Salvage A Continent: Our 20s & 30s Are Best Ages To Serve A Country

Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa 

Africa has the youngest median population age in the world. We must nurture the Youths for future tasks in order to compete right now and rise as a people later. We can encourage their contribution at home because they can never be adequately rewarded as outsiders. As a result, humans are willing to work harder against fear of hostility outside than in a place we are so comfortable.

Those that grew up when it took a village to raise a child in Africa, saw it as an obligation to make sure most children succeed. It created pride out of which many became confident African Freedom Fighters. Their penchant for natural and educational development for other children in ten years surpassed those of colonialism in a century. They were home grown and those that studied abroad returned home to serve.

Ask what you can do for your country not what your country can do for you: which an American President, J.F.K Kennedy used to motivate their Youths. African Youths must build, not rest on the blood and sweat of their grandfathers as Freedom Fighters all over Africa. Unless the Youths build on their struggles, our talents and natural resources will be enjoyed by outsiders that appreciate them more. The land, Mama and Papa may be rich; God bless the children that create their own wealth.

If the Africans from “Upper” to “Lower” Egypt, Ethiopia to Senegal and Sudan to Zimbabwe could create great civilizations and Empires that drew the attention of the whole world, African Youths can accomplish them again at home. But we are also reminded by James Shirley that the glories of our blood and state, are shadows, not substantial things. Africans and Nigerians in particular, squandered the goodwill their grandparents accumulated as potential Regional Power in the 60s.

The fountain of youth is full of idealism translated into bold exuberance reaching for the sky. It is an empirical fact that motivated Youths are highly driven but we must keep it in mind that it is never too late to serve our country. Some of us are late bloomers struggling to fulfill our ambition later in life. Attaining that level of success demands active brain power with vigorous agility. So, we complete our studies early, ready for the challenges of the future.

Nevertheless, we must take it into consideration and make allowance for our mothers that have to suspend or delay their careers, so that they can raise children at home. Other ladies postponed their child bearing age for later endeavors. We must face reality, nobody can have it all. The myth that super-women can do it all because they are good at multitasking can ruin even the supermen. Can we compare children of single mothers to those of single fathers?

Most of our African Freedom Fighters started in their 20s and 30s. Their spirit was strong and their bodies withstood the consequences of their action from the brutality of Army, Police and the Authorities. Indeed, some of them lost their lives in the process leaving their families in grief. Those old enough look back and wonder what drove our great men and women in their youth to greater heights that are lacking in our communities today.

However, as we get into our 40s and 50s, the same spirit is there but the body has become a little weaker while the extended families and the responsibilities for them become another consideration not so dominant during our youthful days with boisterous exuberance. Indeed, as some of our politicians get older, they become insane or senile because of self interest.

Though most of the achievements made in Africa have suffered two or three folds in setbacks from African military and the politicians they metamorphosed into; the Youths must be encouraged to raise the potentiality of African countries with untapped talents and abundant natural resources still begging for local advancement rather than foreign exploitation.


Where else do the youth sit still and rely on the past activists of fathers or grandfathers in their graves than our Youths? Many want dead bodies of Nkrumah, Mandela, Zik, Awo and Aminu Kano to rise, protest and fight for them like they used to in their 20s and 30s; while today’s Youths fight one another on social media. They label their  country the worst names anyone can think of and expect other continents to take them seriously as they relocate without fighting to rescue themselves at home.


The way you prepare your bed is the way you sleep on it. If you prepare you future in your country, at an older age, you can proudly rely on your achievements anywhere in the world. You will not be running to another continent for Salvation but for vacations. However, if you gladly accept indoctrination, willing to pay any price for it out of inferiority complex, your next generation will embrace it; unless some wake up from the slumber of religious opium that kept them docile.


Relocated Youths may have money relatively higher than what they made at home which could not buy them the social life they had dreamed of. If anything happens to them (God forbid bad thing O) or collapses under oppressive working conditions, that has happened to many unsung heroes that succumbed, they want to be buried at home. So, home is good for our dead bodies, not for our life services, at least during some of our younger days.


Even when a few African countries found oil as a source of foreign income, it became an albatross to progress. Compared to Arab countries that have used the same foreign income for mega infrastructure while oil producing states in Nigeria can only display environmental degradation and eyesore for farmers that can no longer depend on their land for income. All the compensations paid by International Oil Corporations never got to the grassroots. The big boys siphoned it back, overseas.


Even in China and Russia the Youths are rising up against oppressive political policies worse than corruption. But Africans’ complacency on corruption has given way to the impunity of terrorism to seize power within; killing talents, production of food and services while the theft of natural resources by foreigners are encouraged in exchange for mirrors.


Foreigners still dictate what products come out of Africa, what to import and what price to pay for our manipulated  tastes or desires only to their advantage. Thereby controlling our markets since we trade more with outsiders than we do within Africa.


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