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Gidi Culture Festival: Green Pasture Syndrome



BellaNaija partners with the organizers of Gidi Culture Festival. So, what exactly is Gidi Culture Festival? It is a movement which serves to provoke insightful thoughts, towards the motivated and empowered African youth. It is the voice for the youth, by the youth. The African society seems to have failed the youth; unemployment ravages its populace, to the extent that the will to matter eludes the average citizen. Our society in its acknowledgement of social strata has barricaded the common man from the luxuries of quality, accessible entertainment in a safe environment. The Gidi Culture Festival bring this to an end and has been noted for its novel ideas in giving back to the community with its Beach Sweeps and Dreams project. This 8-part series hopes to send a meaningful discourse among young people today.
‘The Labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’ This is a ery familiar line from the Nigerian National Anthem  that should indeed become food for our thoughts as a people.

This piece seeks to examine the irony in migration trends within Africa. There are parts of Africa that have been declared as hopeless, failed states, Somalia is a classic example. However, economic projections and business analysts around the world have also identified that Africa, as a continent, is a gold mine in itself. How so with all the challenges that we find around us?

Africa, as an emerging market, has continued to go through reforms and development in diverse sectors, Africa is truly emerging. One of the major characteristics of this emergence is that there are gaps and vacuums that present opportunities and solutions, by way of great investments, and promise even greater returns. For example, telecommunications in Nigeria is only a few years old. Before the advent of GSM phones, that aspect of Nigeria’s economy was lying fallow, yet there was the need for digital communication. Today the focus seems to be on industries like e-commerce, in Nigeria today over $100 million has been invested in e-commerce. All these are indicators that the land is green.

Developed economies have been proven not to present the diverse opportunities that Africa does. The risks of investing in an unstable continent may be unarguably high, ranging from ethnic and political instabilities, but so are the returns when investments with Africa pay off. They return in folds, because these ideas are solutions based, they solve real problems in our society. If we looked around us, we will see that the potential in Africa is truly limitless.

The obvious form of colonialism that is characterized by chains and an iron rod has been over for decades, but there is a neo form of the same that is prevalent within Africa. Freedom of humanity is indeed beyond what meets the eye. The opinion expresses spawns from an obvious trend and ideology within Africa. The belief that ‘Greener Pastures’ lay beyond Africa only. What has this done to the mindset of its victims? They believe that life ‘abroad’ is filled will luxuries and bliss only; that all they need in life is an opportunity to leave Africa. Hollywood hasn’t helped so much as well, people who do not know any better assume that the larger than life society they watch on the screens of their television is what is obtainable in reality.

Observing embassies around Nigeria, it is as though people’s lives depend on migrating to the West. The whole idea seems very palatable but there are realities to it as well – ‘Nothing is Free in FreeTown.’ To earn a living anywhere in the world you must work hard, there are no shortcuts to it. A lot of Africans have migrated to the west and are doing very well but make no mistake, they had their share of struggles, and a lot of hard work goes before success in any society.

Again, there are millions of Africans stuck in different countries ‘abroad’ and feeling very lost. The desperation for a life in the west has driven many to a place of helplessness and confusion. There are people who are permanently in hiding, because the authorities could have them deported at sight, as they do not have the right permits to live or work in these societies. Others have subjected themselves to horrible conditions, all for the pursuit of a life in the West. Even more seriously, lives have been lost and families broken as a twig of the bid to live outside Africa at all cost. Is this exodus always worth it?

It would interest you to know that much of the investments by capitalist ventures have a focus and a following on Africa. Although classified as low risk economies, not a lot goes to Europe and other parts of the west as does emerging economies like India, China and Africa. This is an indication that the world still believes that Africa can live up to its potential.

More interesting is the in flock of foreigners into Africa; not on a vacation, but to live and work therein and belong to the society. What do they see in our Africa that we haven’t caught a sight of? We may say that they not only come in with business ideas, but the requisite funding for these ideas. However, it remains a pointer that it can happen right here in Africa. Let our minds be illuminated today by the fact that there are options when it comes to geographical placements, as being a factor to succeed.

It always seems greener on the other side, but don’t give up on your Africa.

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1 Comment

  1. TheresaO

    February 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    So true. To succeed in any society, you have to work hard. Thanks Gidi Culture Festival!

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