Every Nigerian is a critic. We love to criticize others (except ourselves) for every problem in the world. We especially love to criticize leadership in every stratum of life—government, employer, church, mosque, institution and even family. Criticism, to us Nigerians, has been turned into a balm to soothe personal pains, anguish and frustrations in our day-to-day lives. And this explains our criticism of others even for personal failures, arising from poor life planning.
It’s always refreshing therefore to see or hear about any individual Nigerian who dares to go beyond mere criticism to do something. Oluwajoba Adekambi, a United States-based Nigerian is one such individual.
This young man is very concerned about the travails of fellow Nigerians who are blindly checking out to foreign lands. His concern does not extend to those of us retired folks who are simply exploiting these foreign lands to consolidate achievements back home. If our foreign abodes can still squeeze anything of value out of our spent bodies, good luck to them. And neither is he concerned about Nigerians who are abroad in search of the Golden Fleece or some assured greener pastures.
Rather, he is disturbed by the plights of young Nigerians with a lot at stake (fresh blood, brilliant ideas and future prospects) who, without realistic feasibility studies, are railroading themselves into life-time servitudes in various foreign nations.
Joba’s creative mind has germinated a documentary-based reality TV show called Green Passport. Slated for launch on September 29, 2007 at Musa Yar’Adua Center in
In the first episode of the reality TV show, there is Obi Uzoamakar, an aspiring hip-hop artist. The second episode trails Kayode Sodimu as he juggles life in
It’s often sad to hear about a typical young Nigerian graduate who expends (wastes) 5 or 8 years of his/her youth and spends (squanders) close to a million Naira in processing a trip abroad. Some of these young people are so desperate as to brave the harsh Sahara desert in a bid to reach Europe through
Those of them who are lucky to arrive in rich, developed nations such as England, France, Spain or the United States, soon realize that they have been terribly unprepared or misled about the immigration huddles, racial hatred, lack of real job opportunities, the high violent crime rates and other socio-economic difficulties in their dream paradise.
Consequently, many of these young folks are forced to spend additional 10 or 15 years of their young lives running from pillar to post just to be able to settle down. Having arrived in their twenties, now they are in their late thirties or early forties and all they usually have to show for their wahala, time and money are harsh weathers, horrible loneliness, menial/back-breaking jobs and, of course, mountains of bills.
One must admit that the act of living in
The situation is indeed worse in
On this note, one can only appeal to those who are presently languishing in the illusory dream to check out to foreign lands. Before wasting away a precious part of their lives and huge sums of money, one might ask them—whatever happens to creativity? If it takes about a million Naira and close to 5 years to process a trip into the unknown, what stops a young, educated Nigerian from investing just about a quarter of that million Naira at hand and probably a year to set up and manage a business venture?
In 2006, this writer was privileged to meet 5 different young, successful Nigerian entrepreneurs. Success here means being able to get past a sad period of unemployment, start a cottage business from scratch, swim above water with it, pay bills, make profits and, above all, be a proud employer of labor. From a pure water factory to home-movie marketing, okada-fleet transport etc, these young entrepreneurs started their business ventures with less than two hundred thousand Naira each!
Conversely, one has met some other Nigerian graduates (one woman even has a master’s degree) who invested huge sums of money to get into God’s own country. So far, they are engaged in two or three jobs—flipping burgers, washing dishes, driving taxi cabs, cleaning toilets, selling akara/moin-moin etc etc. Some of these individuals told me dejectedly one has to keep body and soul together…yeah right! But would they, in their wildest imaginations, ever considered these types of jobs in