The New Nigeria Story-1

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

Some weeks back I wrote an article on our Envisioned Nigeria. The article was read by many and elicited a lot of comments. I was impressed by the number of young Nigerians that are genuinely interested in the birth of the Nigeria of our dreams. We also all alluded to the fact that what was stopping us from greatness wasn’t lack of human talent, resources or even capital. It occured to me that the solution to the challenges facing our great country today wasn’t that there weren’t people who knew what the issues were, there are people who know and, within their own circles of influence, are causing some ripples of change. The real problem is that though majority has an opinion that things can change, they are scattered voices.

It occured to me that the first step towards National Development, is a platform that unites the many voices.  Having the same opinion doesn’t count, creating a platform where we all execute these opinions does. For example, if we all believe that Mr B is the ideal leader for Nigeria, it won’t matter if we don’t all take action and vote for him. It became apparent that we needed a critical mass of people, a cult-like structure and also a self sustaining system. We’ll need to have weekly envisioning meetings, monthly seminars and quarterly conversations. We need to drive it like a crusade, and publicize the desire and possibility of change on the mountain tops. Some people will not join because they believe it’s not profitable for them, some people will participate because there is nothing else to do. It would require many volunteers, it would require a large workforce, it will require commitment and it won’t happen overnight. If the meetings are too regular people will wear out, if the meetings were too infrequent people will loose fire. How do we make all these happen and get the critical  mass with so many odds against us? Or is it a wild goose chase…?

These thoughts got me thinking and set me on a quest to find a worthwhile solution. When I thought it through, I started by bouncing it off my colleagues at work, bouncing it off my mentors, bouncing it off some friends, and so far, all the people whose opinions matter to me have not only given it their blessings, they have indicated interest.  So what is this solution, you might ask,? I’ll share it with you here, and in many posts to come.

In my opinion, one of the most successful programs in creating the biggest critical mass out of the young people (20-40) in Nigeria today is MLM. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, but more Nigerians are online, attending seminars and even holding their own today, than ever before, and what are they all about… Network Marketing!  I have seen more people leave scamming, more people resign and take their destinies in their hands, more people going to school this year than before…why? Network Marketing! But I have also seen the downsides, many unsatisfied and unhappy people, who paid for a product they were not planning to use, just because they hoped to market it hard enough to get the financial rewards.  I wondered that it would be fantastic if I could think of a way to use the potentials of Network Marketing to drive the course of a New Nigeria, and how it would be great if we can find a way to eradicate the downsides and satisfy a majority. This wondering birthed a combination that I’m yet to present to someone, one on one, and not elicit approval or support. I know that a lot of things get lost in words on a page, so this might be a bit different…but I’ll try all the same.

The Idea…

For the past 7 months, I have been holding weekly, at a point daily, and certainly monthly seminars targeted at helping people understand how a particular Network marketing program works. I have also been invited to schools, religious meetings, people’s homes, companies e.t.c, on the merit of having benefit superior knowledge about the workings of some Network Marketing programs. Some sites have become the most frequently visited sites on the internet today… (Welcome to the… Hello Julian…) MLM sites. I have made many friends, and met many new people. We called each other, and met regularly. There has been a lot of activity without a course other than people looking for ways to profit and make ends meet. What if we can push all this activity behind a course.

What if we could still hold these seminars with as much frequency, and what if we got together to talk about was what we could do to change the public image of Nigeria, the inner perception of the Nigerian man, and take up worthy courses in building the nation? What if everytime we went online, the most popular sites on the net, placed before us, images of a better Nigeria? What if when we stay awake at night talking about the compensation boards, our language rather than mainboard, platinum or sapphire boards can be things that have to do with words that show our progression into a New Nigeria? What if the craze that goes on with some of these MLMs of people branding t-shirts, doing adverts, holding seminars and erecting websites can be done using words like – I believe in the Nigerian Dream, Imagine Nigeria in 2020, and positive re-affirming words like that? What if we make it rewarding for people to be a part of a club that will make it happen? What if we can use these rewards to create positive peer pressure, and enforce certain ideals as pre-requisites to continous membership? What if we can get the endorsements of Industry Titans and citizens of repute? What if we can retain a good part of the money going overseas back in Nigeria and use it to add value locally? What if the first members on the reward boards were parastals and sectors of the country we want to help? What if people joined a club with benefits that will be give them discounts worth 200% of their membership free, and they join the rewards program for absolutely free?

The “what if’s” gave birth to possibilities. Also with these possibilities came a lot of fear and apprehension… what if we are misconstrued, what if the powers that be make us a target to pull us down? What if our purpose gets disrupted by political forces that find us too united a voice? What if things don’t turn out as easy as they should, and the way to the realization of our dreams gives us the dreaded option of a few nights off at the local jail? In the words of our lawyer – “it shouldn’t, you have nothing to worry about”, but what if?

I gave my colleagues and friends an option of these extremes, and as of today, we are willing to take that chance and be relevant to the history of the New Nigeria. I didn’t only share it with my colleagues, I shared it with some other key people as well. I’ll give you the full gist as I write one story after another. I have people who are so passionate about this, that I am tripped, even Nigerians outside Nigeria. What you have here are the fabrics of the thoughts on which the concept of the “Next Big Thing” (hopefuly not just the next) is built. Like every new initiative, there will be a few that will catch the fire on time, and there will be people whose skepticism can only melt with time. There will be people that will join just for the gains, there will also be those, who don’t believe that anything good can come from Nigeria. We are doing all the testing, piloting and due dilligence today to avoid any statement of defamation to our country. I have pressures from every side from thousands of people who are ready to roll, but I remain unrepentant of my commitment to excellence.

Everthing is set and ready to roll, we are just dotting the final i’s and crossing the final t’s. In 10yrs to come, a lot of what would have taken place will be subject to different interpretations, you can have this for your records, as the fabrics of the intent that created the revolution. Some of us may not be as relevant then as now or vice versa, but it’s a ride I’ve made up my mind I will enjoy. We are a few long hours from pre-launch, may the future of our great nation depend on us.

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