I think it is up to us – you and me, to shift the conversation from money and material possessions towards ideas. We should debate ideas more often, not get caught up in gossip about people. This is a major failing of Nigerian society. We are glued towards discussing people and enjoy the chance to slander and mischaracterize them. This has fed a toxic culture of celebrity worship and now, every young mind wants to become a celebrity. Celebrities represent everything Nigerians hold dear: money, power and status. Everyone wants a piece of that action. However, progressive societies drive conversations around ideas and not money, materialism or people.
As the saying goes, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” You may have noticed that in the buildup to elections in Nigeria, the conversation is focused on the people running for political offices and not their ideology. The public discourse is centered about their personal character and conduct. This is a recipe for disaster and we have seen that play out for over two decades now. When the average Nigerian hears about right-leaning and left-leaning politicians in Europe or North America, they have no idea what that means.
Ideas rule the world and we must carefully curate the ideas that form the heart of our society. It is more difficult to talk about ideas and events, because this requires a certain amount of intelligence and reflection and information. A society that values money and materialism over everything else will always be enslaved by societies driven by ideas and ideals. You should be discussing ideas, frameworks for growth, progress and economic prosperity. You cannot steer your world towards a better future when the conversation is centered upon the hustle and making money.