On May 29, 2020 Nigeria’s democracy turned 21, and millions of young Nigerians also turned 21. In fact, btw 1999 and today, ~83 million Nigerians have been born. Out of those 83 million, at least 72.5 million are alive and well
(factor in avg. 10% death rate). ~15 million are those I call #BornDemocrats. By 2023, that number increases to ~21million (born btw 1999-2005). These young Nigerians, who can now vote or carry pvc, have never been under military rule, unllike some of us. That’s why they bravely
remained at the toll in Lekki. They have no idea what the military is capable of. They don’t know or care about IBB or Abacha. While they know of June 12, MKO may not be their hero. Fela’s music may have influenced many of us at some point, for them it is Davido, Wizkid, etc
#EndSARS - What’s Next, Before You Relocate to Canada?
These were the main trending topics on Nigeria twitter last night, after the President’s speech:
1. It is finished 2. Passport; Canada 3. Visa
In a manner of speaking/joking, many Nigerians were/are ready to checkout.
It’s understandable! 1st, a big salute to all the incredibly awesome peaceful young people who woke up in the last 2weeks & awoken the nation’s consciousness to the brutality of #SARS. You’ve inspired us more than you realize. You were not hoodlums or thugs, but systemic victims.
It’s important to particularly recognize those “unlikely” leaders, who don’t make the headlines or get any public attention, but whose community organization work ensured that peace were kept at the local level. To the incredible women who have led the line, we thank you.
Dear friends, everyday in the last 13 days I’ve written to you daily. Mainly because I felt that my role was to guide young people on how to engage, protest and dialogue/negotiate peacefully.
And Nigeria’s young people emerged; peaceful, brilliant and purposeful on #endsars
Until last night, when the unthinkable happened. At first I thought it was just the predictable deployment of the military to help calm things down, allowing peaceful protests to go on, but ensuring that those trying to perpetuate violence never came close to #endsars protesters.
I was wrong, we were wrong. We may never have the full account of what happened at #Lekkitollgate but the footages we saw painted a horrific image of unnecessary escalations from what could have been an evening of sit-out, while rendering the national anthem peacefully. #endsars
Dear Intercessors, you’re not often honoured by men or seen to be doing much. Many say, all you know how to do is pray. Little do they know that the effectual and fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. Don’t worry, keep standing on the watch towers. God sees you! #endsars
and your reward is here now!
Also, know this, the season we’ve been travailing for in secret and in the open for years, is here. Just like the midwives who are expecting the birth of a new born are alert and vigilant, we must remain vigilant and alert. #endsars
Your strategic weapons and tactics must remain connected to the source of power. The enemy is working 24-7 to abort what is about to birthed, but not when God remains the captain of the Host of Heaven.
Hear me, it is time to deploy Michael, the Archangel, #endsars
One of the most beautiful things about the protests that have broken out across Nig in the last 10 days is its decentralized and “leaderless” nature. As someone who keenly observed from its day 1 and joined a march on day 3, I stan!
Those that follow me closely also know that I’ve been very vocal about the incredible examples laid by the “uncoordinated coordination” of young people across Nigeria. I’ve also shared thoughts on how it could be sustained. At other times I sent warnings on #EndSARS blind spots.
Now, I’m here to discuss the controversial topic of leaders or no leaders. Please hear me well, you have leaders! You know you have leaders, I know you do, the media, NG army, DSS, Police, Governors and even the president knows that you have leaders. #EndSARS
“God punish that your papa wey you wan talk to” was the response of a Police Officer to a young man who had been shot by men of the Nigerian Police, lying in a pool of blood. His last request/wish was simple, yet heartbreaking, “let me talk to my father before I die”. #EndSARS
The more videos I watch, the more stories I hear, the more I say to myself, we left a few people in this fight, for far too long; we all should have been screaming #EndPoliceBrutality on rooftops, church pulpits, mosque platforms, events and just about anywhere. #EndSARS
They say the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago, the next best time is today. This is why I am deeply thankful that finally, we are all planting #EndSARS trees across the nation. It is Honourable for us to appreciate men & women who have been in the trenches for years.
Police Reform - Why Governors Should Be Protesting Too!
To be honest I feel for a few of the Governors who have been trying to respond to the legit demands of young people on #endsars. Very few people know that Governors are toothless and cannot reform the police. Here’s why.
According to the constitution of Nig, the President of the federal republic is actually a powerful person; arguably the most powerful in the world, especially when it comes to the control of armed and unarmed forces. Our constitution gives him the total control over, #endsars
The military, DSS, brigade of guards, and the police. Even though Nigeria is a federation, the police force is unitary in its structure. According to the section 214 of our constitution, it establishes the police force, by extension the Police Force Council, #endsars
If a sling & 5 stones were all you had, against a giant, backed by an army with monopoly of violence, what’d you do?
