Everyone has a path. I do not expect everyone I know or everyone that reads this blog to tackle social justice in a head-on approach, the way I sometimes do. Choose what works best for you. However, one thing is undeniable – no matter the path and passions that align to you, you have a voice. Your voice encompasses your power, your identity, your fearlessness, what you choose to stand for. Nobody has power over your voice, more than you do.
Different parts of the world are caught up in a web of suffering and injustice, of different sorts. Our world needs as much people as possible to stand for virtues, for the right things and not for fear and silence, in the midst of injustice. You do not need to identify as an advocate or attend protests to be a person tackling societies issues. The point is that as citizens of the world, we have a mandate to use any kind of opportunity that we are given to promote social justice and in whatever capacity that we can. This week, I had the pleasure of speaking at two events in Lagos. One was the Association of African Business Schools’ (AABS) 2016 Connect conference and the other was the Lagos Ideas Week event.
At the AABS conference, I gave a presentation on – Boosting Entrepreneurship in Africa, to a room filed with business school deans from across Africa who came to the conference to enlighten themselves on best practices that could be applied to their business schools. I thought it was a great opportunity for me to speak about issues of some African economies. So, I gave a presentation (with slides) on how business schools can better train their students AND also take the impact beyond their students to the community, by offering free business training to marginalized people or challenging their students to come up with business creation strategies aimed for the people on the society’s margins.
At Lagos Ideas Week, during my talk on Developing Reading Habit and Creative Writing, I was told to recommend a book to the audience. I suggested one that had touched on the 3-year civil war that happened in Nigeria many years ago. I further added that the civil war is not really talked about and we need to learn from it so that we can forge ahead as a country bound by love and not divided by tribalism. If you have been told stories or have read about the Nigerian civil war, you would realize that it was genocide, targeted mainly at the Igbos of Nigeria. Tribalism is still a huge issue in Nigeria which each tribe needs to tackle and put a stop to. Tribalism in Nigeria is not targeted in just one direction.
I got those opportunities, they were not about human rights advocacy but for a world terribly bent by injustice, hate, war and poverty, I thought I should infuse an element of current affairs – sad current affairs, to be specific. I think we often feel that standing for the right thing is automatically equivalent to putting yourself at risk. Each person has their journey in terms of the way they choose to go about justice but you can still live a life without risk by using your opportunities to speak about people on the margins of society.
Again, our world needs as much people as possible to stand for virtues and justice. Will you answer the call? I hope “Yes” 🙂
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