A lot is happening.
Generation Z Nigeria (and Africa) is evolving a dynamic pop-culture of its own. A paradigm shift that is inspired by the different unique facets that have made up our sociopolitical environment, and a considerable dose of Western influence.
This renaissance as some may choose to call it is a direct effect of our increasing interconnections associated with the media age; powered by the internet and associated technologies. These inventions truly did set the pace for life in the 21st century and beyond.
As Richard pointed out in his article How connected are we, no walk of life is being left out. Our tech eco-system(although industry veteran Emeka Okoye would rather not call it that) is growing rather rapidly. I touched here in this article how the impacts of this growth are being felt already in grass-roots sectors like education, finance, agriculture, health, and transport. In fact, I just recently read about a young Nigerian creating affordable accommodation in Lagos using old shipping containers.
Now the big question is, what should all this mean to the average Nigerian living in this time?
The answer is this: This is not a time to sit back and find solace in the old excuses. We have historically been known as a nation of big thinkers and little opportunity. Good news, a lot is now more attainable so a reshaping of the old narrative is in order. Let’s capitalize on that in whatever area of life we have chosen or stumbled into.
An interesting reference is the reinvention of our art, film and lifestyle industry. Recently, our artists have been reaching for more prospects, targeting previously unattainable international milestones. In effect, the arts, as a bonafide industry is gaining more widespread acceptance and export potential.
Here’s a point of view that resonates:
“What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”
— Eugene Delacroix
It has long been established that the duty of the artist is not only to be a documenter of culture but to actively influence it. I am a strong believer, like the legendary Robert Schumman in the power of conscious art not to change, but to awaken the mindset of a people. Just take a look at the lasting effects of the Renaissance or any other major art movement on Europe.
I want to be clear — this is not a dramatic romanticizing of new, superficial art movements. I’m already aware that quirky terms like ‘new age’ have come to be perceived as another fanciful expression of restless youth. I make it a point to resist that direction of thought.
I choose to interpret what I see as a wake-up call, particularly to those of us including myself who are yet to fully digest our immense opportunities in this volatile time we live in. Let’s wake up and smell roses: The impossible is becoming increasingly less so. It’s time to go for it!
A lot is happening and we need all of our minds on this journey.