I quote Olutope Olatilewa, the founder of African Changemakers, when she says that “Youths are the leaders of today, not tomorrow”.

If you are a young Nigerian civil servant you would be aware of the strong forces that oppose this school of thought, because you would often be advised “Wait for your time, it will take you donkey years to become a leader.” “No matter what you know, you can’t get up there, you must crawl like a snail until you get there.” Sometimes they will be ‘kind’ enough to give you the discouraging breakdown, of how you must spend nothing less than 15years from the time you are employed on level 8 before you can reach GL 14, 20 years for GL 15, 24 years for GL 16 and 28 years for GL 17. Then, you will be told of how mistakes on the job or other negative implications can elongate your progress and most unfortunately, how quota begins to affect you once you reach GL 14,that you may end up spending 5-10years on one level. They tell you how many people never got to the peak of their carrier and how leadership is even a tug of war for people close to retirement age. They then tell you, “Just be the chicken that you are, raising your head makes no difference.”

Now, the surprising thing is that these people lack the understanding of a 21st century leader- people who can influence a system with their innovation and leadership attributes from whatever positions they are- neither will they create the environment for you to. They are ignorant of the fact that everyone can be a leader. They use autocracy to suppress those beneath them, and majority of the sufferers are youths.


This situation seems to be the case of Nigeria, where governance has for the past two decades been lead by grandparents. They continue to revolve around government, switching from one position of authority to another, not letting the youths take over the mantle of leadership. But the truth needs to be told to the youths that they are leaders of to today, not tomorrow.


In history books, we read of how young people excellently led governments and great empires. Today, we are being deceived with claims that we do not have the experience or expertise to lead, that we should wait for tomorrow- a big lie! We have all it takes. There is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is today! Tomorrow is today when those ideas in our minds must be implemented. Today is when we have the strength to lead. Today is when our minds have not been corrupted or weakened. Today is when we know what majority of our population feels because we are the young people. Today is when we understand what the educational system is like and what unemployment feels. Today is when we must transform the old system of leadership into 21st century leadership. Today is when we must think tomorrow, think sustainability.

Today is when we must lead, not tomorrow. Therefore, youths are not leaders of tomorrow; youths are leaders of today!

21 thoughts on “Youths – Leaders Of Today, Not Tomorrow”

Leave a Reply