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All across Nigeria, the wind of the economic clime is blowing. For some, it feels like a little turbulence. For others, it appears to be a hurricane sweeping everything into ruins. In these challenging times, an age long phrase has been frequently administered to keep people going, “Don’t give up”.  True, those words have proved to be very inspiring. But does it have a multi-purpose function? Let’s take a look at some cases. The Round- Square Peg. You put in all you have at work, but somehow the mark always ends up very far. That feeling to resign rushes up within you but then you hear those words in your head, “Don’t give up!” It makes sense. Besides, this is your dream job.  But wait. Whose dream is it really? Yours? Or your parents’? It is common knowledge that most Nigerians study what their parents want and not what they truly desire. It was bad enough that you didn’t pick a course of your choice. Stop afflicting yourself by struggling to fit into where you don’t belong. Forget those course mates who shoot awkward remarks because you’re not practising your profession anymore. Whose life is it anyway? Why not pursue your own dreams. Habitat Sometimes, you love what you do. People regularly commend the quality of your goods or services.  But…  It just doesn’t seem to be working. Customers aren’t staying, business isn’t growing. Yes, you’re in the right trade but perhaps, the wrong niche. You see, not everyone in the fashion industry is meant to sew. Not everyone into agriculture is meant to own a farm. Not every laundryman does the washing himself. Study the chain of your industry right from production to consumption and find out where you fit- glove style! “I Can Do It By Myself” Have you ever watched a little child trying to put on a complex outfit? In the midst of all the struggling, your offer to help is greeted with, “I can do it by myself.” Certain grownups are not very far from this attitude when they are starting a business. They feel very reluctant to ask for help or advice- even when a project is sinking!  While it looks cute at 4, please it’s not cute at 40! Besides, funds are going down the drain! Swallow your pride. Being in need of help is a part of life that no one can escape. Go for training; formal or informal, as long as you’re learning what you need to. Putting that biz on hold to learn is not the same as giving up. It is called wisdom. That Big Question… It’s always a delight when you contact a friend or old course mate you haven’t heard from in a long time- at least until the question pops up, “Where are you based?” At this point for many Nigerians, the truth about their geographical location is directly proportionate to their rate of palpitation plus trepidation. Answers such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt gives a smooth heart rate. Benin, Awka or Zaria generally causes some accelerated anxiety. Now, Oniparaga or Paiko could land some people in the emergency ward. It is amazing how much some people care what others think about what area they reside.  Thus, they decide to hang around the ‘big city’ hoping for a ‘big break’.  Irrespective of what people might say, leaving the big city isn’t giving up. There are those who live in suburbs that are much more comfortable and running businesses thriving much better than those in the metropolis. Of what use is where you stay if it does not translate to value for you? This idea equally applies to so many other aspects of life other than economics. But the bottom line is this; giving up is not a crime. It is an art, a tool, a weapon. How you use it is what determines your progress or setback. (Inspired by Olakunle Soriyan’s teachings.)

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This article was first published on 28th July 2017


Chioma Diru is a prolific writer, agricultural entrepreneur and life coach with a heart for children. Chioma works freelance for the BBC Media Action. Her work titled “The Twin Logs” was nominated for the Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize, 2016. She is Creative Director and Co-founder, Canuli Media which specializes in children’s entertainment. She is the author of “Sodality”, a children’s novel which you can buy here.Email her:

Comments (4)

4 thoughts on “The Benefits of Giving Up”

  • Great piece Chioma. I liked the narrative that brought a different light to “Giving up”

  • I read your articles and wow I enjoy them though I mostly prefer not to comment, like the silent listener (not Jesus though).
    Another healthy perspective to giving up
    Thumbs up

    • Thanks for the compliment Ikpomwonsa.I’m glad you enjoy them.

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