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Bride Prices and Numerous Marriage Ceremonies and How They Affect the Realisation of the Full Potentials of the Nigerian Youth: A Need for Societal Change or Reform by Chima Williams Iheme

Bride Prices Image from Ynaija.com

Bride Prices Image from Ynaija.com

There is no need to bore you with the definition of marriage because I assume we all know what it is. My task in this paper is to rather draw attention to a few issues that might be of concern to some youth as it relates to marriage – an important institution in every society.

It is common knowledge that the Nigerian youth are faced with multifarious challenges which start to obviously manifest from their early stages of life. Owing to the lack of sufficient basic infrastructures, individual progress is slower compared to some countries in the world. Here is a hypothetical example – an average Nigerian child would graduate from high school at the age of 18 years. He or she may take an average of two years to scale through UTME and other related requirements before gaining admission into a higher institution, and may spend six years on an average to complete university studies due to ASUU’s repeated strikes and other related issues. He/she graduates at 27 and takes an average of two years from graduation to complete the compulsory NYSC. It then further takes him an additional three years to get a job. So he starts to work at 32, and of course a job that pays him N100.000 or above is well celebrated and he may be counted as lucky.

Then comes the main point of this paper – bride prices and marriage ceremonies. Although these two practices that are tied to the celebration of marriages differ from one state to another in Nigeria, a common denominator could however be found, to lend credence to this discussion. The following facts would hardly be disputed: marriage is of two kinds in Nigeria, namely, marriage under customary law and marriage under the Marriage Act, what is known as English marriage. The latter is often accompanied with church blessings and wedding feasts.

In Nigeria, marriage, especially under customary law is very important and often requires the attention and consent of many members or stakeholders of both families. Bride price is paid, a lot of quantity of wine is provided, food stuffs in large quantities are submitted, an amount of money is requested to settle one thing or another, and these are finally capped with a traditional feast, called “Igba nkwu” in the case of the Igbos. In fact, a list of items of what to purchase is handed to the groom and one or two members of the bride’s family would assume the duty to ensure that items on the list are completely provided and handed in. Sometimes these appointees that ensure that the items on the list are completely provided go about it as though they are bailiffs enforcing a court judgment; and this many times injure the feelings of the groom and his family which may linger on forever. From personal observations and interviews, it may cost about half a million naira or more to satisfy the imposed requirements before getting married under customary law. It is compulsory, so to speak, to marry under the custom or else the couple may not be recognised as married in their respective communities and their parents might be ‘booed’ or even prevented from participating in subsequent traditional ceremonies or joining certain traditional groups by their heads and ‘elders’ as having done the unacceptable. Now because marriage couples do not get marriage certificates under customary law marriage and usually would have to face the problem of proof of marriage outside their communities, coupled with the undesirable effects of customary law marriage with respect to devolution of property, couples who have married under custom are further forced to marry under the Act or engage in church blessings. Mind you however, that a church blessing which does not comply with the Marriage Act’s stipulations is not a recognised marriage under the Nigerian law. Here also, they are not spared from expenses. Having wedded in the registry or church, they are expected to throw a wedding feast, where the general public most times is invited to come to eat and drink. It is inconceivable that after a particular church blessing, a couple wouldn’t host a wedding feast. This is because many invited and uninvited guests are in attendance mainly because of the feast (popularly called “reception”) and not that they are so interested in the couple’s union. You will confirm this by the type of gifts many attendees present to the couple in exchange for the couple’s customised gifts: inferior wall clocks, cheap plates and flasks, plastic cups and trays, empty brown envelopes, to mention but a few. From observations and interviews from some married persons, the cost of organising a wedding feast after church blessing or Act marriage is about a million naira, to be modest.

Here comes the problem. The youth are faced with late school graduation; they are faced with the challenge of unemployment for a long time after school. When they pick up a job at the average age of 32, at N100,000 per month (if at all they find), they probably may save for so long before they are able to come up with over a million naira that would enable them get married. On average, most people would work and save for 3 years and above before contemplating to get married at the average age of 35. Due to high cost of living, because one provides almost all his basic needs of life, coupled with the responsibility to contribute to what you could call family solidarity support, little or nothing is saved, and the little is never enough for marriage ceremonies. This makes some youth to either take loans from family and friends or engage in ‘fast runs’ in order to raise the necessary sum required to get married. After wedding, many get so indebted and cannot attempt any meaningful venture that could yield profits, because for a long time, they will be servicing debts that arose from weddings.

