Lessons From Singapore

18 05 2010

As with any journey, physically beyond borders, or mentally beyond our comfort zones, there is always a lesson to be learnt.

‘Lessons’ to take back to better yourself, and those around you, or ‘lessons’ to avoid and equally steer others from….with the philosophy ‘lesson’ outta the way, Asia is freaking cool!

They gained their independence in 1965, and they are light years ahead in terms of development, economically, and (obviously) in technology. That isn’t to say that, “oyimbo brain pass black man brain”, I believe its having that “call to action” and that singular vision of “aspiring to be the best for your fellow country man, and ultimately to the world”

Also, to all those people that whine about NYSC (Nigerian Youth Service Corps), their youth service starts from the point you are 18, and it is a compulsory 2 year dedication….think about that!

Fashion in Singapore leans more to high-street wear cum eccentric. Its the big names that reign in this town, as you see a mass of the young crowd prowling the shops on Orchard Street (Singapore’s “Rodeo Drive/Melrose/Oxford Street”). Bright colors are in, not so much t-shirts, fedora hats,Ā  skinny jeans are a must. All is slim, slim-fitted shirts, slim-fitted trousers, slim-fitted suits…the kind of place I can easily walk in, buy clothes without trying them on. I’m as slim as they come

The “Hollywood” life aside, and going back to the question at hand, “What Lessons are to be learnt?”

1. Its no use having 5 shopping malls (like the palms) if we don’t have constant electricity, since electricity was invented.

2. Its no use extending our public transportation system if we can’t maintain the existing vehicles on ground.

3. How wouldn’t the “youth not be prepared for leadership” (subtly said by the ever-inspiring Ibrahim Babagida) if priority and financial investment is not given to Education?

4. Why would many of us Nigerians, be ‘in our element‘, which includes being unkind to each other, exhibit poor customer service, jumping queues, never respecting right-of-way, when nothing around us apparently does not work. How then are people supposed to act, when there are no binding rules to guide them?

5. How would we truly embrace change when many of us are more concerned with short-term gains, over long-term development
I really wish not to go all preachy on you, but they are some things I think are important, and should be given attention to.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a Chinese guy one time going to South Africa, and he said, “Listen, I’ve worked in Nigeria almost all my life, and I can almost call it home, but there’ s one thing I’ve noticed. Nigerian’s love to overcelebrate under-achievements” (Now imagine my mind being blown into pieces, and the temptation to hide my passport from all sight!)

"Mind Explosion"

But for what it’s worth, I Love Nigeria, it’s my country, it’s our country, and still hold on to the belief that we would put hands together and gain that singular vision, we would make it great….someday!

Demola Ogunnaike SNC