It has been days turned weeks, turned months since i last i dropped my thoughts here. i know the question on your mind would be, where have i been or what happened while i was away? in order not to bore you with all the drama that came, i would just say: i had a research project to finish, i had life’s questions i needed to answer, i found love…yes love! (considering i wasn’t searching for it).
That been said, after the challenging face of finishing a degree, i was at a place in my life were i was not not sure of the next line of action. I felt it was time for me to share all England had thought me with other young Nigerians back at home but i guess, well…. things did not go as planned. So here i am in between getting a job and applying for a Masters by Research or my parents choice, undergo a PHD (which i am still uncertain about). i was invited by a new friend of mine, who doubles as a the commonwealth young person of the year for 2016 to the Commonwealth youth awards which also coincided with the Commonwealth day and Commonwealth African Summit. It was three days of networking, brain storming, insightful discussions from members of the house of Lords, the Ooni of Ife, Mr Tonye Cole and so many other dignitaries.
However, the most part which caught my attention was the last day (because all other days was on security and peace building and i was like… who dis one epp) when i listened to young Africans speak on the ways they uphold sustainability in a changing environment. Though i have been this issue as a burden for a while now, it was very mind blowing to here what people are doing about it in various spheres of their endeavours. (from tourism to politics, to sports, agriculture, social entrepreneurship,entertainment/theatre etc).
At the end of the program my take home was enormous, the burden i had for we youths to change our narratives turned in to a rage-a rage for change. It dawned on me from the session that it is our responsibility as young Africans to go back to our various countries, use what we have learnt in the West to improve our own environment. we can become employers of labour if we choose to turn the problems we complain about to solutions, if we can set up a team of people who are schooled in various fields to implement change in those fields, we would one step at a time improve employment and the economic life. We cannot continue to wait for infrastructure from the government. isn’t it obvious the government cannot help herself too. we need to find creative ways to reduce unemployment back home. Yes, we would receive a backlash when we return home and that is one reason many have refused to go home. However, the backlash is a reflection of two things: 1. how we as Africans have gotten so used to mediocrity, we do not even see it as mediocrity anymore, we have now made it a culture.2. this pride that Africans have, we know we do not know, yet we are to proud to want to know from someone who knows.(PUN intended).
I learnt so much i would have to run a part two for this post. but i need to leave you with this: The reason why Africa faces the problems you still complain about, is because you have refused to be Part of fixing the problem. It is rare to meet young Africans who have attained quite a lot for themselves yet maintain a humble personae and believe that they would not be where they are without the people we regard as ‘common’ i learnt that from the young men i had conversations with at the session.
And finally, To change the African narrative the western media has of our continent,it starts with us….YES, US!
PS: i connected with Dayo Isreal after 6 years. we first met at UN conference on the world at 7 billion in 2011 now we met at a commonwealth summit he was hosting. Dayo is one guy that has taught me from afar that we are not too young to be part of decision making and mapping out a framework for young people rights. He is currently running for the chairmanship position at Lagos mainland and i endorse him.
PSS: i met another person who resigned from the place i dream to work at and he is currently doing stuff that relate to what i have planned to do for African youths at Coventry University. it was an honour to meet Soji Adeniyi my new mentor.
PSSS: you cannot say you are living if people around you have not become better because you are in their lives.
ok no more PSes
i am done talking.
err… wait another PS: pardon my picture quality, i was too excited like a child who was given ice cream to take the pictures firm.
Now i am done.