But why should getting married be made so financially burdensome as to make young men to borrow large sums? Why should people be made to unwillingly borrow money to feed crowds of people and afterwards get so indebted? Instead, people should be borrowing money to fund their education or start a business, and not to get married feeding the general public in the name of customary and ‘church’ marriage ceremonies. If you stretch this further, you may realise that this is one of the reasons banks are not willing to lend money to unmarried youth to start up businesses without almost impossible collaterals because they fear that the borrowed sum might be diverted to satisfy marriage issues which of course don’t yield profits and defeats the purpose of borrowing in the first place.

There are consequences of getting married late especially where there is no social benefit system to take care of each citizen. This is particularly those who do not have viable means of getting the basics of life due to the untimely loss of their bread winners. When people are forced to marry late due to these imposed financial burdens, they bear children late and may not be in good positions both in finance and health to adequately raise their children and cater for their needs when those children are in their 20’s and obviously need money for education and overall advancement in life. This is more serious when it is considered that the average life expectancy in Nigeria according to the 2011 World Bank study is 51 years, meaning that an average person who got married at 35 may only be with his children for a period of 16yrs. Why then should we not attempt to increase this number of years to (16+X) years by lifting the financial burdens that impede the possibility of getting married earlier? There are a lot of compelling reasons to do so:

    (a) the current concepts of marriage with the attendant ceremonies were not fixed by those who are currently living but by ancestors whose society differed significantly with ours today.
    (b) the current monetary cost of getting married is unrealistic and incompatible with the present Nigerian economy where there is high youth unemployment.
    (c) manhood and maturity to marry are wrongly measured by one’s ability to provide for these costs, but then it is forgotten that the real cause of impecuniousness of most youth is due to the overall poor economy and high unemployment rate. A person with an idea may not be able to galvanise them into proceeds if he cannot raise sufficient credit to test-run his ideas, since no one can ordinarily create something out of nothing.
    (d) as a result of the foregoing points, many children do not tap from the youthful energies of their parents and this is worse in their 20s. Of course, these things repeat themselves from one generation to another and keep us at the nadir of collective progress.
    (e) there is no extraordinary benefit that is gained by celebrating two systems of marriage with all the imposed costs. Would it be less of a marriage if these expenses are given a low haircut to fit with our economic realities?
    (f) it should become socially acceptable for people to marry under one system so as to save cost. This further means that customary marriage should begin to bear some formalistic features like creating a registry that could issue parties with a marriage certificate so as to ease the burden of proof on a person claiming to be married under custom. As it stands now, one would have to call witnesses all the time to prove the existence of a customary law marriage and this is unrealistic for the youth who travel far and wide beyond their immediate communities.
    (g) In this era that the equality of male and female genders is more seriously emphasized, the concept of bride price ought to have outlived its usefulness because ‘price tag’ suggests sale/purchase and such has become disgusting in reference to the female folk. And for those who may want to argue that bride price is symbolic, how come the price is sometimes fixed considering the educational achievement of the bride, meaning that the bride price for a university graduate is higher than that of a primary school leaver. Is that not discrimination on the basis of education? The different prices that depend on the bride’s educational achievement as practiced in some customs further reveals the economic motive behind the collection of bride prices, as some families see it as a time to partially recoup the educational expenses of a female child. This is wrong! And I challenge ladies who seek gender equality to seriously take this up in any lawful way that they can.

My position is that high bride prices and marriage ceremonies have become a huge pain in the neck both on short and long terms to the Nigerian youth. Even though, appreciably, these practices have become social norms and individuals are afraid to depart from them for fear of being discriminated in one way or another, the time has come to take bold steps towards untying these knots that have impeded youth’s progresses. Of course many of us do acknowledge that it is currently a problem especially when our weak economy and high unemployment rates are considered. I’m therefore proposing that the youth who are the bearers of this burden should not continue to condone it. Any custom that imposes high and unrealistic burden on those who inherited it should be revised to meet with current realities. A forceful awareness at all levels needs to be created to change the mentality of many Nigerians so that the important recipe to be required for a marriage union becomes whether both parties LOVE each other and are willing to spend their lives together. It shouldn’t be whether they love each other as well as ready to satisfy the monetary cost which of course is in millions of naira.

