Open letter to all young people in the printing industry in Nigeria as you #endsars.

If you are below 40 years old in the house gather here…

We all must be following the #endsars movement and for sure would have learnt a few lessons from the happenings; The “lazy youths” have turned out to be thorough, bold, intelligent, articulate, swift in thinking through, armed only with their phones and technology and three things stood out for me;

One was when armed youth came threatening them and even damaged their cars, they raised funds to repair the cars, pay hospital bills and hire bouncers to protect them and refused to lose focus.

The second for me is the way they clean up once their environment gets dirty.

The third is the shunning of politics and those with greedy motives.

So, I couldn’t resist printing a T-shirt that says “Na person wey dey alive dey print #endsars” and off I rode to lekki toll gate. Perhaps that was my mistake… Hence my writing to you today.

My mistake in the sense that I can relate with your generation, my mistake because I found myself apologizing on behalf of all those who spoke ill about your generation, the times everyone gave up on your generation, I found myself apologizing for those who don’t understand your pains… I truly apologize for the generation that has failed you guys.

I do understand that your leaders have failed you, I understand that you are growing up in an unjust environment, I understand that electricity, water, good food, decent accommodation and even good roads have long become luxury to you. Because I understand is the reason I always strive to support those of you in this industry as much as possible.

As I stood watching the crowd of about a million young people, I remembered the online meeting I had with some of your alumni (Printing department) of our great Yaba College of Technology during the lockdown. I remembered my charging you! I remembered my urging you and my harassing you big time. I remember telling you the story of those “Omo onile”, I remember calling you guys’ fake Omo onile and I remembered the promises we made to each other and of course the fun time we had.

Young people of our great industry. I am urging you publicly to start getting into your leadership role. For instance your professional institute needs you, so you need to quickly embrace leadership by active participation!


In another instance, the industry is waiting for you to raise new standards, form yourself into a business cluster and build capacity. There is nothing wrong in coming together to start a revolutionary idea, if you need someone to talk to please call me quickly, I promise I won’t steal your ideas, I have mine…

Yet in another instance, we all need your creativity, strength, numbers and tenacity. Guess what? Those you look up to today started when they were younger than you and I am saying this in a whisper.

As #endsars has brought a new hope to this Nation in the past week, we can’t wait to see you guys get angry and take responsibility going forward.

Come and show us how to use technology to solve our funding problems, come birth professionalism by collaboration, come creatively to resolve our price control problems, come and show us what policy making is all about, come and become the think tank for our dear industry, come and show that we can run a clean and hygienic press room, come and unite the industry, come with some fresh air, and above all come and fill the Vacuum that your absence has created!

As you #endsars, it’s time you end unprofessionalism in the printing profession.

Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past

Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One Nation Bound in Freedom, Peace and Unity

O God of creation, direct our noble cause Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow

And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace And justice shall reign

Thoughts from your friend and brother:

Akin Oduwole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like