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Ifs and Ifs by YakekponoAbasi Adams

While I was distributing questionnaires to some youths regarding my thesis, we got to talk. We addressed the laziness of contemporary youths; their habit of waiting to be spoon-fed and always laying blames on the government.

During the course of argumentation, one of them said that it’s not our fault. According to him, we’re more brilliant than the likes of Einstein and Newton. The only problem is that they just didn’t leave anything for us to invent.


Everyone started to laugh, including me. I was laughing and shaking my head at the same time. He had said it jokingly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some youths actually think in that manner.

There are countless opportunities lying in wait, just for us to explore. Some of them are common day-to-day opportunities which we let pass us by.

We’re so fixated with white collar jobs that we’ve put all our hopes on them. We want to be known as people working in an ‘office’. No matter the kind of office it is, it doesn’t matter.


In as much as we get to wear shirts tucked into trousers/skirts and shoes, we’re satisfied. All we want is to leave our homes dressed in such manner.

Most people even dress in a suit, leave their homes and stand somewhere to change. Why? They’re living double lives. The kind of work they’re actually doing doesn’t require such dressing. They want to impress others.

These people are the types that can steal to buy clothes. They can even starve themselves, just to dress well and impress that dude or that chick. Who will save you from this self-imposed slavery?

We always have someone to blame. We live a life of ‘ifs’. If only your parents had sent you to school. If only that ex-boyfriend didn’t make you a baby mamma. If only that examiner had passed you. If only your boss hadn’t fired you. If only that company had given you that job.

There’s always someone to blame, but yourself. Oh, please! Haven’t you ever heard stories of people who rose from ashes to glory? A graduate cousin of mine is now into laundry services after years of roaming the streets looking for a job. He started small, but now the business is expanding and he’s making it big.


We look at menial jobs like they’re nothing to write home about. You can be a farmer, florist, shoemaker, tailor, fisherman, carpenter, etc and still be rich. All you need is a vision.

Assuming a fisherman catches so many fishes, packages them in a very fine manner and exports them. Assuming a shoemaker starts by designing shoes and successfully penetrates the markets. Assuming a florist buys very beautiful flowers from a gardener and sells them. Assuming a farmer cultivates only pineapples and sells them. Assuming a tailor lands striking designs and sews them.

Here, nobody wants to marry a carpenter or a fisherman or a plantain seller. We love tosh and flashy. However, with the right business ideas, that mechanic and bar owner can wow you. Sit down and search your brain.


You wonder how life is easier in foreign countries compared to this side of the world? It is because people like these exist. The cleaners, delivery men/women, mechanics, drivers and bartenders are happily doing their jobs. They aren’t complaining and they’re definitely not waiting for the government to provide them with jobs.

Government is supposed to provide jobs. That’s okay. But when they don’t, what do you do? You complain and rant on social media? You’ll get likes and followers quire alright, but they not gonna pay your bills.

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