Reflections by @JulietKego: With the dawn of the new year, I am convinced more and more of what exactly I want my gifts, talents, skills, abilities, time and resources to be channeled towards. I am grateful for/to everyone who’s held my hands and lit up my path. There’s so much beauty and ugliness in the world. Each day, with each breath, we get a chance to choose which side of the human axis we want to play and live in. Every choice offers different limitations and possibilities.
We’re human; we may not always do right, however, it’s important that we keep rising after each fall. It is crucial that we celebrate and embrace our humanity, by being empathetic to one another, by seeing how we all connect together. The greed and callousness of a lot of Nigerian (and African) leaders can sometimes lead to a sense of hopelessness and/or desensitize of us of the need to do better, however, it is for this very reason that we must #NEVERSETTLE for the status quo.
It is for this reason that we cannot afford to remain on the sidelines and allow charlatans run the affairs of our societies. Today, I spoke with a mother whose child got connected to a donor for a scholarship towards her secondary education. Her daughter is simply BRILLIANT! And has been a drop out for 2 years now, hawking goods, along with her mother, who’s recently widowed, just so they can make ends come close together (the ends never seem to meet these days).
Her gratitude both honoured and saddened me at the work we do at Whole WoMan Network. Individuals and organizations can only do so much. The public policy can wipe off the gains built over decades by the private sector. One foolish policy or regulation and years of serious hard work go to waste. We CANNOT afford to leave important issues such as education, health, governance etc to people who’ve CONSISTENTLY shown they have neither the capacity nor will to create the urgent changes we require!
If you haven’t read Odia Ofeimun’s declaration on why he wants to govern Edo state, please do so. We are a nation brimming with talents and yet we suffer because we (S)elected court jesters to rule over us; those who’d rather buy ugly christmas tree than pay retirees. Why would Dusuki Gate exist in a nation with approximately 10.2 million out of school kids? The existing public schools are in such horrible conditions, you’d weep!
We have so many parents who’re stuck cos of the debit card directives and can’t send funds to their kids abroad. At WWN, we’re currently out of funds to loan out because of abnormally high demands and I can tell the currency fluctuation is seriously hitting parents hard. People can’t feed or pay school fees. It’s really bad and no amount of glamourous FB and IG pictures can cover this decay anymore. These are every-day-hardworking-honest folks!
The whole mess has taught me something important: we can all run away to the USA, Canada, UK, China, Ghana…but the rot in our backyards will still be there waiting for us to clean up. Each day I talk to so many talented Youths all over Africa, (in particular, the talent in Nigeria is simply staggering). And we squander the promise of their future away, with our apathy and passivity. And debate which tribe or religion the thieves are from and how it is sheer victimization that they are being held accountable!! What has caused this debased culture? How do we get out of this quandary?
We can spray chanel perfumes on the wounds and put a bandaid over it, but the stench all eventually come out. Only WE can fix this mess. Not the so called ‘rulers’ or thieving politicians. In the end, APC OR PDP, same bullshit, different smells! WE can RISE to be better than this! WE can reprioritize and create a new value construct!!! This nation is bleeding and slowly killing her young ones…. #APrayer4Nigeria #ACTIONSteps4Nigeria#PrayerAndWorksBoth ~ heart emoticon Juliet Kego Ume-Onyido