In Sierra Leone, one of the biggest problems is greed and the overwhelming ill actions of our leaders.
We often tend to say things like, “God, please help our nation”, but we fail to ask ourselves what are we doing in contributing towards the development of the Nation. So, failing to question our egocentric traits and self-centeredness, that usually results in the weakening of our Nation’s strength. Looking back at historical happenings, great nations achieved their supreme powers as a result of the heartfelt sacrificing leadership, with the help of gritty women of honor and caliber who took national challenges upon their hands and looked beyond self-gain. With that, their nations became bloomed and boomed, gaining transformative growth in their economies. To mention but a few: Israel, and deserts being turned into world trade centers- Dubai.
For instance, Dubai has been transformed into a semi earthly heaven. Everyone sees opportunities and a platform to launch their businesses. Their leader, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is indeed a true definition of a visionary leader. While African countries like Sierra Leone regret the curse posed by the presence of extravagant natural resources, Dubai utilized them to make itself a model of the world. So, if we are equally and naturally endowed. In this case, what makes Sierra Leone lag behind is definitely the quality of leaders being appointed into influential positions.
The future of Europe and some parts of the Middle East is owned by their leaders, who are vision-oriented leaders and envisioned a change in all sectors, with dreams of the kind of country they wanted and the good lives for their people. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is a true definition of a selfless leader, building from own resources.
Narrowing it down to our own continent Africa, we look at countries such as Rwanda. Despite the downfall of the Genocide they had in 1994, they had a great come back and now they are recognized as one of the fastest developing countries. It always starts with leaders for people and not leaders for their own personal interests.
On the other side, we have countries that are abundantly blessed with Minerals and Resources such as Diamond in Sierra Leone, gold in Congo, Oil in Nigeria. With these valuable natural resources, humongous development is expected of them but instead, these countries are rated as the least developed countries in Africa. How Ironic is that?
The leaders we have determine our future, it may either be bright or Dark. It is our time as Youths to wake up and face reality and work for a better tomorrow. We are the leaders of today. Our leaders have failed and this is why we should be seeking ways to remedy the situation.
The youth in Africa account for one-third of the population and still cannot impact our national situation positively. Either the youth are sidelined and made to troll behind old men and women making decisions on their behalf or some youth are gluttonous and super-greedy. They auction themselves to the pseudo-intellectuals as long as they pocket a few coins. Yes, I do recognize that, at times, this greed is nationally imposed. More so at the time when the youth struggle economically and all they crave is basic survival. And this incites them to trade their rights to narcissistic leaders. This wrecks our standing and defies our ingenuity. In the words of Martin Luther King, “one of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change”.
Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant, and to face the challenge of change. This is up to us the youth.
Inevitably, time will come when the youth will be in very influential positions. But these positions are not simply given. they are earned. Through hard work, unity, and taking risks to disrupt oneself. As we take on challenges, we need to ask ourselves questions like “What future are we building for the next generation?”
This should trigger us to think and rethink our actions. We are Sierra Leoneans and our only mandate is to wake up and make it a better place than we found it.
Sierra Leone is a nation of opportunities. We better not fold our arms, nor lobby for unwanted materials from other nations, but to build a nation from our resources.
It lies within us the Sierra Leonean youths.
This is an amplified wake-up call to all young people in Sierra Leone.