I just stumbled on this article I wrote over three years ago. The Nigerian Mind of the Future (TNMF). My heart is filled with the warmest of feelings, because truly, I believed then what I wrote with such passion. It gets harder to believe every progressive day in the face of the incessant psychological battery of living in Nigeria. But like a very dear friend always says to me – its sink or swim, boy. Oh, that our imagination will ascend, and reality will not hold us back. Oh that souls will soar, and our bodies will not keep us imprisoned. I present the ‘Nigerian Mind of the Future’. As true today as it was in 2007. Enjoy.
This article has been a difficult one to write. As a young Nigerian full of confidence and enthusiasm for a brighter tomorrow, not only personally, but for the nation that I love and belong to, it would seem strange and very nearly ludicrous that I’d be optimistic that such a time will come without knowing the means to actualise it. This is why such an article could not have come at a better time; because even though there are waves of hope and positivism across the country, and the drive is high in various circles regarding the prospects for massive growth and development in several areas of Nigerian life, very little is being done in preparing the average Nigerian for these changes.
A great mind once said, “All knowing is in experience”, but time and time again, this statement, seemingly of fact; logical as it may appear in several contexts; has been proved to be largely incorrect. This is because human beings have difficulty creating a world around them that they have not already “seen” in their mind’s eye. Knowing does not follow experience, it precedes it. This principle agrees with the laws of nature and the be-do-have paradigm. This means that envisioning the Nigerian mind of the future is crucially important in creating a future for Nigerians. It also means that all efforts at a brighter future for Nigerians will be buried at the feet of creative thinkers who hesitate to construct a believable picture of what this Nation will be in the future.
This brings me back to the impasse I faced in composing this commentary, the difficulty of dreaming! To dream positive and progressive thoughts and visions is no easy task. I ask myself, how do I see things positively when around me there is not enough affirmative action to verify my ideals and ideas? This is one of the greatest challenges in shaping the Nigerian mind of the future: the ability to envisage things that are not, and to speak of things yet to exist as though they were. Before I get excessively sentimental, I will advance to the body of this essay; describing the Nigerian mind of the future, as I see it.
The Nigerian mind of the future (TNMF) is dogged and conscientious; it is innovative, creative and open to change. These characteristics are needed in charting a course from our present circumstances to the new lease of life we expect in the future. TNMF is capable of coming up with strategic plans towards achieving definite goals, not only that, but following up these intelligent plans with action and implementation abilities which will turn in desired goals within stipulated time. TNMF will be capable of drawing from experience to reach for greater heights of achievement, as well as being flexible enough to reform and refine targets and expectations for progress.
TNMF is open to new ideas and technologies, but rather than supporting the label of being a generation of shallow and uneducated consumers; rather than being a dumping ground for negative western culture and risky social behaviour influences, TNMF is willing to embrace only those ideas and technologies that prove to be useful to creating Nigeria of the future and adapting these discoveries to fit into the Nigerian perspective i.e. some sort of cultural integration of technology for advancement.
TNMF is prepared to grow and improve. It does not easily forget or grow complacent, because it knows the grave danger in forgetting its roots and overlooking handed down values which have remained the very foundation of the Nigerian society.
TNMF is synergistic and enlightened. It is highly capable, highly focused and highly trained, and it believes in collaboration with like minded, equally principled individuals, who are equally proficient in other fields, to achieving common and unambiguous goals.
TNMF is not afraid to give and to share, because TNMF rises above the deprivation and lack of its environment to contribute meaningfully to fellow men and to society. This is because TNMF understands that without making meaningful contributions to others, it can never truly feel that keenly desired sense of worth and belonging. TNMF is not naïve; neither is it too unyielding or bitter to trust fellow man, because it is a mind that understands that trust is a magnet of trust, friendship is a magnet of friendship and a positive attitude is a magnet of positive people and positive circumstances.
TNMF is realistic in its appraisal of realities on ground. Not unto pessimism or cynicism, but to apply genuine assessment of present conditions and resource potential towards manufacturing a better future for Nigeria and the Nigerian people.
TNMF believes in the Nigerian project. It believes in her leaders, who in turn acknowledge the support they receive by being truly patriotic leaders. TNMF will elect leaders that fit these specifications without fear or prejudice.
TNMF is driven by nationalism, patriotism and a sense of justice. TNMF is religiously tolerant and sound in the practice of religion and recognition of universal ethics; ethics that must be upheld for Nigerians to live at peace with each other despite tribe, religion or political affiliation. TNMF transcends provincial and retrogressive dichotomies, but is a herald of national unity and brotherliness.
TNMF is not afraid to dream. It is not afraid to put in a day’s work, each day, in order to achieve long term goals and vision over the imprudence of instant gratification and ill gotten affluence. TNMF is responsible for creating positive changes that are capable of transforming lives, even the entire Nation.
Lastly, the Nigerian mind of the future is not afraid to love, because only by loving God, loving ourselves and our fellow man, can we truly look forward to the sort of fulfilment and joy that will make the journey to the future worthwhile.
David Agogo.Follow @agogodavid