By Tobenna Obiano
One of the problems with many young Nigerians is the abysmal show of vainglory, and appreciating what one may unapologetically refer to as cheap and nonsense. Yes, that’s what this truly is.
Nigerian music star, best known as the Limpopo crooner of Five Star music and currently, a contestant in the forthcoming Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections, Kcee, allegedly gifted a lady N2million for twerking. Incredible!
This is happening in a society where best graduating students from professional courses such as Law or even Medicine with a CGPA of 5.0 are given the pitiably some of N10,000. Now, the debate of which group or person or organization that gifted the N10,000 to a smart graduate doesn’t matter. The intentions may be true and honest, but we must note quite clearly that giving the young lady only N10,000 which by the way is about the same about used in the production of the giant flex or banner with which the dummy cheque was made costs even more is a big shame.
Nigeria is a joke and everything, not one, no exception is falling down and below. There seems to be no hope in sight, it’s even getting from bad to worse.
It was from this Nigeria that a few young people were loosely selected, rounded up and jetted to South Africa, where they were kept in a house, fed, allowed to live what was supposed to be a normal life and they had virtually everything at their disposal, this featured even a married man and a single mother who to the full glare of the world, and before steadied cameras were smooching, French-kissing, neck biting, walking naked and perhaps, maybe also having sex. At the end of the so called competition, a winner was announced, gifted a Sports Utility Vehicle and the whopping sum of N25million.
The winners of cowbell Mathematics competition are often rewarded with a pitiable sum of N50,000. I remember my kid brother once featured in one of those back then where he and a few others represented Anambra State, with a competition that took them to Jos, Plateau State and later to the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. What was their reward for coming out tops, it’s ridiculously a pitiable sum and a certificate.
Young people all over the world aren’t any better than the Nigerian youth populace. I say so because I have been privileged to have met in my life, a vast majority of young people from many parts of the world and I have also interacted with them.
In America, more than 60% of all Nigerians resident there studied to PhD level. In Britain, young Nigerians are outsmarting others where they are smashing First class results back to back. All over Europe and Asia through America to Australia, Nigerian graduates are pulling, breaking and making records as scholars. These are verifiable facts! As the saying goes back home, “Nigeria no de carry last”. We are good, I mean, we are very good in all ramifications.
What stands an Ivy League institution graduate from others, he or she knows a little of everything. This was what an Ivy League graduate who I met and interacted with, sometime in the past in London told me. “You know virtually everything. Which Ivy League institution did you graduate from?” In my style, I flashed a smile, “I graduated from Anambra State University”, and he responded, “what’s that?” And I shot it back almost immediately, “it’s the institution I graduated from, it’s a state owned university in Nigeria”. Case closed!
The thing is, we may not all have the privilege to attend world renowned institutions of high repute and excellence, but we can work on ourselves and improve ourselves to match world best standards. In so doing, we can favorably compete with other young minds abroad.
Imagine when given the privilege that they, majorly Westerners have and enjoy, of good life, of security, of uninterrupted power supply, of social welfare, of basic amenity, of good governance, of quality education, of virtually everything good, we will beat them to it. Even in Nigeria, many who I have met fail to agree I graduated from my state owned university. Well, I’m firstly a proud Nigerian made product, if I shine or blossom today, I would be thankful to Nigeria. If I fail, I have no excuses. Simple!
There is this young lady who studied Engineering and graduated from my university, Anambra State University. She was posted to Abuja for her compulsorily National service, where towards the end of her service year, in search of job, she met where an advertisement was put up, but a Federal University and select state private universities were required to apply.
She applied anyways, and when she went for the interview, as she was mistakenly invited. She told the employers to try her, let them test her on whatsoever topic or assignment they may test her colleagues from whatsoever university in the world, they decided to give her a try, and unbelievably, she came out best from all others. She was the first to receive her employment letter and she still works at this big Engineering firm till date. The young lady I write about is from my town of Nibo and I so, I have every reason to be proud of her. It’s not where you are that defines you, it’s where you get that does.
The Nigerian society doesn’t reward excellence and scholarly hardwork, but celebrates many other nonsense. Infact, even top class restaurants and hotels, PR agencies and private companies, multi-nationals and banks would always prefer to employ a young lady who knows how to apply foundation and her pancake well with drawing of her eye pencils on those eyelashes plus those who package themselves on skimpy dresses, with pointed breasts and are fully loaded from back behind instead of those who are truly qualified and academically sound. Ask them why, they remind you that those class of ladies who show off a little flesh attract more customers, chances and gains. Therefore, they are good for business. This is Nigeria.
Nigeria isn’t working and even the youth populace aren’t helping matters one beat.
