OPINION

The Critical Path Of Dignity To Every Young Person Out There, By Praise Fowowe

My first degree was accounting before I took up permanent residency in the family life sector. I remember clearly how my dad would complain about my consistent stay at school without bothering him about my financial needs.

I can recollect how I took responsibilities for my friends during exams when most would had become broke and so fresh is the memory of how many school fees I helped in paying, even as a student.

The big question anyone should ask now is: ‘What was my source of wealth’?

I learnt early from the book of Proverbs that ‘It is better to get your hands dirty and eat than to be too proud to work and starve’ so I sourced for opportunities to do anything ethical, legal and right, to earn something for myself.

If you had graduated from the University of Ado Ekiti, it would interest you to know that I painted many of the doors in your hostels and was paid #500 daily for working for 4 hours. So in a week, I earned #2500 which was a lot way back in 1998 or so. I learnt early enough what it means to solve problems and get paid for doing so.

Fast forward to the year 2002 as an employee who had just pledged away his 9months salary for a cause I believed in, my brother was a bit scared about how I would survive my madness that period but guess what? I had survived as a student and my skills had not deserted me. So, what did I do that time?
DIGNITY: My letter to younger folks

My first degree was accounting before I took up permanent residency in the family life sector. I remember clearly how my dad would complain about my consistent stay at school without bothering him about my financial needs.

I can recollect how I took responsibilities for my friends during exams when most would had become broke and so fresh is the memory of how many school fees I helped in paying, even as a student.

The big question anyone should ask now is: ‘What was my source of wealth’?

I learnt early from the book of Proverbs that ‘It is better to get your hands dirty and eat than to be too proud to work and starve’ so I sourced for opportunities to do anything ethical, legal and right, to earn something for myself.

If you had graduated from the University of Ado Ekiti, it would interest you to know that I painted many of the doors in your hostels and was paid #500 daily for working for 4 hours. So in a week, I earned #2500 which was a lot way back in 1998 or so. I learnt early enough what it means to solve problems and get paid for doing so.

Fast forward to the year 2002 as an employee who had just pledged away his 9months salary for a cause I believed in, my brother was a bit scared about how I would survive my madness that period but guess what? I had survived as a student and my skills had not deserted me. So, what did I do that time?
I took Pastor Bimbo Odukoya’s tapes to the banks and sold for at a higher price. I made Zobo and positioned in front of churches and I also offered to dry clean clothes for my friends for a fee. I also became an emergency musician supported by Excel Adeleye-Samuel to play at wedding ceremonies. We did anything and everything legal, ethical and right just to be able to feed. That was the period pap became my favorite meal because that was what I could afford and #5 naira biscuit with tea became common on my desk while rehearsing for a life of a future executive.

Why am I writing this and where am I going?

My heart sinks everyday when I see what young people are willing to do to earn and how people put themselves under unnecessary pressure just to belong. The quest to drive the latest cars and live a life we are not qualified for is driving many of our young minds into all sorts of crime.

Sometimes, we may want to blame bad leadership but this bad leadership was in existence when I sold zobo and painted doors. Why are we suddenly pretending as if this bad leadership just started yesterday?

Pay attention to the songs on airwaves and you’d be shocked at how much of ‘Make money at all cost and be ashamed if you don’t have money’ these young minds consume everyday. Unfortunately, religion has also reduced God to the one we can command and money cometh but do we bother to find out what people do between the chant and the testimonies?

Dear young minds, I want you to note the following:
1. That you want to drive that big car now and go testify about it is a proof that our transportation system has failed because your car is a tool for transportation and any attempt to qualify it otherwise is ignorance.

  1. Don’t put pressure on yourself because someone advertised 7digit income. Those who earn 7 digits daily or weekly don’t announce it on social media. You might want to ask those who peddle such if they earn such all the time and ask them to show you their evidence.
  2. Never measure your success by what you drive; measure it by what drives you because success as defined by a wise man is not what you have achieved rather it’s what you have achieved compared to what you could have achieved.
  3. Your journey is not the same as others’ so keep your focus and run your own race, lest you crash because godliness with contentment is great gain.
  4. Volunteer with anyone that is honest enough to tell you the truth and show you the way and don’t be fixated on what to earn as a starter. As you discover what they know what you know will ultimately produce what they earn.
  5. Yahoo Yahoo and 419 are not the way to go because the same level of skills and diligence deployed to scam people could have been used to do a legitimate business
  6. Have dignity in whatever you do as long as it is not stealing and give it your best because money is what you get for adding value and a true measure of your humanity is the value you can add to the society. Even if all you do is sell water, carry yourself with dignity and look for how to scale up. You are better off than a thief.
  7. Refine your skills and plan to be indispensable to the future. I started with nothing and served the best in my field for free. Not once did I steal their funds and not once did I disrespect them. I wanted to become the best so I went after the best. You can serve your way to wherever you want to go.

At the end of your life, what would matter is not what you drove or at what age you made your first billion. What would matter will be the value you have added to
At the end of your life, what would matter is not what you drove or at what age you made your first billion. What would matter will be the value you have added to humanity and how truly your mind can be at peace with what you have done with your life.

Be proud of your trade and know that as long as you are hardworking and what you are doing is adding value to humanity, no matter how much our society counts it as insignificant, you deserve a lot of accolade.

I honour you

 

Praise Fowowe

pf@iampraisefowowe.com

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