Young people are hungry for role models. Raring to learn about people who are breaking new grounds and challenging the stereotypes about succeeding in the African context. It’s high time we get into an era of encouraging the youth before we get there lets look at these scenarios.
Carl an American, at 19 years of age, he had just completed college where He did mechanical engineering. He has been through a lot as he was considered an adult from the age of 18. His family who could barely afford the fees for college practically left him to take care of himself. He picked up several odd jobs just to make sure ends meet and equally spent the greater part of his night working on his invention. He was so determined and no matter what others had to say, he was certain his project will one day be realized. At 24 he had a great breakthrough with his project that left him as one of the youngest billionaires in America.
Now Ebuka, he was 22 and had just finished from the university. He did mechanical engineering and was one of the best in his batch. He was presently in the job market but found little or nothing to do. His parents suggested he picked up a scholarship and returned to school, but he said he was not interested in going back to school. According to him, it has not been easy getting a degree. He told his parents he had the Nigerian spirit which is that of a “hustler”. As such he will hustle hard. He got into selling motor spare parts and his business did well. Though not completely what he did, he was at least contented that he could feed himself and his family.
Lastly, Ngwa a Cameroonian, 22years old and just had his degree in mechanical engineering. He refused dropping application with his reason being that, all the very rich children with influential parents who were in his class will get all the spots in the few existing companies. After so much pressure from his parents, he finally applied for a job. While his parents went out to work, he will stay back home and spend time sleeping, eating and watching football. This was his routine for over a year then he told his parents he wanted to go out of the country in search for greener pastures. He will not come out clear as to what he wanted to do when he traveled but he was certain the only way he made it was if he traveled. All attempts to travel failed. He ended up on the coach in his mothers leaving room. Years went by and his routine did not change. His parents will still feed him and give him allowances. At 39, his mother married a wife for him and continued feeding them.
Now the question: so, when mama is no more what becomes of Ngwa and his family? just like fever is a symptom of something more serious, all this attitude is because of laziness and procrastination. I just tried to highlight the difference between the Cameroonian youth, Nigerian youth and American youth. We keep trying to run out of the country in search for greener pastures but when I look around, all I see is forest and grass in Africa and Cameroon especially.
Hence question; what other greener pastures are we looking for? Cameroon is still so pregnant with ideas waiting to be delivered of by a zealous youth. But if all we do is eat, sleep and wait for cooperate jobs or on our parents to feed us when do we intend to get there? The white man’s land is already so saturated, and people invent things every day, but this has not stopped others from inventing. If for anything it makes them invent more. The youth there have little time to worry about themselves and they are busy making something out of life. They worry about paying bills, feeding, taking care of medical bills and so on. But here all we have to worry about is finding a job and yet for the whole 24 hours a day we lazy about, our brains don’t tell us to be creative. This is sad.
Many of us spend our whole time on the phone. From one social media platform to the next. The internet is great but when we think it’s just for entertainment and communication then we have high fever. There are lots of opportunities online but we will not see because we spend time looking at the wrong things.
However, just like the treatment for fever mostly lies in treating the cause, some Cameroonian youth have taken up the challenge of proving to African Youths that we have potential and there are no limits. These are some of the ones we will be celebrating over the next few months relax take a breath and wait for it. It will be worth your while.
By Fozao Mbi Vanessa