Finally, the mere fact that a particular practice is “ome n’ala” – an Igbo expression for social norm, does not mean that it cannot be changed or revised. We have changed so many of these norms in the past because at any time a custom outlives its usefulness, it is the duty of the current generation to revise or change it. The duty to revise or change a repressive custom does not lie on those who first introduced it but are no longer alive, but on those who are alive and are the bearers of its harshness. The thought of getting married by youth ought to inspire happiness not fears due to the huge financial implications. This is not just a story because we are all familiar with these issues as almost every youth I have interacted with raised this issue of high cost, which has prompted this write-up. The time to review these practices is now, and now is the time to do something about it.

Chima Williams Iheme is a Nigerian trained lawyer. He’s currently a PhD candidate at the Central European University, Budapest/New York, in the field of International Business Law, – with more emphasis on Secured Transactions Laws of Canada, United States and Nigeria. Apart from Business Studies, he’s also keenly interested in the empowerment and development of the Nigerian Youth. Facebook Connect: Williams Iheme

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To My Fellow Youth of Our Dear Nation Chima Williams Iheme

Image from Freelanceglobalmedia.com

Image from Freelanceglobalmedia.com

I have a few things to remind us about. Have you realised yet that the term “getting employed” is proverbially diverse with meanings and remains always a matter of interpretation? The mainstream understanding about getting employed usually refers to a situation where a person secures a paid salary job as against when she or he engages in some lawful activities which as well bring profits. The idea that it is the duty of government to create jobs ought to have outlived its usefulness in an economic system that is akin to capitalism, to embrace the
much more useful idea that the growth of our economy remains actively in the hands of private individuals. The time of dirigisme in which the state wholly controls the economy has passed, although our government has still got a lot to contribute in our economic growth by using the nation’s resources to provide basic infrastructures like steady power, security, good roads, etc that will ensure the smooth running of businesses and employment creations, as well as attract foreign direct investors. When basic infrastructures are in place, thereby reducing the
cost of doing business and increasing the probability of business successes, acquiring sufficient credit from banks and venture capitalists may become easier than we have now.

The idea of doing business and expanding the economy ought to be taught and heeded to like an article of faith by youth whose country is heavily dependent on diminishing natural resources as the major source of its income. Of course, the discovery of crude oil and natural gas has perhaps been of great disservice to us so far as it is highly responsible for the escalation of bribery and corruption in our system. We have abandoned our culture for hard work and perseverance which thrived in the 70s and once kept us as the highest producers/exporters of
some agricultural products in Africa, in preference to being peddlers of the “national cake” syndrome with all of its ravaging effects. We all know that with agriculture for instance in the 70’s our naira currency ranked higher in value than the US dollar and Nigeria was home for many foreigners who came for greener opportunities. Many of our state-of-the-art universities in terms of structures (which of course are now lacking maintenance) were built
with agricultural proceeds. In fact, since the oil boom, our country has not been able to replicate the quality of most of the universities that were constructed in the 70’s. Our educational system was viable and life was far better than it is now. If we had sustained that tempo of growth without the interference of oil boom, we all could guess where we would be now. Or the oil boom would have become a blessing if we had built and sustained transparent institutions that could frustrate the antics of corruption.

One crucial lesson could however be drawn from the three decades of economic experiments since the 70s. The lesson is that the economic betterment of the average Nigerian cannot depend on crude oil and natural gas but on something more steadfast. It’s time we begin to retrace our steps to the junction where we got diverted so as to unlearn certain attitudes to life as well as embrace new ones that could be of sustainable value to our overall growth.

