Must read! An open letter to Nigeria's new generation - Funmi Iyanda | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Must read! An open letter to Nigeria's new generation - Funmi Iyanda

Open letter to a new generation, keynote delivered by Funmi Iyanda at the ThinkOyo 30under30 awards recently. Read below...
The thing about age is, it is catching. It’s like a hysterical jester lying in wait for the fool.
I want to tell you about Mrs Okoro. Before l turned nine, school was a vaguely irritating distraction from the pursuit of happiness in play and adventure. Every school day, I’d wear my red checked dress and burgundy beret uniform and passively submitto school. l was not a rebellious child. I was a bored child who daydreamed through classes until lunch when the school served asaro and chicken with bananas and ground nuts as snacks. That was until l got to Mrs Okoro’s class.


Mrs Okoro made letters become words, words which became stories, stories which became my life. I loved her dearly, perhaps it was transference as l’d recently lost my mother but at nine, l started going to school because she was there. One day walking out the gates after school, l saw Mrs Okoro getting into a bus ahead of me so l ran across the road to get into the same bus. I didn’t bother checking for traffic. The next thing l rememberis thinking heavenlooked rather like Akoka road. I had been hit by a car and was staring up at the concerned faces of Mrs Okoro and others. The driver was distraught; he was a student at Unilag and in the moment before pain cut through my adrenalin, l remember being happy l had been hit by a grand university student not some infernal danfo bus driver.

He took me to the university health centre where the nurses gave me a large cone of ice cream to comfort me before treating me and putting me in the big university bus home. My heart was swollen with pride as the shiny big bus drove down our dirt street in Bariga. Not a dime was exchanged, no one called my father at work, there were no mobile phones and we had no phone at home. There was no need; the system took care of me.  It was Nigeria 1980.

Recently on my way out of Nigeria, the Murtala Mohammed airport was thrown into chaos, people were sweating and swearing, passengers stranded as all electronic equipment had stopped working.  The place stank because there was no water to clean the toilets.  I watched the white airline crew walk by with barely contained derision as they gingerly sidestepped the mess. The problem wasn’t that there was no electricity at the airport, that’s normal; it was that someone had not supplied the diesel to run one of the generators.

I sat in a corner, observing people; those who fascinated me most were the band of men, mid thirties to late forties, Nigeria’s emerging business and political elite. I recognised them by their Louis Vuitton luggage, logo jacket and velvet slippers, disguising their social anxiety with an unabated desire for the pointless. Seemingly oblivious to their environment, they strutted about backslapping and rolling their r's, being cocky, rude and dismissive to everyone.

What stuck me most about these preening peacocks though, was their total lack of shame at the state of things. They are the band of new-Africa-rising, proudly Nigerian jingoists, living in a glass bubble as far removed from the Nigerian reality as you can get. For them patriotism is not a recognition of failure and a determination to redress it, but a slogan to be worn, tweeted or liked.

Later on, crammed into a rather unsanitary first class lounge, I watched them posturing for furtive young female travelling companions, clearly under instructions to pretend not to know them. The odd thing is that these are no corn farmers made good from my native Ida ogun, these lounge dwellers are very well educated and uncommonly well travelled Nigerians. A defective fraction of the immense amount of brainpower and knowledge Nigeria has produced. They help prevent their peers fulfilling their potential and a pool of brilliant thinkers, explorers, scientists, innovators and artists is lost, squandered by a nation that strangulates its best.

I often hear foreigners perplexedly comment that Nigerians are some of the best educated, urbane and confident black people they have ever met, so how come the country is so, well, Shit?

One reason staring them in the face is that, the best-educated, urbane and confident elite they delight in meeting has failed us.

The question therefore should be, what is it about the country that makes it impossible for its bright, hard working, resource rich population to organise itself into collective prosperity? What is it that turns some of Nigeria's brightest technocrats into hand wringing, head-scratching incompetents when they achieve power?

You see, Nigeria was founded as an economic proposition to collect and remit resources to the empire, with the British government entrenching a feudal, centralized, western-education-phobic elite in the North and a westernized, Judeo-Christian, anglicised elite in the south.

On departure, these elites with their distinct cultural differences but common goal of avarice became the new imperialists. Imbued with a servitude underpinned by self-loathing and a voracious appetite to mimic their former bosses, they confused westernisation for civilisation and like all counterfeiters concentrated on the surface of things. Thus, to their thinking, the more resources of the land they could coral, the more trappings of the west they could possess and the more civilised they could become.

That unwelcome process continues today. 

For this elite, the rest of their kith and kin fill them with unease and even disgust and they condemn them to poverty and a passive consumption of other people’s science, innovations, religions, art and technology as though such achievements are beyond us. They also condemn their own children to future poverty not just material but emotional and cultural. Notably the stolen wealth hardly outlives the first generation.

Each time the elite is replaced, it is by a new generation similarly afflicted and culturally insecure with the same desire to fraudulently acquire a large share of the common wealth themselves.

This is self-loathing in action. It is a terminal disease.

Our common humanity and civilisation should be guaranteed by carefully protected, ever evolving structures, systems and processes, which reflect all our highest values and aspirations. Kajola ni Yoruba nwi.

The system designed by the British was to serve the big empire. It was not designed to work for us and never will.

