Some days ago I came back from visiting a friend I decided to watch the local television, at least to know what is trending in the society. With the television remote in my hand I was flipping through the channels available, looking for something interesting to watch. I stopped my search when I came across a show on one of the stations, a show about young ones and their creativity. There were inventions and crafts which included but not limited to miniature bulldozers, cars, estate prototypes, beautiful artistic carvings and drawings and other beautiful works of art on display. I was amazed by the ingenuity of these young ones and was elated about the future of this country, seeing these beautiful young people of mostly under-18 creating this beautiful and amazing things with locally sourced materials.
However my joy was somehow short-lived because this young people got me thinking and at that moment, I remembered vividly so many of their kind that were shown on National T.V and even National dailies some years back with all the hype surrounding their handiwork but as the years rolled by, nothing was heard of them while some, according to what we heard, were seriously practicing in labs or technical centers abroad!. I asked myself a question: What is this entire buzz about discovery of talent, when it all stops at the discovery level?
This is one challenge that needs a quick solution not only in Nigeria but Africa as a whole. Our abundance of human resources have equipped us with talented and creative people scattered all over the country and the continent. Can our problem lie in real-time development and nurturing of these gifted ones?
Few years’ back there was a talent show organized was sports-based. I was very happy with the show because it was sponsored by a popular bank as part of its corporate social responsibility. The show produced winners with cash-prizes and foreign trips but few years down the line, the show disappeared from our TV screens and the winners have not been really heard of, whether they’ve been left to hustle on their own or still being supported by the company? No one really knows!
My opinion here is: All these shows are wonderful events, but in a case where they are done just as a marketing-tool for organizers or individuals use them to enrich themselves with the participants registration fees: I think that these shows should be given adequate attention by the Ministry of Youth Development in Nigeria and Africa generally. This should be urgently done because it has been noticed that when these young ones are discovered, especially those technical\engineering\science inclined ones, some of them are whisked by away by developed nations and nurtured by them and then we are left with the case of “brain-drain”, where our best hands are outside the country with their full loyalty to their adopted nations.
Government agencies, corporate organizations, well-meaning citizens and even foreign Multi-national organizations should help in grooming these talented young ones the country is blessed with, so that they will contribute positively to the development of the Nation’s economy and reduce greatly the over-dependence on the western world for scientific products and skilled technicians especially in modern-day science and technology. If these young ones are heavily invested in and institutions of technical, social, and sports development centers are established in most parts of the country, we will in the nearest future be able to produce totally home-made cars, scientific equipment’s and many more. If this is handled with utmost diligence, we will turn from an import-oriented economy to an export-oriented one, the streets of Aba in the east, the agricultural hub of the north, the scientific, artistic and social-networking hub of Lagos in the west and oil and tourism rich Niger-delta will be turned into an investor’s haven and then we can truly stand as the Giant of Africa and Africa as the Giants of the world in general