Have you ever been in a dark room? If you have (and I suspect that you have been), then Iâ€™m very sure you will agree with me that any form of light â€“ no matter how faint â€“ shines through, including the little illumination from mobile phones. May I now request that you return with me to this room? Thank you. Can anyone see the light coming from my phoneâ€™s screen? I doubt itâ€¦ I have only asked this to be able to explain an enduring truth: darkness is not necessarily an opportunity for the celebration of the lack of much-needed light, it is an opportunity for even the least of lights to find expression, or shine. And if the little lights can come together, they can probably produce great light â€“ which will naturally overcome darkness. Keep this on your mind as we continue on the dayâ€™s journeyâ€¦ I invite you to tighten your seatbelts as I act as the pilot of this flight, â€œFace Lift for 2006â€. Our final destination is your mind, and the mission is to stir that mind towards creative action for personal development, nation building, regional cooperation and global participation. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to â€œFace Lift for 2006â€!
Those would be my opening words when I speak at Face Lift for 2006 being put together by the Youth Hotline Network, and with support from My Best Friend and My Father’s House. The networking event and concert holds:
At: Morims Plaza Hall, Opposite “A” Division, Akure, Nigeria
On: Friday, December 30, 2005
From: 12 noon prompt
I’ll be speaking (alongside Francis Adeshina, a young CEO and Brand Consultant) on the topic, “Where are You: Positioning You for Personal Development, Nation Building and Global Competitiveness“. As my last opportunity to raise the banner of a New Nigeria in 2005, I’ll be digging deep into the heart of the national question and the role of young people in this. Is Nigeria sick? Does my yesterday determine what my tomorrow will look like? What’s my business with Nigeria? Is it okay to compete against my classmate — or be jealous when my colleagues buy new cars? What can I do when darkness looms around? Have the leaders of the nation failed us? What about resource control? Who are the true leaders of the New Nigeria? Can you recite the second stanza of the national anthem?
Join us in Akure on the 30th, or online from the 31st of December to participate in this revolution. If you miss listening to the presentation, you can read it on this blog as soon as the physical presentation is over (but add a few minutes to that because I’ll need to locate a cybercafe that would allow me to use my laptop 😉 Where are You? Let me close with this, its from the same presentation:
You and I can make it happen. We can tell the world that the pyramids in Kano, the rubber from the East and cocoa from the South West have not disappeared forever! We can assure the world that if oil brought a boom (even though I often feel like spelling the oil boom is o-i-l-d-o-o-m), then they should hold their breath for what tourism and human capital will bring. Sooner than you think, no one will bother his or her head with another regionâ€™s resources below the soil, because there are resources above each stateâ€™s soil. You and I are Nigeriaâ€™s true resources! We are the resources that should be nurtured, managed and prepared as national treasures. That, my friend, is the true meaning of resource control. Forget the percentages, greed brought us there: the greed that makes me take resources from the Niger Delta, poison their waters, degrade their environment and bribe their elders with stained wealthâ€¦ that is multinational greed! There is something called social responsibility and itâ€™s beyond annual scholarships, its beyond nature-friendly adverts, itâ€™s about appreciating the value of the land and not exploiting it with the support of the custodians of the peopleâ€™s rights.
Merry Christmas — in arrears — and I wish you a Happy New Year — in advance.