CEO of Tola GuineaFowl Ventures, Atolagbe Animashaun-who not long ago was crowned "King of GuineaFowl" has in a recent chat with journalists expressed his fears for the future of the youths of today and explained why he blames the new generation of parents from the attitude and dependency of our so called future leaders.
We are and will always be eternally grateful to our parents for the struggle, efforts and sacrifices made over us your children. It is every parent's hope that they reap the fruits of their labor and I pray that you do reap the fruit of your labors. We pray that we may never cause you sadness and pain or sorrow or shed tears over us. May we fulfil all your expectations and even exceed them.
You are our guardians and tutors and we look up to you as our gods here on earth. Over the past decade, looking closely at the Youths and their attitude have been programmed to place more emphasis on getting a certificate while shunning getting a skill or learning a handwork.
Which was not so when our parents were being brought up. Our parents suffered and really worked hard to put us where we are now, those who learned a skill were totally loyal and served their masters humbly in order to before master's themselves. We had doctors and professors who parents were mere handimen or very small scale traders and yet they strived to ensure that their children came out alright.
Some of us were told and shown photos of our Parents freedom when they graduated after learning a skill and even then the pride and joy were evident on the faces of our parents' parent. Where is that joy and honor now in learning a skill now?
The parents of today have this very dangerous saying that is capable of ruining the future of the Youths: "I don't my child to suffer like I suffered." In my own opinion and wisdom that saying is very wrong because what ones suffers to get is what one will cherish and hold dear for a long time. Be it knowledge or money! So many companies and legacies have bitten the dust because of this upbringing and attitude of the Youths of nowadays. No one keeps and maintains your name and legacy as well as your children, it's your work and deeds that will make you a name and your children should improve your legacy that will keep your name relevant forever.
We want our parents now to go back to that old school up bringing and training that was used to bring them up to were they are now. Education has almost made us eschew the gifts and talents of our children. Even back then, most of our parents, like mine who were civil servants still had farms of theirs and other skills they did on the side.
One of the major reasons why youths of today are wayward and lack direction is because of the absense of discipline and contentment. And this is the work of the parents, I miss the upbringing of the old days. Parents of the old days planted the seed of contentment, humility and fear of elders which is so rare in young people these days. I mean the youths of these days have no fear at all. The fear we mean is that the fear attached to respect, the youths have absolutely no respect for their parents or the consequences of their actions. The way we were trained even now that I am married with my own children, I still fear my parents as much as I use to when I was older.
Let's take the menace of the internet fraud perpetuated by 4 in every 10 Nigerian male young men now. Imagine a 16 Year Old who has no job or business bringing home a phone worth over half a million and being welcomed by his parents without adequate investigation and interrogation. Some of these despicable parents go as far as asking these children for money, can you imagine such madness. If I had brought home a phone my parents didn't buy me in my teenage years, they would have had me arrested until I could explain to them and the cops satisfactory where I got the phone or money to buy the phone.
Taking a look at Messi and Ronaldo, they are known all over the four corners of the world. They are not business men, they are skilled men. They served, trained and suffered and pained over their chosen career and skills. Look at what they are now they are idols to millions of people over the world.
Permit me to use myself as an example, and I hope both parents and youths can learn. My father too was of the opinion that I must be educated and be a civil servant to be successful in life. My father was a medical doctor who worked for the Kwara State Government for 30 years, growing up he wanted me to follow his lanes and end up as a Doctor even though he always sent you to his farm to supervise them. It was in the period that I fell in love with having a skill and being independent and learnt how to serve and work hard. I never for one saw my self as a supervisor, I made myself a laborer, worked and got paid by my father just as the other laborers. To cut the long story short, I learnt a skill and over the past two decades have built it into a business that now employs graduates. This was possible due to my service, hardwork, determination, humility and relationship to God. What happened between those 20 years is another story for another day.
Parents of this generation place more emphasis on getting a certificate and getting an acceptable salary while forgetting that having a skill is even more paramount to survival in our Country and economy.
Pupils are made to go to school, extra lessons, summer coaching all the while focusing solely on education wasting all the time over years that could have been used to learn and perfect a skill. This is why we have so many jobless graduates and so many ageing graduates who are now struggling and hurrying to learn a skill to survive.
Nowadays, we have bankers who are tailors, accountants who who are poultry Farmers, it seems too late that our minds are beginning to open to the importance of having a skill. Even those who earn acceptable salaries have realized that one can survive and build a future alone, they have begun opening side businesses or learning a skill. Yet we have thousands of young people who are making the same mistake while being encouraged by their parents.
I appreciate the youth for their fear of God, look at most of the religious grounds we have today are all filled with the youths. That mindset was solely put in place by our parents because it was instilled in them early on. I urge the parents of today to encourage and prioritize the acquisition of a skill or handiwork. Have you even imagined if there was a sudden and severe scarcity of artisans of a particular discipline or more. For example imagine what would happen if there were no electricians, barbers and farmers anywhere in the world to be found. Chaos would be a mild word to describe what they would be like.
In conclusion, I want to point out a few things about being having genuine expertise in a skill or handiwork. Independence and freedom are the two things you will enjoy the most when you have a skill or handiwork. Having a skill and being proficient at that skill will bring you honor and respect, people will come from miles away because they have heard of your expertise.
I would also like us to ourselves add some respect and prestige in having a skill. Anyone who doesn't have a job or skill will most probably end up being a thief or criminal. Have a handiwork and being good at it is like planting a seed that no one knows where it will germinate and grow to bless you. Permit me to insist that having a skill or handiwork be made compulsory, I don't know why there's this lack of foresight. Having a certificate alone is like putting all one's egg in a basket that doesn't even belong to one in the first place. We all know how banks do major layoffs and sack thousands of people at once out of the blue, who do you think we find it easier to cope and survive with a salary for months: the banker who learned a skill over the years or the one who has nothing else but his certificate. Parents and Youths, remember barbers have been travelled out of the country by customers who valued their expertise in their handiwork or skill. Go learn a handiwork today!
Boma Al Onyanabo