Achieving Real Change via Encouragement


Mark Neboh

It is with immense pleasure that many of us welcome the heart-warming news about two Nigerian youths who did us proud recently. The first occurred in Enugu, the Coal City State where a young man willingly returned a whooping sum of N1.8 million he found inside a sealed carton of indomie noddles he had bought and taken home back to the shop owner. The second happened in faraway Japan where a Nigerian post graduate student saw a purse filled with huge amount of money and returned it to the police intact.

Both incidents are really positive and heart-warming, especially at this time because they bring us to reflect on how each of us can individually contribute to changing the wrong impression that we are all after acquiring money by all means possible. I will forever remain grateful to these two young men for proving our enemies wrong. Certainly, we have few bag eggs among us like other countries do but we refuse to be judged by the actions of those few.

We all passed through the Nigerian family upbringing tradition that teaches the children to be law abiding and truthful in dealing with others. This explains why most of our youths work hard to earn their income through legitimate efforts believing such as the correct route to peaceful economic fulfillment in life. I am making this contribution to personally congratulate these two young men and many others who have performed similar actions in the past without media hype to continue doing so as it will further serve to encourage our youths to follow their commendable example.

Nigerians are expecting that our government will use this opportunity to revive our scruffy image by applauding the two young men widely as the Japanese government did to the Nigerian. Doing so will definitely go a long way to inspire our youths to shun the fast lane and imbibe genuine income earning attitude. These two incidents coming at this particular time in our trajectory to real change present a practical example needed to teach our youth the enduring benefits of legitimate income earning. It is really good our President acknowledged the student in Japan but people are looking up to our government to go further and publicly appreciate the two young men with a form of official recognition.

These two incidents present an opportunity to let the entire world know that we have lot more of the good than the bad and the ugly. Accordingly, official recognition to the young men will serve to motivate our youth to emulate the shining example of integrity the young men have discretely shown. It will rightly lead to usher in a new mindset on our youth’s attitude towards wealth acquisition. There is the saying that if you cheer a child’s good character with praise and a little gift, he/she will endeavour to always behave better to the collective benefit of the family.

Neboh, Italian Language and Technology Transfer Consultant, writes from Lagos