Today I saw something on Nigerian Twitter that threw me off. There's a video of a little boy, he's probably about 10 years old, and he made an ATM out of boxes of cartons and a battery. Of course, it doesn't actually read the debit card inserted neither does the password input work. The battery only powers the rotor that makes the cash come out. Now, I find that impressive from a little boy considering the fact that around here, most kids his age are not that creative.
What makes me unhappy is seeing so many negative reactions to this video. There are adults seriously contesting that ATMs don't work that way and they're making jokes and laughing at this boy. Well, duh, ATMs don't work that way obviously, the child is just trying to have fun and be creative while at it. How can that not make you smile?
'Catch them young' but a little boy from the streets can't even make his own toy without woke Nigerians making fun of him. He's a smart little boy and he's got a good headstart but sadly, he's from a place where talent and skill are hardly ever nurtured from the start especially for the lesser privileged.
Oftentimes, people like to talk about Nigeria in the second person like they're not part of Nigeria themselves. There's a lot of mockery about the boy's creation and them saying Nigeria has failed him but they're the very ones failing him by mocking him first. The creative part of him that's essential for his mental development has been ignored and it's not surprising at all.
Most parents would rather send their kids for 'holiday lessons' in preparation for the next school session than enrol them for technical and practical lessons to acquire skills. There's more to a child's growth than school and I honestly wish people would break out of the mentality of school only.
I saw an ad recently for summer technical lessons for kids and it was so exciting, a younger me would have loved to take such classes. I can imagine how much more kids would find it exciting especially because it's in a very relaxed environment with a regular guy as the teacher and not their classroom teacher. It was also very affordable for the ordinary man unlike the lessons organized by schools and big corporations.
Kids actually have the most fun and learn more when they do other activities asides from schoolwork. For all-round growth, the keen interest of every child should be well-nurtured and improved on, not shunned or laughed at.
The little boy from the video made me smile and I sincerely hope for better years ahead for him wherever his stars lead him. Hopefully, nothing mars this creative side of him.