Sunday, 30 March 2014

THE TRIPLE THREAT

Watching the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump, the Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, talking about a fellow roaster Larry King said “in this business, Larry King is known as a Triple Threat because at anytime he could have a heart attack, have a stroke, or shit his pants.” This got me reeling in laughter every time I watch that particular “Roast”; but this is not the case when I think about the triple threat to the future of the youths of this country, I always struggle to keep back the tears. Stark Illiteracy, Drug Abuse, and Legalized Gambling are the triple threat to the future of the Nigerian youth.

Come on guys, you mean you don’t cry every time you read comments on blogs and websites? The youths cannot keep a conversation going without resorting to ethnic mumbo-jumbo and verbal assaults; and these are usually written in English that is at war with the standards of spelling, grammar, or context, you would think the law has been rewritten to allow everyone determine what the rules of spelling, grammar, and context are. Yes, I know English is not our first language, but how many people can even write in their mother-tongue? Please, do not come to me from that angle. Is it not disheartening that we have so many schools, public and private, from the Primary to the University level, and our youths are still stark illiterates? Most of the Youths cannot keep a logical argument going, they cannot draw conclusive deductions or inference, and they do not read. All the guidance we need in this world is in books, but the youths will not read. Imagine my disgust when Achebe died and I came across some youths who had smartphones and had never heard of Chinua Achebe, come on guys Wikipedia and Google should be bookmarked on every youth’s browser for the nation’s future sake. Most of the time when I see this, I ask myself- are these people normal or are they under the influence of some substances? Maybe!

Substance Abuse is also another threat to the future of the Nigerian Youth. Substance abuse has been around from time immemorial, but it has never been this blatant or pervasive from time immemorial. I remember growing up, anyone who smoked hemp was considered a deviant and anyone who is suspected of taking cocaine or heroin is considered a shame to his/her family. Now, these are considered some of the coolest things to do. Not so long ago, taking a hard drug is considered one of the three axes of ignominy, alongside armed robbery and prostitution. Nowadays, substance abuse is considered a fad of maturity. It is hard to believe that cannabis is an illegal drug because you can always see people smoking them everywhere you turn, and our youths are so creative with its use that they boil and drink it like tea, they also spice their food with it. Yet cannabis is not the worst of the drugs that most youths have become dependent on. Benylin with Codeine is a staple drug for some, while some are slaves to painkillers even when they have not lifted a finger at all. Then comes the creative sniffing of petrol/diesel fumes, sniffing of drainage dregs, and the sniffing of cocaine. Come on people, are you not scared?

Now comes in the cankerworm of Legalized Gambling. I used to remember people pointing at other old people who look as if they have wasted their lives and singling out “pool” as the sole reason why they were never-do-wells. Gambling used to be a vice meant for the demon-possessed and the cursed, but now, it is for everyone. From Government-floated gambling medium like “Lagos Lotto”, to private ones like “Baba Ijebu” to the countless sports-based ones like NairaBet, 1960Bet, Bet9ja, SportsBet, MerryBet, and any other Prefix+Bets you can think of. Gambling is in concordance with the average Nigerian love for the get-rich-quick syndrome, and people will tell you that even life itself is a risk and when nothing is ventured, nothing is gained; but not everything we term risk is actually risk, some are actually stupidity, and I believe gambling falls perfectly within that scope. I am all for one using one’s knowledge and expertise to profit oneself (is that not the only sane thing to do?), but when you think because you watch a lot of football you can always predict the happenings in the next football matches, I begin to doubt if you have not been sniffing too much of “drainage dregs”. If a lot of people actually win, the Gambling outfits would have gone into extinction; the percentage of people who actually win is infinitesimal and the probability that “e fit be u” even less infinitesimal. Gambling is meant to fleece the people of their hard-earned cash with the promise of multiplying it for them, but that promise is like a mirage that keeps shifting its position once you get close.

Honestly, I will not pretend to have solutions to the ills I have highlighted above, and thoughts on the way forward will be most-welcome from you, and while I am still waiting, let me go to Nairaland and read some more of the mumbo-jumbo; then take a walk around my neighbourhood and try to hold back the tears at young guys smoking and sniffing their lives away at every junction, while also trying not to laugh at the guys lamenting over missing the 1960Bet Jackpot of six million naira because Chelsea lost to Crystal Palace.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash