Day 13: 30-Day Writing Challenge
O YOUTH! BE STRONG!
I missed some few days from this Challenge because I was at a Youth Conference under the auspices of Nigeria Christian Corpers’ Fellowship. While I was there, this topic popped up in my mind. It spurred from a depth of concern over many things that has been happening especially at a time like this is Nigeria.
Most youths are growing weak and weary from the events happening from family to society. Our governments are failing us and they come up with remedial processes to patch things up but how can you put new wine in old wineskin? It will only make the wineskin burst. That analogy has been the lot of Nigeria for some decades now and we can see that the effect has been telling on our youths as they are tired and many want to enter the political bakery to get their piece of the national cake and not out of patriotism.
Going to our schools, especially the public tertiary institutions, we see a classic reason why youths’ hearts are fainting. After JAMB has jammed many post-secondary students for some time, after the Herculean task of getting an admission (most likely not the course you applied for), one is being faced with unequipped laboratories, poor teaching facilities, and the recent Pandora box being opened now is that of wickedness on the part of some lecturers who derive joy and happiness in students failing based on ethnicity and/or religion.
After the average youth finally graduates, he or she goes for the National Youth Service Commission programme which had the golden aim of uniting students from different parts of the country in order to create unity in diversity, religious tolerance, and inter-tribal marriage. While these aims has been achieved, of recent it is dying as the religious intolerance in the country has called for the Scheme to want to protect youths who most likely may not know the terrain of the state they have been posted to. Another thing that is making the youth weary under the NYSC Scheme is the fact that to get a place of primary assignment that will be beneficial to one’s course of study from the university are not willing to absorb corp members and even if they accept, the chances of being retained even after being diligent may be slim.
Going on from there, we are faced with the real world – the job market. I could liken it to the ancient Roman arena where only the strong survives. Many youths who graduated with good results are roaming the streets and this tires them and by hook or crook, some are willing to compromise in order to put body and soul together. After a few years of rejection, the average youth is tired and can decide to put his hand to the plough to do something productive with his skill or talent or something negative.
These and more of these problems wearies me but I find solace in what the Holy Bible says in Lamentations 3:27 ‘It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young’ so we can say that it is bad if one does it. Hence I decided that indeed there is a yoke for a youth to bear but the circumstances surrounding us seem so cumbersome for us to carry but I dare say that there is strength. All we need do is to listen to that inner voice. It is one of the best gifts God has ever given us and in that voice lies strength.
I will end on this note by saying that every youth should reminisce on the clarion call of our beloved National Anthem:
Arise O Compatriot
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vein
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound with freedom
Peace and unity