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Africa’s hope: The Age of Agility

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Every day is an opportunity. To think better, to do better, to be better- Onome Pearl

Kachi is in her 20’s. We grew up in the same compound; we had a lot of sand plays and fights. Our parents were overjoyed when we got our admission letters into a prestigious University in Nigeria. Kachi was among the privileged ones who got spaces in the school hostel, I wasn’t so lucky; I had to get my accommodation off the campus. This would make seeing Kachi difficult as we were also in different faculties.

I came back home for a short break one day to find out that Kachi had been at home. She had left the university to attend another type of school – that of promiscuity.

Today, I ran down the stairs to open the gate for Mama Chifunaya who had come to visit. While I was sprinting down the stairs, Mama Chifunaya was limping; her body sagged by age and experience. Mama Chifunaya who was already a grandma was jealous of my agility. This was betrayed by her quiet envious stare.

Youth is the golden age of man. The period of time when the flames of passion burns within, it is the age of agility, the age of swiftness. This youthful age gives to the world some of the most intriguing novels, some of the best poems imaginable, some of the most outstanding ideas and inventions, some of the most beautiful designs to wear.

Let any society be composed exclusively of old men and women, let a group of octogenarians and centenarians live by themselves, give orders and take no heed of youth, for a while. It is needless to remark that the Dead Sea with all the alleged putrefaction therefore will be better than such society- Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

It is most disheartening to see youths waste away their time disregarding the fact that they are the leavening process in the African society. Youth restiveness is alarming! A lot of African youths would rather tweet about their not-so-productive activities, play all of the video games, attend all of the parties, and just generally sit about with devastating unfocusedness, than to be responsible individuals developing themselves to manage the spheres of influence in the society.

Let him who will have a great future, waste none of his present- Robert Frost.

To many youths, the future seems so far away. So this affords them the time to misbehave and waste their time with the intention that all of a sudden, they will be serious in the future, and earn enough just to get by. It is this same type of re-cycled myopic thinking that has chained Africa to the ground today- a thinking which lacks foresight.

As if you can kill time, without injuring eternity- Henry David Thoreau

Granted, the African environment is one which has tremendous ability to kill the dreams and aspirations of youths. That the youths are the leaders of tomorrow have been chorused for so long, yet we have seen the same old faces in leadership, formulating and implementing policies which the African society survives on. Greed of course is their motivation.

However, we have to live ready. We must nurture and protect our dreams from corruption and discouragement. Man at every point of his life is either a king or a slave. He is a slave to the extent to which he lets his circumstances control him, he is a King to the extent to which he is able to master and control his circumstances. Against all odds, we can effect a change.

This change of course must start with us – the youths. It is utterly impossible to have a good society without first having good peoples. Personal development comes first before national and continental transformation. To all of the African youths, you are the future! That’s a tremendous responsibility. It is up to us to chart a new course for the direction of our motherland. The change starts with us.

Be the change you want to see – Mahatma Gandhi

Old minds bring Old Ideas and Old Ideas brings about Old order. New minds brings new ideas, and new ideas; a New Order. This New Order is the brainchild of African Youths. The future is ours. Soar!

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