Taking Charge in 2024: From JAPA Plans to Hopeful Actions.


 A Call to Action for Positive Change

Hello Africa , it’s time we take charge by putting boots on the ground to see things begin to change around here. You’ll agree when I say that talking about the problem is good, but taking action about it is better. I have decided to take tangible action to find a working solution.

Chinua Achebe once said, “ a man who cannot tell where the rain began to beat him cannot know where he dried his body.” If you take an overview look at the problems of African countries, you feel overwhelmed just by looking. You may even give up before taking a closer look. But let’s take Nigeria as an example. Nigeria has its combined issues of corruption and injustice, followed by the children of poverty, misrule, and negligence. The state of Nigeria is further characterized by insecurity, insurgency, terrorism, banditry, robbery, and assassinations. This family tree of problems grows unchecked, forming new branches that cast a shadow over our nation and extend their roots into our society.


Why is it this bad? The very reasons why we are in this position have been debated, studied, analyzed, and explained by many writers, journalists, scholars, and organizations. Both foreign and domestic bodies and governments have put a lot of money into solving these problems, but most solutions end up being like throwing money into a fire to relieve boredom. This is because 95% of the solutions they come up with are “emergency solution plans” that many African governments depend on. Additionally, our major problem is that we are blessed with resources but not the right leaders. African governments are still struggling to hold power instead of building their nations. There is barely any continuity in government and among the people, except for poverty. New governments bring new plans, but the fundamental issues remain.

“It’s a new year. Should we keep hope or take the JAPA plan? Should we? If the result is the same no matter where we vote in an election, what should the people hope for when justice serves only as deep as one’s pocket goes? I doubt if it’s even healthy to hope for a system that has converted the good of so many people to create our very own ‘Ambassadors of Poverty.’ Maybe I shouldn’t have read that poem because now I don’t know if it’s my imagination or if Philip Umeh was actually prophesying Nigeria’s future. Whichever it may be, the question remains: should we keep hope for a better tomorrow or zero our minds on it?


There are other options, like the ‘JAPA-plan,’ with alternatives that aren’t limited to finding a quick means to make enough money to leave the country—maybe selling land or doing a legitimate job for a year or two, saving up, and getting a visa. Another option is to use Google to find jobs or scholarships abroad and over-prepare yourself to ace the interviews or exams. Then there are those who will opt to sneak into a new country without papers for greener pastures. However, it’s worth noting that it’s greener there because the people on the other side do the work of watering it. Another two outstanding facts about the JAPA-plan are that over 60% of both the water and the greenery come from Africa to many of your dream countries. For the annoying part, no one is to blame—not the people trying to leave the country, not the leaders who can’t stop them due to undelivered promises, and not the youths who look elsewhere to develop their potentials and advance in life. It’s in their nature to go further.

Then there’s the option to discard hope, leave or stay in the country, make enough name, power, and money, and then start impacting change. It’s a nice plan, cool stuff. But the truth is no sane person will keep hope for a better Nigeria without doing something about it unless they want to go mad through lamentation.

This is why I say we keep hope tight and do the work ourselves. Broken things don’t fix themselves; this is the standard law and nature of all things. Whether by God’s touch, the nature of existence, or man’s craft, something broken must be restored to serve its supposed purpose. We have the resources—how does it make sense that Nigeria, like many African countries, lacks the industries to provide jobs and the skills to do the jobs, yet it has the biggest deposits of natural resources? But if we want a comfortable life, we have to travel abroad with our money to work for foreign companies that increase their countries’ economies and wealth by converting resources from Africa. At least since the pay comes in high currency, it’s not modern slavery. This means that some part of our society is broken and needs work from all angles and sides.

The truth is, as we know it, we have to do this work ourselves in a way that will benefit us. When I say ‘us,’ I mean all of us, especially the youth. We have to decide what our future and the future of our children will be, not solely depending on the outcome of poor government decisions and policies, whether due to corruption, misrule, or incompetence. We should take charge now, not by protesting or marching where you might end up getting shot and then lied to about the bullets, not by employing all the tools for negative media attacks, but by doing the work required.

You can JAPA now, but when the time comes for you to come home and enjoy your ‘Uwa mgede,’ trust me, it will come. You will meet the bed as you left it in the morning, and so will the next generation and the generation after that. In return, it will do no good except for adding more rings to the chain of poverty.

So, what does it mean to take charge of the future? What do we do to be in control of our own tomorrow and decide the fate of our society? It means taking action to improve your locality and environment, no matter how big or small. Where you are, what you do, what your interests are—so long as the actions you take make the world better than it was yesterday.

Here are some actions you can take in 2024 to help create a better tomorrow:

  • Develop a sense of growth ideology and work with it in everything you do.
  • Make an advocacy resolution for 2024. Pick a fight against prominent societal issues around you. Note that violence is not an option.
  •  Volunteer for charity and outreach programs. Find organizations and companies working for humanitarian causes and volunteer your time. The experience will help you understand what Africa is up against.
  •  Stand up for children and protect them from child labor and violence.
  • Demand accountability from leaders. Follow up on government projects, policies, and aids meant to benefit you and the people around you. Understand why they’re not working as they should.
  • Help curb misinformation on the internet. Always verify your information before sharing. Join the fight against misinformation, as it will help track down political cover-ups, lies, and propaganda.
  • Join government or politics at your level. Become a leader, find out what it takes to run for offices, and start representing the interests of the people, starting from your community or local government.
  •  Always fulfill your civic responsibilities, whether as a company yearly or as an individual whenever you have time.
  •  Prioritize the people over profiteering.
  • Lobby the government for the good of the people.
  • Attract industries that will create employment and teach the required skills.
  • Be the change you want to see.


This is how we can keep hope alive

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