Recently, the founder of Facebook and the world’s 7th richest man, Mark Zuckerberg, arrived Nigeria in what would go down in history as his first visit to the African Continent. Surely, the whole world was abuzz at this august visit. All across social media, African nationals expressed their feelings at this visit, many felicitated with Nigeria, while others were quick to express negative opinions.
Facebook is of course the most widely used social media platform, with membership cutting across race, gender, age, and religion. Through this medium, old friends are united, loved ones stay in touch, new relationships are created, political awareness is created, campaigns, businesses etc. So it is unarguably a big deal for the person whose brainchild Facebook is, to visit Nigeria.
Surely, Nigerians in their usual hospitable manner have trooped out en-masse to welcome the man behind Facebook to their country. A picture of Zuckerberg arriving in Nigeria without the usual sinister looking, gun-totting ‘mopols’ (Mobile Policemen), showed how much at home he felt arriving in the most populated country in Africa. Very quickly, smart Nigerians who have had their hands tied, due to the dearth of infrastructure in Nigeria, showcased their potential to a suitably impressed Zuckerberg.
He remarked that “this place attracted me so much and I’m ready to learn many things,” and touched on the uniqueness of the indigenous Hausa language. Clearly Zuckerberg felt at home in Nigeria, and was spotted jogging around, and taking selfies with admirers without the fear of a bomb going off, or a sniper taking him down!
Interestingly however, the reports from major international news stations showed a somewhat myopic view of Mark Zuckerberg’s visit, and subsequently drew the ire of many Nigerians. An instance was the blasé reference to Nigeria as a “Sub-Saharan” country. This perhaps downplayed and trivialized the importance of Nigeria in the international scene, especially her strategic positioning as Facebook’s largest African market.
Nigeria has played host to major international personalities in the past, continues to be a significant arbiter in the regional political landscape, defines regional youth culture via her entertainment exports, is the largest African economy, and is certainly more than a mere “sub-Saharan” entity.
Bad news travels fast, sells headlines and fills more column spaces than good news, but we must never allow the perception of others colour or define our self-worth and aspirations.
Be mindful about what you listen to about yourself, your work, your family, your potential, your faith, etc. Avoid negativity, as it beclouds the creativity and industry required to birth a vision properly.
Matthew 7:3-5 indicates that we are all flawed humanity, but our responsibility is to individually confront those flaws in the light of God’s word, and then discipline ourselves to learn new patterns of behavior, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2 NLT
Your sense of self-worth MUST be defined and sustained by what God’s word says about you. If you are born-again, you are free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2), far from oppression and fear (Isaiah 54:14), you have the mind of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), you have the Greater One living in you (1 John 4:4), you can do all things in Christ (Philippians 4:13), and are a partaker of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4), even now on earth!
Whatever your endeavour or occupation is, stand firm in the truth of God’s word concerning it. Be diligent in your desire for godly success, as evidenced in your speech, relationships, behavioural patterns and thought processes.
GOD is with YOU – you will succeed immeasurably more than your work and believe for, and you will have a good report, wherever your name is mentioned, in Jesus’ name, amen.