Activism is more than placards and singing solidarity songs. Do you even know what you are protesting against? Oh right, we get to wear the nice pair of jeans or track bottoms we just got and most importantly sneakers! You can’t forget the sneakers! Sunglasses, airpods, flashy phones and the link up with friends .
According to Wikipedia, ”Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct or intervene in social, political, economic, legal or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society toward a perceived greater good.” Social activism is a purposeful action with the mission of bringing about social change. In basic terms, it is working to right the wrongs in a society.
THE VOICE OF THE YOUTH
You know you can be heard right? Asides sitting in your homes, lounges and so on discussing all the problems happening in the country, raining curses and insults on any and everyone. How about getting your voice heard via activism? No, you do not have to take to the streets, you can use social media too. Do you really want that change or you just want to ‘gist’ about it and say ”we move”? move where please? We need to be persistent , activism is not a day’s job. Strategy, knowledge and consistency are very important in activism. Do you really take time to understand the cause you are supporting? Do you just listen to your friends speak about causes and you decide to start posting stuff about it on social media or join them outside to protest. Do some research and understand why. Ask questions, read extensively, understand the responsibilities that come with activism. There is so much power in our voices combined.
AS AN ACTIVIST,
If you are dealing with any emotional stress, find an outlet, talk about it, take rest days so your mentally and emotionally stable to get to work. Respecting boundaries, understand your personal boundaries and respect boundaries of people you work with. Do it because you really want to.
WHY YOU SHOULD
”Living in a society where everything you do is ‘suspect’, where altruism is just another agenda that must ‘agend’, fighting for what seems right can be very hard. So hard that you constantly have to draw from a well you never knew existed, to mentally get through another day. It gets worse in a dwindling economy where you are one decision away from being poor.
One day in University, when a friend and I argued about why it was criminal that the Nigerian Government criminalize gay rights, I got a taste of how hard social activism can be. My friend argued that regardless of what I felt or believed, we should all be angered that people’s rights were criminalized. ”Think about it, people who are merely suspected to have stolen are stoned to death, talk more about people who might be suspected gay? What if we have more cases of ALUU 4? ”Are you sure you are not gay?” was my very intelligent response. It was only after minutes of needless arguing, countless ”are you sure you’re listening to me?” that I understood what she meant. Not because she was right but I finally listened. I think this is where social activism gets hard. Because even something as simple as getting people to lend you their ears can take eons but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. We will get there one ‘ear’ at a time.” — Damilare
Damilare is a writer and had quite a bit to say about the importance of social activism. Remember the Nike tagline ”just do it”, we should adopt that. Let’s start somewhere, stop complaining for a bit and do something.