Kunle is the metaphysical symbol of our demented values. He is not the Renaissance youth who dreams of change; who loves hardwork, honesty, academic achievement, integrity and the preservation of good name. No, Kunle unmoored is a lost youth of this nation. Kunle is a victim of our economic, social and psychic injury. He lives in Ketu. His parents separated when he was 8. He became tough at a tender age before he could be strong. Alone, battered and burdened with 3 children, the mother had to bear her cross stoically and single handedly raised the estranged kids. Life is one long cruel ruse for the unprepared. With no safety net like social benefits (giro) to safeguard our children from the life of crime, many fell into its tempting, criminal embrace. The statistics of the unemployed and the unemployables in this realm are enough to make the devil blanch.
Kunle shipwrecked any hope of further academic pursuit after his secondary school exam which he failed brilliantly. Toughened by poverty, lack and life’s torment, he morphed from a quiet, shy, unassuming youth to a rascally, tough and hopeless street conman. From a soft crime of betting on card and dice games, Kunle graduated into the riskier waters of Internet scamming popularly called Yahoo Yahoo. With no dominating father figure to discipline his impressionistic mind; with no societal values to respect, with no rigid moral certainty to observe, Kunle joined the army of fraudsters who steal through the freedom of electronic highways. His slow, steady descent into a life of get-rich-quick mirrors a general social virus infecting us all.
Nigeria’s social dilemma is money. We ruminate endlessly on how, when and where to get it. We place far more values on material success than cultural and human values. Politicians fabricate rationales for their greed and insatiable appetites for billions of naira. In their schizophrenic moment, politicians believe themselves to be achieving the objectives of their political career by how much money is stolen from the nation’s vaults. When the resources of the nation is plundered, majority of Nigerians are naturally foreordained in poverty. They become the proverbial raw grist for the merry miller. Kunle watches. He knows. He sees. He knows that democracy’s subtenets like fairness, inclusion and material benefits are not for him. This is a narrative of travail and stunted prospect of millions of our creedless youths trapped in the tormenting salon called Nigeria. Only bad politicians will purse their big lips as their youths turn into malignant, manipulating Yahoo Yahoo plunderers on the Internet.
Kunle in his logical mind believes that he is practicing a self-righteous, homely philosophy of self-reliance. Who remembers him among the thugs in the National Assembly? Our leaders continue to misread the future of our youths. They continue to misread the cultural shifts of the Yahoo Yahoo generation to plumb the depth of their abandonment by the state. The Yahoo Yahoo boys represent the gravely endangered generation of the fathers of our future. Like Kunle, millions of them were born into the rigged game of dysfunctional families, ungilded background, crippling poverty, poor education, cognitive distraction, poor social connection and non-existent opportunity for long term success. Like Kunle, many of them are forced to confront social obstacles at an early age. They are the generation of a stolen future. Many of our youths are literally dead inside. Many are left to cobble self-esteem from a vacuum of stolen destiny, to elicit the simplest corona of self-respect from a nation whose exoplexus suffers regressive blows almost minutely.
Since Yahoo Yahoo scamming business has been tamed by superior Internet security, body parts are the scream at the moment. Caught between survival and death many of the old Yahoo Yahoo players are shipping into Yahoo Plus! Yahoo Plus refers to dealing in body parts to sell in the secret, black market. The desire to drive 2010 Model Jeep like the semi-literate Chairman of their local council is turning them into snarling and untameable dogs who will as readily tear the throat of their innocent friends, girlfriends and strangers for their body parts to feed a new, devilish and cancerous desire to get rich.
That is their loudest act of protestation and defiance against a nation whose moribund soul is controlled by money. Welcome to ‘unawamsaying’ generation. Are the fathers of our future not doomed?