We all know this and every so often the government of the day will propose a state sponsored jamboree to endlessly chew the curd of that vexatious issue of reform, only to artfully spit it out when the people are sufficiently distracted by the increasingly circus-like, mad-max dystopia we are living through.

The dysfunction at Nigeria’s heart remains because it serves the interests of whichever big man muscles or cheats his way into power. (Note; I said man, the system will never allow for a woman, at least not a woman who won’t do the needful.)

But what about the people? What about the youth?

The subtext of Obasanjo’s recent letter to Jonathan is what they used to call two fighting boy and boy in the streets of Shomolu. The people can sense this it is not their fight; they are as disconnected from the elite as the elite are from them.

They know their place is to submit and dream. They want to be the next big cat. They have no real distaste for those who have stolen their future; often they just want to replace them. The grudging admiration seeping through their envy fuelled whimpers of protest reveals fragile egos easily stroked by association with those who have raped them, then thrown them a bit of Vaseline and warm towels.

They desire to be the ones at the airport with the designer bags and unplaceable accent. The one’s who are gearing up to follow the path of those before them. To flaunt luxuries but live in situations so far removed from the vision of life those luxuries where designed for. When Karl Lagerfeld designs each Chanel bag he cannot possibly envisage it may end up in a place where the carrier can be dragged out of a car and raped in daylight with witnesses and no repercussions. Yes that happened. The baubles do not make us civilised, a country built on a political structure that allows the creativity, innovation, and talent of all to thrive does. 

Nigeria in 1980 was by no means a perfect place but would my counterpart in Shomolu today have a Mrs Okoro or such access to public health care?

Let us sound a warning to our "betters," as they push and pull the country one way and another in their hustle; it is untenable, there will be a snapping, one, which no one can predict.

So what shall we do? What will the young intellectual elite of today do differently?

A youth cultural revolution of ideology and values perhaps? Jettison the hypocrisy, the pseudo religious, anti women, anti children, anti poor patriarchy. Turn away from the bigotry, the megalomania, and the cultural bravado. Free yourselves and your future. Speak the truth to power and each other, not just on twitter, to face. Refuse to participate in the racket, the hustle, and the lie. Be better than that which is on offer.

Thatcher, a deeply polarising figure, but outstanding leader once said;

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become. "

 Start now before you become the company CEO, the minister, the commissioner, the senator. Lead from within and without.

Abraham Lincoln once said of citizens desiring change; make me. Make your elders and leaders take you seriously. Help the few good men and women in power by showing there is a generation who can and will stand with them. Insist on the structural and constitutional changes that which will free our collective creativity, innovation, science, ideas and culture.

Civilisation is neither westernisation nor exclusive to other climes. It is building a society on values and institutions designed to protect not the strongest but the weakest as we are only as strong, as honourable, as respected and valued as the sum of our weakest parts.

Now what? My job is to tell stories with context, sometimes l don’t know the end. Write your own ending. Shape history.

222 comments:

1 – 200 of 222   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

This open letter nonsense don too much for una.. Unaa no dy eva see open donation? Cheezy

Anonymous said...

Very Short!! I read it All!!

Beautiful Monster

AMY said...

Too long.. Nice sha. Looks nice. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece. Thanks Funmi.

Anonymous said...

THINK... MY PEOPLE, LETS THINK, TALK, COME TOGETHER AND ACT. WE NEED SELF-EXAMINATION, APPRAISAL AND A REVOLUTION OF TRUE VALUES. I'M UP TO SIGN UP FOR ANY MEETING OR DISCUSSION WITH LIKE MINDS FOR US TO MAP THE WAY FORWARD FOR OUR COUNTRY

jaybeyblu said...

Beautiful piece, such an intelligent lady. If only we would listen and DO

Anonymous said...

open letter too Long no time to read plsssss

Unknown said...

Hapi new year funmi,,U̶̲̥̅̊ too av joined τ̲̅õ̸̳͡ open letter crew#aiit#nice write up.

Unknown said...

Gbam, lets make a better nigeria.

Ochuko Tonukari said...

Well, I got the message!

Unknown said...

Real, real talk.

~~Success Has No Limitation~~

REXOVIC said...

hmmm... Funmi Iyanda....words on marble!!! well said

Anonymous said...

"Help the few good men and women in power by showing there is a generation who can and will stand with them."
Thank you Funmi.
My own end of the story is for the rising of Righteousmaninpower.

Sheriff Shittu said...

Aunty funmi,its pretty easier to come here and write whatever u want to,u dine with few of these ppple,tell it to their face and forget abt telling stories....dnt brain wash us here...they 'll soon take over NGR and we'll see what they'll do better.

Unknown said...

Stori ,hpy new year 2 U all.

sugar lala said...

Ok, I hear.....

Livvsreamblog said...

Long letter i wish i can read it btw i like that her photo

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I'm glad someone that can have people's attention did this. I'm inspired.
Signed by Mee!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Am moved to my pants. God bless you Aunty! A clarion call this is.....

Zoë said...

Nice writeup, Nigeria a great country, its not just the job of our leaders to make it a better place, individually we have to be actively involved to make our country a better place.

Anonymous said...

Good message from Funmi, but falling short of some of the standards she postulates, spilling "big gammar" in a solemn and a call to action message such as this is simply associating your self with the "head scratching" and clueless educated elites who simply read letters like this out of curiosity and for fun.

allgists said...

hmmnnn

Atobatele said...

Until we take the future into our hands, our dear country cud not move forward. I always believe that to make this country a better place we all have a part to play. Much of the government and much more of the citizens. Nigerians mindset has to be changed before we can move forward in this country. Sometimes, it is not about the government but of the people governed. Learning to treat oneself right is a major concern. God bless Funmi for reminding us of these much needed issues

ary said...

Thank you ma! You just laid it bare, my generation is just concerned about itself, if I am okay, f*ck the next person. If my family is eating well, why bother if my neighbor can't eat 1 meal a day? Looks is all that matter! The elders/leaders exploit our desire to get fame at all cost and use us to destroy our own future. Little wonder why years later there hasn't been a revolution in the country despite the rottenness! Anything will do, that's our motto despite what we might think. We don't care about the country, just ourselves. We need a reawakening! Soon, rather than later.

Evelyn said...

Awesome

Chris Ice Heart said...

Nigerian Rock fans Follow @Rockazworld ..,..

Unknown said...

WOW!!! This is it. God bless you. Please keep writing.

Anj-Oluwole said...

A nice piece, that will be bitter to the minds of those involved.
I hope they change and do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Wow this an awesome and must read text I just pray dat God almighty will help dis nation and help us all

Anonymous said...

One word- Inspiring!

Anonymous said...

What's a short letter whew!

Anonymous said...

Which kin must read. Long story joor,is dat hw I'll make money n b rich in ds country....ptcheww

Unknown said...

Aunty Funmi, I'd always admired your passion and desire for a better Nigeria. This is a breathtaking piece; I only wish our youth will take the pain to read through! God bless You. And you too Linda, for a rare opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Gud wrightup.

Didi said...

Thank you, Linda for posting this thought- provoking piece. Not showing us immature 40 yr olds clubbing and exposing their intimate parts like you usually do. God bless Ms Aiyana, this got me thinking.

Unknown said...

Aunty Funmi, I'd always admired your passion and desire for a better Nigeria. This is a breathtaking piece; I only wish our youth will take the pain to read through! God bless You. And you too Linda, for a rare opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Very well written!she has said it all,there's nothing more to add.thanks Linda for putting this up...it gives us all a lot to think about

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing letter. Unfortunately because of the poor educational system in Nigeria,most people won't understand it especially readers on this blog.Nigeria truly should change and we should start holding our leaders responsible. What hit home for me was were she said how our leaders don't perform yet we are tickled to make their acquaintance and be friends with them.My state is in shambles yet people come out at the slightest opportunity to sing the Governor's praises. How about your family, what hope do they have in such in state? We really as a country need to look at the big picture and stop living from day to day

Unknown said...

Abeg its 2 long...nice english doh

ronnie said...

hmmmm,Well Said Funmi Iyanda. God help Nigeria

Unknown said...

This is the simple truth about the Nigerian situation. The solution is simple as well: self-respect. If you repect yourself you won't steal from your country, you will respect those you govern enough to build things as simple as sidewalks, make a real effort to provide water, electricity proper transportation and security. We are the new generation and we must change the status quo. There are a lot of Nigerians who think like the op, and we must get out there and make a difference, not just by mouthing off, but by actively getting involved in social activities and yes, politics. We must be the change we want to see.

Unknown said...

Ok I hear

ronnie said...

Well Said Funmi Iyanda. God help Nigeria

Anonymous said...

This should have been communicated in a simpler form.
God bless you for the sensitization anyway. Let us all wake up as Nigerian Youths, be the change you wanna see.

Anonymous said...

Nice write up. I wish I cud read all. Mayb ill do that later.

Anonymous said...

This is definately a wake up call for people who want to make a positive paradigm shift. Nice one sis.

Unknown said...

Dah!...... Seriously,it takes patience to read

Manymen said...

True talk!

Anonymous said...

@ Linda,
Thanks for bringing this to light! Infact Linda, U should post this letter monthly so that our generation's nest will be deeply rattled and rippled towards a positive change!

@ Funmi Iyanda, this is so beautifully expressed and thought provoking!
I weep for this generation and the yet unborn most especially Nigerias'!
As a young Nigerian abroad, it's a sad tale of brain drain and unending hustle when we could have been in Naija building our country like the Chinese are doing and even playing god in other countries but we are abroad as graduates doing what?! Despicable jobs and endless hustling...
When I was growing up and used to see "Brain Drain" in the papers I could not comprehend it even after reading these articles but I sooo much understand it much better now!
@ Linda, please let Ur content be more of these stuffs rather than mundane things like Maheeda et al.
I must deeply and thankfully commend Ur New year message!!! Beautiful, I'm also wishing U a happy and prosperous 2014!!!

Anonymous said...

My darling Funmi iyanda, you couldn't have said these any better. Nigerians are the problem of Nigeria.