As I already stated, we must have the basic infrastructures in place before doing business becomes a viable tool that could help unscrew our current economic quagmire. This goes to say that we must fulfill our duty to elect true leaders who can make good use of our national resources to provide our basic needs as a country. We must not assist politicians to rig elections because that way we endanger our lives as well as help them to screw up younger generations. Part of our duty instead should be how to become true watchdogs to the system and prevent politicians from rigging elections, and not becoming vehicles through which elections are rigged. We must learn from the experiences of those nations who have walked on the painful path of actualising democracy but are now reaping the fruits of their perseverance and labour. When ASUU goes on strike in agitation for improved education for the system, when we have no steady power supply even though we have abundant natural gas, when our
loved ones die in motor accidents due to bad roads, when they die in hospitals due to ill-equipped facilities, when they die as a result of consuming dangerous products in the market because someone who could have done quality
checks was bribed, when they die on plane crashes for the same reason, when they get attacked and killed by armed robbers or get kidnapped due to poor security apparatuses, and so on, we the youth are partly responsible
for all this if we have in one way or the other assisted in rigging elections and implanting visionless leaders in positions or have watered the seeds of injustices through our collective docility. It is high time we stopped being impersonal about these collective issues that are haunting us badly whether you consider yourself as rich or poor because no one can be truly happy in an unhappy environment. We must never assist anyone who is further dragging us to economic abyss to succeed by helping him/her to rig elections. The youth with their formidable valour can actually bring about a meaningful change to any system if they decide to realise the truth and pursue it no matter where it leads. We must help ourselves now and the generations to come by actively ensuring that good leaders are elected and held accountable.

When we have elected credible leaders, we must follow them up to ensure accountability. If we were doing this, we wouldn’t have lost $US400billion dollars so far to oil theft as the World Bank’s study revealed. Yet a graduate youth corp member goes home with a monthly salary of N19,800 while the country can afford to pay a senator close to N12million per month, and we still beg our senators to make good laws or at least revise the ones we copied from countries long time ago so that we can move forward. You see, we must not be docile when leaders don’t live up to their mandates, because we always are the ultimate victims of their non-performance. There is nothing wrong and illegal in organising peaceful rallies to register disagreement with government actions and policies or speak out without bad sentiments in the media so as to spread true awareness and achieve a more concerted effort to fight against
corruption and injustices. No one can do it for us but us. Remaining afraid to act is what has kept us in this pitiable condition. We are now a shadow of ourselves as a nation and life has become nightmarish to the youth whose ambitions have been greatly debilitated due to the misuse of our national resources. If and when our truly elected leaders emerge and put enough infrastructures in place, I bet that foreign direct investors and venture capitalists will start to flood into our country to invest because we have a high population of 170 million people whose patronages can make any business to blossom. Our population could become a blessing instead of the burden it currently is, but we all must first help to fix our home before the blessing aspect materialises.

Then we must begin to learn how to create wealth and employment by doing legitimate businesses of our choices. An economy that is 90 percent dependent on crude oil and gas exports is as dangerous as a time bomb which we all are responsible to prevent from
detonation. Our agricultural, health, education, in fact none of our sectors is fully tapped yet, and these are lucrative areas of business that can match with everyone’s formal or informal skills. Many of us nowadays (including those who studied agriculture in higher institutions) shy away from engaging in agriculture due to their polluted idea about being employed. They are ashamed of being called farmers. Don’t you realise it yet that we need to change our mindset because in many countries farmers are indeed the richest set of individuals. The truth is that agriculture which brought us to limelight in the 70’s, cures two main problems. It reduces unemployment as well as provides enough food for our teeming population. When we begin to engage fully in productive activities (and not merely wait for the “national cake” or subjectively deciding on issues based on ethnic lines) it will help to restore the hard work and perseverance values we once had in abundance in the 70’s and then could pass them on as legacies to generations to come. Until a kid in the kindergarten stops to say that s/he wants to become a politician, then we have not tried enough to restore these inestimable value which are cardinal to success. Surely we all will continue to be the ultimate losers, and may not be exempted when our historians begin to write the names of failures.

Chima Williams Iheme is a lawyer in Nigeria and currently a doctoral candidate with research focus on secured transactions law at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He is interested in Human Rights issues as well issues which touch on overall human development.

Our Values, Our Nation and the Call for a Revolution by Gold Ijeoma Malasowe

Positive change

Positive change

Recently, there has been a consistent call by civil society, political groups, activists and individuals alike for a revolution to overhaul governance in Nigeria. This call has been mainly due to maladministration of public offices, misappropriation of public funds, corruption, insincerity and ineffectiveness on the part of public office holders. This call, though in itself not bad; I dear to say it is a mere scratching of the problem on the surface rather than cutting the tree from its root. This leads me to the question – What root?

