In 2014, a movie titled SELMA was released. It is a movie that showcases Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s principle of non-violent civil action as an effective tool to secure voting rights for the disenfranchised black Americans of Selma.
House on the Rock hosted the movie premiere in Nigeria as part of her Unity and Peace Initiative. They and This Present House gave their members a free showing of the movie. If you haven’t watched this movie, I would strongly recommend you do.
As part of my remit as a Nation-building Evangelist, my focus here is not about what we can learn from the movie but on why we are unable to put to practice what we’ve learnt from this movie.
A good number of our middle class in cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja have watched this movie that is barely a month in Nigeria. We have also watched several other real life culture-challenging movies such as ‘The Rosa Park Story’, ‘Hotel Rwanda’, ‘Mandela: The Walk to Freedom’, ‘Lincoln’ and ’12 Years a Slave’.
In addition to movies, we have watched documentaries, read biographies and listened to inspirational songs but despite all these, we still lack the critical mass of citizens who will note the lessons gained and then apply them in their lives and initiatives for nation-building.
The obvious question then is, ‘Why have these tools (movies, documentaries, books, etc.) failed to awaken us into the most urgent task of building a developed Nigeria?’
Mindset: Most citizens have lived with a fixed mindset all through their lives and this is a product of the environment (the home and school) we’ve been raised in. That environment ensured we didn’t challenge what was handed down; we didn’t seek to make things better; we depended on our leaders for solutions to our problems and so we did what they said and did so without question; we didn’t see radical change as possible in our society (only possible in western countries); we felt threatened by any attempt to do things differently and so discouraged uniqueness, etc.
With such a mindset, we can watch the Selma movie, shed a few tears (and a lot of tears for some) and yet, we will be unable to adopt the virtues of courage, sacrifice, the willingness to die for a cause, stick to a principle no matter the opposition and most of all, believe in the possibility of a better tomorrow and be personally involved in the pursuit of it.
It is time to evangelise the growth mindset and see it being adopted in our homes, schools, workplaces and places of worship. More articles on this will be featured on my website (bobbyudoh.com) but you can pre-order the soon-to-be published book on Mindset by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Core Values: The second inhibitor is the lack of the core values required for nation-building. With corruption entrenched in our nation for over three generations, we now have citizens who can hardly tell right from wrong.
The lifestyle of corruption has been sustained by the leadership (in the home, workplace, place of worship and government) by ensuring citizens stay with a fixed mindset. The immediate, unfortunate result has been the eradication of core values for nation-building.
What are these core values?
Compassion Opportunity Responsibility Equality
Valour Ability Liberty Unity Enterprise Spirituality
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could have relocated to the Northern part of America for a better life for him and his family but through compassion, he stayed and took responsibility for the problem facing black Americans. He remained courageous (a man of valour) even in the midst of constant beatings and threats to his life and family. He sought and gave others opportunity in his demand for equality (he even treated black student leaders as equals); showed immense ability in oratory and exhibited the spirit of enterprise evident in his exceptional organisational ability; he saw himself as a free American instead of an enslaved Negro, and he did all his service as an act of worship of his God.
From next month (March 2015), I will commit each month to focus on one core value. I strongly recommend you subscribe to the website bobbyudoh.com to join me on this journey.
The building of a developed Nigeria will only occur when we have a critical mass of citizens with a growth mindset and who are living out the nation-building core values. Only then will movies such as ‘Selma’ help to stir us up and equip us for required action.
Would you pursue a growth mindset and adopt the core values?