Unknown said...

d future z nt any better funmi,we youths hav taken after our leaders,imagin somebdy tellin me to pay 3ok b4 i get my admission into uni,to think i passed d cutoff by 1omarks !! wat about WAEC,COMMON ENTRANCE EXAMS,JAMB,GCE,NECO exams ???dey r filled wit kids dat depend wholly on 'expo'.... in work places nko ???ur degree dnt matter anymore, alll u need z either 'connection' or b frm a certain part of d country,, everybody insults our leaders on social media, but how many of us will b different wen we get to 2d top ?? corruption will taken to anoda level by we youths, trust me,things will get worse

Fatimah said...

I read it all. Poignant!

This is why I love Funmi to heaven and back.

ASHAMA said...

This line, "association with those who have raped them, then thrown them a bit of Vaseline and warm towels" accurately sums what we stand for in Nigeria!!! What a shame! As always Aunty Funmi welldone ma.

Anonymous said...

wow!!! powerful write up,made me think!

folusbaby said...

cool story

Anonymous said...

Very nice piece......something to really meditate on.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, true! Easy with the vocab, we went to nigerian schools o! But beautiful.

Nsikan Davies said...

CIVILISATION IS NOT CULTURAL MIGRATION. BUT THAT IS THE CASE IN AFRICA. WE THINK THAT TO BE CIVILISED IS TO BE WESTERNISED.

Drickheta said...

She made her point known, its really inspiring and educating only if we the culprit will adhere to some of her advice. Nice write up

Unknown said...

Excellently written,for all those including myself who clearly desire a changed Nigeria should remember dat Nigeria is Nigeria becos of Nigerians. Stop glaring at d leaders let d change begin with You.
"If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change" -Micheal Jackson. Happy new yr everyone.

Unknown said...

Wonderful,grt infact excellent.but a speaker should avoid use of words dat re strange to d reader.

chiesosblog said...

This lady can speak english ooo. Nice one though. Nigerian Youths Wake up. May God help us and redirect this country.

chiesosblog said...

This lady can speak English ooooo. Nice one though. Nigerian Youths wake up. May God help us and redirect this country. Linda please post my comment naaaaaa. Wetin I do you? Since last year..........Linda ooooooooo

Anonymous said...

And No Truer Words Have Been Said. Well Put, Funmi. Well Put. Now, Let Us All Draw An Idea Or Two On How We Can Be The Change We Seek. It All Starts With You And Me. In The Littlest Ways Possible, Let Us Seek To Make Nigeria Better And Admirable. You Could Start By Ensuring Your Immediate Environment Is Kept Clean And Tidy, Or By Making Provisions For The Less Privileged, Volunteering To Carry Out Little Amendments And Constructions/Reconstructions. Nigeria Will Become Better If The Youths Of Today Start Discovering Their Potentials And Maximizing It To The Advantage Of The Country, Than Being A Nuisance In Every Way Possible. Nigeria Is Our Own And Every Man Should Strive To Make It Better So His Name Will Be On The Sands Of Time. If We Don't It, Who Will? Thank You. @PhotophriQue

tinuade said...

Beautiful write up

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Funmi. I had teachers like Mrs. Okoro and a few of them are still in present day schools.It is so sad that even the youths are so much engrossed in the pursuit for wealth gotten by any means. Parents don't also teach values again. But I know deep down inside everyone of us, we still know what is right and what is wrong. For the sake of our future generation, always do that which is right and you will be happy with yourself! VALUES CAN NEVER BE BOUGHT.

MrsBankyW said...

Too much grammer, na today? The problem with us Nigerians just like Fela said a long time ago, everybody wan go heaven, but nobody wan die... Dear writer its not by story but by action.... Happy New year All

Unknown said...

Interesting read..thanks

Unknown said...

Interesting read. Thanks

Anonymous said...

One internet generation retard will say too long i couldn't read it.

Anonymous said...

tell them the truth! no one is talking about the youth, the leaders are thinking of 2015

Unknown said...

This took me time to read, but wow... Never knew she's this good....

Unknown said...

Have nothing to say than to nod my head


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Anonymous said...

Very deep and interesting write up from FI. It makes for food for thought for us all. What marvels me yet though is that there's yet to be a comment on this incredibly soul searching letter to us (the youths-future of tomorrow), its like we are living in oblivion of the reality of our now...which is in a shamble. If this was a post on a vain celebrity story or the likes,it would have been awashed with hundreds of comments...

Tobi Joseph said...

Funmi God bless you for this challenge thrown the way of Nigerian youths. I have at different fora, told youths and those who fall into the category of 'future generations' that our destiny is in our hands.
We must be responsible and responsive in the present scheme of things. God bless you.

peperina said...

Didnt undrstnd A̶̲̥̅ dine

NennyD said...

She is very much on point .

Nollywood Forever said...

I love Fumni she speaks the truth without covering up the bleak reality in the name of "patriotism"

Anonymous said...

Well written Funmi! Kudos!

Anonymous said...

True talk, full of wisdom and reality, I pray we all see and receive the message behinde this. NIGERIA wake up from ur slumber

Anonymous said...

If you didn't read everything because it is too long, thunder would fire you. You're one of the useless youths that she's talking about....Zeus.

Unknown said...

linlin..wea z my post oo

Anonymous said...

awesome story

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...spiks d trut

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm well said

Anonymous said...

This was too long, I didn't read it. Happy New Year Everyone.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic!!!

