A social entrepreneur, Marilyn Oma Anona, has said getting rich syndrome has become a major social problem in the country.
Anona who is an award-winning human capacity development expert disclosed this in an interview with Politicos.
She also spoke on a wide range of issues.
Q: How do you think youths should survive in view of societal pressures brought about by drug abuse and get reach quick syndrome?
A: Thank you very much for this question. I am very big on process and very anti get rich quick syndrome.
This syndrome is one that has eaten deep into our society. People want to just become wealthy and all round successful overnight. This is anti nature and my show is against this. It is one of the things we talk about in our human capacity development sessions. It is also one of the reasons for setting up the Omalivinshow Unsung Heroes Award and Entrepreneurship Conference.
We seek to first redefine what success is and to make it clear to people that growth requires time. How do the youths survive “get rich quick syndrom?”
First, we all must start to take responsibility. Who do you celebrate? Who are the people being crowned heroes in the society and on what basis? When people make or amass material possessions, do we care to know how they came about such acquisition? Do we despise people when they don’t have and celebrate only those who have. These are some of the things we need to check if we must curb the get rich quick syndrome.
All over the social media are irrational stories of very young people amassing wealth without any real process. And we see people celebrate them without asking questions. When you ask, you are tagged jealous. The youths will survive this by acknowledging that true wealth and success does not come overnight. If it comes overnight then it is fishy. They should look at and watch genuine business men and women… what was their process like?None became wealthy overnight. These are some of the ways.
I want to let anyone reading this to know one thing, you can not combine building with scattering. Growth takes time.
And about drug abuse… l am also so much into intentional living. When anyone wants to do something, they should check the consequences of the actions they are about to indulge in. Of what use is drug abuse?
It is detrimental to everyone’s health. So I think we should all constantly communicate this. When people understand that certain things will harm them in the long run, they will refrain from indulging.
Q: The country appears to have a rape epidemic, do we have proper family and governmental structures to help victims and punish offenders? What do you suggest in this regard?
A: There are government agencies in place but to be candid, I do not think they are doing enough.
We need to have strong and very clear laws executing people who rape people. There should also be laws to nail those who falsely accuse others of rape.
Rape is not something to be joked with. It is important that we start having people severely punished for indulging in rape. It will deter other people. We want to feel safe in our society. We want to send our kids to school and not be anxious about their safety.
Also, there is need for more education when it comes to the younger ones. They should be taught to be expressive when someone abuses them.
Parents and guardians should let their wards know what is right and wrong and the consequences. All of these will help.
Q: Are you satisfied with the role of young people in politics, economy and nation building? What else can be done to bring youths into loving and believing in their country?
A: This is a very great question. I do not think the youths are actually involved as players. Most youths are more involved as people who just cheer and gather crowd for the older people.
We seem not to realise that we are coming of age and need to be serious and more objective. Instead all over the social media space are young people fighting themselves over recycled politicians instead of getting really involved to help the nation grow.
Again, many of us are not patriotic. The nation is bad, Nigeria is bad a lot of people chant. And I ask… who is Nigeria? Or what is Nigeria? Nigeria is just an empty space… we the humans in it make it a country!
So if we have a bad country then it means we are the problem not the country. We can not change the country by being in the sideline. We need to get involved.
Shun and say no to collecting money from politicians and be determined to serve the country to make it better. Nigeria is the only place we have to call home building it will require collective effort. Nigeria is passing through a process and with everyone contributing their own quota, we will succeed as a nation.
Q: Can you tell us how you have helped young people in their social reinvention vis a vis their health and personal development?
A: My company has since inception done a lot of projects all geared towards making people and the society better.
We led a national social campaign in 2018 tagged S.A.D (the campaign on suicide, anxiety and depression) and it was all in a bid to create mental health awareness especially in the areas of anxiety and depression which are the most common mental health issues and the leading causes of suicide.
