Pulse Blogger Key things young Nigerians need to unlearn to succeed

ScholarX Opportunity Hub is a Weekly blog post by Bola Lawal

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During one of my usual social media “excursions” I came across a post by a friend of mine based in Houston.

He was responding to a comment around sending stubborn children back to Nigeria to go learn some “sense”. Sense meaning, being ‘flogged” into shape to learn to respectful and absorb our cultural teachings.

My friend disagreed with this notion however, and exclaimed “I have spent my last 16 years in America unlearning a lot of things” This got me thinking, drawing from my personal experience, there were a lot of things I too had to unlearn and relearn in other to be successful as a student and now a professional.

Thus, I’ve decided to use this installment of “Opportunity Hub” to discuss key things Nigerian Youths need to Unlearn and Relearn to be successful in life. I might also add that, out of curiosity, I opened a discussion on this topic on my Facebook page, and it was a fascinating experience.


School curriculum in Nigeria, if we can still call it that; is a major impediment to growth and success of our youths, who are still being taught with materials adopted decades ago. For example, “copying” note is a major part of the class grades for secondary school students, or having them “label” insects while their peers in China are building Mobile phone prototypes as classwork. Students need to Unlearn cramming just to pass exams, rather, study to acquire knowledge. Particularly knowledge that fuels critical thinking which enables them to apply common sense and a sense of taking initiatives in real life situations


Mahatma Gandhi once said, “A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people” And this is very true for us in Africa, particularly a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria. The nucleus of our people’s way of life stems from teachings from culture and to an extent, family tradition. While this is a gift, it is also a curse. “Age doesn't beget respect, but respect is earned. I guess it's a societal thing, but we need to stop worshipping people who belong in the gutter simply because they are older. Age can be swapped for money too”

 Whether it’s our “hero” worship of elders, limitations imposed/implied by or seeing marriage as an achieve, we need to re-orient our youths to aspire and dream to achieve goals based on their personal desire and not what is expected from them.


Nobody owes you sh*t! Please excuse my French, but that’s exactly how it was relayed to me and I agree. Nobody owes you anything, not your parents, the government, your rich friends or relative. No one owes you jack, and you need to learn to rely on you, and only you, because your actions or inactions determines your level of success. I get that certain factors could hinder success in Nigeria however, but it starts with you.

Erase thoughts like, "my parents are supposed to send me to school, the government is supposed to give me a job" from your reasoning, and instead, keep asking yourself what you can do to improve things daily.

Role Models

Who your role models? Your success in life should not be tied to the gift of artistic talent (which most people are not blessed with) or just being in the right place at the right time. Look for role models who have scrapped and hustled their way to success! Particularly in your filed, so for example, if you want to be a successful tech entrepreneur, you need to look at founders of successful startups like Iroko, Hotels.ng, Okadabooks, Flutterwave and so on


The following a straightforward thing to unlearn/relearn o have the right mindset to succeed in whatever endeavor you choose:

  1. A hustle is not a business. You need to learn to take the hustle further, and develop the right principles and structures

  2. Realize that every overnight success is at least 10 years in the making but you don't get to see the process only the finished product

  3. Passivity and other psychological limitations must be deleted permanently

  4. Focusing on tooling/legacy/certification rather than solving problems

  5. Relearn internalization of doubt and curiosity and form a habit of questioning everything including authority and its doctrines.

ScholarX Opportunity Hub is a Weekly blog post by Bola Lawal (twitter @bwlofhouston,), Cofounder/CEO of ScholarX www.scholarx.co , @scholarx on Instagram, @scholarxpage on Facebook, where he shares his personal experiences with aspirational Students and young entrepreneurs on taking advantage of opportunities; and related topics that could help them achieve their goals.

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