The Efe in us all: The diary of a Nigerian youth by Onele Joseph

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(Readers’ discretion advised. Kindly read this article dispassionately, devoid of any (religious) sentiment and moral judgement)

[Analyses]–This year’s edition of Big Brother Naija (BBN) reality TV has come and gone but the memories it has left with us will linger for a while longer.

For personal reasons, whilst I think I’m ‘unqualified’ and therefore, unable to judge others for their seemly ‘moral’ conduct(s) or otherwise, I think it is pertinent to point out few lessons I learnt from the show that should not be lost in heat of the moment. For the sake of brevity and given the different positions, including the seemly controversial ones, of different authors that have written thus far on the 2017 BBN reality TV, I have chosen to limit this article to the lessons I learnt from Mr Efe Ejeba (Efe), the winner of the just concluded BBN reality TV show, the recent criticisms against him on social media notwithstanding. In the paragraphs below, I share my thoughts as well as my reflections on what I believe Efe stands for. Please note, however, that this post is not exhaustive and does not cover all possible interpretations of what Efe stands for.

First, Efe represents that average Nigerian who struggles everyday with the hope of making it in life. Those who understand the background Efe comes from would agree that Efe is a metaphor for that young Nigerian, who despite the rottenness, decay and seemly hopeless situation in the country, is willing to go all out, risk all and trust His fate in the hands of the One who controls the Universe and does what He wills with anyone he likes, ‘based on His logistics’ – It’s He alone who raises from grass to grace – who humbles the proud but elevates the humble – He alone finds beauty even in decay – success in what people have written off as failures and ‘never-to-do-well-in-life’ – The One who exceeds our expectations, grants favour to whoever He so desires and opens doors in places that one could have ever imagined.

Efe is that Nigerian, who despite having been beaten by the system several times, frustrated by our government’s misplaced priorities and focus on white elephant projects, having no immediate benefit to the masses (if ever there is any), betrayed by the ‘so-called’ leaders – turned comedians and ‘constituted authorities,’ choose rather to take his or her destiny in his or her own hands, whilst trusting in the Divine and the Omnipotent to make all things work together for his or her good, including succeeding against all odds.

I dare say there is iota of “Efe” in the average Nigerian youth who still believes in the country against all odds. I dare say Efe is anyone who keeps hoping for the best, while giving their all and staying true to their passion, in all they do. I dare say that Efe that Aba man/woman struggling to make ends meet yet hope for a better future; that hustler in Lagos, who left his village or small town to forge a new path in a ‘strange’ territory and has a ‘never-give-up-attitude.’

It is for the foregoing reasons and much more that I humbly ask that we keep celebrating the Efe in our lives whilst ensuring we do not lose focus of the struggles that lie ahead. No doubt, there is a price to pay for every prize. Sure, nothing good comes easily. In the course of fighting our daily battles, let us, like Efe, stay true to the best within us. Let’s not lose sight of where we are coming from, who we are and what our focus is. Let’s keep our eyes on the goal, the prize as if that’s all that matters. Let’s not rest until we’ve won the ultimate prize and our efforts, no matter how “little” it seems compared to others is crowned with resounding success, enough to be heard in different parts of the world and we are celebrated by even folks that have chosen to ignore or even despise us in the days of our little beginnings.

Until we can echo the following words “I came! I saw!! I conquered” and equally say that we gave it our all, did our best and posterity will be fair to us as well as remember us well, let’s not be wary of doing good, keep striving and fighting for the dreams we hold dear, whilst trusting God for victory on all ends.

Let’s keep the hope alive! And may the Efe in us all never die.

Note: This publication represents only the personal views of the author and is provided to highlight issues as well as for general information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice. Whilst reasonable steps were taken to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this publication, the author does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may arise from reliance on information contained in this publication.

Joseph Onele graduated with a First Class Honours from the Nigeria’s Premier University, the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Joseph is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and currently works with one of the leading law firms in Nigeria. He can be reached via;

Copyright 2017 The Page. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.



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