By “root” here I mean “values”, which I would like to define here as principles one holds sacrosanct.

A wise man once said, the things people place value on determine who the people are, what the people get and the leadership they deserve. In other words, the quality of a nation is determined by the quality of its values.  This is because it is the foundation in which any nation stands, for it is a common knowledge that the strength of a building is determined by its foundation.

Pastor Sam Adeyemi will always say that the developed countries didn’t fall from the sky; what made them different are the things they place value on which is the development of the INDIVIDUAL. I am persuaded to agree with him especially when I look at countries like the United States of America, China, Germany, Canada, Japan, and of recent Ghana; to mention but a few whose policies and attitude are mainly geared towards development of the individual.

Recently, I have been trying to closely observe the ordinary Nigerian wherever I go and quite amazingly discovered that most Nigerians place value on money over the individual; little wonder that an ex-convict of criminal charge of misappropriation of public funds will be celebrated by the same public defrauded.   Where does that lead us to? The point I am trying to make here is that many of the people clamouring for the revolution are not different from the perpetrators of these ills, whether civil society or individual. Is this not a case of a dog eating its own vomit?

Another ready example is our electioneering process where the people sacrifice the quality of the candidate for the highest bidder and turns back to complain when these office holders decide to “reap the dividends of their investments”.  The dearth of facilities and human resources in our schools (whether public or private schools), our recreational centres, our libraries, the nonchalant attitude to work by the ordinary Nigerian, the insincerity of the market woman on the street and the bus drivers on our roads, and our attitude to sanitation.  All these unwholesome attitudes lead to one deduction – that we do not care for the next person – little wonder the increase in the alarming spate of kidnapping, internet fraud and armed robbery; and yet we clamour for a revolution. So I ask again are we truly ready for a revolution, when we do not care for our fellow man?

Interestingly, it is noteworthy to state here that the best asset of the developed world is not its natural resources but its HUMAN resources; that is to say, the development of a nation is dependent on the level of development of its people, which is not just a function of the government but also a function of the individual and collective attitude of the people towards one another.  Let us not forget that it is not the President that sells in the marketplace or the Minister that lectures in our classrooms – it is you and I that largely affect the people we meet every day in the street.

I would like to stop here as there are too many things to talk about, but I plead with us to stop for a second and reflect on what we truly need – a revolution against government or a revolution of values? Let’s remember that God created man to work the garden and take care of it and also to be a creator, thus the Nigeria we desire, we create.

I desire a better Nigeria! I crave for one and I work towards one. But honestly, I can’t do it all alone and that is why I believe that you who happen to be reading this piece would share the same desire and it is this belief that motivated the writing of this article. ALWAYS remember that our leaders are drawn from us and not imported from a foreign land; thus our nation reflects our individual values. Therefore, if you want to see a better Nigeria like me, be a better Nigerian for you are the Nigeria the world sees.   Join hands with me as we work towards our dream and our future, and I believe and know that God is with us. EXPRESS THE GOLD IN YOU!

Ijeoma

Gold Ijeoma Malasowe is a Lawyer. Currently a national leader in Golden Minds Nigeria, his profound patriotism never goes unnoticed, anywhere, anytime, any day. Catch him on Facebook: Ijeoma Malasowe.                                                                                      

When Your Best is Not Good Enough by Ken Ejiofor

Best of the Best

In life, there is always a better place to be as no one is in a perfect situation. But the pride in man most times doesn’t allow him accept the fact that he is deficit in certain areas. You often hear this statement; “I have tried my best”. For this reason, men quit from putting in more energy, as they realise that their best has not yielded the expected result.

 

Do you know that the statement quoted above mostly come when you are frustrated in what you are doing and at the point of giving up? “You may never know how far man can go until you decide to go further” says a wise man. But how many persons are ready to go the extra mile especially in a course like ours – ‘Nation-building’, where our reward is not immediate and cannot be readily measured. Do you know that some of the founding fathers of our Nation risked their lives while others went as far as paying the ultimate price for us to be what we are today? It is your turn today to secure and improve on what we met.

It is not difficult to list out the various problems facing us as a nation today. But how many possible solutions have you listed? And how many have you started working towards as an individual? The desire for a better Nigeria is good but it should not be your best. Crave to be part of the change!  Having hundreds of vision concerning our glorious future is very good but it should not be the best you can offer. Start living the dream with all passion and enthusiasm.

