2016 in Nigeria’s History Books – By Orebanwo Adewale

A wise man once said that “life itself is a learning process”. With this thought floating amidst the ocean of thoughts in my head I decided to pick it out and see why it is waving the white flag. After much pondering on the subject I understood fully well that every stage in life we get to or every part we experience teaches us something that will be needful in the coming years. With the euphoria of this newly acquired knowledge, I decided to look back and see if truly have learnt one or two lessons from the year 2016 and here began my adventure to revisit my school of thought.

The teacher employed in my school of thought decided to do a quick revision on the lessons learnt during the ‘2016 value-adding session’; he reminded me how in our quest for change, we could no longer afford, the demands Change was pushing to us. It seemed as if the change we were clamoring for was going to be our own demise but we still hanged to the hope of a better Nigeria. From this lesson I learnt “Change is not in a person’s words but in a nation’s mindset”.

He also highlighted the stress we went through trying to keep the virus of recession from eating holes into our money bag. The word ‘recession’ is on every lips whenever you try buying something below the fixed price or when you call home for reimbursement or when you even board a cab. The poor now believes it is a distant cousin that has now decided to come pay them a visit, the rich believes it is an opportunity that can be exploited to their advantage while the government believes it is a period to sell our assets. Yet with this, many are not affected by this virus because they have skills, they have added value and they have wisely utilize it to stay at the top of the food chain. I learnt from this topic that “recession is also an opportunity depending on your viewing point”.

He further explained how we were caught in the crossfire when trying to fight for what was supposed to be our right as students (reparation saga). We tried speaking out so our voices would be heard but we only ended up talking but with no sound emerging out of our mouth, we fought hard but only succeeded in beating ourselves hard in the back. I could not forget how this experience caused a university that runs two semester in a session to automatically have a third session. In this topic I learnt something important and valuable, which is; “You can’t fight a brand until you are one”.

One lesson I won’t forget is that of the President of our great nation Nigeria. Tracing back time to his interview with a news media. I remember what he said about his wife ‘belonging to the kitchen and the other room’. This harmless phrase took a toll on the social media and it was rephrased in different ways that almost could paint him as a conspirator in the discrimination of the female gender. From this short lesson I grabbed a great deal of life essentials which is; “Talk is cheap, so don’t waste it blabbing around”.

Furthermore, a lesson that most Nigerians are still learning from is the advent of online schemes and platforms to increase wealth. I won’t say much on this but I learnt something critical to living life to the fullest which is; “Not everything that glitter is gold”

In order to manage time, other lessons were overlooked but my teacher emphasized one that cannot be ignored which is the election of the “world president” as everyone has accepted them to be. Despite the distance of the country in question from the shores of my fatherland, I could see the impact of whosoever emerges on education, standard of living, technology and terrorism. I learnt two lessons from this topic, which is; “influence is a proof of greatness” and “there is no resting until you cross the finish line”.

Despite the failures and success in this year, I was made to believe that the panacea to most of the failures in the year 2016 is centered on adequate planning and willingness to accept that life is a process and must be followed one step at a time. Before my teacher relinquishes his role, he stated clearly that the central theme in the 2017 impact-full session will be more of value-adding activities and spiritual growth.

Stepping out of the adventures my thoughts took me on, I remembered the words of a wise man: “Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out”.

  • Orebanwo Adewale is a fresh graduate from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. He is a leader with a core value in human capital development. He is a creative writer and a prolific speaker. He can be reached via Email:orebanwoadewale@gmail.com or through +2347063643099. He can also be followed on Instagram: @orebs_adex.