Most people run! Not Davids; they don’t back down. That’s the way I see the Nigerian youth right now. They won’t backing down! #EndSWAT
I wish our leaders would quickly realize that the Nigeria police especially is up against a force that is more united than they realize. The earlier they do, and agree to these seemingly reasonable demands made so far, the quicker things could come under control. #EndSWAT
Over the last few days, I’ve taken time to follow/engage countless of the young people who are fighting for their rights to live, by with #EndsSARS, which immediately became #EndSWAT as soon as SARs was rebranded SWAT, and one thing is clear, there’s no fear in them at all.
Dear Nigerian youth, welcome to power. At last, our Gen Z becomes the generation to claim a degree of power and able to get an arm of govt to make concessions, albeit still far from the target. With power, comes responsibility/expectations. Now the question is what next? #EndSWAT
Listen to this, whether you like it or not now, you will have to dialogue. Dialogue is both a language of protest, as it is of diplomacy. While you’re upset, and rightly so, you’re not tyrants. Without dialogue, everything could be seen as noise. The challenge is...
for a leaderless protest, how do you dialogue? Who represents you? And how do you hold them accountable? How do you ensure that the sacrifices made so far are not in vain? How do you ensure that the youth remain at the forefront of it? I’ll come to that shortly. Firstly, #EndSWAT
I went from being a big Tesla bear to becoming an unrepentant bull. While I never “shorted” its stocks, I sat on the fence for so long until the whole idea of the company started to make sense. I used to see Tesla as a car company and was using the metrics of the auto industry to
judge it. That was unfair, especially after I realized that it has actually gone from being an auto maker to a Tech company. From that moment, my metrics changed. To understand Tesla, you have to subscribe to a world where petrol/gas dies and we run on battery-powered engines.
You must also be willing to embrace a world where how we generate electricity as we know it today is going to dramatically change over the next two decades.
In these two worlds, one company has no competition so far; and that’s Tesla.
There are some things I don’t apologize for or even think of hiding, regardless of where I find myself:
1. Being a Christian 2. Being a Black-African 3. Being a Nigerian
These are part of my core identity and who I am. I respect every faith and those that have none, but
When I come into the room, my identity as a Christian also comes with me. This means that there are some things I’ll never do, and some ideas I will never subscirbe to, simply because of my faith. For instance, I’ve never been involved in corrupt practices, it’s against my faith.
As a Christian, it also means that there are parts of the world that I may never be able to live and walk freely in, because of persecution. And if I damn the consequences and live there, I may end up paying with my life; as I will rather die than deny my faith as a Christian ✝️
These are statements that many people make casually but are deeply rooted in fundamental assumptions about the two genders.
I’ve found, after years of quiet observation that people who make these statements fall into 3 categories. They:
1. are Incredibly ignorant 2. have a deep personal experience 3. hold a belief system
The very ignorant ones are mostly ignorant about many things but are usually quick to jump on the bandwagons, generally to appear trendy or be seen as supporting a seemingly popular faction.
The ignorant tends not to test assumptions, ask clarifying questions or attempt to understand why a popular belief is held so tightly. Usually when you ask, why do you believe that “women like money or are materialistic?”, the common response is “everybody knows so”. Which is
Dear young friend, one of the most important and frequent questions you will ever have to answer in life is the question, who are you? Please don’t make the mistake that this is a question about your name. As important as your name is, it is not who you are, it is merely a label
The question who are you or whose son or daughter are you? is a question about your very essence, history or your people. It is also a question about the makeup of the person standing in front of the enquirer. ‘The Who’, is very different from ‘The What’. So if I say who are you?
Please don’t tell me your name. That is the what. That’s why you never ask “who is your name”. ‘The What’ is a thing, and ‘The Who’ is a person; it is much deeper. It speaks to your personality, what makes you, you. The challenge about swapping “The Who” with “The What” is that
As a young President of a campus group, I paid a condolence visit to a friend and fellowship member who had just lost her dad. I said “you know, the Bible says, if you fail in the day of adversity, your strength is little”. I‘ll never forget her response.
She goes “Kola, please don’t preach AT me. I know the scripture and yes, I am failing and my strength is little. I didn’t ask you to come so you could TALK to me. I asked you to come so you could LISTEN to me”. My goodness, that experience changed me forever.
