The cycle of Africanism

Photo credit : Unspalsh

Look around you.

Observe your surroundings.

What do you see?

Now think of Nigeria, whether you’re still here or you’ve traveled to the diaspora. What proper development in your life has been constant since you were a child till today that you know of?

What course did you study for undergrad? Was it your choice? Did you enjoy it?

Are you happy where you are? Are you fulfilled? Do you think you’re not doing enough? What more can you do? Are you willing to do the extra?

Questions. Questions. Questions.

Africa. Mmm. I don’t like talking about politics or economic issues or things related to politics, but I feel very compelled to write about this.

Since I was a child till now I don’t think I’ve heard much good from people when they talk about the government. It’s scary but it’s the truth.

The sad part about that is, we the people that drag the government are also a huge part of our economic failure.

Like my dad would say, it’s an “ African mentality” issue. It’s almost like we as Africans see the world from a very dusty mirror. I’d explain.

African parents. God bless their souls. I respect them so much. I love mine as a matter but our parents and elders have dragged us the youth to the extent that we can hardly think for ourselves.

The typical African parent, till this 21st century, would ensure that their child studies a “good” course so as not to be stranded in the future.

Well, guys guess what? Millions of youths are stranded with very good results and qualifications, but no jobs. Now, what’s the reason for that? How would I know?

But here’s are my theory, and I’d give instances and examples to back them up. My theories are that many of us as Africans :

1) We still have the slave mentality where we work for people all day for peanuts. It’s more like, let them do the thinking and we’d do the rest. The main reason why parents keep pushing their children to do things they don’t want to do and study courses that they don’t want to study.

2) We don’t understand the law of demand and supply. We think that demand and supply only works in economics. No! It works in most likely all areas of life. When an economy is filled with people with just a certain type of skills, where are they going to get the other set of skills they need to balance up ?

3) Elders in the society think that just because they’re older, they know all there is to know about life and the future ahead. That mentality is driving Nigeria to the ground. From comparison of children to wrong and bad advice. The cycle would keep going on and on if nothing is done about it.

Now let’s examine the instances;

If the parents of the owner of “ruff and tumble” Funke Olulesi decided that they’ll force her to school because they knew best and they wouldn’t accept her being just an “ordinary tailor” at that time, what would have become of her? Would we hear her story? She’ll probably be kicking her desk by now and drinking bad coffee. Who knows.

If Ty Bello’s parents locked her at home and forced her to do “the regular” job everyone was doing so that she would be among the country’s top achievers in the white color industry, would your eyes have been able to behold such beautiful pictures from her?

If Ibukun Awosika had given up when she faced obstacles and decided to just go back into the Accounting Or science field, maybe we’d probably still be waiting for Chairs to get to Aso-rock since 2005.

I can go on and on. We as Africans, the citizens of the countries have managed to drag our countries down by our thinking.

The major reason why the west is different from us is “thinking”, innovation. For us here, we get talked down or bullied cause of some of our ideas.

No it’s too American. No that thing can’t work in Africa. Ahhhh, have you seen anyone doing it ?

On and on we are dragged down by people that are meant to pull us up. If you’re a graduate and you’re not earning as much they expect you to earn, and by mistake, you’re trying to invent something. You’re dead.

We need to do better for ourselves as youths because our parents have lived their lives in that bubble since they were children. I honestly feel sorry for them because it wants them to know, it’s how they were brought us and you can only give what you know.

Last year, on my way back from work, I met this guy, my senior from school. He told me he was doing his masters or trying to start it. Something he said made me feel uncomfortable.

He said I’m studying something that is in vogue now, so that I can contribute.

That’s beautiful, that’s great so what about later? What about in 10years to come? Why not study for now and then. What if the job becomes obsolete?

In the 90s oil was the in thing, now tech is the gold mine. Yes, oil would always be big fish, but what are the odds that you or anyone you know would get into the oil sector anytime soon?

I once had a conversation with a buddy of mine that works as an engineer Dangoteote. “He said, Ekab, a lot of people have the geology and Petroleum engineering degree, but no job.”

The people are more than the jobs available.

What if we channeled our energy into something else that is also enjoyable and would help our society?

I once heard an advert from a podcast about two engineers that used their engineering knowledge to make a kind of mattress that you’d not want to stand up from.

Wake up guys, it’s happening, but we in Africa are being left behind because we’ve been filled with the “crab mentality “ one step forward, five steps backward.

We have to learn that every economy needs a balance. Breaking jobs into smaller pieces, thinking of innovative ways to move the country forward. Something as small as make button can go a long way in this country.

We and our parents need to understand that we can’t all be doctors, and we can’t all be tailors. We have our own little parts to play and when we play them, maybe just maybe we can start talking about economic growth and development.

Till then, I hope we keep striving to become the best version of ourselves and find new ways to contribute to our economy in our own little ways.

At least that’s what I intend to do, even in the midst of all the noise from everywhere.

Till next time, keep your head up.

Love, E.