Being a member of Golden Minds should not be the best you can offer. Get to the point where you will be the most valuable member with your active participation and contributions. Reading this article should not be the very best you can do, but endeavour to meditate on every sentence and decide to have a positive change of attitude towards rebuilding Nigeria. The truth is that, the better your attitude towards making impact in life, the better life becomes for you.

As rightly put by an American Clergyman, Charles R. Swindoll, “Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it”.

If you take a moment to consider the above quotation, you will discover that all that you have faced as a Nigerian is just 10 per cent compared to a better life which will result from the 90 per  cent of how we respond to the ills in the land. In one of my write-ups ‘Nigeria today; a blessing in Disguise’, I had made it clear that the situation in the country today gives room to everyone with a vision to shine because every sector is calling for a messiah.

However, this could only be possible if you have the right attitude towards Nigeria. Never conclude that your current best is good enough. Whenever you achieve a particular goal, set a higher one. Thankfully, the YES! Newsletter this January has so much for Nigerian youths on personal goal setting!

As you work tirelessly to make impact in Nigeria, you are 90 percent becoming better as an individual. Whenever you are confronted with challenges and the mindset that you have tried your best tries to hold you back, always speak back to your inner man that your best is not good enough. Let’s go higher this 2013!

 

Ken

Ken

Ken Ejiofor is the Project Director, Golden Minds Nigeria. The Founding President of Golden Minds on Campus in UNIBEN in 2004, he loves travelling, public speaking, and reading motivational books. He has an ambition to be a divine Minister of God’s word and be a strong voice and influence in government towards making things right. You can connect him  on Facebook: Ken Ejiofor

 

Challenge Yourself with Golden Minds: your mind is a terrible thing to waste!

The Challenge

 

No matter the ugly picture we see with our eyes today, our minds are golden with great dreams for Nigeria. We do not look down upon ourselves because we are young but remain conscious of what we can do. Neither do we overestimate ourselves, but we look inwards to discover the limitless possibilities we see with our minds. And by working with the best support, what we see with our golden minds can become what we hold with our hands for the myopic out there to see.

With the golden pillars of Leadership, Self-empowerment, Patriotism and Nation-building, we are strongly repositioning ourselves. Upon these pillars, we can stand up as Nigerian youths and say we refuse to be the over 70% of Nigerian graduates ending up in the jobless market every year, because with our golden minds we can create jobs with great entrepreneurial spirit! Upon these pillars, we can stand up as Nigerian youths and say we refuse to be the prostitutes surviving in the streets of Italy, Spain or Libya, because with our golden minds we can live our dreams by putting our immense energy into the right places that guarantee a brighter future! Upon these pillars, we can stand up as Nigerian youths and say we refuse to be the desperate immigrant dying in the Sahara desert in search of “greener pastures”, because with our golden minds inside us are boundless “greener pastures” where other citizens of the world will come in search of limitless opportunities in a true global village!

Upon these pillars, we can stand up as Nigerian youths and say we refuse to be the thousands of Internet scammers who are blinded by self-destructive materialism, because with our golden minds we can become the thousands of Nigerian Bill Gates the world is waiting for! Upon these pillars, we can stand up as Nigerian youths and say we refuse to be the political thugs destroying our democracy with electoral violence because, with our golden minds we can make the choice of exercising our rights not just to vote but be voted for, and empower the common man to exercise his right without selling his conscience to the corrupt! Upon these pillars, we can stand up as Nigerian youths and say we are the leaders of today, not just tomorrow, because today was tomorrow just yesterday – the future is now!

With solid support from the golden pillars, we are challenging you as a Nigerian youth out there to take your future into your hands! We cannot and must not continue to watch our lives become sacrificial lambs in the hands of a few. As a Nigerian youth, you are also a leader in whatever position you find yourself. With the golden pillars of Leadership, Self-empowerment, Patriotism and Nation-building, you have power in your hands, empowerment in your mind, a patriotic spirit in your heart, and in your visionary eyes, is the focus on building Nigeria. Our golden pillars have not been built to rebuild Nigeria for you, but they have been built for you to rebuild Nigeria by rebuilding yourself as a Nigerian. We believe that when a single mind with great leadership potentials, better empowerment, and an inspired patriotism is completely built, he singularly has a positive multiplier effect on others around him that brings about nation-building!

