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Darasimi Oshodi: Random Musings About Nigeria And Nigerians

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This piece is an attempt to write down some of my thoughts on some things I have noticed in my environment. The two sections are from two different trains of thought and that is why I have demarcated them. Enjoy the read.

I have come to the categorical conclusion that Nigerians are hard-working. We are industrious. We want to make honest living. We want to work for our money. Our youths are not the lazy type some adults have been portraying them to be. Anytime I see people hawking, especially in traffic, I usually shake my head and mutter to myself: Nigerians are hardworking. Or how do you explain the actions of men and women, boys and girls who run after vehicles, risking their lives or limbs just to make end meet? Have you noticed that some of them hawk only foams and nothing more? Foams, yes. Foams cut neatly for domestic use. How do you explain what makes a person trek long distances with a heavy load on their head, back or shoulder just to eke out a living? Have you seen old men (and women) with bent back going to or coming back from their farms? Have you seen pregnant women sweating under a sweltering sun just to fend for themselves and their families? To me, all these are demonstrations of Nigerians’ willingness to do something that will bring money into their pockets instead of resorting to crime or begging.

But I usually wonder at how they are able to sustain themselves from their earnings. How much will selling foams only fetch the seller? How much? Yet, you see these people outside everyday going about their businesses. Who then says Nigerians are lazy? I dare say that the number of those people who are ready to sweat for their money is more than those of people who are involved in crimes like cyber fraud, armed robbery, etc. My country men are honest. They are industrious. We are not loafers or idlers. We are a diligent, productive and energetic set of people who expect the government to do its part by providing basic amenities like constant electricity, potable water, good roads, security and so on for us so that we can enjoy our beautiful nation. We expect the government to give our children good schools, support our farmers, encourage SMEs and do all the other things responsible governments do for their citizens. When this will be? When will our government become responsive to our needs? The truth is that I do not know.

 

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Does this obtain in the town/city where you live: artisans, especially the not-very educated ones, are the ones building houses while graduates and professionals are renting accommodation from them? It is common where I live? In fact, opposite my house a vulcaniser lives there. And beside the house where he lives with his family, he built two other flats that he rented out. One day I saw that one this vulcaniser’s tenants has the sticker of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on their car and this was what started a string of thoughts within me. A vulcaniser built a house and a lawyer is renting it!!! So if the lawyer misbehaves, he can be evicted by the vulcaniser. I asked myself this question: “What is the essence of a degree if someone who does not possess one is doing better in life than the one who flaunts his degree?” And I came to some conclusions.

The first conclusion I came to is that we should not only work hard, we must work smart. It seems those who are not educated are more financially literate and savvy than those who are. These uneducated or half-educated people understand how to multiply money better than those who brandish different degrees.

My second conclusion is that education has its advantages. A degree gives the owner a platform that the one who does not have it may not have. For example, except in exceptional situations, only educated people can be considered for political appointments or even elective positions or multinational jobs. Thus going to school and obtaining degrees may not be a waste of time in the long run.

So what is the summary of everything I’m saying in this section? It is that one should get as much education as one can; acquire all the degrees you can but don’t just work hard, work smart.

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Darasimi Oshodi is a blogger. Read his blogs at darasimioshodi.blogspot.com

Follow him on twitter @Aristotle274

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