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By Dami Elebe

“The Perfect Role Model na lie lie and Photoshop kill am”

Everyone throws the “role model” title around loosely in Nigeria of recent. If you are a little bit famous you automatically get the role model badge stamped across your head. This role model apparently doesn’t sin (you can’t even tell a white lie), party, drink anything but water (Soft drinks have too much sugar, you should not teach people who look up to you how to be diabetic), doesn’t smoke, use curse words, is never sad but always happy and smiles, is a sweetheart and doesn’t exist.

Yes I said doesn’t exist because unless you are a Barbie that has a computerized brain, you cannot be perfect.

It seems to me some parents are in turn saying “I’m not good enough for my kids to look up to, so you popular people out there ‘be good’ so my child turns out great.” I’m sorry, am I suppose to train our child? I didn’t know that! When they become billionaires in the future do I get my investment back?

This write up is obviously prompted by anger buried deep inside about this role model issue but Toke Makinwa’s comment on Linda Ikeji threw me off the cliff (I didn’t die, I was saved by a BIG branch).

First of all, what is a role model? After that are you a role model? Is being a role model your goal in life?

The answer to your first question should of course be based entirely on what you think. Now if you believe a role model is what I mentioned in the first paragraph, please park under Third Mainland Bridge and float to South America via the Atlantic. Number two, if you willingly declare yourself a role model, isn’t that a little cocky? Shouldn’t you wait for a grown up girl or boy who has achieved a lot to come up to you and say the whole “when I was young, I looked up to you and blah blah blah” story?

If being a role model is your strive in life, stop that. No one strives to be a role model. Yes, no one, except the people that know their real selves would never fetch them the term “role model”. If you are true to who you are and you know most steps you make will be emulated by people who look up to you, then the role model status will be yours naturally.

Linda might be termed a gossip but the truth is she releases factual situations or speculated stories. Now I read her blog and I am not ashamed to say it. If the blog offends you then don’t read it. Simple! One thing I would like Miss Makinwa to take into consideration (after reading the Linda Ikeji hotel aristo story) is she (Linda) is doing what she loves and being a success at it. Do you know how many people would be successful today if their parents or “role models” taught them to do what they love and not what would just give them money? A lot!

No one is a role model because everyone has their closet mistakes and attitudes that will make people go “ahn ahn” and then everyone is a role model because they have done one thing that we all wish we did.

You as parents and elders should show younger ones the way things are done but also remind to be themselves and no one else. Why should I want my kids to be like Linda when they can be themselves? I don’t even want my kids to be like me because I know the mistakes I’ve made and the things I did or still do.

I’m guessing it would be okay for me to ask the owners of all the soft sell magazines like city people and global excellence need to turn in their children to social welfare because they can’t teach them anything good.

This is just my opinion, teach people how to be themselves and how to learn emulate good characteristics so they can become better people and stop blaming your failure to raise someone properly on someone else. Some of this picking out who isn’t a role model or not is just pure jealousy that they are doing something they love and are good at it. Focus on making your life better and if you have kids focus on teaching them how to be better people. Don’t focus on the lives of others, mind your business, if not you too might become a “gossiper” and that isn’t role model like.



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This article was first published on 19th April 2012 and updated on May 10th, 2012 at 12:19 pm


Dami is the editor and business developer for she is an On-Air Personality and also an Artist with a focus in sculpting and pottery.

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