05 Feb Teenage Crisis: A call to secure our staggering future
Unsure. Nonplussed. Disoriented. Ask Sola what she wants to be in life and you get a disheartening blend of the aforementioned trio reactions.
She makes an attempt to answer and starts and ends with everything others want her to be. She speaks dispassionately of her parents’ career desire for her, of how her friends’ choices of career path influenced hers. When you think it can’t get worse, she ends by narrating how JAMB made a convert of her from an Arts student to a student of the sciences. It is a tale of how everything but herself defined her narrative.
You want to salvage something, to ignite a desire, to light a fire in her, so you ask “So, what are your reactions to all these? How do you want to right the wrongs?” She struggles with herself for a few minutes and comes up with these three words, barely a whisper: “I don’t know.”
You meet Eni next and you see the contrast to Sola: Eni knows. She wants to be a Medical Doctor. She is brilliant, you find out from your interaction, but you see other things too. Eni lacks the drive, confidence and self-esteem to pursue her clear-cut dreams. Give her a challenge to test her mental capacity, she cowers and falters.
In Kola, you see someone who wants to dissociate himself totally from his humble background and its attendant effects. For him, it is all about the money: Get-Rich-Or-Die-Trying.
Tola is trained in catering and decorations. She wants to further her education. Her parents do not have the means to fulfil this pressing desire of hers.
Tim’s protean: a freshman studying Mass communication, a talented basketball player, a skilled drummer, just beginning a training in Computer engineering. His big concern: how easy will it be not to be forced to sacrifice all he wants to be on the altar of scholastic pursuits?
Then there’s Joy. Young. Vivacious. On the brink of losing her head to the crowd. Popular peer opinion for her: get a boyfriend, get flashy accessories, then you belong to the happening crowd. Now, she has an older boyfriend who won’t stop asking her to come stay a night with him. Her mind has been one of great confusion and fears, with one overriding question: should I just go?
Taiwo loves learning so much except that he finds understanding all he is taught extremely difficult because he feels overwhelmed by the volume of his class workload. His performance reflects this challenge: woeful. He needs help. One, to create a workable study strategy. Two, to find a conducive environment for study. Three, to have someone trustworthy and capable to monitor his progress.
Bisi. Young. Naïve. Pedestrian. Clueless about what she wants to become in life. A clear indication that her environment has no models for her to look up to. Maybe exposure to success stories and narratives of young people like her is all the magic she needs.
For Dele, expressing himself in English language is a big problem. His fear is how he will pass the subject in his forthcoming SSCE.
These and many more fears / challenges are disburdened during the SAFE ACADEMY.
In as much as Sozo Networks is determined to put these ones and many more on the right track, without your support, we would have a pittance of achievement. There are still many more out there and their tomorrow depend on what you decide today.
Help Sozo save the future!
P.S- The given names are derivatives, so as to protect the individuals’ identity, but the stories remain true.
Written by Grace Anyiam