As the days to my return home pass, my parents have turned up the heat on my interrogation. As is expected of every parent they are anxious about my future. Even more nervous because I seem to have the least regard for what they consider the traditional path to success. I’m sure your parents have told you the same story. Study hard, get a job, work for some years, then start your own business if you can afford it. By the way I have already worked for a whole year in the UK, I am very much capable of securing and holding down a job. Sadly, there is a massive generation gap between the era our parents grew up in and the era my generation lives in today. Raise your hand if your parents still type with one finger at a time or ring you at 6am to ask how to update the operating system on their iPad.
It is very sad that most Nigerian parents are quick to cast aside the entrepreneurial aspirations of their kids on the grounds that dreams do not pay the bill. Imagine if Bill Gate’s parents insisted that he completed school? Or Steve Jobs? Or Mark Zuckerburg? Richard Branson? I am not encouraging anyone to drop out, but we must be aware that the traditional route to success is not for everyone. The power of passion must never be underestimated and parents you owe it to your children to give their dreams and aspirations your full attention.
Times are changing. William Gibson once said “The future is already here, it is just not yet evenly distributed”. With Nigerian banks and these oil companies trying to maximize their already outrageous profits, they have turned to contract hiring. There is a blatant unemployment issue in Nigeria. Have you seen how thousands of candidates flock to compete for about four openings? And lets not even get into how you have to write a million exams every time you apply for a job. It is high time parents take on the responsibility of encouraging their children to engage in self employment. I have never and will never underestimate the resourcefulness of the Nigerian population. Our nation is finally ripe for consumer products and services. I am a big fan Linda Ikeji, Jason Njoku, Gossy Ukanwoke, and so many other upcoming Nigerians promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. In the words of the great and crazy Kanye West: