Who Will Go Up The Mountain?
I woke up about 3:00 am that morning. I decided to put on the television. I switched the channel to one of my regulars, CNN.
I was somewhat shocked but too emotionally overwhelmed by what I saw. Breaking news: NELSON MANDELA is dead.
I was surprised as all the news channels were showing this same news. I felt kind of backward as I was hearing the news for the first time at that time.
David Cameron, the British prime minister had already given a speech in tribute of NELSON MANDELA. Almost all the channels on DSTV were showing something in memoriam of MADIBA.
As the day progressed, I listened carefully to all that was said about this man. I recalled vividly when I first heard of Nelson Mandela. I was in primary school; I remember seeing a video of him walking in the Limestone quarry in Robben Island, where he spent 18 years out of the 27 years he was incarcerated, when he visited there after his release.
I asked my mum, who this man was? she explained certain things to me, which I kept in memory but quick did not think about or give any serious thought then.
I also remember been taught about the oppressive apartheid regime in secondary school.
Now, where am I driving to? When I read Nelson Mandela’s autobiography “A Long Walk to Freedom, I thought I understood the battles this man fought with his fellow ANC compatriots, but today I have come to realize Nelson Mandela was more than an anti apartheid fighter, he was an epitome of morality.
Seeing the many people he inspired by his compassion, LACK of bitterness for those who kept him incarcerated for 27 years.
His pure sense of wisdom and maturity to see the need for reconciliation, in order to move his country forward, shows he was a true statesman.
To me, he truly forgave though he did not forget. He always said he was not a perfect man, but there is this, I do not know how to qualify it, this aura of morality, justice, equity that just emanates from this man.
It is interesting to note that there are many ethnic nationalities in South Africa, the Zulus, the Swazi people, the Basothos, the Xhosas and others, but he saw himself first as a South African, before considering he was Xhosa, he was even a member of the royal household.
I know beyond all reasonable doubt that he lives on through the ages as President Obama said. I cannot but imagine what an inspiration, he has been to many.
Moving on, I would like to say to my fellow Africans, especially those are xenophobic towards people from other African countries. Remember Africa is the only home we have, other people call it Africa, we call it home, I even doubt if the gross of us know we are from Africa, forgive me, it may sound funny. We stay here, work here and do everything in this continent.
Many of us just think of our countries only, me inclusive. The task of building our continent is enormous and it is in our very hands.
To my fellow Nigerians, we must first of all realize we are unapologetically Africans, it is a fait accompli and indeed Nigerians first, and make conscious effort to put our continent and country first, to all those who aretribalistic, sentimental, we must all change.
Who would inspirethe youths?NELSON MANDELA once said no one is born hating another person because of the colourof his or her skin.
I seemany of the youths today not willing to work hard, read and study their books. I know education is not only what is needed to solve our problems, but it is definitely a path that must be greatly followed for us to get to the Promised Land.
That same day, I went to a cybercafé to scan a document of mine, I saw a young man and a younger girl at the cybercafé. When I gave them my document, they went to an adjacent room. I stood outside in the balcony enjoying the crisp, evening breeze.
I was almost lost in my own thoughts, when I noticed that, the room they entered, had two big curtains at its entrance, preventing the inside from been seen, though the doors were opened. It looked as if something surreptitious and precarious was going on in this room.
It didn’t just look like any other room with two curtains covering the entrance. I quickly opened the curtains as I wanted to ensure my document was been scanned only and nothing else. When I opened the curtains, I saw three television sets arranged on a long table, three game consoles and lots of wire transversing and criss-crossing each other in this small room. There were about 10 to 15 teenagers and young men playing games.
My document was been scanned at one corner of the room. I asked them to hurry up and went back outside. Outside again, I pondered on what I had just seen, though this was not strange or new to me.
What immediately came to mymind was an experience I had in another cybercafé/ educational service provider company, the previous week.
I had gone there to buy something I needed and also coincidentally scan some of my other documents. The owner of the establishment was in a separate room. I had bought what I needed there. I went to another room to scan my documents.
There were two ladies operating separate computers, four young boys (it seems there were all friends but only one of them was actually working in the place) in this room.
I gave them my documents, one of them immediately saw my ****certificate and started shouting, “come and see oh!” The boys meticulously started examining the paper. They took it and showed the ladies.
This was followed by a bunch of questions, “talk true, you write this exam yourself”, “you know anybody for **** office”, “your papa get money”, they were further astonishedwhen they saw my other results.
They asked me which school I was attending and when I told them, one of the ladies made a statement “you know how dem do ham”.
I quicklystarted explaining things which on a normal day I would notbother to, I really didnot want to be seen as a fraudster or a cheat because I knew God helped me.
When they saw a certificategiven tome in a competition I had gone for, that I had very well at the nationals, they started giving me some credibility.
When I left there that day, what they said nearly plunged me in discombobulation, but I looked at things more objectively by God’s grace later on.
Now back to where I was, I said to myself these boys should be reading their books, I remembered again the greatest African that ever lived NELSON ROLIHLALA MANDELA and how he was an inspiration to many people.
I took a closer gaze, but wait a minute, there is nothing wrong in playing video games, neither do I have anything against those who do but of course, many of the boys there were of secondary school age and it was school day.
I then asked myself who would change this nation. I have been opportune to travel to some of our states in Nigeria, about eight of them, apart from Delta state, where I was born and grew up.
They almost all look the same, the same challenges and problems here and there, sometimes I wonder how difficult it might be to take our country to where we desire it to be, certain things may have improved, but there are many avenues and opportunities open to us for even greater improvements. NELSON MANDELA once said certain things may look impossible, until they are done.
I can only imagine what an inspiration NELSON MANDELA would have been andstill isto millions of South African youths, who he helped secure freedom for.
I thought to myself these boys, do they know who NELSON MANDELA was, even if they knew who he was, were they inspired, challenged, motivated, enthused, encouraged to change their Worlds because of his life. I might not be able to answer this question with all certainty of heart.
It pains me, when students who should work hard and put their trust in God to succeed are not interested in studying. I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, as everyone might not want to do the same thing but why the majority of us.
Let us leave education matters, because I know there are a lot of misconceptions in about studying, in the minds of young people, of which I am sure some are already springing up in their minds.
The need for personal development cannot be overemphasized, we are the leaders because it is yesterday’s tomorrow, we are now calling tomorrow, not mentioning political offices, in the near future many of us would become leaders of industries, C.E.O.s of various Nigerian, African and indeed global brands, are you ready?
The ship is moving, when would you join the group of vibrant and creative young people around Africa, using what they already have, their minds (indubitably infinite, without impossibilities) to create positive change in what little way they can.
My fellow youths, we must all rise and indeed stand in the crossroads, find that seamless sea, that ancient path, that good way, as the Bible puts it, navigate it and stir our country, our beloved continent AFRICA to the place, we were destined to be.
NELSON MANDELA is gone, truly he lives through the ages, but now what would be said of our generation.