I am sure lovers of fables must have heard this beautiful story that I am about to tell. Whether you have heard the story or not, just spare me a few minutes and read it.

I am retelling it, not just to entertain you, but to draw a great lesson that we need at this time.

A rich old farmer, who felt that he had not many more days to live, was very worried about his sons and his legacy.

He knew his sons to be quite lazy and knew that upon his death, they will quickly sell off his lands and properties, and proceed to squander the money. He also knew that poverty and suffering will eventually visit them and there will be no one to help them.

So he called his sons to his bedside.

“My sons,” he said, “heed what I have to say to you. Do not on any account part with the estate that has belonged to our family for so many generations. Somewhere on it is hidden a rich treasure. I have forgotten the exact spot I hid it, but it is there, and you will surely find it. Spare no energy and leave no spot unturned in your search.”

The father died, and no sooner was he in his grave than the sons set to work digging with all their might, turning up every foot of ground with their spades, and going over the whole farm two or three times. They know their father to be an upright and honest man, and they know that if he said there is a treasure in the land, then it certainly must be there.

When they got tired, the eldest son advised them to plant some crops on the farm, since it is already tilled, and that after harvest, they will continue the search.

No hidden gold did they find; but at harvest time, they noticed that they had the best yield in town, because of the thoroughness with which they tilled the ground.

They pocketed a rich profit far greater than that of any of their neighbors.

And then it struck the eldest one like a bolt of lightning, he gathered his brothers and broke down in tears, “ Dear brothers, our father truly is an upright and honest man, he did not lie to us, and indeed, there is much treasure in the land. This harvest is the treasure. Our father in his wisdom, knew us to be lazy, and his parable was the only way to stop us from destroying his legacy, and to help us discover true wealth in hard work” .
And so the brothers learned their lessons and prospered. They only regretted not having the opportunity to thank their father.

Nigerian youths… I feel like the old man is talking to us. His sons are like the Nigerian youths today. Strong, healthy, but looking elsewhere for treasure, instead of their own backyard.
Let me ask you a question, If you were born in the days of our great, great, great, grandfathers when there was no government or big corporations to provide blue collar jobs, will you die of hunger? Will you go to your king and complain of unemployment?

No, you will not, because the concept of slave labour or salaried work, was not yet fully developed. Then you were a free born, and a son of the soil. You will simply choose any career that suits you, learn it under your father or as an apprentice, and proceed to build your life as you like.

Magic Formula! There was nothing like unemployment in those days. You could be a farmer and produce for your family. You could farm more than your personal needs, and build groundnut pyramids or huge yam barns. Your neighbor could be a trader, and sell the groundnuts for you or maybe you could be a hunter, or a fisher man or whatever you desire.

Nigerian youths, you are not slaves. Stop thinking like a slave. Why are you waiting for the government, or for one big company to employ you, and then tell you exactly how to live your life?

Sorry, I have nothing against getting employed, if you have a good job, that’s great. I too have many employees, who I cherish and treat very well. But I have everything against folding your hands waiting and crying for a job.

Maybe you think this is just theory, and not very practical. So let me give you some examples.

Jasper Chidera from Imo state, was still in his twenties when he made N1 million from cucumber farming in 2 months. Innocent Mokidi is an accounting graduate from Edo state. in 2013, he quit his job to start poultry farming with 1000 birds. Today, his Agri-business is worth N6million, an amount he couldn’t have saved from his paid employment. What about 28-year old Annie Nyaga. This beautiful young lady quit her job to start watermelon farming, according to her, she made over $5000 in 2016.

I can go on and on to mention names, but am sure you can just google it yourself, and see more success stories.

So the moral of my story today is simple. Delete the word unemployment from your mind, and employ yourself. And please stop giving excuses. There is no excuse for any man/woman that truly wants to use his creative abilities to work. But a lazy mind will have 1000 excuses not to work.

 Don’t think that I don’t understand, I do. I am also not exonerating the government, but will you rather fold your hands and bemoan your fate? Don't you know that poverty has pain? When a lazy man covers himself, poverty will uncover him.

Maybe you wonder that you don’t have land to engage in Agriculture. You have 2 options, you can go back to your father’s land and start from there. Of course, this will be a horrible idea for some people, but I know a girl that returned from Lagos to Delta state and started Quail farming, she is worth millions today.

The other option you have is to lease land. I also know a farmer who leased about 6 hectares of land on the outskirts of Lagos. He leased each hectare at N20,000 per year. Remember that a hectare of land is 15 plots. So this is quite cheap, and almost anyone can afford this.

So get busy today, and start thinking of what you can do for yourself. Clean your certificates very well, in fact, laminate it properly, and then just shelf it and simply forget about it for now. It is a shameful thing to have your certificate, and still go about begging for food, rent, etc.. Don't dehumanize yourself. There is dignity in labour, if you can at least feed yourself and your family, you will have your self-esteem intact.

It is my firm belief that although material resources like Money, is always limited, creative and human resources are unlimited.

You need to realize that wealth is not just physical money, ideas and creativity are also wealth. A single idea can transform you from a pauper to a millionaire. That is why we expose young people to hundreds of great ideas that can transform their life.

And with the great transformation, we are witnessing regularly, I can only agree that the problem of Nigeria is not a POVERTY OF RESOURCES, BUT A POVERTY OF IDEAS.
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