By Cosmos Ndukwe
Dear Nigerian Youth, I know you are feeling the excruciating pangs
of economic depression. I know you have equally seen vagaries
of unemployment and actually plagued by it. I know it is not the
best of time. I don't know how old you are, but trust me, those
who propounded the natural origin of State accepted that man by
nature struggles to co-exist with the other. The word is struggle.
It has never been easy.
You are a young school leaver and can't even afford a decent
meal. You are a graduate of several years and can't afford
transport to the next interview date. You obviously grumble and
curse our jobberwacky liberal democracy. I want you to wake up.
Nigeria is not America. Nigeria is not Uk. Nigeria may not be
satisfactorily providing those social safety nets that may cushion
the effects of your hardship. However, you can start now to do
The most prevailing hinderance you would conquer in your life is
the A WHOLE ME SYNDROME. There's that proud spirit in you
telling you that you are an Accountant, Lawyer, Journalist,
Engineer, Educationist, Banker etc. it insists that your place is in
the board room and some other corporate places where your
certificate makes you shine. Are you aware that our brothers who
are sojourning in places like New York, London and Berlin, operate
cabs with their Masters and PhDs? This is a story for another
I am not asking you to lose hope. I am not asking you to
denigrate yourself. I am not asking you to abandon your
profession. I am simply asking you to look inwards, discover that
budding skill that would stand you out. God has endowed you
with a potential that is older than your certificate, a passion that
will outlive your certificate and an "employment" you can offer
While I was in the Secondary School, it took me a searching look
inwards to realize that I could do good photographs, I could talk
to an audience as Master of Ceremony. I also figured out that
there were a lot of ceremonies across public schools at the time
from Inter House Sports, Inter School Sports, Fund Raising just to
mention but a few.
My parents at the time were not poor by any standard. My father
was already a landlord of a duplex building in metropolitan city of
aba, precisely Cameroun road, that was life pension for him. My
parents had flourishing businesses. However, I didn't have any
and I needed to survive. Driven by my passion for photography, I
used the Camera which was given to me by my Uncle Prof. Alaezi
who had just returned from overseas, to start my Polaroid picture
business. I moved from school to school, from event to event to
grow my photography business. Note that Polaroid cameras were
admirable fashion fads at the time. I also had an option of doing
"guy" and posing like the son of a big man. I wouldn't do all that.
I applied COMMONSENSE. With time and income from the 'black
and white' picture business, I started taking jobs for Master of
Ceremony and also acquired a motion picture camera and a brief
wear industry taking after my father's business.
Dear Nigerian Youth, do you know why all that was possible? I
conquered the A WHOLE ME spirit. I defied who I ought to be
and faced the reality of who I am.
Start now! Grow your passion. There must be something you
could do for yourself. I just read the story of Edo graduate that
sells "mama put rice" with wheel barrow. Ngozi Chukwuma the
best CAKE designer in Aba read Architecture.
I have just made common sense