A Goldenmind is that Nigerian youth who takes the LEAD in EMPOWERING himself with a PATRIOTIC spirit that inspires him towards NATION-BUILDING., and in so doing, he has been nurtured to become a patriotic leader who is inspired to build Nigeria. This is what our four golden pillars have been specially built for: to challenge and support individual minds such as you to become aware of his or her golden potentials knowing that he or she is a leader in his or her own right and must start something no matter how small. Our golden pillars are built to challenge you to develop the discovered potential in you by using the innate value for personal development, which the pillar of Self-empowerment particularly provides, to inspire, engage and sustain a patriotic spirit in you so that you have the living consciousness of thinking about Nigeria and how you can help by being an active agent of change because you are now an empowered citizen driven by the need for positive impact; and lastly, with the all-inclusive pillar of Nation-building, your personal development into gold with the value of being a great asset to you and your country translates to national development and advancement.

Our four golden pillars, Leadership, Self-empowerment, Patriotism and Nation-building, are the support systems that our noble vision of making Nigeria a golden land is placed. By building your mind with these pillars, and the opportunities they provide, your passion for change becomes a self-driven commitment that always finds ready support outside you – because we are like-minds – we share many things in common!     

Stand solidly

Remember, a Goldenmind is that Nigerian youth who takes the LEAD in EMPOWERING himself with a PATRIOTIC spirit that inspires him towards NATION-BUILDING; and in so doing, he has been nurtured to become a patriotic leader who is inspired to build Nigeria! What drives us is the public good, public interest and social transformation, and you are the most important agent of that change!

With our golden pillars, you get to the support you need to stand solidly on the top of your dreams and aspirations as a goal-driven Nigerian youth. Your brighter future gives Nigeria a brighter chance of getting ahead because you are moving ahead. Your great country, Nigeria, is moving to the next level because you are on top of your game!

That’s why at Golden Minds we always say: because your golden mind is real, the golden land is even more real than ever. So start something of your own. Get to work! Stop waiting for the government to do it for you, you can get it done yourself: that’s why you have solid support with our golden pillars! The future is now, and it is in your hands! The steps are simple: be a leader because you are one in your own right; get empowered because by so doing, you can power Nigeria to working again; and if you are patriotic, your positive and transformational leadership coupled with your self-empowered mind will guarantee nation-building. Every time a true Nigerian like you succeeds, Nigeria wins! Start succeeding today and win gold for your country!

The Secrets Behind a Successful Youth 1 by Emeke Nwaoboli

This article by Emeke Nwaoboli takes us through a journey to success by showing us some of the secrets we need to open its door just like a key…


success key

Perhaps you might have wondered
why some youths are successful, while
others are not. Perhaps you might have
been working hard but your hardwork
has not been crowned with success;
then know that you are doing the right thing in the wrong way.

It is so unfortunate that many of our
youths are working like the ant and
expecting a huge result like the
elephant. Luckily, you are in the right
place to know the secrets behind a successful youth.

Do you know why some of our youths
don’t succeed? Most youths do not
succeed because they fail to plan; and
some other times, they plan but don’t
work towards it. This life is like a novel, you have to edit it before publishing it.
This implies that for you to be a
successful youth, you must know and
abide by certain success principles. These success secrets under-listed
:

Have a Golden Dream:

I do tell people that a man without a golden
dream is like a living corpse. For you to
be a successful youth, the first secret is
that you must have a golden dream.
I know you might be asking yourself what it mean to have a golden dream. A golden dream is defined as
the bright things you wish to happen to
you in life. Moreover, it also means the
act of discovering your potentials.
Most of our modern youth do not have
a dream, and you can never be successful when you don’t know your
destiny, your talents and your potentials.
I remember when I was a child, my class
teacher would always ask me what I would love to be in future; then i would
say, “I wish to be an Electrical Engineer”. However, as I grew up, I discovered
that I had the potentials of writing, and
not that of an engineer. I also
discovered that my destiny was beyond
mere words; so I took these secrets of
being a successful youth.

