Sunday, August 08, 2010

Three cups of Tea


Ruth Nwukabu Audu,Taiwo Adegboyega Adewole, and Bako Sabo Kantiok are the three Nigerians who were among the 155 delegates selected from 40 African countries to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss their vision for Africa for the next 50 years and explore ideas for partnerships that could be fostered between US and African countries.

What struck me most about the youth delegates was that most of them were grassroots organizers, social entrepreneurs and individuals working in the private sector. As some of them recounted, they never knew the little efforts they make in their local community to create positive change is making an impact that will take them to the White House to meet and interact with the US government. It confirmed the popular proverb “Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” (Proverbs 22:29).

I once invited a friend to participate in a capacity building program in Abeokuta. She turned it down and said she wants an opportunity to volunteer in the U.K. There is nothing wrong with her ambition. But the challenge is that sometimes most of us look down on such unassuming opportunity that can facilitate the process of nurturing our skills. As the culture of youth volunteering become more popular, we must keep in mind that we need the experience in “Abeokuta” to take to the “U.K” just as every resounding success needs to have a recipe.

“This is a new moment of great promise. Only this time, we’ve learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa’s future… It will be the young people brimming with talent and energy and hope who can claim the future that so many in previous generations never realized.” Said President Barack Obama.

There are lots of opportunities for active local engagement. As the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton noted, "Africa as a continent is brimming with potential, a place that has so much just waiting to be grasped," while recognizing that the challenges of our time are global; to address them, we need to build partnerships instead of aid-dependency.

Many young people in Nigeria still believe that life begins outside Nigeria, only to cross borders and be hit with the reality that it is not sugar that makes tea sweet; it is the process of stirring it. When an opportunity opens up in Abeokuta (local), fasten your sandals to your feet and don’t curse your blessing. If you can serve locally, global opportunities will not elude you. But then, it is not a yardstick for measuring success, just an opportunity to challenge and broaden your perspective to serve better.

5 comments:

Jaycee said...

These words captured the depths of this post, "If you can serve locally, global opportunities will not elude you."

Jennifer Ehidiamen said...

Absolutely Jaycee! Sometimes we forget bigs things need to start small :)

douglas said...

dat piece was timeless.id also fallen into such predicament sumtym ago nt until i learnt,we cud stl effect d much dsired change within our sphere of contact.we need to start small b4 mega opportunities envince.we really nd 2 learn 2 serve

douglas said...

dat piece was timeless.id also fallen into such predicament sumtym ago nt until i learnt,we cud stl effect d much dsired change within our sphere of contact.we need to start small b4 mega opportunities envince.we really nd 2 learn 2 serve

The Doers said...

Jenny jst read this,ure on point...hv always believed dt was local is original. stay bless and dnt gv up on ur good,proud to knw u.