As most Nigerian youths still get confused over what they should engage themselves in after graduation following difficulties in securing white collar jobs, a multi-tasking Nigerian journalist, author, evangelist and motivational speaker, Mrs. Gift Nnamoko Orairu, has advised them to redirect their energy towards becoming self-employed by taking advantage of opportunities within their immediate environment.
Orairu, who has motivated a lot of youths into different spheres of positive engagements across the country through talk shows and editorial materials, said the perception by a section of people that Africa remains a continent riddled with only poverty and diseases was misleading as those who did not give up in their struggles have emerged successful in their chosen professions.
Speaking with Newsfieldglobal on her new book titled ‘Growing up in Africa, The Beauty of Unemployment,’ Orairu, who is currently based in Germany, said she decided to publish the book as part of her numerous approach to curbing youth restiveness in the country by way of reminding them of the need to engage themselves in areas where their talents can bring out the best in them.
According to her, “who says Africa is only a continent where you find poverty, war, and diseases? As much as you have the bad and the ugly, you also have the good. If you are fixated on the negatives of life there is no doubt that you will miss the big picture. Earlier this year, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), while looking at the state of entrepreneurship globally, published her annual report.
“According to the report, the sub-Saharan Africa region has by far the highest number of people involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity, with Zambia and Nigeria leading the world rankings. There appears to be a growing wave of grassroots self-starters, who are taking risks and defying obstacles to bring their money-making ideas to life. Armed with I can-do attitude, they are doing everything possible with the hope of succeeding like their counterparts outside Africa.
“Like me, many of them dream of making it to Forbes list of Top African Entrepreneurs someday. From navigating a host of challenges to pursuing opportunities, these new breeds of young entrepreneurs are unrelenting and taking advantage of having grown up in Africa at a time their peers would have loved to be born outside the continent.
“In my journey as an entrepreneur, I believe there are ‘blessings’ that come with being unemployed. Many youths have given up just because they are without a paid job. There is still good news for you. Why spend all your life waiting to be employed when you can actually become an entrepreneur? I have also met lots of successful businessmen and other professionals who are on top of their careers. They started out on their own, some of them never having applied for paid jobs. This is not to say that they didn’t face challenges associated with doing business in Africa. I assume they may have found ways to cope with power outages and infrastructural deficits. Despite the challenges, these acquaintances of mine are glad to find themselves in Africa at a time opportunities are springing up everywhere.”
“For the most part of this book, you will read my interviews with a hand-picked number of them. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, student or recent graduate reading this book, I want you to believe in yourself, knowing that you can become successful if you work hard and smart. There are lots of lessons to be learnt, so don’t hurry through the pages.”
She said in writing the book, which will be unveiled on November 19 at Oriental Hotel in Lagos, she painstakingly picked some individuals, who have succeeded in their chosen career from startups without losing focus.
Specifically, she also advised youths not to be discouraged if their natural talents appear to be the dominant influence in their journey of life far more than their chosen profession, stressing that the positive results from such experience was now very common with graduates becoming high income earners and famous by turning comedians, fashion designers, musicians, master of ceremonies among others.
“I used to believe that all successful people were either born with silver spoons in their mouths or were lucky to have greatness thrust upon them. I guess I was only dreaming. In reality, that is not always true. The idea that only a few are gifted and can attain greatness is a big cushion for many to fall on and comfort themselves. When they fail at something they give up and simply say they don’t have the genes or talent for it. That’s much easier than thinking you have been lazy, inconsistent and undetermined in your pursuits. So what does the young mind or young person stand to gain by working towards greatness? What does it even mean to be great?
“The individual potential in every man is such that it cannot be utilized to its full extent without bringing about greatness. Simply work towards fulfilling your fullest potential as a human being by performing your simple tasks excellently. Seek to always grow beyond your present barriers and limits and you will inevitably become great.
“Meet the challenges you face head-on and take life on with passion and a quest for excellence,” she noted.