Here is a list of 5 of such mentalities Nigerian
youth must drop to succeed:
Written and Shared by Rosemary Egbo
1. The “Starting small takes too much time.” mentality
I have conversed with a lot of Nigerian youth and
the mentality of not wanting to start small is
common. Some believe that starting small is time-
consuming. These youth see the benefits that
starting small can bring, and yearn for the fruits
without the growth process.
Some will rather dodge
meaningful things that take patience to grow.
This mentality is why a lot of these youth celebrate
and boldly defend cyber fraudsters who choose to
cut corners when these fraudsters are apprehended
by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission
The be honest, Nigerian youth know what they want,
they know the price to pay to reach their goal, but
the issue with the majority is that they are unwilling
to start from square one and go the whole nine yards.
Hey, if you feel three years is too long to dedicate
to grow a business or career at twenty-seven,
remember that you will still be thirty years in three
years’ time with little or nothing to show for it. So it
is better to be thirty and have a three-year-old
business or career than to be thirty wishing you had
taken that bold step three years earlier.
The start of anything is not always easy because
the start (foundation) is where the strength lies.
The foundation of any building takes time and
resources, and the more time and resources put into
the foundation, the stronger the structure.
2. The “If you’re not talking money be brief.” mentality
A lot of Nigerian youth are not succeeding yet due
to this mindset. It is the reason behind their
nonchalant attitude towards training, seminars, boot
camps and conferences. They think attending these
events is a waste of time.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. It comes when we
have the right mentalities and consciously make the
right efforts towards success. There is a need to
look beyond money to see the greater opportunities
that lie ahead. But Nigerian youth see any job,
discussion or activity that its immediate reward isn’t
money as “invalid.”
If I had focused on the money when I started as
writing some years ago, I am sure I won’t have had
a writing career now. I did a lot of free jobs to hone
my writing skills, and I always looked for
opportunities to learn and grow. I was rejected by
so many editors despite the fact that I offered to
write for free.
As a rookie writer, I understood the concept of
seedtime and harvest, so I didn’t lose focus of the
bigger picture I had in mind. Am I still writing for
free today? No, because I have paid my dues, and
I’m reaping the harvest now.
The ‘money-love’ is seriously stagnating a lot of
3. “Tech is for men” Mindset
Many young Nigerian ladies aspire to become
young entrepreneurs in the youth-dominated tech
industry in Nigeria but decided to let go of their
dreams because of the mentality that the tech
industry is male-dominated.
The thought of what family and friends might say
about their supposed career choice kept them from
living a life they are passionate about.
Some years ago, I approached a glazier to teach me
glaziery, but he refused my apprenticeship because
he believed glaziery was for men.
Many Nigerian youths share this mindset and it is
one of the reasons why we have few women making
marks in the Nigerian tech industry.
4. The “If it’s Nigerian, it’s substandard.” mindset
Recently, Innoson Motors (Nigeria’s first automobile
manufacturer), trended on social media platforms
for the 25 million Naira car prize won by the winner
of season 4 of Big Brother Naija.
Some youth took to social media to belittle the
vehicle because it wasn’t a foreign brand. How can
our manufacturing industry grow if youths have such
The mentality that a locally produced product is
substandard has crippled many businesses and led
to depression among local manufacturers. Some of
these Nigerian youth would rather promote foreign
products at the expense of our own products. They
spend their savings patronizing foreign companies
instead of buying locally made products.
We need to drop this mentality if we must grow.
The result of emancipating our thoughts from such
mentalities would subsequently bring in the era of
the much-needed growth in the Nigerian
5. The “Salary is the money they pay you to forget your dreams” mindset
This mindset is common among young corporate
workers and entrepreneurs. I wonder how such an
untrue sentiment became viral in the first place.
Some young Nigerian employees in the corporate
sector rarely put in their best because they believe
they are forgetting their dreams by working for
And this is the reason many of them run out of paid
employment and jump into entrepreneurship without
knowing what entrepreneurship entails.
Everyone can’t be an entrepreneur and not everyone
can be in the corporate world either, so I don’t
know where such a mindset came from.
We all have our role to play in making the world a
better place, and the most important thing is
identifying your strength and positively utilize it.
Talking down a person for choosing to be in the
corporate world doesn’t make any sense. I’m an
entrepreneur, but I think it is wrong to see someone
as less for choosing where to be legally productive.
A lot of Nigerian youth must re-evaluate their
mentalities regarding so many things. Our mind is
the engine of our life, and it does not function
optimally when clogged with the wrong mindsets.
So, what is your thought on the author’s position on
Nigerian youths and their success mindset?
Unfortunately, these mindsets spread across sub-
Saharan Africa, and it is not limited to Lagos or
Nigeria. It affects millions of people.