“If you can survive in Nigeria, you can survive in any part of the world.”
By: ETINOSA OSAYIMWEN
Meet Mama Dorcas (upper right), a strong and beautiful woman from Plateau state, located in the central part of Nigeria. She was forced to flee from her hometown Riyom, in 2012 after a deadly religious attack that claimed the lives of dozens of people including her husband. Over the years, Mama Dorcas has been both a mother and a father to her seven children, while struggling to economically survive. Aside from her work as a farmer, she sells firewood in a village in Kaduna, a state in northwestern Nigeria.
The resilience of Mama Dorcas is admirable and she is not one-of-a-kind in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.
Nigeria, a country rich in exportable commodities and mineral resources, is increasingly plagued by severe forms of corruption, poor leadership, communal conflicts, militancy and terrorism. Hence, most Nigerians are forced to look after themselves in a bid to survive.
In 2016, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, admitted that the country’s economy is in recession. As expected, the costs of living have since doubled and many Nigerian livelihoods are affected by it. However, their resilient nature, noticeable in each single person, enables Nigerians to counter the declining living conditions, against all odds.
Years of negligence and dishonesty by the government in both the military and political sector, has left the average Nigerian with no other option than to make things work by themselves. Access to basic needs like continuous power supply, water and good infrastructure, has become a luxury which only a few citizens enjoy.
The abundantly present natural resources are a curse for the country and the nearly complete dependence on oil has backfired hard, when the global price of reached a new low point. Many say though, that this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as young Nigerians are increasingly contributing to the diversification of the economy.
More than ever before, there has been an active participation of young Nigerians in varying number of industries like agriculture, ICT, entertainment, health & wellness. With close to zero support or facilities, these young minds are once again exposing the tremendous resilience of the Nigerian population, making giant strides in their respective fields.
The average Nigerian rarely lets adversity define him or her and rather focusses on alternative objectives and personal ambitions.
“If you can survive in Nigeria, you can survive in any part of the world,” is a beloved statement by many Nigerians. A statement which proves to be true to a certain extent, as the current living conditions in Nigeria force the population to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing economic and political environment.
Altogether, these ever-changing conditions, result in an admirable resilience of an adaptive and positive Nigerian population.