The Spirit of the Nigerian

Mark, Set Goals in  2020

A typical Nigerian will never give up under any circumstance. The Nigerian will never say die, be it in education, football, struggle to survive just name it. No matter what, Nigerian will never, never give up. Never buried a Nigerian until you are satisfied that he has truly died. There have been several cases of Nigeria who suddenly defy death and woke up at the mortuary. A few years ago, there was a plane crash in Port Harcourt, as the airplane was burning, a lady remembered that she will be getting married in few weeks, she broke through the fire and came out. She is still alive today. The last time I heard about her, she was in the news having won a singing talent award in the United States of America. Not too long ago, there was a football match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa? Just at the nick of time, William Troost Ekong hit the back of the net dashing the hopes of the South Africans.

Why there was mourning in South Africa there was spontaneously and hilarious shout of joy all over Nigeria. That is the spirit of the Nigerian, never say die. You dare not write off the Nigerian. It is when you are giving up on them that they will spring a surprise against you. Spit on the devil’s face. Can you imagine it, a fifteen years old girl surrounded by ragtag terrorists asking her to renounce her Christian faith so that she can be set free and she dared the ugly faces of the terrorists? She said noway where else can such a thing happen? It is only in Nigeria. The spirit of the Nigerian. The other day, I saw a ten-year-old lad, who was able to recite off head the whole verses in Psalm 119. One hundred and seventy-six verses of the Scriptures. That was an incredible feat. That is the spirit of the Nigerian. Help me tell the pessimists, just wait for a while, great things will soon start to happen in Nigeria, because these Nigerians will never give up. Never write off a Nigerian. They wrote the Super Eagles off, but the Eagles came from behind to dominate the indomitable lion of Cameroon. The eagles pick on Bafana Bafana and devoured them before our very eyes. That is the spirit of the Nigerian. Stop telling us about the problem in Nigeria. I want to hear the solutions you are bringing on the table. We all know about the problems, they are obvious, what we want right now are the solutions. What do you have to offer? Anywhere you are in the world, if you want to be bold and daring, come over here and catch the spirit of the Nigerian.

If you want to make lots and lots of money, please find your way to Nigeria. Just about any idea, you can use to make money in Nigeria. Even if you are frying plantain chips, you can make enough money to build houses and buy cars. Which another country in this world offers you that kind of opportunity. You don’t even need to register any business before you start doing your business in Nigeria. That can only happen in Nigeria. We all know there are insurgents in some parts, not every part of Nigeria. But by the way, where in the world is secured? How many gun shooting has taken place in primary and high schools in the United States of AmeAmerica last year? Do we now conclude that all Americans are gun shooters? Are all British stabbers? Not all Nigerians are scammers. There are so many decent people in Nigeria. Now hear this: do you need the humour to spice up your daily lives, Nigeria is the place where people become millionaires just by cracking jokes. What a nation, what a people. Nigerians are big at everything. Nigerians will add value to just anything. Can you imagine, someone cracking jokes, and from the money he or she making from jokes, build and live in nice houses, send his children to school, riding big cars and travel abroad to go and crack jokes? Sometimes I wonder, people are crying there is no money in Nigeria, but every weekend I see lots of gorgeously dressed people going to one owambe party of the other. Where do they get the money to organize these parties? And when you get to these parties you will eat and drink to your satisfaction. As for the dancing, the Nigerian will dance himself out. Most times, when I get to the church on Sundays and I see the way the Nigerian is dancing and singing and jubilating, I say to myself, these Nigerian they don’t have any problem at all.

One of the greatest lessons I learned in life is never to write off any Nigerian. That same Nigerian that you think cannot amount to anything in life, is the same person that will become so resilient and determined and become somebody great before our very eyes. I came from a humble background. While I was growing up in the Ilado Oja village, things were truly very tough. I remember one day we returned from the farm and it began to rain cats and dogs. After a while, this rain becomes very heavy and it broke through our rotten iron sheet. Soon, the whole of our house was filled with rain. My father was just sitting down on his chair. For three days, there was nowhere to sleep and nowhere to hide. We stayed in the house filled and drenched with rain. After the rain subsidized, we now had ants’ invasion. Our house was full of ants. Just at the break of the sun on the third day, my father called us and we head for the farm. His farm was his work of art. He cannot live one day without working. Working was his food. Allen Arikanki was a godly and nobleman. Could you believe that from that village, my father was able to send his children to Universities? That is the spirit of the Nigerian. In Nigeria I have seen some High School student who was not doing well in school and soon as he completed his Secondary school education, he started a business and soon he becomes a millionaire riding big cars.

My take is that there should more research about this spirit of the Nigerian. And especially for the youth, I say don’t dissipate this great spirit you have. Start organizing yourselves. It does not matter where you come from. You are the future of Nigeria. Only you will make this Nigeria great. Honestly, I will not blame the old folks, they did their best. Why is it that each and every one of you young people want to become the president of Nigeria? Is there no other way you can serve without becoming a president? 2023 will soon be here on us. Although I’m incurable optimist, It will be unfortunate, if the youth of Nigeria miss out in 2023. The time to start is now. I know many of you are too ambitious. Put your sword of ambition back to the sheath. Start organizing yourselves first. Kill your anger before it destroys your future.

Tame your sexual urge before it destroys your future. Get serious with your life and your country. Leadership will not be handed over to you until you are matured enough to handle the responsibility of leadership? What kind of nation do you want to rebuild? How valuable do we want our educational and health system to be? What about our security and protection of our teenage girls? Let’s start working on a broad range of plans and strategies with the spirit of the Nigerians. We need to send these old overambitious people into political retirement. Less than 50 years old must be our president come 2023. We are tired of these tired old men.

Thank you for allowing me to share my candid thoughts with you today. You are not born to suffer there is a seed of greatness within you. Only you can make your life a masterpiece. You have a choice. You can decide to resign yourself to fate and watch television day and night, watch all the African games and play around or you can decide to accept responsibility and challenge yourself to change your circumstance. The choice is yours. God bless you. God bless Nigeria. God bless Africa. Write to me and I will write back to you.

Arikanki is a coach and motivational speaker.

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