It Was On My Death Bed
By J Japheth-Omojuwa
1. They were mostly selfish: while the brigands took home the national cake in chunks, my generation battled amongst itself for the crumbs of attention that came with activism. They wanted to know who attended the highest number of seminars. It was about who won the most awards. It was about who’d make the most noise on television, radio and eventually the internet when it became a very useful tool of communication. When some of them got into government, they got the crumbs. While you’d expect a generation that kept shouting “it is our turn” to go for real positions, they even started acting like statesmen despite holding kitchen positions, and already assuming they were part of a presidential kitchen cabinet. How else do you think an ordinary office assistant would suddenly think that his selling his generation out on the altar of a mere lowly appointment would suddenly make him look big? That was the problem not just of my generation but that of previous ones before mine. People who shouted enough got into office but only to get positions that should be the reserve of desperate people who just wanted to be in government by any means possible. None of them mattered afterward and this contributed to what befell my generation and of course the country.
2. They were people of small minds: You would expect that having been exposed to the successes of young people across the world through the advent of live news and the internet, this generation would dream bigger but my generation never did. They did not define success the Mark Zukerberg way, they defined it the “I pass my neighbour way.” Success to them was to get a Masters’ degree abroad, come home speaking English with a fake American accent despite spending time in the UK and mostly messing up the English language while at their macabre dance. They get what they’d term a “well paying” job and buy a small generator. They were always the first to have their generator on after a power cut and would celebrate in church when they bought used cars imported from even places like Benin republic. To them, living the life was seeing poor boys on the road and being able to dish out some N50 feeling “successful.” Their small minds meant that even those of them you’d expect to dream bigger having traveled the world would go on to settle for jobs of assistants. You will blame the generation before theirs where 60 year olds were youth leaders but why blame one generation for the failure of another? Each generation fails by itself for future generations.
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