In the course of the past one year, I have been asked many times – WHY? Why are you doing this? Why Education? Why Nigeria? As the year draws to an end, I would like to use not so few words to answer this.
I have seen first hand the result of this lack of opportunities and engagement in Africa. Statistics show that in Nigeria alone, over 7 million students are currently trapped between high schools and universities. Annually this number grows by a minimum of 600,000.
This number of idle young people creates an extensive social problem in a country that is already damaged by so many social issues. Let us not get into that.
Growing up, we were all concerned with leaving to create better lives for ourselves and luckily we were able to but not many can say the same. This brings into perspective the thousands of young people with the right intentions, ideas and solutions to our national problems who are not able to get out but are trapped within a community that suppresses innovation and provides no opportunities. This also brings the question – How long would we continue to seek outside of our homeland rich in both ideas and resources?
My question now is – Do we all need to get out and escape? My heart says NO.
I am extremely passionate about this because I wish to provide opportunities for other young fellows like myself. I wish to create and give them a launchpad, provide them with the guidance and support that they need to create better lives for themselves and their immediate families without the need to escape or get out.
The challenges ahead are strong, we are already feeling it as we operate in a society where innovation is not smiled upon and many times calculated attempts are made at snuffing out the desire. Have we ever considered throwing up our hands in the air and giving up? Yes, but we will never let them win because we of a generation that seeks, knocks and breaks down barriers for the greater good.
I also know that this is a problem too big for us to take on alone. I am inspired by those I speak to everyday who wish to do something, those who have plans so little and so big to effect some change. I believe in the future of our nation because more people are interested in creating opportunities and enabling environments in ways that supersedes our many divides.