Happy New Year, happy new thoughts
I am Omoni Oboli and I represent Naija! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Welcome to 2017! So many of us tried so hard to hold on to life and survive the last few moments of 2016, especially with the news of so many celebrity deaths and mass killings. Newsflash people! God kept you alive for a reason, and none of our efforts got us through to the New Year! We can only be thankful to God for His indescribable gift of life, breath and everything. So join me in giving all the glory and praise for all He has done for us, and all He continues to do to sustain us in Jesus name! It’s so sad to see so many senseless killings in Kaduna and other areas of our country, and I join with many other Nigerians to sympathise with those who have lost loved ones due to the carnage.
New Years evoke in us a sense of reflection more than any other period in a year, and somehow we believe that this day gives us more hope of a transformation of our lives that we don’t seem to attribute to any other day of year. This is good, and with all the negative issues that plagued us in 2016, we certainly need to take this tradition to a more practical level, starting with this New Year. We saw the recession, we saw the genocides, we saw the tribal and internal squabbles, we saw the divisiveness and finger pointing, but we did not see the resultant positive effect we wanted from all these. We have tried the negative, it’s time to take a different course of action.
The strength of any group, people or nation is in their love for each other shown in the protection of each other. We can wish to be great, but when we use our own resources and voices to bring down each other, other nations and people don’t need to do much but just replay what we’ve said to each other and sit back to see how we defend ourselves against ourselves. We all want to improve in every area of our economy and lives, and the surest way is to have neighbours, workers, friends and employers focus on lifting the good attributes of their fellow citizens such that we’re unable to accept any defamation of our countrymen and women until there is incontrovertible proof. People must be afraid to pull us down knowing our first reaction would be to defend our own and not to sell us out.
Does this in any way mean that we shouldn’t speak out against evil, tyranny or corruption within ourselves? No! These things affect our collective growth and must be exposed for what they are. What I’m saying is when we criticise ourselves for efforts that are not yet at par with the international standards, let it be done in the spirit of love and unity, the same way you would criticise your own siblings and relatives, with a view to improving the person, product or service for the good of all.
I thank God that this change of heart has already begun in the movie industry, and with the success of so many movies this past year at the cinema box office, Nigerians have proved that they appreciate our efforts and are willing to pay for those efforts to continue with more improvements. We are listening. This can permeate other sectors of our economy, so that we don’t have to wait for the government to rise to the occasion first before we begin the process of developing our economy. Wherever we believe we have the knowledge, resources and expertise, let us begin with that. With time and continued patronage from fellow Nigerians, we will begin the real change from us the people towards building the Nigeria of our dreams. This is not to say that the government should be left to just do what they want at every turn, but we can’t divorce their responsibilities from ours. If the government acts and we don’t, things would still fail, and vice versa. So let our actions be positive, and let us refrain from trying to scheme off our own citizens for gains that mess us all up, including the perpetrators, in the long run.
I can see a brighter future ahead for Nigeria from the movie industry perspective, and I pray that other areas of our economy, including agriculture, information technology, and local manufacturing industries can begin to focus less on the challenges that present a bleak future so they too can see a brighter one. The problems we’ve encountered so far may seem like they couldn’t see the light of day, but just as I started this article, we didn’t get to this new year by our power or might, so we won’t get through the mess we’ve seen by our strength alone. Let’s be prayerful and hopeful as well.
My movie, Okafor’s Law, will be released in the cinemas the first quarter of next year, and I know that you will love what I’ve cooked up for you in this one. I haven’t disappointed yet, and by God’s grace, this wouldn’t be the first. I just ask that we continue to support ourselves even more, this year, and make so much noise that the world would not help but want to join in our celebration. The world echoes whatever we send out, so let us shout out our achievements but discuss our problems internally with a view to solving them.
I thank God for all of you who have made it into another year, and I pray that our collective efforts would start something that would resonate for generations to come in Jesus name! Amen! Till, next week, keep smiling!