What must African youths do differently

What must African youths do differently

The main purpose of this message is to direct people’s attention to what African youths must do differently. So when you start reading and you feel you should start criticizing, redirect that same zeal to writing down what African youths must do differently and share.

African Youths at SEWF - Social Enterprise World Forum in Addis Ababa
African youths walking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

At first, I wanted to title this “what must Africans do differently.” Now you might wonder why I didn’t title it that. The reasons are as follows.

To our African leaders

African youths know that you are doing your best to improve our continent, but all seems to be ineffective because we lack togetherness. Africa has about 3,000 tribes speaking more than 2,000 different languages but this shouldn’t be a barrier between us. We can’t be against each other and expect every country on this continent to progress. I’m speaking about the challenges each country faces both internally and externally. The moment we put aside our differences and see more of our similarities, the desire for power for oneself would be reduced systematically. Most of you won’t agree with this statement and you are right. There are people that their lust for power is unquenchable. What also made our continent what it is today is that there are disagreements between people of the same tribes. Some families can’t even come to an agreement on an issue. The notion is that everyone would have different opinions and each wants to be heard. Let us learn to focus on the “we” part of “us” rather than our individuality and our differences. 

We should learn to see ourselves as one first. We have leaders that are using the power given to them for self-interest, but that shouldn’t make us like them. There are those who know and have what it takes to build Africa but most quit because the change they desire, most do not desire it. They have come to the conclusion that the problems of Africa are deeply rooted. Until we change how we think, I don’t see any way the nations of this continent can move forward. 

Another issue is why we go into politics or why you want to go into politics. Many are in government and many join politics because of its benefits. It’s normal but most people in politics still accept people that are not willing to offer anything. We must solve these issues and others related by putting aside individual interests.

Message to the African youths

Discussing the faults each country faces will not bring about change. You might not like to hear this. But as an African youth, I will share my thoughts. If we are not careful, we will fall victim to the mistakes of our ancestors. Being in power doesn’t necessarily mean you have become a leader. Until we take responsibility for our challenges, then we become leaders. You have to take note of this. We all are born leaders. Leaders impact people. Don’t be misled by the idea that not everyone would be a leader. Leaders are people who find problems and solve them. The young ones around you learn from you. It is what they find or see you doing, they inculcate. Whether you like it or not, you are a leader. The only alternative you have is either to be a good one or a bad one.

So what the African youth must do is

Think and act differently. Thinking differently is broad. It is more than what you think it is. I’m going to widen our understanding of two things. These two things would make us think and act different if we decide to learn more about it and work on it.

  • Education: You have to be educated. Education doesn’t necessarily mean going to school. Mark Twain said, “I will never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” The fact that you are a graduate doesn’t mean you are educated. Education is derived from the Latin word “Educo” which means to develop from within. We can’t solve life’s problems using surd (mathematics), but no one would tell us. To be able to solve life’s problems, we have to educate ourselves individually. You have to learn on your own. Most of the things which we know or have learned are wrong. Each of us must dedicate ourselves to finding the right lessons. It is what we know, we will teach the young ones after us. We must break the chain of passing the wrong knowledge. Observe what you’ve learned and don’t just give in to any new teaching. Developing our homeland is in our hands. All that matters is what we choose to do with our various opportunities. Don’t blame anyone for your circumstances because you are partly the cause of it, if not majorly. We must end the belief that a better Africa would be handed over to us. We are going to either better it or make it worse. It’s our decision, your decision.
  • Purpose: As said earlier, thinking differently is very broad. The idea that you are on earth to just be rich should be eliminated. There is a reason why you are on earth. It is for others and not to be cut up in the thinking of taking the wealth of the world for yourself. Everyone on earth has a purpose and we were given a deadline to fulfill it. The reason we are here is to fulfill a need. There is something the earth needs and what it takes to fulfill that need is within you. It would be very bad for you to be here on earth and not fulfill that need. Whatever it takes, find something you can do and do it to better the world. Martin Luther King said, “Not everyone can be famous but everyone can be great because greatness is determined by service”. Leaders are born to serve. Developing Africa should a priority. If it is your community you are willing to better then do it. Your community is part of Africa. So it’s Africa you are developing. There are two things that matter in life, what we get from life and what we give back to life. Don’t just take from life but give back also.

We have been repeating the same way we think will solve our problem and it’s not getting us anywhere. The only way to stop reliving our problems is if we think and act differently. It all begins with YOU

That’s all I have to say and most won’t agree with me. Some might even criticize but I can’t let that stop me from expressing myself.

Remember someone has to speak because if someone doesn’t, no one would say anything. Thank you and God bless Africa.

An aspiring writer, speaker, and a change maker. Follow Gbadebo on Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.