I couldn't have said it better. Thank you Ms. Iyanda.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, this truely a piece.

Unknown said...

This is juz too long... I wonder when Funmi Iyanda turns to be a writer!

Unknown said...

Where are all those dumb comments that usually trail posts on linda ikeji ? you wont find them here because this is about something serious. Maybe when there's a post about how kim kardashian bought a new lipstick or Genevieve took a nap on her flight. Everyone is derailed and those who care to pay attention are rarely in the position to effect the change other than just spread the oozing information.

The letter is well read and understood ,the situation of things is just as reflected here, unfortunately the role models of todays generation are the criminals of yesterday and it runs through the system in a similar fashion.
We will do our best still.

Anonymous said...

No comments yet???
If it was a post on the longest dicks and the latest golden phones, you would have seen comments rolling!!!

It just indicates where the priorities of our generatio lie.

And then they will complain about about why nothing works in the society.

SANDRA said...

My name is Sandra nd I loveeeeeee this write-up she's simply telling d truth about we d youth,its time we buckle up nd stand tall.

Unknown said...

True talk, it hurts me so badly wen I see young folks like my self live life without thinking of the future of this country... Pls guyz let's have a shif in mind set.

Anonymous said...

Well said

Seyi said...

Good write up.We need. a generation of honest and humble leaders.

deroj007 said...

I DONT THINK NIGERIANS ARE CIVILIZED AT ALL AND THE YOUTHS THEMSELVES ARE NOT IN ANYWAY READY TO PUT A STOP TO ALL THESE EVIL DONE BY THE ELDERLY. BEFORE YOU PASS FOR SOMEONE THAT IS EDUCATED AND CIVILIZED YOU MUST BE ABLE TO LOOK WITHIN YOURSELF AND ANSWER THESE SIMPLE QUESTION.
--Do u respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable? They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser?
--Do u have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats?
--Do u respect other people's property, and therefore pay your debts?
--Are you devious,and fear lies as you fear fire? you don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters.
--Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors.
They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted.They are not vain.and lastly If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits.
Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano That's what civilized people are like.
OUR YOUTHS HAVE TO BE CULTURED, PROPERLY BRED AND TAUGHT WITH THE LIKES OF MRS OKORO,THEY MUST BE TAUGHT DECENCY,CIVILIZED BEHAVIOURS, GOOD MANNERS, HIGH MINDEDNESS, TRUTH AND TO ALWAYS FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. ONLY THEN CAN WE MOVE OUR NATION FORWARD.

Tatafo Central said...

Brilliant spokesmanship! A mixture of reality, sarcasm, illustration. This lady sure can write! Yes Nigerians are intelligent but why do we want to follow the bandwagon? Plunder and take spoil? What happened to love for our fellow man, the humane streak in us? Everything aint just a tweet or update a way. What happened to face to face? Until we learn to live democratically, be Africans and not fake wannabes ( with the slurred r's), fight not only for our selfish interest, then we will be truely independent as a nation.

PS please don't comment if its too long a write up. Don't ask 4 a summary either. Rather find a short post on Maheeda or something you can understand easily. It aint by force to comment.

Anonymous said...

I have been inlove with funmi for no reason now I think I have one, nice one; you have said it all.

Anonymous said...

sensible post .... i've never met her, but i sure hope she lives these values.

Missdodo

Anonymous said...

I just love this woman. She's one celeb I admire so much, and hardly on red carpets like others. The problem is that our leaders have failed the youths and it will take a lot to bring them back to where they should actually be. Now it is every man for himself, which I really wish would change someday.

MsTee said...

Its too long abeg.. cudnt finish.. i like d initial story tho. wish nigerians can just go back to been each others keeper... &the system can just take care of us. it is well. i so pray our generation can make that change.

Unknown said...

Bravo !

Anonymous said...

Fumi you are right, as Nigerians we pride ourselves in being "confident", "Brave", but indeed we are cowards! We only rant on social media

chika said...

This is the best open letter av read so far. We had better listen

Unknown said...

Beautiful just beautiful something we all need to hear

whitneydeev. said...

well said!this is a type of long writing you'll be interested in...i'm motivated!very good write up!

Unknown said...

Best piece have read in a while.well said miss Funmi Iyanda.

Unknown said...

Best piece of read a while.well said miss Funmi Iyanda

Unknown said...

Best piece have read in a while.well said miss Funmi Iyanda.

whitneydeev. said...

well said!this is a type of long writing you'll be interested in...i'm motivated!very good write up!

Ray MD. said...

Insightful..deep...words to reflect upon.

Olufunmi Akindele said...

I love u funmi Iyanda......u're such an inspiration. THANKS FOR ALSO PROVIDING FOR THE NEEDY...GOD WILL CONTINUALLY BLESS U AND INCREASE U ON ALL SIDES. CHANGE A LIFE FOUNDATION WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND THE MONEY TO PAY ALL THE BENEFACTORS SCHOOL FEES WILL NEVER BE A PROBLEM FOR U IJN.......GOD BLESS U MA

Anonymous said...

Niceeeeeeeeee!

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Anonymous said...

WoooW! Fab writeup, sincere truth, your life is shaped by what you think! This is deep tooo deep!

reedah2 said...

