As Nigeria celebrated its 63rd Independence Day, the nation reflected on the essence of hard work and perseverance in a society increasingly tempted by quick wins and lotteries. Kakalistiq.com reports that Osifeko Mark Olaniyi, a youth development advocate, serial volunteer, and entrepreneur from Epe, Lagos State, in his thought-provoking piece, urged the nation to embrace the “dignity in labor.”
The celebration coincided with the final episode of the popular TV reality show “Big Brother Nigeria,” where the winner walked away with a staggering 120 million naira in prizes. Yet, as Olaniyi observed, many contestants struggled with basic current affairs questions, highlighting a growing trend of quick success over hard-earned achievements.
In his candid reflection, Olaniyi expressed no resentment towards reality show winners but raised concern about the “quick win and lottery mentality” that these shows promote, especially among the youth. He pointed to the sight of young Nigerians flocking to betting shops, staking thousands in hopes of unrealistic rewards, as evidence of this troubling trend.
Olaniyi reminded readers that the owners of major sports betting companies in Nigeria, such as Bet Naija’s Hon. Kunle Soname and Nairabet’s Hon. Akin Alabi, are accomplished businessmen who didn’t amass their fortunes through betting but instead rose through hard work and dedication. He questioned the notion that sports betting is a pathway to wealth and challenged the allure of betting and reality show winnings, noting that few winners maintain their riches or attain long-lasting fame, except those who pursue careers in the creative arts.
Moving beyond entertainment, Olaniyi touched on the pressing issue of drug abuse and other social vices plaguing Nigerian youth. He argued that the “get-rich syndrome” has infiltrated society, creating a pool of unemployable individuals and posing challenges for businesses seeking trustworthy labor.
Olaniyi emphasized the need for a supportive ecosystem for young entrepreneurs and innovators, calling out both the government and private organizations for failing to provide adequate support systems. He questioned the lack of seed capital, grants, or loans for aspiring entrepreneurs and the insufficient corporate social responsibility efforts directed at host communities by companies that generously sponsor reality shows.
In conclusion, Olaniyi cautioned against continuing on the path of prioritizing quick gains over hard work and creativity. He urged Nigerian youth to roll up their sleeves, embrace the dignity in labor, and work towards building sustainable wealth for themselves and the nation. Drawing on the experiences of relatives abroad, he highlighted the value of hard work and professional development as the true routes to success.
As Nigeria marks its 63rd year of independence, Olaniyi’s message serves as a timely reminder of the importance of embracing the core values of diligence, perseverance, and the enduring dignity of labor.