Alvin Ukpeh is a photographer and a very talented one at that. He is by every standard representative of a new class of Nigerians. He is well brought up, sophisticatedly educated, and is driven by a vision totally different from what drove the generations ahead of him.
This is the new Nigeria. Millennials, being young Nigerians who are emerging with a different outlook. A drive to achieve visions devoid of the leanings or patronage of a warped rent-seeking structure that bred their fathers.
Today’s millennial has carved a different route for themselves. They have chosen the part of entrepreneurship, entertainment, and Technology as very strong vehicles they use to actualize their aspirations.
So, you see a second-generation elite and a carpet bagger from the slums of Shomolu putting heads together in creative collaboration as they build the latest App, deliver on the most sought-after movie or even take over whole industries using fresh thinking and a drive alien to our culture.
Renee Etokapkan is a second-generation elite. Her father working for one of the Oil Multinationals is most likely first-generation wealth having come from soldier parents who trudged to give him the education with which he used to climb out of poverty.
He in turn pushed his children to the next level. Renee, his daughter is an award-winning international scholar. Passionate about her goals and very clear as to her place in the emerging global society. Her canvas is global and not restricted to the shallowness that is our lot in Nigeria.
This is the new Army. We have unwittingly built a new Army of Nigerians who are better connected to global dynamics, who see things differently, and who are not short-changed by the limitations of our disgrace.
They are economically driven. They are pushed by the energy to succeed and would forge partnerships and alliances based on value and not of ethnicity or corrupt influences that drive our own relationships.
The economy is beginning to feel its strides especially in job creation, infrastructural development, media, services, and mostly in technology.
Serious players in the economy now focus their marketing strategy on them. They have seen the virtual death of the wholesale markets and the emergence of the retail market almost in every sector as the vehicle for market dominance.
The millennial demographic powers this market. It gives it the energy to push despite the ineffective and comatose policies that continue to stifle real growth.
They have built structures that evade the turbulence of nepotistic and clueless Government policies and remain resolute at their mission.
Lets watch these ones very closely, they just might be our last hope.