That was about 18yrs ago. As I grew and mature in the things of God, advocacy work or business, I have discovered the power in actively listening to people. I’ve sat down for more than 5hrs and listened to someone talk himself out of suicide. I’ve sat down for hrs and listened
Today Nigeria turns 21 and millions of young Nigerians also turn 21. In fact, btw 1999 and today, ~80 million Nigerians have been born. Out of those 80 million, at least 72 million are alive and well (factor in avg. 10% death rate). ~15 million are those I call #BornDemocrats
By 2023, that number increases to ~21million (born btw 1999 - 2005). These young Nigerians, who can now vote or carry pvc, have never been under military rule, unllike some of us. They don’t know or care about IBB or Abacha. While they know of June 12, MKO may not be their hero.
Fela’s music may have influenced many of us at some point, for them it is Davido, Wizkid or Tiwa. When they think of activism or social advocacy, Chief Gani Faweyinmi or Ken Saro-Wiwa aren’t their legends. History being out of school curriculum is to blame of course.
These are two faces you may know. On the left is arguably one of the greatest long distance (marathon) runners of all time. On the right is without a doubt, the fastest man to ever live; he’s a sprint specialist.
What can their lives and careers teach us in this time of crisis?
They teach us that there’s a difference between speed and endurance. That there are times when speed is absolutely necessary for survival (for you’re being chased by a lion for instance), and
there are times when all you need is the ability to go the distance, endurance. Knowing this, the way Usain Bolt prepares for a 100m or 200m meter dash is very different from the way Eliud Kipchoge prepares for a 42Kilometer marathon.
Money is not something I like to write or talk about online, especially given the kind of environment we operate in and how easily one could be misunderstood. However, I owe it to the young people in my network, they need this now.
Please pay close attention; if you don't understand money, you will taste poverty! I tasted it early in my life, and it was not pleasant. Story for another day!
Before, during and after COVID19, cash is still king. The question however is, which kingdom and whose cash?
Let’s assume that today I give you $1,000 and Ninja420,000 (that's the Ninja equivalent of $1k, according today's Ninja rate), and I ask you to keep them and return them to me in 10years. Don’t invest or spend them, just keep them safely and return when I ask for it in 2030.
There were 3 boats that came and we missed in Nigeria as far as containing this virus is concerned.
Boat ⛵️ 1 - Zero Infection. This ensures that there’s little/no infection in Nigeria at all. How do you achieve this? Close your doors 🚪 early. Uganda entered this boat!
Considering that we have no major FDIs coming in and the economic impact of a major outbreak far outweighs that of early door closure, you close. People will accuse you, yes. But better to be accused of being too scared, than going to a machine gun fight with a knife.
Boat ⛵️ 2 - Ok you let the first boat go because you think you’re prepared and all of a sudden, the unexpected begins. Boat 2 allows you do what Canada did. Doors are open for a period, to ONLY citizens in, but they will all be taken straight for COMPULSORY quarantine. Then shut!
One of the best things I’ve spent my time here doing here is connecting with some of the smartest and most resourceful Nigerians at @Harvard, @MIT and @UniBoston. A number of people were surprised this weekend when they saw the @cnn report by @fareedzakaria on Nigerians
59% of Nigerian immigrants in the US are highly educated with bachelors degree or above; more than US citizens born here, with 39%. This makes Nigerians the most educated immigrants in the US; higher than Germany, China, UK or any other country in the world, living in the US.
These are not just numbers or statistics, they are people that I have met and interacted with. The report says, 54% of Nigerians are in white collar jobs, in Management, Science, Business and the Arts; compared to 39% of the people born in the US. I was not surprised at all.
Beyond economic complexity/growth diagnoses, I am excited to be doing a deep dive into education. A few weeks ago, I did a poll across different groups and ask what policy or public administration area should I focus on at the @Kennedy_School. Education came out: #EducateNigeria
Over the last two months, I’ve engaged professors and students who are passionate about education transformation to help zoom in on the best education policy direction for Nigeria in the next 50years. #EducateNigeria
To effectively do this, we needed to ask “where does Nigeria want to be in 30-50 years”; since no one has defined this for us, I had to first define that, at least for me and we can revisit later and agree/disagree as a generation. #educateNigeria
At the end of the day, politicians will always be politicians so frankly I don’t care much much about their posts and speeches anymore. However, we should be angry but remain civil; sin not! These are our Corp Members who have been deployed across the nation to help us handle
Our elections (swipe and see their conditions last night). There are people you and I know here. Don’t even get me started about those that were harassed by police and thugs last night, we have the reports. I have mentees here, you may have sisters and brothers here.
Your friends may be a part of them. These boys and girls should be in descent hostels or hotels across the nation with adequate basic amenities and security. But no see what we do to them in every election cycle. Many of them died in 2011, and 2015;