“Misguided Youths Of Nigeria” By Yinka Obebe


I have come to a conclusion that it is a fact that a huge percentage of Nigerias young people may be UNEMPLOYABLE and even when they have a job, they may not be able to KEEP THE JOB long enough to build a career.

Besides the first 2 instances above, a 3rd section of Nigerian youths are those who happily remain on a job even when they know they are not adding value. I thought one was meant to be uncomfortable if you got paid for a value you weren’t giving back in exchange.

The state of our country has to a large extent determined the kind of youths it breeds, and home training isn’t enough, as the external influences affect the father and the mother alike…which means a child born into such a time as this simply glides on through the hustle to survive.

The paramount goal has become money and money alone…and anything to get the “getby” money. But people who have built successful empires know that you need far more than money. True to life, money brings it all together, sets a stage but it doesn’t run the works.

In my rather budding journey into the entrepreneurial world I have met the 80% totally unemployable as well as I have been privileged to meet some of the 20% built to succeed youths. Both from the same Nigeria.

I remember a young man who used to work with me once a while, back in the day as an assistant say once or twice a month…i used to give him some money anytime we work. So i decided to ask him if he wanted to do this permanently and i pay him monthly…He came back with his demands, he wanted about 60k a month and 7k everyday whenever we go out to work. I told him it was a good demand but i could not afford that. Fast forward about 2 years later I called him for another freelance assist job…within the 2 years he had made it a point of duty to buzz me on bbm every month about work…talking about how broke he was and he needed money…now 2 years later I needed to do something quickly and had to get an extra hand…so on my way to the location I picked him up at a petrol station…He was excited, got into the car. “Bros long time o…i don dey see your work every where o, na you o”. I said thank you, na God. Then he landed me the shocker “but bros na this your car you still dey drive, I think say you for don buy jeep na…but bros you need jeep for this you level o, you suppose don buy jeep na” I said no, I never buy jeep, when I work enough to make the money I will buy it. We got to work, he was same old guy, I think I gave him 10k for carrying the bags and equipment that day and his eyes lighted up like I gave him a million Naira.

I spent many months after thinking about this young man’s state of mind. I haven’t worked with him again after that time…its been almost another 2 years now. And the last time we were chatting, he was still the same guy. No added skills, nothing new.

We must understand that
value is the only thing we can exchange for whatever value we also want. No one gives something without value in exchange. When you work for someone, you give value and he is bound to return value.

To make demand, we must have supplied value. And while many young people run away from being “used”, look around, only those that have been used often become of value even to themselves.

Look around, people who fall into money often fall out of it, without a solid vision you can hardly sustain any endeavor to success.

The amount of passion and persistence required to succeed in this clime is totally out of this world, it’s not business as usual. You have no idea what it takes to sow a seed, and watch it grow, and every vocation or endeavor requires that painful process.

People have said a lot about the degenerating society we live in, the insensitive display of wealth and affluence.The fake realities many people paint have been blamed for the skewed mindset of younger people. Many have argued that this is responsible for the unemployable state, but I have found that within all the chaos, many young people have grabbed their future by the horns, they have decided to look their fears in the eye, they have taken time to understand that these things don’t jump on you and neither do you fall into breakthroughs.

Credible initiatives like THE FUTURE AWARDS have in no small measure affected and helped to provoke and unveil a brand new league of young people who will reach their dreams. There are many other people working hard at reshaping the future of the young nigerian which I may not know.

I also want to thank employers who have staked out huge part of their life and entrepreneurial struggle to develop young people, they have tamed hot heads, massaged into shape like skilled potters, and have produced employees who have gone to hold their own in bigger spaces adding value and others have gone on to become employers in their own rights.

We may not all be destined to become employers or entrepreneurs but we are without doubt charged with the mandate to fulfil our destinies wherever we may have found ourselves. We must add value, give value, sow value if we ever want to reap value.

It is however at the risk of the nigerian youth to choose his own path…he’s going to become an old man soon. And he can only look back at what he could have done with his life.

There is an absolute need for a genuine presence of mind. Don’t let the system hold your balls and squeeze at will.
Whenever you succumb to the popular opinion about “making” it, you are getting your balls squeezed. And that is damn painful.

Look around at people who have made legit success out of their lives, they may not be the most popular people, but take your time to study them.

Finally nothing just happens, you must plant and the seed will grow…but it will take time…how long I don’t know…but it is worth waiting for.

Yinka Obebe
Lead Creative Director / CEO RedboxAfrica.



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