“Excuse me ma’am”. “Please, you can have my sit while you wait, sir”. “I’ll rather buy a substitute product than buy a pirated version”. “Thank you”.
Those are the dream ideals of any sane society – a place filled with fairness, trust, love and sensible judgement. Often times, whenever I have the opportunity to be among teeming youths discussing the issues of Africa or my motherland, Nigeria I usually hear suggestions or opinions that claim the whole genesis of the African curse is our Leaders. Whether it is politics, business or sports, they all conclude that the bad leadership is key to the array of problems Africa jealously keeps in its purse.
Voila! I got it. Leadership is a vague term – had to describe and ascribe. Your neighbor is a leader, so as your landlord. What really makes communities sane is not the so-called ‘leadership’, but ‘spirit of community’. America always talk about their founding fathers, not a founding father.
Each community has a ‘finger print’. Their finger print is their governing culture. It is a sub-conscious emission from each member of that community. Interesting to note, cultures are like habits; they are formed and are not natural. Like habits, they are conscious actions and efforts to obtain a particular effect. You often hear of you can enter an irish pub, and feel it’s irish or how you can visit chinese restaurant and you don’t to ask: ‘what type of place is this’?
Guess you get my point by now. To have the Africa or Nigeria that we all dream of, we have to 1st, stop the usual rhetoric about how we need good leaders. 2ndly, let’s all decide what we think is right and let us do it [especially the little things] now.
When we eventually have society that thrives on trust, collaboration, care, support, fairness like the days past in Nigeria, where parents used to carpool neighbors kids and other parents to school and work, or when families made environmental cleaning in Lagos a community meetup, or when you could easily get lost and find your way without a google map.
Lastly, the people at co-creation hub (cchub) kick started an ideal of innovative entrepreneurism in Yaba and now, others like Ideahub Nigeria, Andela, Leadspace, Wave Academy, etc. have joined to enlarge that ‘atmosphere’ all around Yaba and throughout Lagos.
…and we’ll live purplly ever after.