Diary Adventures of LagosMums: DALM | Are You Raising a Proud Nigerian Citizen
“When i graduated from University, jobs were waiting for us”
“As soon as I graduated, I was able to buy a car”
“When I went to the University in Ife, we were only two students per room”
“I remember when the exchange rate was 1 to 1”
“There was a time when we did not need visa to travel to the UK”
If your parents, aunts or uncles are currently in their 60’s and above; then these are some of the stories and comments many of us have heard at some point.
Nowadays the stories are markedly different! If you are a young parent today, your children of today are certainly not hearing such experiences. In fact most young parents today are thinking about (or thought about) how to relocate out of the Country. You might have heard of, or be one of the parents who want to try everything possible to have their children abroad.
We all talk about how expensive education is today, and yet some (many of us) were able to attend Government secondary schools. The school fees then were affordable for most if not all. The quality of teachers was top notch and we got to interact with classmates from all over the Country.
At this point in time, January 2019, elections are coming up soon! We are all talking about the Government, about the candidates for various offices, about our hopes for the Country and of course our disappointments as well.
Perhaps like me you have had to answer questions about why we don’t have light 24/7?
We cannot live in denial or ignore the state of affairs.
So yes we have a lot of wishes and hopes, however how we talk about our nation around our children will have a long term effect on them. If all the adults around them grumble, talk about relocating, say unpleasant things about our leaders, show political apathy aka. no PVC and no plan to vote. I wonder what type of citizens we are raising.
The other day I was with some children and they were talking about how the Country was dirty, they commented that they cannot wait to leave Nigeria etc. In that moment, I thought we cannot continue like this.
Raising Proud Nigerian Citizens
Yes Nigeria has a lot of work to do; but who will do it if we all point fingers? Are the children not the future? But if we do not raise children who want to (or believe) that they can make a difference, who will do it? So I decided to change the narrative; I asked them if they knew how old the US is and asked them how old Nigeria is. Yes I acknowledged that there are many things we would like to desperately need to fix in the Country…but guess what it won’t happen by some magic few. It is the job of all us as Nigerian, we all need to do our part. Right from the voters, to the leaders and in-between. I made them understand that we are on a journey and none of was born Nigerian by mistake.
What I am saying is that as parents we cannot ignore the fact that we need to raise responsible citizens. We can discuss the problems, but let us also remember to raise problem solvers who see it as their responsibility to get the Nigeria they want.
When they hear about the good old days from their grandparents and ask what happened? We might not have all the answers. But think about it, if our parents had perfect stories of the Nation and things changed so drastically within a couple of decades…perhaps things can change back? Things must change to be better!
Growing up, my parents used to say that we would only go abroad for Masters, just to see the world. However by the time my older brother spent sometime at home thanks to strikes at Unilag my dream of going to Unilag evaporated.
Suddenly we were talking about University abroad because those here were suffering from strikes. Nowadays it is starting even younger with 10 year olds being away; not only to the Uk, US or Canada but also to Kenya and Ghana. If we are not careful people will start sending children abroad for quality affordable education from 3 years old! I would like to see it happen where our children can go to good affordable schools in the same country as their parents. Can this be possible with this generation?
Let’s all be mindful and try to raise children who are proud citizens of their Country.
[Read: What are your children reading]