Profile of ‘Nigeria’s Youth’ | YNaija Person of the Year 2021 Nominee

The great Spanish artist; Pablo Picasso once said, “the young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.”

In recent times, the Nigerian youth have been attempting the seemingly impossible task of making Nigeria a free nation, and it appears to be slowly becoming reality. Largely referred to as the ‘Indomie generation,’ which meant that the young people today are soft and spineless; youths in the past few years (read as 2020/2021), have dispelled this narrative.

Beginning with the #EndSARS movement which held the nation bound on for at least two weeks. The protests against police brutality quickly became a global spectacle as its ripple effect became felt all over the world. The movement described as very unique in every sense, had no central leadership and its demands covered a wide spectrum of socio-political issues.

As complex as this might sound, the youth handled the protest with some sort of unprecedented structure in the country’s history. Provisions were made to make the protests drag as long as it would take for government to respond, complaints were swiftly handled, and little or no hostility existed among the protesters. It would take the deployment of the military who shot at and killed harmless protesters for the movement to be halted.

In spite of this, the youth today have refused to remain silent, as they continue to voice their opinions and tell their stories via the internet. Perhaps more admirable, is the fact that young people today have the ability to influence the outcome of an event, with ‘mere hashtags.’ One gain from this is the recent increase in salaries (20%) for men and officers of Nigeria’s Police Force by the Federal Government.

Many actors in business and government have been held accountable for their actions online, and individuals largely seen to be powerful, have felt the sting of the cancel culture. Developments which have provoked many to assume caution in their public conduct in order not to anger the so-called “Indomie Generation.”

Indeed, Nigeria’s youth today, are touted with the capacity of disrupting the status quo with the push of a button, and nothing frightens ‘the power that be’ more than this unpredictability. Asides social issues being tackled by youths daily; young people are also tackling economic issues.

Although arguable, there are more young people as industry leaders today compared to previous generations. Hundreds of them have taken up the mantle of creating financial avenues for others where the government has failed. They are also at the centre of a tech-driven economy emerging out of the continent, especially with initiatives like internet banking, cryptocurrency, content creation, community building, entertainment, engineering, activism, advocacy, and agri-business. How many prominent Nigerians across the globe within this demography can we count?

It’s a fact that most international investors are keen on investing in the country’s human resource, and the majority of this resource being mined is her young people.

Regardless of the continent you find yourself, save Antartica of course, Nigerians are kings and queens, and this demography is responsible for most of the ingenuity coming out of this country.

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