Improving the environment in Nigeria: my groundbreaking plan

Each time I see a fellow Nigerian throw a biscuit wrap, an emptied plastic bottle, banana peels, or corncobs out of a moving car or while trekking on the sidewalks, my heart breaks, literally. The ease at which Nigerians litter the public with consumed products is an attitude that should be checked.

I have a belief that every trash on the road has a story. The icecream sachet by the curb was thrown by a careless Nigerian in a commuter bus after consumption, and was made to travel long distances by winds generated by speedy cars. This icecream sachet by the curb is very close to a drainage inlet, and with a little push it gets into the drains to join thousands of its brothers.

In Nigeria, we see all too often the havoc trash-choked drainages cause. When heavy rain falls, the drainage gets full because the system is choked with trash. In the Island region of Lagos, for example, flooding is observed every so often because the drains are chocked up.

The problem isn’t more so the drainage designs than it is the attitude Nigerians have with trash. Although some ingenious social enterprises in Nigeria that recycle waste have sprung up, like Wecyclers and RecyclePoints amid others, the core problem is still left unsolved.

Nigerians are not aware of what littering does to the environment. That is why Nigerians carelessly throw trash out their cars and houses. There is also this myopic mentality of ‘my biscuit wrap or plastic bottle is just one trash and how much damage can one trash cause?’.

To help solve this problem, what I will do, what anyone passionate about improving the environment can do is partner with LAWMA (Lagos State Waste Management Authority) and the Federal Government on an aggressive Awareness Campaign against littering. The public must be educated on the environmental hazards littering cause.

I will work with graphic designers who will design creative stickers and posters that will be pasted everywhere as not enough are out there. I will partner with TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers to run soul-searching anti-littering awareness campaigns. It is not enough to just write ‘PLEASE DO NOT LITTER’ as this message has become rather cliché. I and my social network of creative writers will come together to piece words that pierce the heart of Nigerians in hope that the Nigerian will think twice before throwing trash out of vehicles and houses.


Purpose in business

When I was in school I had a DJ friend whom I always admired. When it came to weekend parties, DJ Java was the man. Anyone who wanted to organize a party soon had to come to him. He had the tools, and he made cool money week in week out. I admired his passion and most times questioned myself about it. How can somebody already know what he wants and pursue it with so much zeal? It beat my imagination. Maybe I thought this way because I’m somewhat of a traveler. But this guy knew what he wanted to do and be in life, and he was already doing it while in school and making money as well.

Sometimes I’d think real deep about DJ Java. Did he choose what he wanted to be in life? Or did he just know it? It puzzled me because life has so many options, and I catch myself wondering, how will people just choose one thing out of so many things? How does a Doctor choose his profession and stick to it? How does an Engineer choose his profession? Doesn’t an Engineer imagine himself a Doctor sometimes?

Choosing what business to go into can be a Pandora’s box. Most times life chooses for you, or you just get tired of traveling. The truth is there are so many things you can be in life, but you obviously can’t be everything. So, choose something you’re really passionate about, something that relates with you on a deep level. Maybe you’ve always wanted to open a bar, maybe you’ve always wanted to be a music producer, maybe you’ve always wanted to open a restaurant, or a shopping mall. Think of something you love and build a business around it.

What is your passion, and how do you plan to build a business on it?


Diplomacy: the downside

I always pride myself on being dynamically diplomatic, on being ruthlessly neutral on most issues. Meaning that no matter how tight the argument is, I can always put myself in the shoes of everyone; in a way trying to please everyone. This is a problem.

Being diplomatic isn’t particularly a bad thing, but in our world today it somewhat places you at a disadvantage. You are seen as WEAK and easily prodded by the arrogant. People are generally arrogant; taking sides and sticking rigidly to them. The diplomat must perfect the skill of neutrality. But in today’s world, neutrality = weakness.

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Is it possible to be open-minded?

Is it possible to be open minded in today’s world?

In our world today it might look like everyone’s taking sides, you know, you are taught to belong to something; some dogma, some lifestyle, some religion. But there are people who don’t want to belong to anything, and there are also people who think that everyone MUST belong to something.

I believe that it is indeed possible to be truly open-minded, to leave your mind bare to all aspects of life. I don’t believe that one must belong to a dogma or a specific way of life. Why can’t I belong to more that one thing? Who says I can’t have more than one personality? I think it is very arrogant of we human beings to force each other into myopic aspects of life.

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Get to it

Better late than never, guys, better late than never.

Do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do. Get it started now. Don’t wait it out any longer, don’t waste any second more procrastinating. Get started now. Just like the Nike catchphrase: Just Do It.

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