Monday, December 29, 2008

An English Youth's Perspective of Nigerian Youth

"We cannot always build the future for our nation but we can build our youth for the future" says Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A British youth once shared his perspective about the Nigerian youth and his hope for the future of Nigeria. Young Joe knew for over half a year ago that he was going to be working in Nigeria as a volunteer, but up until his arrival he had misconceptions about the country, one of which is that Nigeria was a desperate and undeveloped place than it really is. He was surprised to see so many cars and the big buildings in town. He had expected to see many hungry and homeless people on the streets.
As time went on, Joe learnt first-hand that Nigeria is actually a rich country. "it has so many valuable resources and is self-sustaining, it is just poorly led…I am referring to corruption and selfishness from those highly placed members of government and society" he said.

"Those keeping people under thumb need to be challenged. Corrupt officials need to know that they cannot get away with depriving millions with their greed. They need to be asked provocative questions like: why are there so many millionaires in a country that is perceived to be poor? Why are kids eating from refuse dump when there are so many mansions?
I feel strongly for the youths here because I am aware of their passion for achieving things in life. It is aggravating knowing most can’t because of other people’s greed. I hope someday soon, people will not stand for it any longer and create such pressure on those in charge to reform." he added.

But while we are hoping for this reform, what can we as youths do to effect change? Joe says: "Youths in Nigeria absolutely need good education. They are the foundation upon which Nigeria will soon depend, if you keep them struggling on and on, Nigeria will be struck in a rut. I want to see Nigeria become the first world country it could easily be. I hope the youths here equally have good opportunities."

Year 2009 is just a few days away with its opportunities. For many, it a much awaited new begining to dream again, or a continous pursuit of success, desire to serve and be relevant. But whatever Year 2009 means to you, be optimistic, live postively in a way that builds yourself as well as others up. Don't settle for the blame game, decide to contribute to building your future. Don't limit your destiny to lack of material things. The gap between the rich and poor in Nigeria is huge, whatever side you find yourself, decide to succeed despite the odds. Don't let the world move on without you. Have faith, work hard and like Barack Obama, have an audacious hope to achieve the impossible. Above all, stay Connected to God and see your value appreciated. Happy New Year Nigerian Youths!

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