A man must first learn to live upon the less he could earn. If a man has not acquired more than a bare existence in the years, it is because he has either failed to learn laws that govern the building of wealth, or he does not observe the laws very well. The thoughts of a young mind; are bright lights that shine forth like the meteors that oft make brilliant the sky, but the wisdom of age is like the fixed stars that shine so unchanged that the sailor may depend upon them to steer his cause. A lot of people have manipulated the truth to serve their needs, murdering those whose discoveries did not even serve their selfish ambitions. The typical ways of the African leaders that the youths adore. So funny, we mystify our leaders and see them as superhumans. The clique is full of tired and hired brains enjoying the recycling world at our request and honor.

I have come to realize in life that it is not blood that defines us; it is actually our faith. The water that we sail on is not as thick as the blood that flows in our vein. Some of us live on the notes of worthiness and others on the dreams that would never come to past. Many things happen under the sun, but so sad we settle for second best and live the life of a mediocre – all because we refuse to search within us and come up with what is buried. So, what do we see? People pretend they do not need much money when they do; some say that they can manage any job but they crave for better; some say the government is doing good and yet rants about the failure to tap from the dividends of democracy. From one stage to another, the mediocrity in us makes us mendicants. Are we going to conclude that the Almighty has wasted resources in fashioning us? No! We have just simply betrayed our own existence, purpose, and potentials. The Youths keep failing the Youths.

True, there are times when things happen and we have no control over them, but those are the times when we should stand up and clinch to our hopes. Blaming others, however, make us bitter, confused and angry. It weakens us. While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid. Many a time, we are always one decision away from turning our life around. I would rather help you in my own way than give advice on how to go around getting help. I think by now; the Africa youths would have learned that they are no longer the greatest asset that Africa has. Not only that they deceive us with the legitimacy that comes with the phrase, future leaders but with the potential fact that the youths are the greatest investment for the continent’s development. These words are very eloquent in the mouth of our leaders but hardly seen in their governance and policy implementations. Your guess is good as mine, we are not relevant to them save for election periods.

The only productive use that our leaders have deemed fit is to ensure we help them get to power at all cost. The youth sector has become a reserve army of the unemployed used by irresponsible politicians and religious bigots to perpetrate violence at all levels of intellectualism and radicalism. We are good for ‘use and dump’ purposes. After the exchange of power, we are confronted with the poser that the youths are not ready to learn nor matured enough to handle affairs.

Yes, some African youths have lost confidence in the elders and institutions of government. I begin to wonder if the narrative would not spread to the majority of the youths in the country. There are huge contradictions and gaps between the youths and the leaders. Although, there are youths committed to, and are driving change, the organizational support required for sustainability and great impact is lacking. The challenge is to build the organizations with dynamic and visionary leadership as well as a committed followership that is dedicated to change. This is what the leaders would never want us to achieve as youths. If proper leadership entails the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose, and the character which inspires confidence, where are the Africa youths with this quality?

The mystery of our continent being blessed by nature and wrecked by the very hands that should nurture it like a rare flower is daunting. I have always wondered the reason for the poorness in our leadership when we have young men and women who can stand tall among the world’s best in leadership roles. When and how did we miss it? Can we regain our glory? When? In this generation? There was a time in our history when the youths were the movers and stakeholders of African leadership as a whole. So, resting our mindset to go back to the basics has to do with seeing the reason to do so. If achieved, we then deploy the imagination to paint a mental picture of where we are heading to as youths. We have no choice than to reason with one another. We must out of relative obscurity discover our true mission and fulfill it. We cannot afford to betray our own existence again.




Whyte Habeeb Ibidapo is a Lawyer, United Nations Award winner, and Africa International Arbitration Award winner.