‘Why We Have Had Problems Since Independence’


Nigeria has been unstable and problematic since independence in 1960 because Nigerians have not been conscious in their actions. This was the view of Mrs. Funmi Oyetunde, author of the book ‘A Conscious Life’, launched last week in Lagos.

Speaking during her book launch, Oyetunde explained that the book is about individual life but it can also be applied to the life of a nation, adding, “As a nation and as a people, we need to become very conscious and deliberate in our participation in life.”

She stressed further that some of the problems we have had till date, is due to that lack of deliberate and conscious effort to put things right since independence. Oyetunde said therefore that the book is “a clarion call to Nigerians to pay attention to their own lives and in being conscious, it means they can actually be awake in living their lives, have the goals they work towards and work tenaciously each morning they wake, knowing that they are working towards a life they would be proud of and not just going by the flow. That is what the book is seeking to do.”

Speaking on what inspired the book she said the first inspiration for the book came from the fact that she believed she had received a lot of wisdom from her antecedent, especially her grandmother and this wisdom, she thought has not changed, so she thought it would be nice to pass it to the present day generation.

“The inspiration came from counseling young people and seeing that most of the time, they don’t seem to have a clear direction as to how they are living their lives and all that. And because I have learned from my own grandmother and also from my own personal life, I felt that if we can give signposts and advise ahead, it would be easier for people to navigate through life,” Oyetunde noted.

Frowning at the fact that Nigerians don’t read, she noted, “unfortunately, they say that Africans do not read and its probably worst amongst Nigerians”, adding however that, for those who read the book, ‘A Conscious Life’, they would be able to research their whole lives thereby being more conscious in living their lives.

“I keep telling people that one of my success factors is actually the wisdom and the values I learned from my grandmother. And it has not changed and it is interesting because I pass them on even to my own children who are very western. They have realised that my grandmother knew a lot of things when it comes to value and how you approach life. So I am hoping that through this book, values will come back to our youths and they would understand the fact that modernity and civilisation do not make you to lose your antecedent,” she noted.

‘A Conscious Life’, Oyetunde said, is her first book and it took five years to put it together. She added however that because “I come from a financial background, everybody thought I was writing a book on finance but I wanted to spread the news that whether you are an accountant, lawyer or whatever, in the end, it’s all about living a fulfilling life,” she said of her writing a book that is a total shift away from her core discipline.

On lesson learned from her personal life, she said, “I have learned that you have to keep grappling with life, the people who do well are not the ones who have been given the best, and it is how you play the cards that you are given. There is no point playing the victim because you have been born, you don’t have a choice, you have to deal with life but if you are conscious and look for your own path, I know that you will make it in life, I know that from my own personal life experience.”

Preset at the event were the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, former Chairman, Punch Newspapers, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola; Chairman, THISDAY Editorial Board, Mr. Segun Adeniyi; Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Ms. Sola David-Borha and Chief Olu Akinkug, amongst others.