I like to watch Nigerian girls and boys walking along the muddy streets of Lagos with colourful clothes or an immaculate white, at their feet the inevitable flip-flops: hopping between one bumpy relief and another. How they avoid car splashes or how they do not lose the whiteness of their shirts is a curious observation.
Many of them are dressed like the young people from all over the world: blue jeans and T-shirt. They throw an eye to where to put their feet and an eye to the chaotic and not very polite traffic of the street.
I find myself interpreting their thoughts…what do they think about their future, their studies or work?
Nigeria is a country that is very widespread and varied in nature, ethnicity, languages and religions … but it is a country where poverty is widespread: I know well that those kids do not have, at home, a rich wardrobe and many of them do not even have a house like us Europeans we are used to having.
Many of these children are students, but the level of schools and universities is still far from guaranteeing a serious preparation for the world of work and often these bodies are not able to guarantee a level of general education to put the children in conditions, to grab their dreams.
The economy of the country is growing, but it is still far from being able to guarantee, to the growing population, a quality of life that we could define as sufficient.
Even in my country, in Italy, the economy does not seem to be able to guarantee young people a better existence or similar to that of their parents … for the first time, after many decades, life has become less rich in opportunity, despite the rampant technology. The indiscriminate globalization, more financial than industrial, has turned out to be a scourge for the Italian economy and not only for Italy. Nigeria itself suffers because of the market-run world; we all suffer from the dark evils of the liquid world of finance that is drowning more than it has brought out.
We are losing sight of education and civil life in exchange for artificial well-being. Education seems to be worsening all over the world and a smartphone is replacing thought.
In any case, in my country, the situation is not as serious as in many African countries, where there are fewer smartphones, but fewer opportunities to increase personal knowledge … I wonder if those girls and boys I watch on the streets of Lagos, are more interested in an “iPhone” or their dreams are those already overcome by young Europeans or Americans…!?…Perhaps the young Nigerians dream of having a home, a car and fashionable shoes … everything “we “take for granted and no longer as a dream.
Unfortunately, many Nigerians have the illusion of finding their fortune trying to reach European countries, but they are, fortunately, a small part of them. These guys I’m watching, have energy and show a wonderful smile … their bright eyes, that know how to avoid puddles, know how to see a better future; their hearts know how to handle difficulties and they will build a better country: they are warriors of everyday life!
A few minutes and, between a hop and the other, the guys disappear from my sight … my car is crumbled by traffic, while they go fast.
My job here is also for a better country … I wish you all the best, lovely gazelles of the streets, the future is definitely yours.