4 Important Lessons From Nigeria: There’s No Such Thing As Being Static, You Either Progress Or Regress

BY MITCHELL AGHATISE||

Static:Adjective.

  1. Pertaining to or characterized by a fixed or stationary condition.
  2. Showing little or no change: a static concept; a static relationship.
  3. Lacking movement, development, or vitality.

October 1st 1960, the excitement was palpable, it felt as if someone had let out a smiling charm on the entire populace, on the roads people seemed a bit too eager to give you their version of the blueprint on how Nigeria was going to take pride of place amongst the League of Nations. It seemed too good to be true… Nigeria was on her way, and with the sureness of a plane preparing to land, we were way too sure of our economic upward climb. Indeed nobody fathomed that a crash landing could be looming.

Lesson 1: There’s No Such Thing As Being Static, You Either Progress Or Regress

Year 2013, the setting was Port Harcourt, the plane had just landed, a few shoves here and there as people jostled to get their bags from the overhead cabins first, you see there would have been no need for such bellicose behaviour if the airport was functioning properly, the thing is the airport has been ‘undergoing renovation’ for quite a while now and a reputation preceded it that if you were not out early enough then you may have the displeasure of losing your checked-in luggage to hoodlums (as there was no functioning conveyor belt, but that’s a story for another day). Mind you, this is an oil producing city with an airport that is not fit for a bus terminal in a number of countries. As we hurried out of the plane, the absence of smiles and optimism on the faces of those we encountered was discouraging, especially when viewed in light of the contrast with the optimism of October 1st 1960, where did all this go?

The reason for painting the two pictures above is to show you the effect of being stationery, when you fail to progress, evolve, develop or grow, although your environment may remain static, not so your circumstances. You see Nigeria as our case study failed to move forward and progress in many respects, now the smiling faces described in paragraph 1 are no longer evident, in their place is a permanent frown on the faces of Nigerians, depressed and resigned to fate, to think of the possibilities that exist if we had only progressed and executed our dreams leaves one in so much pain just thinking about.

Lesson 2: If Your Environment Is static, It’s Not An Excuse Not To Progress

An ‘oil company job’ was the job to get, the setting was the year 2000 the military had only just vacated power and it seemed that once more we were on an upward rise.

Charity had just gotten her dream job at an oil company, the job had its perks you see, one of those was the ‘company bus’ a gleaming new coaster bus, air conditioned as well (an air-conditioned bus in an African country in 2000 was something of a luxury); Charity had big plans, she was going to save some money in the interim as she worked and then she was going to become her own boss; she didn’t like what female businesses in the country where, in her view they were madams who had grown bored of staying home all day and in consideration of their plight their husbands had been gracious to open provision shops for them. This was not going to be her story. She had big dreams.

To be continued…

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Mitchell Aghatise is passionate about politics and people advancement especially in his home country of Nigeria, he is presently the president of Elevation Networks Leicester.

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