“When purpose is undefined, abuse is inevitable” – Unknown.
“When value is not discovered, loss and waste are inevitable” – Adeolu Akinyemi
Have you ever wondered if your life would have been better if you were born in another country? Have you ever thought that your currently hidden talents would have gotten the sunlight of better publicity and discovery if you were born in America? Have you heard some of your classmates talk about their exploits in other countries and you’ve wondered, how much better your own story might have been? These questions, these thoughts are some of the powerful ones taking talent consistently out of our country. Our commarades are being taken away from Nigeria to serve the progress of other nations. Why? Simply because we have not discovered the value of our people and helped to position or support them. Brain drain is happening in every sector of our country, in the academics as well as the sports.
Recently, we were approached by an athlete here in Nigeria. This lady held our National high jumping record, also represented us at the All African Games, and won. She however was stuck, as she had no willing sponsors for the world indoor games and the Olympics. She had already been approached by some other countries to sponsor her for some of these events. All she needed to do was simply naturalize as a citizen of their country.
We tried to speak to a few companies in order to get her sponsorship, some where willing but the bureaucracy involved was sufficient to receive the sponsorship only after the events had been concluded. The New Nigeria Club decided to braze up to this responsibility, and sponsor this athlete to the World Indoors. This was not talent at it’s infant stage, this was already developed talent that had won our nation some glory already. 3 weeks after, we got a mail from her, that she had broken the National World Indoors record. She is the proud citizen of a New Nigeria. A Nigeria that values the talents of it’s people.
Everyday, Nigerian ‘s in large numbers, buy one way tickets out of Nigeria. Some of these people are very talented Nigerians – in the academia, in sports, in entertainment, in medicine, e.t.c. Our Nation is losing talent, good people who could be significant in it’s development. If the discovered talents are not spared, what can we say about the talented young fellows whose talents don’t yet have limelight?
I am not a fan of consistently complaining about things outside my circle of control or influence. I believe in shutting up about what I cannot change, and voicing out about things that I can indeed change. I believe brain drain is a malaise we can support the government in curing. I believe the solution lies in the collaboration of well meaning agencies and individuals. I believe the solution lies in seeing the problems and asking, how can I be a part of solution. At times I wonder if there are really rich people in this country? If there are rich people, why are some of these issues not fixed? Believe it or not, money can solve most problems.
In our own little way, we of New Nigeria Club have decided to partner with the government and private sector, to seek for talented Nigerians, and give them the opportunities they deserve rather than losing them to other countries. Our greatest resource as a country is the strength of that substance that occupies the space between our ears, we need to preserve it. In doing all these however, we will also stumble on those Nigerians with talent, but whose main aim of wanting to leave the country is selfish and personal. To all those, we wish good riddance. If developing our Nation does not appeal to you, if bringing home glory to your nation of birth does not catch your fancy, then away with you. We have sworn to see the change that is about to hit our nation, to be a part of the change in historical ways, or to die trying.
God bless the New Nigeria.