Many years back as a teenager, I watched from our balcony the routine activities of the woman that sells Fried yam, Sweet potatoes, Fried Plantain (Dodo), Corn Jellos (Eko), Steam Bean Pudding (Moi Moi) and Akara (Fried Bean Pudding) on our street. I marveled at how lucky her kids were. Many of us wished we could be related to this woman simply because of the output of her toils. The dream of most of us were to have that liberty of walking as an entitled to the tray and picking our poison in a feast of a lifetime for free. But little did we know of the arduous process involved in that endeavor on the daily.
First of all, she needed capital sourced from her cooperative society to buy her supplies from the tubers of yams, sweet potatoes, plantain, etc to the oil and other ingredients required. The children have no luxury of watching from any balcony. Someone will have to grind the beans, while others peel and cut the yams, potatoes and plantain. The firewood and coal will also need to be sourced, before the actual frying and display. This is a daily routine of their life which usually ends at midnight with clearing and washing up. Whether she breaks even or not, she continues the routine the day after just like the day before it.
Her routine became a religion and the taste and flavor of her outputs were set apart. Even a child could tell the taste from several others. She had perfected her art and built a goodwill around her toil. That business raised five children through University education, which begins to paint an informed picture of the gulf between What is and what might be to me.
Creating a better future demands that we jettison the neurosis of the assumption that the world is against us and our difficulties are stumbling blocks that are insurmountable. We can be assured that despite the fact that the future won’t be perfect, we are not meant to be perfect but does this preclude us from being kind or prevent us from listening? Shouldn’t we cultivate the habit of giving opportunity the benefit of the doubt?
Our educated parents may have been prejudiced thinking the assembly line literacy program we call educational system, holds the key to a bright future for us, but they have been proven wrong with Phd holders seeking truck drivers jobs to survive. Suffice to say that the future won’t always work as projected. We won’t always succeed as pictured along the path of our influencers, but we can be alert and seek out the possible instead of the predicted.
That virtuous woman didn’t care what others thought. She was no socialite but a society woman still, making dinner possible for hundreds of people daily. So the future won’t always be fair, but this need not prevent us from being fair (both to ourselves and others), we can always try, we can care and choose to connect.
After all we live in a connection economy driven by Trust. Our world can only get better if we find ourselves (by doing important work) and apply ourselves enough to contribute to society in a meaningful way that rewards us, while bestowing upon us that fulfillment that all the money in the world can’t buy.
Many today want to be President of the most populous country in Africa (Nigeria), just like us kids, desirous of being the son of the industrious fried yam seller- without factoring the actual price. Most aspirants see the opportunity from the benefit angle only. It feels good to be boss, to give command and control things but the devil is always in the details of what Governance entails. The responsibility thereof. Geography and culture really can not be deemed as the sole determinant of the fate of any economy. It is more about institutionalizing what works and improving on same via the creation of systems.
It is about man made institutions (creating them in the absence of none or strengthening the available ones in situation of dereliction), not the ideas, beliefs and constructs of founding fathers that are anachronistic to our world of now. Our politics must rise from its primitive and unconscionable state it lay in waste in, to a progressive and consultative entity, towards building the people that in turn will build the nation. Our natural resources may be limited or fall in value in the global market but until we realize the potentials of the citizenry and the untapped talents, we will continue to be referred to as a third world country.
Political parties now pride themselves and compete based on their ability to perpetuate protracted socio-economic deprivation, they fertilize internal generational poverty through poor governance and ecclesiastical frauds within the conundrum justify these heinous and deliberate action by asking the deliberately impoverished masses to pray. They pontificate about being better in their evil than their predecessors and claim not to be corrupt despite the litany of glaring evidences of their grand heist.
Facebook, Google, YouTube & Twitter were deemed BAAD firms (Big, Anti-Competitive, Addictive & Destructive to Democracy and being the harbinger of Misinformation and Disinformation), but Nigerians are saddled with BAAD Leadership, a Political Interregnum of the worst kind, an assault to the dignity of several and an aberration of the highest order.
For there to be an overture of peace in the Country that holds the trigger to the transformation of Africa, the current administration MUST guarantee the freest and fairest election in the history of our democracy, while the people must rise from their dormant state and get involved in Nation building toward the Nigeria Of our dreams (#New Nigeria). We need to create a religion (habit) of applying ourselves positively via contribution towards the development of our fatherland for the sake of all our children and the unborn generation. This must be our legacy.
Nigeria is beyond the amalgamation of lands and resources of all under the control and benefit of a few but a pluralistic, multicultural and multilingual complexity of a people that shares humanity. Any ideology that supports the status quo must not be stampeded to power if a different result is expected. I’m certain people are dying to ask what they can do now. It is simple, we have bickered enough and there will always be something to be angry about while our youthfulness slips away. It is time to put action behind those thoughts.
“There arrives that moment at which soft speaking should be abandoned and a fight to the end undertaken. Any man who hopes to exercise leadership must be ready to meet the requirements face to face when it arises; unless he is ready to fight when necessary, people will finally begin to ignore him.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
I was born ready, are you prepared?! 🤔
Segun SEGA Awosanya, is a senior columnist for Corruption-Free Press News. He is a Bachelors (BSc,) & Masters Degree (MSc.) Holder (Estate Management) from the prestigious University of Lagos, in the Department of Estate Management. He’s currently researching his PhD thesis on Environment and Sustainability on the one hand and Institutional Reforms on the other. He is a disciplined result oriented, energetic creative and technical director (by training), media marketing consultant, broadcast engineer (Lyon, France), researcher and realtor with over 16 years track record of creating and developing highly successful and innovative advertising, brand, information technology technical support and direct marketing campaigns (driven by strategy and powered by business objectives). His strength include developing and delivering total value proposition strategy documents, user centric designs, brand development/reincarnation on diverse media, perception and crisis management, strategic communications and excellent implementation of skills across a variety of platforms with a proven record in managing teams, training, building and maintaining client relationship. He is a realtor, life coach, strategist and convener of Universal Institutional Reform Movement popularly known as the #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG campaign.