Community Service Ideas
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We Should All Be Mad

What are you mad about?

When I was younger, I was taught/told that all I had to do was get good marks, pass my exams and graduate with a good degree. I’d have a job, and with it financial security and independence. The lines would fall in all the right places. And they did. For some people. Some are lucky to have jobs when they graduate. But for the majority, there are no jobs. Not because they’re unqualified, not because they’re incompetent. No. Sheer (bad?) luck. A tragic game of musical chairs and I am mad, so mad that my family and friends are unemployed or underemployed and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

What are you mad about?

My friend’s mother died earlier this year because she couldn’t get emergency dialysis done in the middle of the night. Another friend slumped while jogging. Government hospitals ask expectant mothers to come for delivery with candles, diesel, rechargeable flash lights. Women die in childbirth of the most routine causes. Babies die, children die of diseases and complications that shouldn’t kill anyone in the 21st century. Doctors can’t afford middle-class lifestyles. Surgeries are carried out with torches. And I am mad (and scared) that if my loved ones need emergency medical intervention, they probably will not get it.

What are you mad about?

I cook with “pure” water in my home; our bore hole water is so heavily treated, I dare not put it in my food. The Water Corporation is the sad punchline of a mirthless joke. My street association is considering levying us all to pave the street. The local government is a joke. At some point, we were considering hiring private security guards. Because the police is not our friend. As I type this, the cacophony of generators is giving me a headache. The rain probably knocked out a few power lines. Our street is flooded. No drains. And I’m mad, mad, mad that I’m forced to pay 24% of my income as tax for amenities I do not get.

What are you mad about?

I’m mad about the indiscipline we exhibit when we drive on our roads, queue at banks and gather in public. I’m mad about bad roads that kill people. I’m mad about traffic that shortens my life span. I’m mad about officers that harass me instead of helping me. I’m mad that children are leaving primary school who can’t read. I’m mad that some people get to live by a different set of rules. And not just the rich and powerful either. Have you noticed how danfo drivers get away with all sorts of traffic infractions but LASTMA will fine you for stopping your car on a zebra crossing?

What are you mad about? And what do you hope for? And is your hope strong enough that you want to do something about it? To write about it, to talk about it? To meet up with your friends and do something about it? Do you feel strongly enough to form your own political party? Or to join one of the others? Are you moved enough to volunteer for a good cause? Are you mad enough?


  1. Kai! I give up. I used to think I was mad. But right now, you are madding all the madness for me. Thank you.


    But I still have one madness o. The fuel I burn daily is making me mad. Sigh*

  2. Jite says

    Well…I am mad that I finally joined the ranks of those who no longer have hope in Nigeria. I used to…A lot…its gone man.

  3. This made me realize the more how bad things really are. I’m really mad…especially with the fact that I graduated at this season the country and everything embedded in it isn’t smiling.

  4. Chinelo says

    I’m mad at the naira-dollar rate. Too mad to b true sef …..arrrgghhh

  5. I’m actually mad about everything you mentioned in this post; the first being the one I’m most mad about.

    I just wish I knew how to fix it.

  6. Our health system is a joke, it’s a fact and I’m mad about this and the many other reasons you have talked about in this post.

  7. Mitchell says

    I’m mad about the fact that if I see an emergency situation on the street – a robbery taking place, an electricity pole emitting sparks – I have no number to call. I’m mad about the fact that that people have to pay as much as 600k to get a job that pays barely 200k. I’m mad about the fact that even though Nigerians are highly industrious, the economic situation is working against them. You have to provide your own electricity, water, security. Meanwhile you’ve paid taxes for all these. I’m mad about the fact that someone, in the name of public official, will convert funds meant for the betterment of the community to their own personal use without blinking an eyelid and expect the rest if yes to shut up. And they will have the mind to say, God is good, God has blessed me. Grrr. If I think on all the things I’m mad about, I’ll give myself an ulcer and I don’t have health insurance. And oops I’m mad about that too. If you come up with something to do about our Mad Osemhen, count me in.

  8. Even we not in Nigeria at the moment are mad! Because essentially nothing is happening! Your siblings school and professional exam fees have been essentially doubled from what it was last year. there’s no health acre system. people are getting robbed in traffic and on the roads. Everything is essentially just a mess. It’s impossible for one to not be mad. It really is.

  9. Issey says

    What can we do? I am so mad I feel like scratching out the eyes of our leaders, screaming into the ears of our people and pulling my hair out BUT I think of my kids and realise I am not prepared to die fighting for a Nigerian cause.It was a honest realisation.Right self preservation instincts r higher than my patriotism. Can we come together and talk about what our options really are? R we just resigned to be sitting ducks?

  10. Eejay says

    I’m mad that even after all the mess, majority in our generation would easily dip into the “cookie jar”, if given the opportunity, without batting an eyelid…. its all about “arriving”. I doubt that we see it as OUR country. Im afraid values are no where to be found!

    It wont get better if we do nothing about it. We’ve decided to “mind our business” and ignore this madness for soo long and things keep deteriorating. Its also scary to rock the boat especially where your safety is at stake!

    Well, may we be good leaders to our children and in our diverse sphere of influence, regardless of how inconvenient it may be. I pray that whatever decision you and I make each day ticks the box that it is for the common good. I’m hopeful that our lil drops of good water can make a mighty good ocean!

    God help us!

    Count me in if you have ideas…

    • This! Yes, our generation would do worse. But like you’ve pointed out: we should be the change we want to see in our homes, our workplaces, our neighbourhoods. And wouldn’t you like to see more street activists, and less armchair activists?

  11. I thought I was the only one who noticed that danfos get away with everything, while LASTMA chases us down for the silliest things.
    Worse still, I’m mad because I may be on the verge of losing hope for my country.
    Mad, because, i’m mad. 🙁

  12. I’m mad about everything you talked about and some more. I could write a book on being mad. I’m mad at myself for sometimes being jaded. I’m mad at myself for sometimes getting so frustrated that I shut everything out: the news, social media etc. because I need peace. I’m mad that I have the luxury to be able to shut it out sometimes and be fine with not caring. I’m mad that people sometimes act like those of us who don’t live in Nigeria have no right to be mad. I’m mad that for about a quarter century that I have been born, this has been Nigeria’s normal: subpar government, failed systems, poor governance, and a few elite. Everything is maddening. And yeah, I’m still one of the very few who have not given up hope. I think something can be done. I’m just not sure I know what.

  13. yes! I was mad things had really gone terrible in fact there was a time that I was madder, I took my laptop and started typing an article save our bellies hoping to send it to buhari, then I realised “the change , the hope of this country lies with everyone” then I went mad again, I mean MAKING A DIFFERENCE ,start with yourself, develop yourself,stay out of the box, then think, develop your community. Nigeria will be a better place if we take the lead and stop being dependent on our leaders to do everything.let us all get can join my social cause by liking this page “The Helpmates Foundation” on Facebook. thanks

  14. Mrs Roks says

    it’s just sad that there is no hope or remedy in sight.

    Faith? the people in charge make it so difficult to sustain that. because the solution to all or most of our problems are right in front of us but we’d rather let the spirit of slavery rule us forever.

    But there is nothing greater than God. let us all keep praying for our country.

  15. “I cook with “pure” water in my home; our bore hole water is so heavily treated, I dare not put it in my food.”
    Its like its something normal now, but why? Why all this in fact… You say can’t we fix these problems? We can but everyone is waiting for that one person to first start it but the only question is who wants to stand up and make a change? We’d rather sit there and rant about it… So sad

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