Many great men have lived on this planet, very few have been outstanding. Many souls have sojourned the troubled earth but very few have impacted their societies with mastery in their expertise and calling. The world has taken off its hat to wholeheartedly salute these very few individuals on many occasions and we would be dead wrong to insinuate that these were men and women of peculiar abilities, they were men of common standing who fully made use of the opportunities each one of us has today- Such as being a student. Ralph Waldo Emerson asserts that, “what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
The peculiar opportunities that we are granted with in society by virtue of our level of education and our advancement in using our mental faculties appropriately make us, the students, more able and capable to turn this world up-side down in all areas possible: Change, Development, Technology, Morality, Sport, Mechanical, Spiritual, Technical etcetera, but this will not hold true if we lie idle (waiting for tomorrow, which seemingly never comes) hoping that one day things will change for the better, our governance will change, Our virtues and values will change, our integrity and dignity and all that matters the most in our wellbeing as a people will change.
When Zig Ziglar said, “I believe man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success and endowed with seeds of greatness”, he meant every word and meant it for all people, students alike.
In every corner of the world, paradigm shifts have been instigated from the place where people of various intellectual abilities dwell- The University. It is a place of self and human discovery, a place where policy changes have been demanded and indeed a place where many people’s lives have been made to hope and believe again and made to dare to do the undone.
The greatest mistake that we should never make is to take for granted our gigantic ability and influence on issues that have a place for posterity and ability to make our descendants proud. This can only come from misdirection of our efforts on very petty and minor issues. It is puzzling to note that championing personal issues and mediocrity has become of great importance than our lack of study space; lack of adequate, appropriate and upto-date textbooks; lack of recreational facilities; lack of chairs and tables in our classes; lack of quality internet facilities for research purposes; lack of a well regulated pricing system among the financially incapacitated citizens; lack of better health facilities for your grandmother and mine in the rural areas; lack of a transparent, accountable, better and well co-ordinated governance system in our countries; lack of societal morals; lack of adequate and necessary social sector services as a consequence of the ever-escalating populations in our countries without commensurate effort to develop the facilities; lack of a proper and credible financial system; the lack of better and articulate Constitutions and regulatory frameworks/systems both at local, national, regional and continental levels.
However, before we start to cross our boundaries, let us change ourselves, our values and virtues that make us who we are- A FORCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE, a force to reckon with. For us to be considered think-tanks of our nation is no ridicule or cheap talk but truth that must manifest itself in our operations. We can change our environment and make it a better place but we should learn to prioritise our issues and challenges. Remember also that as we deal with all the challenges that have dogged our footsteps, we should not invoke a spirit of hate, bitterness and intimidations; interpositions and nullifications that will infringe on our credibility as a people.
Remember not to pursue only our selfish interests, but also issues that affect the voiceless of our society and the nations at large: the nations and states are dying for your carefully worded academic analysis and research on matters that concern them. You are a part of society before you become a student.
Finally in the advent of our challenges and hurdles always remember that as students the world regards us as the hope and light that shines like a beacon beckoning a bewildered world to re-explore its value system. Let us save our world by being the force we are expected to be- Strong Intellectual minds and Think-tanks of the nation.
We owe it to our history and posterity to foster this change. Let us not be fooled like the picture above… just when should you go to this House?
Thank you for reading and God generously and graciously bless our thoughts for change for a better Africa and for a better World.