When I look at my country, when I assess its perpetually sorry state and all its struggles, I want to become a doctor for Nigeria. I want to provide effective remedies for ailments that kill more than they should, and offer my services free for all. I feel like going back to school to study midwifery, and perhaps a few less children will die before they open their eyes.
I want to enrol at Law School on Victoria Island and be called to the bar. Eventually, I will become a fair, incorruptible judge. I want to be a police officer. Maybe I will be a commissioner someday and train up a selfless, competent force, pay and house them well so they don’t have to collect bribes.
I want to become an architect and design buildings that are environmentally friendly and won’t collapse with the slightest rainy season breeze. I want to be an engineer and finally fix that Third Mainland Bridge; to avoid the massacre that will come when it eventually gives way.
I want to be a teacher and perhaps secure a saner future generation. I want to be a farmer and run a kibbutz-style community, so people are well-fed, sheltered and have gainful employment. I really want to create good employment, and be a fair employer. I want to be a boss at a top financial institution and give all my staff 4-day weeks and free medical check-ups, so that fewer of them die from stress. They will have paid maternity and paternity leave for a year and their jobs will be secure, waiting for whenever they wish to return.
I want to be the Minister of Tourism. With tourism, improved safety and security and better public infrastructure follow. I want to put us up on display for the world to see and celebrate our cultures, our languages, our vast history and diversity. I want people to dream of emulating our way of life the way they do Bali.
I want to be a philanthropist. I want to invest in people’s lives. I wish I had the means to sponsor our athletes, artists, archaeologists and historians; to fund key scientific research and watch the findings come to fruition and improve our quality of life.
Above all, I want to do all these things well, not for the sake of my pocket or for pride or to make a name for myself, but so that people finally live long, happy lives. I am tired of seeing unnecessary deaths, of seeing us take reckless risks with our lives, of hearing about robberies by people who are just hungry and desperate, of seeing the innocent trampled upon and the guilty praised.
When I look at Nigeria, I want to be a comfort and joy in this dark pit that is unattained potential.