Well said Funmi Iyanda,for how long shall this continue?

danii evan said...

I just love it when people say the truth...and not to mention the "r" in every word you hear when any young person speaks to you

Unknown said...

Well written Funmi. I have a question for you, I see you write and do tv trying to expose corruption and co. How do you feed? Where does your income come from? How do you have access to the clout that you do, because we saw you on the stage @ the Lagos countdown. We need to see ur transparency before we follow blindly and run ourselves to poverty or kirikiri as has been d case of many brainwashed, blind but passionate Nigerians

Stefan said...

Bravado.Brilliant.Highly inspirational.Change is around the corner for Nigeria.

Anonymous said...

Those who trade their freedom for security , shall not get neither freedom nor security .(A.l).she have said it all .something will have to change .This letter is fire to me .i cried after reading this letter .MY Country is truly going to shit.

ifeoluwakiisa said...

the truth in black and white. i wish i would someday write like this.

Anonymous said...

A breathe of fresh air. Well articulated, but words and stories don't fetch us solutions. They by no means help... We need people to write this type of text and set themselves on fire... Then watch what will happen

Anonymous said...

#word#

Anonymous said...

great write up. linda you never post my comment,pls post it.

Anonymous said...

Shed is sayin d truth,iknow some low-lives will talk abt d gay guy dat is her friend,its ppl lik u ppl dat makes nigeria a 3rd world country cos if person na gay dsnt mean u shd hate d person,nigeria no fit beta wit ppl who reason lik dat,u giuys shd use ur brain for once,am a marrried woman bt if I c a homo dodes dat mean I shd hate d person? Abeg make ona grow, dats y richard branson said to do biz with african countries dat are against homo wd b dificult, we have gretare probs in nigeroia to worry about,evry newborn in nigeria is introduced to a world of corruption,pls let's deal wt dat. N forget homo ppl

Anonymous said...

A beautiful write up and words to internalise as we start the new year.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring!!!
The craze is indeed an epidemic...we have lost ourselves in the trends and continually devalue ourselves and the society and everything that is even valuable is undermined...
Shaping history is indeed personal and spiritual...each man to his own destiny before collective change can be effected.
Must something tragic happen before we are rudely awakened to our responsibities?
Change is a choice... Whether or not we live up to the call, some like Ms. Iyanda would make a difference and the rest of us would mark the attendance...the question is, do you WANT to matter?

Anonymous said...

Truly a must read. I hope and pray that those whom this letter was intended for, like myself, will take it to heart.Nigeria must survive.God bless you Funmi And Linda.

Anonymous said...

Funmi condemns the continued subservience to the West, and yet she, perhaps unconsciously, gives herself away as still being subservient to the West by quoting Western leaders - Margaret Thatcher and Abraham Lincoln!

Could she not find quotes from African leaders? Nigerian leaders?

This article would have been truly phenomenal with African quotes, or no quotes at all.

Now all I see is a contradiction. She still needs to "emancipate herself from mental slavery" - Bob Marley.

Aymii said...

" They know thier place is to submit and dream......They want to be the next big cat....they have no real distaste for the ones who have stolen thier future.......they desire to be the ones @ the airport with Karl lagerfield designer bags and Unplaceable accent "
......
This excerpt from her write up is the true mindset of almost all young Nigerians!!! .......And why we will never have a revolution!!!!!!!
The average naija boy just dey pray make him own turn reach!!!!!!!! Shikena!!!!!!!!
Dey dream of the day wen him too go reach position to loot him own share of the national cake!!!

Even when we protest or do small gra gra!!! If the leaders just throw us small bone chop!! Or give us small share for d loot......we go quickly change mouth!!!! one hand!!!!

Eg. Reuben Abati!

This is a very insightful article.
#Nuff said#

Anonymous said...

Linda beta post my comment if u no wan chop slap

Unknown said...

Very inspiring

Unknown said...

Very inspiring

Anonymous said...

You were once close to bola tinubu when he was the governor of Lagos state what were you able to do for your society at that time,funmI iyanda I make bold to say that when you were very famous, you were like these people you are now condemning,very proud and saucy and I stand to be corrected that it was this pride of yours that ended your alter bound relationship with chief segun odegbami.please don't come here and give us or Nigerian youths your bullshit long whatever you call it.Linda my dear you are a role model in the sense that you did not forget where you're coming from apart from the constant flaunting of wealth which is not bad but don't give people like fun I iyanda the attention she is seriously craving for cos of her dwindling fame. The funmI iyanda I know will do worst things in any public office and when she is no longer in office she will be ranting on twitter and Facebook like fani kayode an el rufai.funmi charity begins at home,attention seeker. This girl or woman really dealt with chief segun odegbami that he made the man cried several times like a baby anyway she son dey eat her supposed pounded yam as ordinary yam, o ti n je iyan e ni'su.

Newseveryhour said...

Uhmmm, food for thought

Anonymous said...

That was nice...the future of our country(Nigeria) is in our hands n to make it a better country,we have to start frm within us..... Apinex

Anonymous said...

tell them the truth! no body is talking about the youths now, the leaders are concentrating on 2015.

Anonymous said...

Ur grammar tho! *Whew* but I luv ur use of words

#That happy sister!

