Thirteen years ago, I was at home doing what I cannot remember when my friend Uzochi knocked our door.
With her was a middle-aged man I had never met in my life.
Swinging the door open, I was beyond surprised. Uzo was in her school uniform while the man wore an admiring smile on the corners of his lips. I let them in, while my eyes asked Uzo all the thousands of questions that rushed into my mind within those minutes.
“Why weren’t you in school, today?” The man asked.
“We are not doing anything in school except our NECO registration and I did mine yesterday.” I nervously answered. “But, you should have been in school.” he said. “Go in, put on something better. You are following me to the ministry of education.” he said matter-of-factly.
I panicked. Slowly moving towards the door leading into the rest of the house, I dragged Uzo into the children’s bedroom. “Uzo, onye wu nwoke ahu? Who is that man? Why do they want me at the ministry?” The questions rolled themselves out.
“Amaghi m. I don’t know him. He came to school with an official car from the ministry looking for you. Since you weren’t in school, teachers asked who knew your house. So, I had to bring him.”
I rushed out to the balcony to see for myself. Parked outside was a car whose brand I can’t remember. “Ministry of education” was inscribed on it. A driver was waiting patiently. “Confy, stop all this panic. It must be a good thing. Just follow him.” Uzo assured.
I did. And it turned out that I was being invited to an award ceremony: Best Math Student in the state. All assessments had been concluded without my knowledge and I had been chosen.
But the awarder was who tugged on my heart strings. He was a man I would refer to as Mr A, a corper. “I won this award while I was in secondary school.” he said at the award ceremony, couple of days later. “So, I wanted to recognize the student who has distinguished themselves in this subject I love very much.”
You can imagine how my Mummy, a Math teacher was swelling with pride on that day.
Ndi Nne Maama!?
The money and the certificate I received from Mr A did very little for my spirit compared to what his gesture did. His passion, his dream, his goals for a better country made a much deeper mark on my life. Those books he donated to the ministry, his corper friends who came with him, their obvious dedication to his cause were all too evident.
Which brings me to my wahala for today. Ladies and gentlemen of my country, what on God’s green earth is the positive impact of Big Brother Nigeria on our nation?
Apart from the loads of cash the sponsoring companies would make from your voting and all the other associated monies that would do next to nothing to develop our country, WHAT ELSE?
When you get up from watching that load of nonsense, how motivated are you to do something for your country? Even if we want to copy from Bekee, like the copy cats we are, why can’t we copy the good things, bikonu?
Why can’t we sustain Dragon’s den, where people like Madam Folorunsho Alakija, Madam Ibukun Awosika, Oga Aliko Dangote, Oga Femi Adenuga and others, would be invited to invest in the potentialities of our youths? Where you would learn how to conceive and pitch your business ideas before men and women that matter, all on National TV? Why did it leave our screens after a brief appearance in 2008?
Why can’t we copy The Apprentice, where a man like Oga Femi Otedola would organise a twelve week-long gruelling business selection process to educate, motivate and inspire our youths on entrepreneurship and business development, all on National TV?
Why can’t we copy and sustain the right things, biko? With the burden of HIV on the continent, we are still content to advertise fornication and adultery on our screens?
What is wrong with us?
Oo gini bu our problem?
A country is in recession and continues to wallow in it, while we fold our arms, waiting for oil prices to rise and save us from the mess we are in, and rubbish is being put before our faces and our youths are not angry?
There’s a merciless food crisis raging through the country. Malaria is still on a killing spree. GMO products are trying hard to make their way into our food chain. Youth unemployment is still a cackling monster, road accidents are happening as I write this, and we aren’t angry at this useless thing on our screens?
Biko, if you are not angry and you see no reasons to be, I will not ask for your permission to be angry on your behalf.? Meanwhile, Thank God for men like Tony Elumelu, who has been inviting African youths to come get investments for their businesses.
We need more men and women to do what he is doing.
Hear me, friends. Until programmes championing economic development make it to main stream media, until we agree to sustain programmes like The Apprentice and Dragon’s den and make them huge things on our screens, until we bring back The Debaters, Zain Africa Challenge and the likes of them, making the winners get the millions of Naira we are currently dishing out to these morally bankrupt folks on BB Naija, until we stop glamorizing loads of rubbish, we would get no where!
Youths in Japan are coding and moving their nation forward, and Nigerian youths are on Facebook debating fornication and nudity. Indian women are launching rockets into space and Nigerian youths are debating who slept with who.
If this post is annoying you, I am getting ready to get into the lab soon, in search of the cure of a currently incurable disease.
Come and beat me there.