Realising that you have a talent is amazing.
Using that talent, is the beginning of something beautiful.
I grew up reading the books of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe,Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, and the poetry of Christopher Okigbo. I was not only exposed to them in school, but once I was, it became an obsession. I read almost all the books they had written, I read articles about them, read their biographies, listened to their seminars etc.
I once compared the peoples struggle with corruption in Nigeria and India for my A2 English Coursework. I was driven to explore how writers make their voices heard through the characters and situations in their novels. At the start, my teacher told me that the first draft was too political. He stated it needed to be more literary. I sighed and said 'Thank you.'
After all, what was I going to say, 'It's perfect as it is?' No. I went back home and re - drafted it.
I remember reading an article where Dr. Achebe stated that "Nigeria is on the brink of a precipice."
At the time, I had no idea how to pronounce, 'precipice', for some unknown reason, talk less of knowing what it meant. I gathered, using my powers of deduction, that we must be on the brink of a collapse.
When I further researched the word, the dictionary told me this: Option 1 was 'an overhanging or extremely steep mass of rock, such as a crag or the face of a cliff' and Option 2 was 'the brink of a dangerous or disastrous situation.'
What I further realised was that he thinks that Nigeria is on the brink of some kind of massive turmoil, the final big event that sends the country into squander. What event that will be? I cannot remember.
But this man, this great writer, dedicated his life to educating Nigerians about the history of our great nation, but also about the wrongs our country continues to do. Not only by the governments hand, but by our own. I read the Trouble with Nigeria by him, and I loved it. It was witty, but different to all his other books.
That may be of course, because it wasn't a book, it was a pamphlet. It was written solely for Nigerians, the Nigerians that lived and understood Nigerian culture. Critics stated that, 'this isn't the best moment for Achebe, as this pamphlet cannot be read by a wider audience.' (I paraphrase)
I wondered whether the critic ever stopped to think, that maybe that was Dr. Achebe's intention. It was for us. All of us. The young, old, fat, thin, rich and poor Nigerian. He told us what we needed to do to change our beloved nation. All of that he achieved through the power of literature.
This man inspires me greatly, and has for many years.
He is a living testimony of what Nigerians can not only do with their talent, but also what they can expose with their talent. His talent is writing, what is yours?
Whether you believe this or not, everyone has something, at least one thing, that they are good at. Acting, Dancing, Singing, Music, Writing, Photography, Sport, and the list goes on.
Find out what your talent is, find out how to refine it, find out how to use it, but most importantly remember how to use it to help your nation.
I vow to use my talents to best of my ability, to voice the issues with Nigeria. But also, to actively take a stand to make a change. I have realised what my talent is. I refined it quite late in my teens, but now I have decided to use it, to write to you all.
A woman once said,
'A talent not known, is a talent wasted, but a talent known, and not used, is lunacy.'