Anonymous said...

Sis Linda dis is encouraging and I totally agree with her.

chidinma said...

Well said Ms Iyanda. I somtyms wonder wat d young intellectual elite of today do differently? Somehow, I look 4ward 2 a better Nigeria where d youths do more productive fings than d "shenanigans" & razz mataz of 2day...Long live Nigeria!

Anonymous said...

Well said funmi, two fighting goats. As if they r fighting 4 us o.

concerned citizen said...

A word is enough for the wise.

Anonymous said...

I remember when egg was 5k,life was so easy. All d kids played 2geda in d neighborhood. When I chat with my little teenage cousin I was get confused,too much slangs. They r not educated at all. I fear for their future.

he-ke said...

Lovely piece. Can any word be more apt and timely? Whatsoever burden one doesn't bear, one cannot change. Let's rise and fight to win, not for this generation only, but the ones to come. Lindodo... Report more of stuffs like this, not 'tonto dike swam in river niger, ko? . That's your contribution.
*He-ke*

Anonymous said...

i wish i could just click like cos dis letter requires no response. its thought provoking. We seem to have gotten it so twisted back home.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, people get to put their thinking caps on and soak in all of these words. Thank you for this Ms Iyanda.

Mocherry said...

Truly! Wish I was born those times when I heard Nigeria was a good and lovely place unlike now dat we'r no longer or neighbour's keeper.

Anonymous said...

Impressive...

Anonymous said...

On point and very true... We should all feel ashamed

Anonymous said...

Succit! Powerful! Thought provoking>>>>>

Yodusbaba said...

@Funmi, God bless your soul for this piece. What an inspiration letter for the new year!

Anonymous said...

True. We fail to realize that civilization is not the same as westernization/adopting the cultures and practices of others. It is treating everyone with respect and fairly. This letter gets you thinking. Nigeria really needs our help, not just on social media.
Thanks Funmi.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is a fabulous writing!!! Fummi this is the best thing you have written that I hae read so far! I only Wish people can read between the lines! And get the true meaning . May God help us in this country

Anonymous said...

the story long no be small

Joo Williams said...

Splendid!

Anonymous said...

Open letters now trending. Who I go write open letter 2 now o! Hmmmmm! Na lindaikeji I go write open letter 2.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Inspiring and true.

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring write up. Now watch the same useless youths and younger generation come here and say "this write up is too long", "first to comment" , "wetin concern me" and "too long abeg". Dear funmi, i commend the effort and i know this letter will touch and inspiring those it is truly intended for.

dara said...

Food for thots seriously. I only recently by d help of God took a vacation. Wat I saw n experienced, only made me see Nigeria as a dump site, full of shit. My God, for how long will dese injustices n poverty both in intellect n human dignity continue. We r robbed n being robbed on a daily basis by our leaders, wen I was in primary school, we were told children r d leaders of tomorrow, now am a mother n our grandfathers r still d ones leading n looting d nation.

Anonymous said...

D letter too long abeg linlin,read summarize 4 mi,I dy wait*winks*

Anonymous said...

Wonderful write-up ma'am. Will be a good follower of your blog. Keep it up.

Bosun said...

Hmn.....
Very deep...
Dats a gud message she passed....she has really challenged d new generation 2 be more responsible n not jst aim 2 be rich n 4gt dier grassroots....
Kudos Funmi Iyanda....

chubbytj said...

Such depth, dis woman dey write and speak sense. It's unfortunate what this country has become. We all need to re-orientate ourselves. We must be the positive change we want, everyone of us. Enough of lip service!!!

Galore said...

i love @funmi iyanda alot

But i cud nt read the long letter

Am lazy like that


@Galore

Anonymous said...

Well said!
Linda and co this for people like you and your so called new money..
Fix your country first!!

Unknown said...

Nice piece I enjoyed reading

Unknown said...

How I wish our leaders can read this?This is the time for us to join hands and make this Nation great.We have many talented scientist,professors,lawyers,engineers,even in sports but the poblem is, nobody to mentor them. We need a Nigeria where there will be good roads,electricty,education,water and jobs,a Nigeria where its citizen would be confortable in their own country instead of risking their lives hiding in a ship,plane compartment or walking in d desert for days just bcos they A̶̲̥̅̊я̲̣̥ε̲̣̣̣̥ looking for greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Linda why didn't you post my comment guess funmi iyanda is your friend

Anonymous said...

Funmi , iyabo has explained in her letter why the wrong people are in public office in Nigeria.

Clara said...

This piece is inspiring

Unknown said...

The time for this awaited national confrence has come,we desperately nee it ,otherwise we'll wish that we did something about this funmi's letter at some point.Well said Funmi,may God help us and our country Nigeria.

dhobiz said...

As in eh

Anonymous said...

Long story

Ife said...

nyc piece, it made so much sense.

Ada said...

My 1st comment here in forever..... Thank you thank you thank you Ms Iyanda for dat definition of civilisation..... that's alm I can say, I agree with every word and couldn't have written it so clearly... thank you.

As for the person accusing her of contradicting herself by using big grammar, sweetheart in no place did she stop u frm gaining a better understanding of d language, just don't go focusing on the unnecessary like you're doing already.

A word is enuf for d wise. Happy new yr.