This campaign was more than impactful and helped a lot of young people become more self aware and also devise more practical ways to handle their mental health while pursuing their life goals.
You see, many young people become excessively overwhelmed and burnt out due to many reasons.
Through our projects, we make them realise the need and importance of taking life easy and not being on a fast lane.
We also try to make them see the importance of “balance” and that success doesn’t have a timeline and isn’t a destination.
Personal development isn’t just about acquiring certifications and hard skills. We take them on self discovery journeys so that they are able to live a more fulfilling life which translates to their overall output and performance.
Q: What are the outstanding projects you have done so far?
This is a very interesting question… I love it! And my answer is, all projects I have done are outstanding.
Reason is, I tackle nagging issues and really needed issues aimed at making humans and our society better.
From the social campaigns, to my talk show, human capacity development projects and the award and entrepreneurship conference… all are outstanding project!
It is humans and our society first before my needs.
I strive daily to make the society more beautiful than I met it.
Q: You have such a strong influence on your fellow millennials, the older and the younger ones too. What do you think is responsible for this?
A: In the world of today, anyone can have an influence especially with the social media being an effective platform that connects humans. However, I agree that I have an influence on people and I think that’s largely because a lot of people see me as very authentic and unique.
They always make reference to not being dramatic and all that kind of thing. I think that’s barely why. My reputation, track record and character are some of the reasons why. Another reason is due to the fact that I am honest about my status. I don’t like to create a perception, I tell every part of my story good, bad and ugly because I need to bring about a real impact.
These are some of the reasons too. Then others think I am so courageous and intelligent.
Q: Tell us more about your human capacity development projects
A: Thank you again for this question. My purpose like I said earlier though in any way is basically about making the quality of Human Resources better in order for us all to enjoy a better society. This is why my brand stands out. It is a media and social brand but unlike most, we are not after glamour, sensationalism and things like that. We are all about impact. So right from my talk show to my campaigns and entrepreneurship and balance programs it’s about human capacity development. Some of the projects I have done are events while some are counseling/coaching/training sessions which can be for a group or an individual per time. So I concentrate mainly on soft skills, character and values inculcation, self discovery and personal development, balance, mental health and performance assessment.
You see, Nigeria is not in short supply of people with degrees, all manners of certificates and certifications, hard skills and talents. But you will agree with me that Nigeria is in short supply of people with character and good values. This is one of the major focus of my human capacity development sessions.
I am eager to see a society where people behave and perform better. Our leaders are mostly schooled, what most of them lack is character. And these leaders are the product of the society. Except intentional effort is made to see that Nigerians have the right values and we start to recognize and celebrate people of character… there will be no change! This is what I and my team strive to do .
Q: What is the unsung heroes award all about?
A: One of the major themes of the OmaLivingShow is to celebrate unsung heroes and bring them to limelight. This we go through our talk show and our annual conference called the OmaLivingShow Unsung Heroes Award and Entrepreneurship Conference. In a society that is filled with nepotism and favoritism and villains being crowned heroes…
The show recognizes great men and women, brands and organizations that go beyond the call of duty to make positive impact in our society. Some of these people and brands do very great things but are not recognized for many reasons. The event is all about boosting the confidence of the genuinely impactful people and brand that also have great track records of process and good conduct. The event is getting set for its 4th edition which will happen this November.
Q: Are you interested in politics or public office?
A: I won’t say I am particularly interested in politics especially the kind that is being practiced in Nigeria… but I do know that I have the ability to serve and use my gifts to make my society our nation better. Many times, people have advised me to get interested and start warming up towards it. Time will tell. But one thing I do not like to hear from people is when they make utterances like; Oma, you are too clean and good for Nigerian politics. What does that mean? If the supposed good people continue to shy away from politics, then we have no moral right to keep complaining. The best way to change what you don’t like is to be involved and be a player..Well for now, I am focused on my primary purpose and ensuring that I make impact.