Have a Vision

Vision is the act of
going on a mission in order for you to
acheive your ambition. When you have
known your dream, pursue your
mission and never give up on your vision.
The reason why some of our youths
are not successful is that they live on
imitation. Some youths change their
vision and imitate other people’s ambition when
they see them becoming successful and celebrated. Please, know that for you to be successful,
never imitate others. Stick to your
vision and never give up on your
mission.

Choose or “Filter” Your Friends

Most of your
friends can never ameliorate you.
Rather, they will deteriorate you. Mind
the company you keep; those you think
are your best friends could end up being your
worst enemies. My uncles always advise me to make
friends or get close to those older than I am, because I stand
to benefit more from them. Associate with minds that are more experienced and knowlegeable
than you are in areas you that will add value to your growing mind. So, if you want to be successful, “filter
” your friends and don’t tell them your
greatest secrets. Remember, it is always better to have friends older than you,
because you will be surprised how many great
things you will get to learn from them.

Be Valuable

Successful people
always add “able” to their value to
make them valuable. Being a youth of
success is good, but you must add
extra to your “ordinary ” to make you
extraordinary. This secret of success requires that you
must be a youth needed, and not a
youth in need.

Unfortunately, there are some youths who appear to be successful but not valuable. As a golden
youth, you must be valuable before you ever think of being successful. The creation of value invariably attracts success. Without value, one is valueless. I
remember when the Goldsmith
who interviewed me before I joined Golden
minds asked me, “what do you have to
offer this country?”

In essense, the salient point is that as a youth, you must have something to offer to your family,
community, organisation, country e.t.c.
John F. Kennedy agrees with this when
he said, “Ask not what your country
can do for you; but ask what you can
do for your country”. Many of us say that Nigeria is bad! Now,
the question is “what have you done to
change this nation?” Do not criticise
your country when you have done nothing
to ameliorate it. Nigeria is a good nation with great
people.

Expect Obstacles

The journey to
success is not a bed of roses; it is a road
of obstacles! Many people give up when
they meet an obstacle on their way to
success. This clearly shows that
they were expecting miracles. An easy way up! Do not expect miracles on your way to success,
but expect obstacles here and there.
“An obstacle will not say you should
not tackle, but it’s left to you to spread
your tentacles and use your spectacle to
tackle your obstacle” once instructed Austus Ofmat Nwanne.

Of course, apart from the once stated above, there are few other secrets behind a
successful youth. In Behind a Successful Youth 2, I will gladly let you know the
remaining secrets that will make you
successful in life.
Stay patriotic! Stay Golden!

Emeke Nwaoboli is a member of Golden Minds. He is a young and passionate Nigerian youth whose vision is to positively impact the youth and live in a united Nigeria. You can contact the author through his email: emekanwaoboli@yahoo.com
He will be happy to hear from you.

Acts of Golden Minds: Reaching for Greater Heights by Ken Ejiofor

There is no static position in life, either
you are making progress or you are
regressing. The day a man stops living for the
future he begins to die. There is
always a greater height to attain. There are opportunities everywhere
for those who choose to see. You may
never know how far a man can go
until you risk going further from
where others stop.

When you make
up your mind to move ahead, the necessary strength needed will be
supplied supernaturally. It is nature’s
law of life. “God having provided some
better things for us, that without us
should not be made perfect”, says Heb
11:40. It is the Lord’s doing. He has set everything in place to accomplish your
goals.

Everyday has its own glory,
wisdom, knowledge, understanding,
revelation, and power which must be
searched out by men for their own
good. Watch it! Ensure that you are in line
with your life purpose everyday.
Check the decisions you take, even the
company you keep.

Make sure that at
all times you are moving towards
actualizing your vision. No day should be left out. Remember, each day
comes with its own empowerment for
you. You can’t afford to settle for the
low places. Gird your lions; don’t give
up, ensure you are moving forward.
Though you may be crawling, but don’t stop, you will soon walk, then
run and possibly fly to soar.

Become responsible for your future.
Someone else may have been
responsible for your predicament
today but your tomorrow is your
responsibility. Lets go! There is a
greater height to attain.

Golden Minds, nation builders!

Declaration

I shall not be static in life. I am taking
the right step in the right direction.
Forward ever!

First published in the maiden edition of Jingle, Golden Minds’ national magazine in 2010.

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