Unknown said...

True talk!....lovely write up!

Anonymous said...

the Nigerian ideal is such a shame, we ourselves have failed as a people. we are now fools of a took. look in the mirror as ask yourself who and who you are!

Ann Marie said...

Truly inspiring

Anonymous said...

Very correct and true, sometimes I wish I can change this country but realize I can't cos I'm not God. I can only pray for her growth and take a step and change my thinking. C.O.B

Unknown said...

@anon8:25,serzly we really nid 2 put our heads 2gether and think,strategise,take actions,let's not be left in d controverial stage,'the meeting stage"this is where d white man left us nd we want to remain there,the other day I was having a conversation with my frend and I said d destiny of dis nation lies in d ability of d youths to cause a change a revolution nd she said" who wants 2 be a sacrificial lamb 4 dis dead country",true but luking at it there's no other way to do it,there's got 2 be casualites,some sort of very expensive scarifice but it will cause a very great change...it happend in indonesia,in s/a in ghana,ppl dat forced d revolution had some price 2 pay,a very expensive one,I mean that shud be like one of d reasons 4 coming 2 d world 2 cause a change,all great country's today hav had their trial moments,it was d media,through writings,literature,poems,blogs dat instigted a revolution that caused change 4 d better,let's not be cowards,let's not b fearful,if we fight we fight 4 d bettement of a future generation,we fight 4 d lost ones in other country,we fight 2 be heard,we fight because we don't want 2 be looked down on by dirty indians,lebanes nd chinese,we fight for honour,we fight for peace,dnt say u don't care becos u dnt live here in nigeria,there is no better satifaction dan being in ur homland and enjoying its resources,u know in ur hrts of hrts u'll neva be as happy or as free in anoda mans land,if we have all these in comon y can't we plan nd make it happen alredy I want a better nigeria do u?what can u do 4 nigeria?nice write up funmi!

tomiwealth said...

Lovely piece

Anonymous said...

"For them patriotism is not a recognition of failure and a determination to redress it, but a slogan to be worn, tweeted or liked."
This part got to me.

Myke said...

Nice piece. just hope our young ones heed.

SIMBA said...

simAgain reading comments here further upsets me and shows how this generation is stupid and lukewarm, wasting away and don't know it..u will soon be 50 and u will wonder why u never had an opportunity. we live in a country where our age mates in other nations are far ahead, have u ever stopped to wonder why they send their kids abroad? it's so to keep the rest of you behind, the Nigerian youth is comfortable with his daily bread, the Nigerian society celebrate thieves, they even give testimonies in churches, this country her people and leaders both political and religious should bury their heads in shame.

dillo said...

Wow, age is truly something. i didn't think she had this in her. Very good read.... My people lets wake up.... please

Anonymous said...

Lmao! As in eehn!

Anonymous said...

You indeed sound candy. So you are expecting her alone to be fighting for you while you dwell still in your negative thoughts and longings of being the next looter? Please open your mind for once and not just your eyes this time. Together we can make change happen.

Unknown said...


nice write up,but i hope u also tell dem 2 their face,i mean ur fellow elites..tz beta done dan sed or written

Anonymous said...

Well she did not come here to write it. She is a journalist and Linda culled it from her blog. While I bleed for Nigeria, I also say Nigeria deserves what it gets with folks like you

Unknown said...


nice write up,but i hope u also tell dem 2 their face,i mean ur fellow elites..tz beta done dan sed or written

Anonymous said...

I'm not Nigerian but this piece makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

People like you are so stupid and are this country's problem. Change your mindset.

WONDERLAND said...

LOT HAVE BEEN SAID, WAT'S BEING DONE? NIGERIA WE HAIL THEE...

WONDERLAND said...

SO MUCH HAS BEEN SAID WAT'S BEING DONE?
NIGERIA WE HAIL THEE...

Anonymous said...

Well Spoken Funmi...

Unknown said...

I have also wondered if power makes Nigerians weak as against "powerful" as i have often heard people say they would try to achieve great things if they ever were in the position. I firmly believe some of our leaders said same or similar things before they got into their position. I still pray for my country.

Unknown said...

my own end 2d story goes thus,as a great philosopher said Niccollo Machiavelli "the end justifies the means" we Nigerians,should use any means to acquire that better Nigeria we have always dreamed of,thanks funmi 4dis luvly article.

Anonymous said...

How about you make that meeting happen.
How about you strategize on the agenda and way forward.
What is your purpose on earth?
Say," Let change start with ME"

MJ said...

These 2 poems popped into my head as I was reading this writeup - "they too are the Earth" and "ours to plough not to plunder". This is a challenge to all Nigerian youths both home and abroad.

Anonymous said...

WOW,I REmenber watchin d women parliment on ur show,certainly dat show would ve bein a vehicle 4 change in nigeria...4 once i culd related wit every topic,issues,n of course u,i mean u fumi iyanda..then i was prayin 2 get admission into a unversity,i had all d tyme 2 set closed 2 tv n watch u,ur smiles, d way u laugh still rings bell in my head..i do luv doctor*(wathes naMe again Dr od,i cant remenber nw,nw presenthly a mechanical engineer n tanks 2 u i ve confidence 2 believe in my self

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