our mindset directly creates our environment. Everything we see in the world today (good or evil) first existed in the minds of people. The reason why it seems like our country has its priorities set wrong, is because collectively as a nation, we are not channeling our energies and intellectual resources into things that matter, we are not channeling our energy into mind stimulating issues, matters of societal development or growth.
Our youth are taking these cues from their parents who only want to throw the biggest parties, attend the best “owambes” and show off their “geles and asoebi” styles. Truth be told: “an apple does not fall too far away from an apple tree”, “a lion can ONLY give birth to a lion”, and “a catfish can never become an eagle”. We have to go back to the basics! Our society is failing today because of poor parenting and parent absenteeism. Our schools are not doing enough simply because our educational system is broken. Not much is being invested in educating our children right.
Yes, I acknowledge that there are very few private schools that do their little bit, but what population of our youth can attend these very expensive and out-of-reach schools, only set up for the rich. Remember that approximately 70 – 80 percent of the population is poor and your children will have to interact, engage with or even be ruled and governed by them at some point in the future.
Our private schools need to do more, like adopt some public schools. The Government needs to refocus on education and create a stable environment which encourages entrepreneurship, problem solving and is handsomely rewarded. Parents need to change their priorities and focus on training their children right. The failure of society today and tomorrow is the result of failure at home first! The leaders we currently have do not care because their parents did not teach them to care. We need caring individuals to create a caring nation. The ONLY way to clearly see and experience a great future is to deliberately create it. We must pause and ask ourselves these questions:
What future do we want to see?
What do we need to do today to create it?
What can stop us from creating and living this future of our dreams?
Finally let us borrow this script from scripture. “Teach a child in the way he or she should go and when they grow up, they will not depart from it”.
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