Martin Beck Nworah Monday, March 20, 2017 3
Ladies and gentlemen, growing up in Onitsha comes with its own peculiar challenges. You are faced with the challenge of not only conquering yourself, you have to conquer and rise above a society that gives you little or no inspiration. So from the streets of GRA to Omagba, Fegge to Iyiowa Odekpe, Housing Estate to Okpoko, Woliwo to Enu Onitsha, the dreams of so many young people continue to die within them because no one encourages them.
I feel pained. So many of you conquered this environment and that is why you are here today. I chickened out. I couldn't stand staying here and watch my dreams die so I prayed my mum to send me away to Lagos. I spent a part of my growing up in Lagos before returning to the East for the later part of my education. But one thing never died; I still loved and believed in Onitsha and our dreams.
So these days, I encourage young people like myself to keep dreaming and working hard. Onitsha is no longer a den of nonentities. From this city, hundreds of experts in divergent fields of life have grown. Many leave and never identify with this town. But many leave and still remember that this city made them strong. This city thickened their skin and gave them the hope to reach for the skies.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you this generation cannot be better without you. We need you! Everyday you wake up, I want you to promise yourself that you will be the reason why people will eat, be the reason why people will smile, give hope to the people in your life. But most importantly, learn to live for yourself and never let anybody make you feel you don't deserve to pursue or achieve your dreams.
I believe in our collective ability as young people in this State to make things better. Politically, socially and economically, we can make our voice heard. When the election process starts, register and vote. Reach out to your fellow youths and connect with people who are passionate about life and their careers.
Be bold, you will win!
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.