Typing the word “Youth” on Google got me 38,600,000 results which show that youths are really recognized in the world. It also shows that youths are important in the world. According to Google, the definition for youth is “the period between childhood and adult age” United Nation’s statistical age across regions is between 15-24yrs.  This made me wonder and asked myself, I am above 25yrs old, and does that mean I cannot be classed as a youth again?? Well, in the sub-Saharan Africa, the term “Youth” is associated with young men and women from ages 15-30yrs and even to 35yrs old.

I made a Google search on “Roles of Youths in building USA” and I got 97,300,00 results in 0.67seconds, I also searched for “Roles of Youths in building China” I got 98,300,000 results in 0.82seconds but when I made the search for Nigeria, I got 13,500,000 results in 0.49 seconds. I thought to myself, what does this tell me about? In my opinion, (which I think you would agree with me) is the Role of Youths in those two countries (USA and China) have been recognized more than it has been recognized in Nigeria. I guess you would also agree that both countries (USA and China) are world economic power. This simply implies that the Youths are very important in building or reshaping any country.

Nigeria as a country has so many challenges hindering her growth and development. Such challenges are as a result of Corruption, Security, Education, Leadership, Finances, and Unemployment amongst others. Nigeria is nothing without the people. We are Nigeria! Therefore when we say “Reshaping Nigeria” we are literally saying “Reshaping People” and we can technically say “Reshaping the Youths”. The vision of any country lies in the hands of the youths and these are youths filled with tremendous and towering ambitious.  The Holy book even says in Joel 2:28b “your young men shall see visions”.

“Reshaping Nigeria: What can the youth do?”  In my opinion, the first thing the youths need to do is to be availed to good education. Education should not be mixed up with Academics although they are related, they have different meanings. Academics describes the years in which a particular study structure is written. Education is an art to gain knowledge to explore hidden things. “Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself”. Education involves getting wisdom and being enlightened about different aspects of life. Education helps you to read, write, think, understand, analyze and discuss numerous/various issues. Education reforms your thinking and eventually gives you a purpose. Getting a good education is one fact/truth/reality that can never be over emphasized. According to Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world”

Furthermore, one very important need to reshape Nigeria is the CHARACTER of the youths. Character is the bedrock of habits. Character is the mental and moral quality that is distinctive to an individual. Your character goes a long way in defining who you are. You can’t say I am a good person and your character says otherwise. Character building begins with you believing in yourself, telling yourself that you are in this world to be a good ambassador. Reshaping Nigeria is character building, it goes way beyond sovereignty, it is not just about economics, but way beyond economics. It is not about what is built, rather it is about who builds it. Character building is building Nigeria. People grow to nationhood when their character develops the virtues and values that propel them towards higher humanity. Violence, corruption and poverty are the standard ills or evils that plague people who have been unable to parallel the higher intent of creation. When the crass and material need dominate the perspective and attitude of people, their togetherness translates only to survivalist behavior and growth at the expense of others who are weaker.

It is through the refinement of character, and the development of collective discipline which adopts integrity, honesty, industry, respect and humaneness for the young, the elderly and the disabled that a people rise up to nobility and honor.

One important reason why it is difficult to eradicate corruption in Nigeria is the lack of honesty. Most of us are not honest anymore. The spirit of honesty should be inculcated; we should learn about the value of honesty and practice it. We should learn to be honest in schools, honest with ourselves, honest with other people, honest with our lives and honest about whatever we do. We have to be honest when taking tests and national examinations, many student defaults in that and they are interested in reshaping Nigeria? It doesn’t work like that.

Empathy is a character to build, empathy for other people, especially for the poor. The current generation has led some people to live individualistically. Some people think only about their lives and families and don’t think about other people, they don’t think about the country. The nation will become strong when all Nigerians begin to see each other as one big family. Character building is indescribably important in Reshaping Nigeria.

There are a lot of things that youths need to get involved in in the reshaping of Nigeria.  These are: taking responsibilities; being involved in group activities; knowing and doing the right things etc the good thing is that there is a ripple effect from one action taken to the others. Imagine you take a bowl of water which is full to the brim and put it on a flat surface, allowing the water to calm down. When you see the water without movement, allow the tip of your finger to touch it. You would notice the ripple movement of the water. That is how the effect of taking action would move around in reshaping Nigeria.

Young people in any country represent the future of that country. The role of youths in reshaping Nigeria is the most important in today’s time; we are the strong forces in social movement.


ODEKUNLE Ifemidayo.


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