Monday, January 26, 2009


Do you know how much different our lives would be if we spent as much time feeling positive about getting older, as we spend trying to stay young. Just the other day my 22 years old classmate after writing his CV declared that he wanted to change his age. “My mum suggested that I should change it…” he said. Do people lie about their age for spiritual, employability or other socio-economic reasons?

Age falsification is a subtle corruption we rarely hear mentioned until victims are brought to book. Prominent people in the past have been associated with such scandal. Many people also remember Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim not only because he once served as a speaker of the House of Representative but also for lying about his age and claiming to have graduated from the University of Toronto that he never attended.

In a research paper by Adeyemi Adegoju titled “Corruption of Language and Nigeria’s Debased value system”, he noted that the falsification of certificates have been synonymous with Nigeria’s moral decadence such that Nigeria was once banned for some years from participating in under-age tournaments organized by The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). But age falsification is not limited to political figures, footballers or celebrities, even in our local communities, people indulge in such appalling act leaving one to wonder what level are the vices more popular.

What is the lasting solution to such social phenomenon, one that will help stop people from looking for an ideal age (age falsification)? “Age aint nothing but a number. But age is other things too” said late Mariam Makeba. “It is wisdom, if one lived one’s life properly. It is experience and knowledge. And it is getting to know all the ways the world turns so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least get out of the way so you won’t get run over.” A Chinese proverb says “Men grow old, pearls grow yellow, there is no cure for it” so why won’t people just accept the fact that it is a natural course for one to grow older?

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