Let me begin with the words of Alejandro Jodorowsky Prullansky, a Chilean-French avant-garde filmmaker. Best known for his 1970s films El Topo and The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky has been venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts for his work which is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation. He had said; “Birds born in a cage, think flying is an illness”. Each of us is born with the freedom which is nonetheless encapsulated inside a shell of restrictions which we get accustomed to as we grow. When we see someone breaking the stereotypes, exploring out through their difficulties, setting a trend or for a matter of fact, even making efforts to be different; we tend to kill out their zeal and pin down their wings. But the ones who really want to be different, never give up because “Great things take time and peoples’ criticism to happen”.
“We’ve all got to remember one thing in life, the one’s who live a life for others do not live at all. It is noteworthy to tell that “The climb to the top may be tough, but it is nevertheless priceless there”. When one stays in the darkness for two long, exposure to light becomes an irritant. Situating the paradox in Nigeria’s context, abnormalities experienced for a long time have become the norms. Our world is at a turning point, let’s reflect on the state of the nation at 62, as we look forward to 2023, the election year – what should we continue doing? What should we abandon? What needs to be creatively invented afresh? Nigeria as a nation destined for greatness and the “giant” of Africa, where are we presently and where should we have been? “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot
Paradoxically, isn’t it ironic that other than age, NONE of the world’s oldest and thriving democracies has any educational requirements for their leadership candidates. It just so happens that people with the requisite pedigree oftentimes get to be leaders. Therefore, reimagining our futures together with a new social contract bearing in mind the mood of the nation has become imperative. Across the globe, creative minds particularly young people are stepping up to innovation challenges, using their energy and ingenuity, their curiosity and creativity to steer a course towards a better future. Although, our beloved country Nigeria is at a crossroads, yet it can be fixed by reasons of conviction, determination and the “CAN-DO” spirit. “Creativity means believing you have greatness.” –Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.
Instructively, the relationship between intelligence and creativity is that both of them are functions of the brain that process information to determine a solution or an answer to a problem. Intelligence and creativity are different abilities that contribute to the other. Intelligence can be measured by the intelligence quotient or IQ. Creativity, on the other hand, is not so easy to measure. The general belief is that people with high IQs are generally more creative, and people who are highly creative have high IQs. This isn’t necessarily true. Although scientists have found a correlation between those individuals with an IQ of 120 or more having a higher level of creativity, the relationship between intelligence and creativity is more of an overlap of skills or abilities instead of a dependence on one another.
Put simply, the creative economy has a cultural and social impact that is likely to grow in a time of rapid globalisation, many countries recognise that the combination of culture and commerce that the creative industries represents is a powerful way of providing a distinctive image of a country or a city, helping it to stand out from its competitors. The value of widely recognised cultural ‘icons’, such as the Eiffel Tower in France, the Taj Mahal in India or the Sydney Opera House in Australia has given way to whole cultural districts that combine arts and commercial activity, from the Shoreditch district of London with its design studios, tech businesses, cafes and clubs to huge prestige projects such as the West Kowloon cultural district in Hong Kong or the cultural hub on Sadiyaat Island in Abu Dhabi that represent billions of dollars of investment.
Flowing from the above, and given that our beloved country Nigeria has come of age at 62. As a nation destined for greatness, we are at a very crucial stage of evolution: a time for deep introspection and honest appraisal; we need our own narratives such as the “Eiffel tower in France” and other positive national monuments identified with developed countries – this is the right time to change our narratives through collective responsibility and efforts; a time for leadership to consciously and deliberately engage in a renewed determination and honestly earned the illusive trust between the leaders and the led through painstakingly addressing the issue of trust deficit with a mindset for a new social contract leading to a new dawn and the much expected new Nigeria.
Interestingly, the issues of trust and truth typically defined as stories describing different but equally plausible futures that are developed using methods that systematically gather perceptions about certainties and uncertainties. Trust speaks to persuasion and how stories of the future become trustworthy and garner credibility when traditional measures are fundamentally insufficient and irrelevant. Without further ado, this article focuses on Nigeria at 62 and seeks to interrogate the subject matter of Leaders and the Led which will as a matter of necessity further interrogate the prospects and need for transformational leader.
Transformational leadership and justice are interconnected. Where there are transformational leaders, there is a quest for justice. Any lack of justice is a clear sign that transformational leadership is required. During the last two decades, transformational leadership has gained most conspicuous place in philosophy of leadership. Therefore, it is not surprising that the current evolution in leadership theory and practice has attracted the interest of both the academia and other stakeholders. Therefore, as we navigate through the storm towards a new dawn, the need for a TRANSFORMATIONAL leader with the mindset of Nehemiah who saw the need for personal sacrifice and less of aggrandizement has become imperative.
Conclusively, permit my indulgence to share with us the mindset of Gift Gugu Mona a poet, philosopher, songwriter and philanthropist, an internationally acclaimed author whose substantial contribution to global and African literature is instrumental. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree and her written work continues to have a significant impact, earning her global recognition as one of the most sought-after transformational writers. Through her illustrious work, she fulfils her God-given mandate and passion as a Transformational Coach and Leader. Dr. Mona believes that every human being was brought into this world with a specific and special purpose. In her insightful speaking engagements, she encourages others to evolve, maximize their potential and make a difference while there is still time. She subscribes to the core values of honesty, authenticity, creativity and community.
Gift, views herself as a trusted custodian of Africa’s fundamental concept of Ubuntu. She is a quintessential beneficiary of God’s Infinite Mercies. Her light shines so bright and wide because she has the backing of the Heavens in her life. She once said: “Let your star shine so bright such that those still in darkness can finally see the light.” Therefore, it is my hope and aspiration that we emulate such beautiful mind like that of Gift, particularly as we attain the milestone and celebrate our beloved country Nigeria at 62, the mind of hope, trust and togetherness; a mind that sees vibrancy instead of despondency and the custodian of Africa’s fundamental concept of Ubuntu. ARISE ‘O COMPATRIOTS.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION NIGERIANS
Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.