Sunday, June 25, 2017

Signals from the third world

Nigeria, youths, internet, poverty, Google, Fiverr, Facebook

Absolute poverty is a condition of life so degraded by disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, and squalor as to deny its victims basic human necessities; a condition of life so limited as to prevent the realization of the potential in the genes with which one is born with; a condition of life so degrading as to insult human dignity.  

There is a wide chasm between the privileged and less privileged, nationwise and in personal terms alike. I don’t care about the myriad of reasons forwarded to explain the unfairness. My quest is to paint life from the perspective of a third world dweller. There are streaks of blue despair, grey struggle and green hope.
Every choice has a butterfly effect. Cumulatively, the poor choices by the government and governed alike, accumulating since the dawn of our nationhood, is responsible for the gloomy state of affairs in many fronts (e.g. economic and sociopolitical disarray). I have a feeling the turmoil began after the discovery of oil. 

It is no gainsaying that there is poverty in the land, and it is the manifestation of the failure of many individuals and institutions. In other words, it is due to corruption. Currently, many innocent Nigerians are at risk of drowning in a dirty pool of this corruption. Poverty, which is gingered by corruption, lessens the worth of human life...: if the value of life is X in Nigeria, it is 10X in USA. Something has to be done urgently.

Nigerian youths are diehard hustlers…survivors in short. Even the old are following suit. Yes, it seems the government of the day has failed to an appreciable extent, but these Nigerians refuse to cry over spilt milk (or perhaps oil). They give a brave shot at enterprise, self sufficiency and happiness. They do what they know how to do best, no matter how petty it seems: a hawker laden with several units of sachet water strolling across the bustling street side; a commercial motorcycle/tricycle operator picking up hasty commuters; an 'agbero'/ 'conductor' screaming like a frenzied rooster in order to load passengers into a rickety 'crampy' vehicle for a 50 naira fine. Funny isn't it! 
Yes, there is hope because now has become the best time to live. Heaven is here, thanks to the internet. you'll find a powerful virtual assistant in Fiverr, an efficient mail boy in Mailchimp, an omniscient researcher in Google, a one-stop mega store in Amazon, a reliable friend in Facebook...; you can chat easily and share stuff with your clique on Whatsapp; you can even broadcast yourself with Youtube...The visionary founders of these virtual marvels deserve a groundbreaking round of applause plus a large bundle of bucks. 

The basic necessities then were food, shelter and clothing. At this juncture, let me add Information to the sacred list. The former 3 mean nothing today without INFORMATION. However, don’t forget that too much information (without meaningful locomotion) is toxic. Information can be likened to fire. if not handled properly, It can lead to disaster. 
Who says Nigerian youths cannot create online solutions that would be celebrated globally. For those grumbling about startup money, the beauty of internet entrepreneurship is the fact that it requires much less of cash to pilot, compared to building a fortune 500 company. Focus and sweat equity is needed at the outset. It’s not a problem for our teeming youths that are energy-drunk…

Youths (including myself) must remember that a prosperous future is bought with will and skill, not money. Even if we chase the money and catch it, are we going to eat it raw? Yuck!! We should strive for excellence in deed without giving up hope. When meaningful activity collides with fickle opportunity (frequently enough), success is formed.

Finally, I know we are crying foul right now in our country. We shouldn’t do that for long. Let’s assemble our tools of trade, refine them for maximum value, then come out and sell to the world. The more value we create, the more prosperity we attract.


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