The New Meaning Of Aluta -by Habeeb Kolade - Leystradamus.Com.Ng

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The New Meaning Of Aluta -by Habeeb Kolade

For the first time in my life, I learnt what it truly meant to stand up for what is your right as a 100 level student when I joined a protest that was meant to question the authorities over the epileptic power supply that crippled our activities as students in our halls of residence. While I was sceptic about joining initially, like many of my friends who chose to sit in their rooms and waited to taste from the results of the struggle they were never part of, I resolved to be one of those who broke extra sweat for the comfort of others. But then, I learnt a valuable lesson ? not that I have to protest all situations but that I had to power to stand up to determine how my stories would end.

Most times, our stories ended with the restoration of power supply and some others times, the promise of it. Winning in such instances meant a lot to me, being part of those who do not sit and complain about things but who rose to challenge such situations.

But as I grew from there, as a writer and through further exposure, I had begun to understand that protests, SOMETIMES, may just mean making your complaints louder. Most times, it brings no permanent solutions. We had power supply, ate our beans, lived peacefully, and the water in the taps flowed endlessly, everything seemed perfect and we were gradually isolated from the realities of the world that bordered the walls of our environment; that world we were meant to reinvent; that world we were meant to dry its tears and solve its many problems. We lived like Princes feeding fat in the palace in readiness to live in a jungle forever instead of learning how to change the jungle into palaces forever?

Four years was going to pass away, five years or more for others. You will get your degree and leave. And you will face a new world, different from the one that you know existed but have lived in denial of. The power supply will not be constant, neither will income be readily available unless worked for, and the water that will be running from your tap is one dug out by you. There were no lives on a platter of gold; there was just life and a crown of glory and gore. In the end, it was the world being thrown at you in the shock of your unpreparedness.

Student Union leaders must now begin to realize that the real Aluta is more than just securing power supply in the immediate environment, but in securing a future for the students that are under their guards. While I am in no way discrediting the need for us to fight for our rights, as students we must begin to realize that coming to school means empowering ourselves to solve problems rather than protest them. Thus, I believe that as things go, the new form of Aluta should prepare the current crop of students to take on the world, not with fisted hands powered mainly by brawn and “intellectual” arguments but knowledge and skills to tackle the many problems that have crippled Africa?s progress for a very long time now. We must now direct our struggle towards helping the educational system not fighting it because at the end, we are always at the butt of the decisions we make.

So instead of people lording the streets with placards requesting for constant power supply, we should have a group of thinkers who are developing how we can solve the power problem, the communication problem, the unity problem, the water problem, the financial problem, the political problem, the transportation problem, the this problem, the that problem; because universities are meant to produce problem solvers and not “aluta soldiers”. In the end, the people who create change are not those who talk about it, but those who work at it.

A valuable quote by Buckminster Fuller goes thus;

YOU NEVER CHANGE THINGS BY FIGHTING THE EXISTING REALITY. TO CHANGE SOMETHING, BUILD A NEW MODEL THAT MAKES THE EXISITING MODEL OBSOLETE.

While there are cases where people have no choices but to stand up in protest, several of the problems that border our immediate environment are examples of things that affect the society in larger quantities; thus, the need to change the question that every student leader now asks his or herself.

ARE WE DOING ENOUGH TO EMPOWER OR CREATE FACILITIES THAT EMPOWER OUR STUDENTS TO TAKE ON THE WORLD?S CHALLENGES, TO BE VITAL IN CREATING KEY SOLUTIONS TO THE SOCIETY?S PROBLEMS; TO BE ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDENT?

Thus as voters in the coming Students? Union election, you must begin to undertake a new type of struggle; one more insightful. You must begin to ask your student leaders what decisions they would be/are making to create a future different from the sorry stories we have heard of graduates in the past. Instead of clamouring for Union/Faculty/Weeks and Dinners that cost millions of naira, can Student leaders work on supporting the educational system by working towards securing partnerships with corporate companies to equip our libraries and laboratories as well as engineering studios with modern facilities? Can Students? leaders provide avenues for trainings that enable students take on world problems? Can Students? leaders work to enable students not feel they have wasted their last four years in school upon graduation? Can we have Student leaders who are innovative enough to bridge the existing hiatus in our educational systems independently of the school authorities? Can we students also provide alternative educational platforms that can aid the current systems to enable us meet up to international standards; a system that create a different standard of graduate who are not looking to expand the unemployment rate in the country? These are important questions that we now need to answer; these are important paths which our struggles must now be directed.

Getting more and more people to create new models that would outdate the existing systems is what Africa needs at the moment; not more people talking about its woes and the persons causing them.

I know it is going to be one tortuous but eventful journey, but I have resolved to work with such minds who believe they can evaluate, work and be dedicated to changing the course of African history forever. If we do not take charge of the rudders of Africa?s course, who else will, who else can?

Aluta Continua; Victoria ascerta.

Habeeb Kolade
Writer, Entrepreneur.
#EveryoneHasAStoryToTell

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