It is in Nigeria that a character such as Bobrisky, best referred to as male barbie is entertained and taken seriously. The other time, he asked that we pray for him as he goes for buttocks transplant. I for one, was confused on what to ask God about his ass. Today, his bleaching cream is selling high and many are patronizing him. I learnt it was formerly sold for N350,000 and in celebrating his birthday, he brought it down to N150,000 and people are rushing to buy same in droves. When I met him in Heathrow airport for the first time and on a closer interaction, I wonder what’s so special about his skin and person that he has such number of fans.
What haven’t we seen? Is it not in this our Nigeria that a young man who no one, not even a single person can truly name or point towards his source of income, how is he even addressed, the Nigerian Malaysian based big boy, Hushpuppy or whatsoever that means; many unfortunately look up to him as their mentor and model. What do we get? The toothless sickly young man who prefers an immature dog name, Hushpuppy goes about shaming very hardworking Nigerians. The last on his least was the King of the East and Igbo rap master, Phyno Fhyno who rose from grass through grace to glory.
The Hushpuppi guy is now a self-made fashion police and authentication watchdog. What else does one expect from a jobless fellow? He only enters every shopping mall, takes up designers and snaps photos to post online and shame us all, and where someone else wears same design, from Cartier to Rolex to Gucci et al, in his wisdom, he alone knows and can authenticate originals. He doesn’t buy or sell as little as toothpick, yet he is showing off somuch wealth and many are clapping for him. One often wonders what actually is the job of Nigeria’s economic watchdog, the EFCC and her sister team, the ICPC. Arrest him already for questioning.
I’m really saddened by the state of Nigeria today. There are litanies of well read employable yet unemployed graduate populace. There are litanies of young people who if per chance, luck or opportunity comes their way, in months and maybe few years, they will be contending for the least of Nigeria’s nay Africa’s richest. I have met and interacted with many young Nigerians who if they lay their hands on start-up funds, they will break down barriers and cross boundaries to achieve heights that may astound many who are stupendously rich and privileged. “Ndi ukwa na adalu amaghi ihe eji ya eme”.
The difference between the resoundingly successful and the strugglers like myself is simply “opportunity and grabbing same”. It’s not merely about the opportunity per say, it’s the smartness to grab it. None goes alone; the two must go hand in hand. When opportunity comes calling, for one to succeed, he or she must grab it or let it go. The choice one makes then is the determinant factor. Therefore, its only those who grab such opportunities that can stay through to the path of success.
There are many young serious minded fellows in Nigeria, who if they were privileged or opportuned to be gifted, even as soft loan, a quarter of what Efe, the winner of Big Brother had won from the show, they start-up something that will grow to maximize their profits and most rightly, will turnout to a life changing investment, business or venture. There are those who have fashioned their minds and thoughts to risk taking and into management. They are planners ready to execute their plans when opportunity comes calling.
Wealthy Nigerians should be smart enough. There are many places to invest your money, but definitely, doing so on twerking is definitely not anywhere near in the least; except if one is as foolish as KCee.
If you have plenty and you don’t find it necessary to invest in human building, either through scholarship schemes or helping young willing entrepreneurs with start-up funds even as soft loan. Think about the society, think about the underprivileged, the homeless, the sickly and the dying. There are countless of orphanages in Nigeria, there are many hospitals where persons who may not afford to pay for their bills are held back. I have seen many myself. There are many in prison, some even for crimes which they aren’t guilty of. There are many who need real help.
Ofcourse, those are your wealth and it’s your choice on how or on who you may decide to spend it on or how, but think critically before deciding on how or where to put your monies. It doesn’t matter your class, religion or societal status, it counts less when you are supposed to offer a helping hand but don’t. Invest in human capital, be it in education for scholarship purposes or helping start-ups, you may be on the way to building the world next billionaire or renowned Surgeon or Bestseller writer.
Lastly, I graduated from a Nigerian university in 2011 and coincidentally, my campus was in Uli, the town of this Limpopo crooner, Mr. KCee who happens to be the elder brother to another moneybag, E-money. It honestly boarders me beyond words and beats my imagination on the level of poverty I found in their town, yet KCee doesn’t feel it’s right to even go home and sink as little as a borehole or renovate the primary school that is falling down as part of giving back to his town and towards community development. People, it’s first things first, and not ignorance first.
And to measure up that Kcee is even contesting for a Governorship position in Anambra State makes it even more annoying. These are the characters that wants to lead us. We have seen them, ndi “NotTooYoungToRun”; what else won’t be abused?
Well, what’s my business? Is it my money? In cash and investment, what’s my entire worth? Nothing. As for the money, Uncle KCee, it’s all yours and it’s your right to decide who gets what, where and when!
Do your bidding, but think with your brain not from your anus.