Navigating the Seas of Adulthood: A Letter For The Youth Of Africa
By Ola Mercy Eniayo, Nigeria
Dear Zees (Gen Z),
As we slowly begin to enter the cusp of adulthood, I am reminded of the adage that life is a journey, not a destination. We encounter uncertainties, rough waters and stormy skies, but we also experience the thrill of adventure and the joy of discovery. Growing older is something to celebrate, and for that I say welcome to adulthood. Even though we journey through the unknown, I am so grateful to have you by my side as together we navigate these uncharted waters.
As we leave the comfort of our childhood and teenage years, we travel through life’s paths. It’s like a voyage on the sea. Sometimes the water is calm, the winds are fair, and we sail smoothly. Other times, the storm rages, and the waves crash against our ship, threatening to capsize us. Look at adult problems which are also storms we face: the unending circle of unemployment, random harassment from law officials, the irking urge to make it so fast, and the “Japa syndrome,” which is leaving the country, believing that there are greener pastures on the other side of the world. What about the unending unrealistic pressure from social media, family and friends? Can you imagine in the adult world, corruption is the order of the day and you have to know someone to get to something. The waters are rough!
But despite these challenges, I urge you to be kind to yourself. We have all been endowed with a unique individual light. It is our responsibility to nurture, guide and carry that light. To let it shine brightly wherever we go.
Know that your adult life is like a boat. The waves of the sea might try to swallow it, and these waves might be huge. But it is our responsibility to steer our ships to safety. Look at the waves and the wind as opportunities. Opportunities to think, pray, have patience and courage, to become resilient.
There is a saying that as long as there is life, hope smiles around the corner. And no matter what comes our way, we must keep sailing on, trusting that we will reach the destination we desire in the end. Like a sailor on a long journey, you must remain focused and determined, even when faced with unexpected challenges and rough waters. And just like Hilda Baci, who recently cooked for 100 hours and 40 minutes to break a world record, you can use your own strength and perseverance to overcome obstacles and achieve your dreams and know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to!
Zees my friend, do not try to sail alone. Just like sailors rely on their compass to navigate the seas, we will rely on our values and friendships to guide us through the challenges ahead. We have a crew (family and friends) to help us, and God is our navigator, steering us through the storm and leading us safely to shore.
We need to trust in the sovereignty of the Lord to direct us. And when it gets windy and tough on the voyage, we have someone who knows the directions of the wind and created it all. Remember the story from the Bible about Jesus and His disciples. They were on a boat when a storm arose, and the disciples were afraid. Jesus stood up and said, “Peace, be still.” The wind and the waves immediately calmed down. I find this story inspiring because it reminds me of the power of faith. When we face challenges, it can be easy to feel afraid and overwhelmed. But if we have faith and trust in God, we can find peace and strength. Keep sailing on, my friend! We will be victorious in the boat we call adulthood.
Storms may come
Wind may blow
But trust the Lord of Host
Who navigates the boat.
Ola Mercy Eniayo is an artist in Nigeria. Her passion for art led her to study Theater Arts at the University of Ilorin. She also nurtures her skills as a self-taught visual artist. Since her early years, Mercy has been using her talents to tell captivating stories and shed light on societal issues. Her art serves as a medium for expressing these concerns, aiming to connect with and impact her audience. She believes that Christians have much work to do to spread the gospel around the world. Mercy hopes that youths will be more positive about the future of Africa.