Nigerian Spice, Series

Nigerian Spice: No romance without finance

By Emmanuel Adebayo:

I have often wondered in the secret corners of my heart, what will happen, if the financial gains and luxury attached to the positions of power – from traditional rulers to the highest positions in civil service post, if they were all taken away – puff! How many Nigerians would still be interested in such positions? How many kids, teenagers would still choose to be doctors, lawyers, engineers – the 'high flying collar' jobs? How many parents would still spend earnestly to make sure their wards go to school, if the promise of wealth, stability and prestige were taken off?

We all wish we could sow little and reap plenty – we always forget the fundamental rule that: “what a man sows, the same shall he reap!” We forget that our levels of achievement are directly proportional to our level of investment. We are always looking for the safe, easy and fast route to fame.

At one time in this country, playing football was seen as a lazy man's venture. The brilliant boys and girls with 'bright' futures were in class studying hard to become doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers etc., while the dumb and NFA (No Future Ambition) as they were called were on the field playing football. But right now, with the advent of people such as Rasheed Yekini (RIP), Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo etc, there are different football academies springing to life in different parts of the country, and parents now pay and encourage their wards to play the same game that a few years  back was regarded as an NFA 'thing'. I ask, is it that we suddenly found love for this game? Heck no! Our eyes are suddenly opened to the prospect of fame and wealth it brings, take that away and see the crowd turn away again. We only always seem to be motivated by two things, wealth and fame. Several teens and young adults within the country are quitting school because they feel, since the likes of some musicians and artists who are not educated could 'make it', why not them? What's the use of the education then? We are not motivated by service to humanity; we are concerned with self – wealth and fame or at least one of the two.

I visited a high school once and invited the students to participate in a debate competition. I was alarmed and annoyed at the question the principal asked me. He asked: “what does the school stand to gain?” You see, he had asked this question after I had explained the mission of the organisation sponsoring the debate, which was to foster a reading and writing culture amongst adolescents – he was asking for monetary gains for the school, when I explained to him that there was no monetary gain save the experience and rapport the students will get to have with students from other schools and what they'd gain from gathering points etc, he refused to allow his students to participate.

So I have come to a conclusion that one great thing we have lost in our great nation is 'reason' – we are presently just motivated by our needs and wants, as long as they are met, how they are met does not matter. Service to humanity has lost its place in our decision making processes, even with regards to parents' and children's relationship. All we are looking for is economic safety, stress free lives and fame!

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  • ” We are not motivated by service to humanity; we are concerned with self – wealth and fame or at least one of the two.”
    Back in the day, people took up vocations (doctor, teacher, lawyer…) which enabled them to ‘serve humanity’ but still live decently. Today the people still doing those jobs are struggling to survive. So who cares about others when self is not being taken care of? For some (genuinely), it does not make sense to serve others on an empty stomach hence the focus on monetary gain. For many others though, it is outright selfish ambition with no thought of service to others.

  • Kgomotso Jay

    Well written piece, well put together! could not agree more. Media has played a big role in this. Broadcasting has made big shifts form educational programs to a lot of entertainment!! showing how local and international celebs have made it big etc.