Happy Independence to Nigeria at 57! Yes, though we have been through downs together, it would have been an apogee to excuse myself from the celebration. Of course, we are in this together; we must all participate in the brainstorming to overcome.

I eloquently share in the view of some about the hastiness of our colonial freedom. They have, over the years, insisted that the independence of 1960 was too much in a hurry. For their arguments, they believed the colonial masters should have tarried a little longer. Perhaps, a similar development like the one in South Africa would have been the light.

As obvious, the level of infrastructural development and education would have been less abysmal. Unlike what we have at the present; Our self-rule struggle hadnt fetched us enough qualities like those years. As a matter of fact, there are communities where the only surviving means of formal education are the schools that were built by either the colonial influence or the missionaries.

Those who have had the mandate to lead such people simply refused to add up to what they grew up to meet. Such comatose has loudened the cry of pain. A society with an homegrown authorities but lack the basic needs for survival. What a dismal.

The elites of those times, aided by their subjects, worked together

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However , there is this concurrent cry on the drastic fall on the nation’s economy when every of the depreciating factor is obviously traceable to our negligence and non-challancy. A Yoruba adage reads ‘the insect that eats up the vegetable habits right inside the vegetable’. Perhaps, the economists haven’t proven that yet. One funny thing is that we tend to implement unworkable programs, theories and principles just because we’ve seen it work in mutually exclusive environment. Not minding or studying the environment of occurrence, we blindly follow accustomed principle of the West or the East.

Well, let’s forget about politics. Shall we be informed that the major cause of this drastic and deadly fall in the nation’s economy is traceable to the attitude of we, the youth. Yes, the youth I said. With our laziness and ignoramity, we have successfully screwed this nation. Yet we claim to be tomorrow’s leaders. If this present generation of youth carries this orientation over to adulthood, then Nigerians shouldn’t be surprise of the outcome – doom!

This is not a prophecy of doom, though, but the ugly fact remains that the youth of today lack CREATIVITY. An average Nigerian youth will consciously ignore the zeal to work to upheld procrastination and laziness. Thus; leading to an abnormal creativity level. Maybe we need to be sensitized to the fact that unless we are devoted to whatever we do, new initiatives and techniques can’t be acquired. More so, that success or perfection (so desired) can’t be achieved without hard work and resiliency. Following a Yoruba adage, when a welder continuously hit his hammer on that one spot, he gets his desired shape. Perhaps, we say our youths lack fate in what they do; maybe they do not like to try or there orientation seems to be weak. Bare in mind that the best helping hand is that very one at the very end of your arm. Creativity, thus, is the unit of hard work and continuity.

According to Robert E. Franken edited ‘Human motivation’, he defined creativity as ‘the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating  with others and entertaining ourselves and others’ (p.396). He also stated further In his analysis that one (and the most important) of the reason why people should be motivated to be creative is for the need to solve problems. From this definition and analysis, we shall conclude that creative requires nothing lesser than hard work and commitment. It is the ability to deduce unique alternative from a general perspective (norm) to basically solve problems; communication and entertainment.

The book, ‘Human Motivation’ also declared that to achieve these unique alternatives, it doesn’t occur by mere change; ‘it is liked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown’ (p.394).Creativity can also be seen as any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.

Obviously, one needs hard work to attain creativity. This so referred ‘hard work’ is what the majority of Nigerian youth (or should I put ‘all Nigerian youth’) lacks. An average young man in Nigeria prefers doing things the accustomed way. No profound initiative to invent something new. This has led us towards using foreign theories, techniques, and commodities. Yet we produce thousands and thousands of graduates yearly. Who knows where the fault is? Cos I seem not to.

Although this decline in creativity level isn’t affecting this nation alone, it cuts across every nation of the world. The funny fact remains that Nigeria is on a bad percent on the creativity stat. According to the Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) state of create global benchmark study (April 23, 2012), new research by Strategy One, conducted as an online survey, it  reveals a global creativity gap in five of the world’s largest economies, the United states, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. The research shows 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to the society, yet a striking minority – only 1 in 4 people – believe they are living up to their own creative potential.

Countries like Japan, the U.A.E, and America are adequately strategized towards the notion of creativity in their society. Thus has made their economy live at the peak. Not until Nigerian youth learn to be creative will the economy flourish. Funny enough, these countries still do not believe they are creative; at that, they have continued to increase the percentage. But sarcastically, here in Nigeria, we have chosen to neglect this economic booster (creativity). We’ve left it to keep rolling on the decline. Something which is meant to be inevitable just became evitable. We tactically need to revisit this forgotten hut to gather for ourselves the solution to our problems.

Moreover, there are different ways at which creativity can be employed. Some see it as the ability to draft fantastic novels of value, some in the ability to express inspirational and touching speeches, some see it in the advances to compose or/and sing melodious and melancholious music. In whichever way, we want to view it, what stands out is the ability to create unique alternatives in whatever we know how to do best via hard work and resiliency.

Perhaps we need to begin to gear our mind towards attaining and elevation this already low percentage (of creativity) of ours to atleast makes our life better. If we endeavor to be creative, not only will it help the economy, but
—   will also help build a standard and better image for the nation to the outer world.

–will also help expand our intelligence.
–will also help to reduce neo-colonialism
–will also help internal production and manufacturing
–will also help the entertainment industry.

The list, definitely, can’t be exhausted. Creativity will absolutely be beneficial in all ramifications. In that line, maybe we need to learn potentials on how to be creative and then step up on our creativity level. In this vein, a profound scholar gave his characteristics of a creative personality, that;

1.     Creative individuals do have a great deal of energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest.
2.     They tend to be smart, yet also naïve at the same time.
3.     They seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion.
4.     They are also humble and remarkable
5.     They are always optimistic

In conclusion, Nigerian youths need to wake up from their slumber. We need to be hardworking, outstanding and optimistic in orientation. We need to uphold the notion of creativity as it is capable of various benefits to the individual and also to the nation at large. We need to stop procrastination and be steadfast at work. Creativity is man’s ability to deduce unique alternative to an already established convention or process. Let’s get creative, Nigeria!

Ola-lawal Muzzamil is a concerned citizen. A freelance (creative) writer who uses his work to inspire other creative fellow and to correct wrongs in the society. A student of the better by far institution, University of Ilorin. Studying Linguistics