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Friday, February 24, 2017

YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE IN THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY

Written by: Folorunso Fatai Adisa


Imagine yourself as a parent, there has been one of your children you cherished a lot and you'd lay your life to give this child the best of things to make life worth living for the child; owing to the child's obedience, resourcefulness, calmness, brilliancy and so forth; while attaining adolescence, suddenly, the child went haywire, turns truant, commits atrocities and have his/her name mentioned as the point-man of any dastardly activities committed in the community.

Ask yourself, how would you feel being in such a situation? I tell you, you'd definitely get downcast.

In every society, the youth are the greatest asset that any community can possess; potentially, they are the greatest investment for a society's sustainable development and future. The youths are usually prone to many behavioural influences during their youthful phase of life which can either make or mar their future.

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Besides, youthful exuberance could be put as a situation whereby youth are unable to stay still, or unwilling to be controlled especially because they feel bored or dissatisfied.
Youthful denotes an early period of existence while exuberance denotes uninhibitedly enthusiastic liveliness, vitality etc.

I'm saddened to learn that "youthful exuberance" overpowers rational thinking, and that the end result can lead to tragedy.
One of the causes of youthful exuberance in Nigeria can be attributed to the individual family or household. 
The family has totally failed in its quest to fully inculcate morals and social values into its offspring’s; which is partly due to economic difficulties and institutional breakdowns.

Perhaps, most parent today do not spend enough time with their children, rather they register them with daycare and other foster homes in other to escape their parental responsibilities for them to have sufficient time to transact their businesses which will, in turn, generate income to upkeep the family.

As a result of this, most children grow into youths lacking appropriate upbringing and knowledge of social norms; this has led to the astronomical increase in the numbers of miscreants, street urchins, cultists and rapists prevalent among the youth in the society.

Furthermore, it is disheartening to see a creative mind spent in creating ideas on how to destroy the lives of others; this has to do with youth using their talents and vitality wrongly, they are being used by diabolical politicians as well as disgruntled leaders for settling scores against one another, this chain of dreadful activities of the youth have resulted into outright criminality and as well increase the rate of violence in the society.

Similarly, peer pressure is a contributive factor which can easily pollute the youth's mind, in the quest to equate the level of their peers when actually they don't have sufficient resources to fit in, they then result into the exemplification of corruptible acts such as prostitution, robbery, fraud amidst others which would in turn dent the family's image.

Also, civilisation has brought about an attitudinal change among the Nigerian youth, the advancement in communication, information and technology has deprived the Nigeria youth of their cultural values and imbibed in them the foreign culture which is perceived to be immoral and absurd.

Additionally, exposure to violent media messages and movies has in no small way contributed to this, majority of our youth today have turned drug addicts, sex toys etc. as they exemplified what they are been exposed to on the media and movies; this has been supported by different theories of media violence such as the INSTIGATOR THEORY as authenticated by Greenberg's research, it stated that "viewing violence leads to violence, especially in children" and the IDENTIFICATION THEORY which stated that "children, particularly, always want to imitate their heroes or film actors". 

Alberta Siegel a comm. scholar, in one of his works THE EFFECTS OF MEDIA VIOLENCE ON SOCIAL LEARNING, cites how television chiefs in Britain issued a warning to millions of youngsters upon an inquest on a boy who died at his home in Leicester after imitating his masked and cloaked hero Batman.

Conclusively, one of the solutions to youthful exuberance is that each home should try to create sufficient time for their children so as to perform their primary function of nurturing and moulding their children into responsible citizenries and as well should not allow the quest for improving their financial standard to over-shadow their sole responsibility as parents.

Meanwhile, the government should provide corrective and punitive measures to tackle anti-social/moral behaviours and stay puritanical to it.

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