I eschewed from social media for some days now to find my bliss and balance my mental health. For a particular reason today which happened to be the celebration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), I checked in and found a trending video about Hon. Desmond Elliot calling the youths "children".
From childhood memory we can say Hon. Desmond Elliot was a celebrity before becoming a politician, however am choosing my words from another angle to this trending video and that's roles on celebrities and social media in nation building and in the context of the development industry where I work.
Celebrity roles can be controversial but they can easily attract tremendous attention and quickly raise awareness for a movement or causes, they can also make a mess. Celebrity culture is not new as a voice just that the world is full of good guys and bad. That is why you must have even noticed United Nations make use of lot of these celebrities and influencer's around to world to support a cause as an ambassador.
In our world today, global development challenges are extremely complex, take for example issue of ending poverty, I was checking worldpoverty.io few days ago and seeing over 105 millions people in Nigeria living in poverty is something I cannot phantom in a country that is so rich in resources both mineral and human and can be among the powerful nation's of the world.
Imagine pushing a button in one area (say, building a school for underprivileged youth) and you may make an unintended problem in another (say, exacerbating ethnic tensions because the school is seen as a benefit to one group). That is why in global development the complex adaptive systems is important which means how things actually work.
While it is easy to be suspicious about celebrity, motivational speaker's involvement in recent events of the ENDSARS protest, a healthy skepticism rather than downright cynicism is warranted. Celebrities can be part of the focus on results if they are so serious about wanting to help in nation building, celebrity involvement in nation building can be a good call Nigerians have started to see as an opportunity and using them as a voice for the voiceles.
I have dwell so much on celebrities role, however I am aware another part of the video was about the use of social media, you might want to read the paragraph 5 of this article again, I was particular about complex adaptive systems in that paragraph, how do things really work I think should be the questions on our lips right now, especially those we voted into office; are they for us or against us?
In the last three weeks we have raised important questions about national development not just about ending police brutality and I want to believe it is the right time for our politicians to display value of an adaptive leader and start to rethink how to make this national great again. On account of some of the comments I read on social media where someone posted "Our government wanted to adopt the Chinese way to ban social media why can't they also use the Chinese law that execute corrupt leader's? They should start with the later before banning social media".
I know and I believe the recent event is going to change the dynamics of our politics for good, new leaders will emerge and this country is going to be stronger going forward but it's really the best time of our lives to adopt a culture of leaving no one behind, holding everyone accountable and sincerely be truthful to that call of national development from the grassroots.
"Sustainable development requires human ingenuity. People are the most important resource." - Dan Shechtman
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