Have you ever been bothered or thought about asking your child “Do You love Nigeria“? You might be surprised what you hear. I have found out that many young children and youths when discussing their thoughts about Nigeria tend to focus on the negatives. Maybe it should not be too shocking anyway considering the sentiments of many of the adults that they spend their time around.
Without thinking about it, there are many disparaging comments that adults make around children that do not paint Nigeria in a positive light. In reality it is very difficult to make only positive comments about Nigeria but for sure no one can learn to love their Country if all the hear are negative reports.
We need to be careful on how we present the problems of the Nation around our impressionable minds. As my DH will say “No one good finish…and no one bad finish” so we can apply that to Nigeria. It is not all bad! There are a lot of areas and issues that need improvement but there is an alternative to being part of the bad mouthing party. We should use it as an opportunity to encourage the children, the youth, the future of the Country to be problem solvers and look for ways to change what they do not like about the Nation. Whether or not you are one of the .0001% that manages to have another passport or not, there is only one true home and Country where you are from.
The Nigerian blood is strong and no matter where you find a Nigerian they will always long for things from home, from the music, to the food, to the clothing and more. So lets help our young people love their Country, Nigeria. There are a number of things that we (and the Government) need to fix – corruption, lack of infrastructure, pollution, traffic, education etc. We can only find solutions together when we look for ways to solve the gaps across generations. I shudder to think what will happen if we raise a whole generation who idolise and look forward only to things that are Non- Nigerian.
So when next your child or a youth around you talks about Nigeria in a disparaging way – ask them what they can do differently? Can you be a Malala who is an activist for female education and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate? Can you be a Zuriel Oduwole whose vision is to see that every child in the World gets the chance of an education, as she puts it “We want Africa to look good too“. Or can you turn waste into business like Bilikiss Adebeyi, CEO and founder of Wecyclers.
The point is there are two ways to react to problems and challenge. Allowing our children and youth to see Nigeria only for its problems does them a disservice and encourages them to be finger pointers and not problem solvers.
Happy Independence Day!