Presently, I am doing a research project in South Africa where I inevitably have to introduce myself to over twenty people in a day. First, starting with my names; the next identity question that often pops out of nowhere is “Where are you from?” “Of course Nigeria,” I do reply. You really need to see the still but suspicious humour my response spawns, especially when I say “I am from Nigeria”. The humour I get is like an undertoned “Another fraudster!” Well, I can’t help it.
I am proudly Nigerian, a country where there seem to be no beginning or end to corruption. Some writers say “It is a permanent fixture.” There is however no getting away from the fact that corruption in Nigeria has infested almost every aspect of life, work, and society. I can’t think of a single area where I didn’t encounter a scam of some sort. Indeed we all know that Nigeria is struggling with a scam branded identity. Thanks to our fathers for signing our fate even before we were born, and alas corruption is at the core of our culture. Apparently this affects both the good and the bad alike, especially the highly ambitious Nigerian millennial. And yes, my people have got some reputation issue. In fact you will find every type of individual in Nigeria, including the kind, funny, generous, honest, and everything else that is good in a person. You’ll find lots of them too.
Unfortunately, people look at the bad to crucify the good. That’s how we see things generally. Despite the obvious moral decay in Nigeria, there is still some good in our mess. For example, recent study has proven that Nigeria is the no. 1 exporter of Religion in the world. Presently, seven Nigerian pastors feature in the top 10 most influential pastors in the world. A Nigerian pastor heads the highest congregation in Europe, a continent where we see over 66.3% drop in the number of people who were once Christians between 1910 and 2010, according to the Pew Research Forum. 85% of tourists that visit Nigeria travel strictly for religious purposes. Not to mention, a Nigerian based church has one of the largest Christian gatherings in Church history and has a presence in almost all parts of the world. Nigerian pastors are heading the largest congregations in the world. Visit most reputable universities and seminaries in the West, and you will notice an impressive number of Nigerians studying Theology.
In the midst of the Nigerian mess, we see what a nation that is struggling with corruption, theft, and graft gave to the world: a gift of grace. It is however possible to spot a ray of light in filthiness. There is always a part of you that someone else needs to grow. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you are. You have a good in you the world needs. It is our life’s purpose to discover it and dispense it.
What is my point?
As a leader you cannot do everything, but, you have what your organization needs to succeed at such a time as this. It is your duty to discover what you have been given to add to that system because that’s exactly what it needs to move forward.
Secondly, that you are wrestling with natural proclivities does not make you imperfect before the Creator God, though it offends Him. And the fact that you recognize your weaknesses and asks for God’s grace to overcome your fleshliness and start afresh, does inspire God to make you shine as light in the midst of darkness and haters.
Thirdly, never give up on yourself until you discover what you need/have to give to the world. Harness your mess and turn it to positive for the glory of God.
Nobody is perfect and nobody is damned imperfect. There is always a good in us. Our good is what makes us unique and the essence of our existence.
Make your light shine!