Hands up if you took an okada (commercial motorbike) to work this morning. If its per the usual; the rider must have sped beyond limit. Took sharp turns and could barely wait for you to pay. ‘Passenger duya, try for mi’

When was the last time you waited hours to process one small document, at a large government office?

Do you remember that one time, you decided to have faith in the fruit lady? What did she do? Sell you a bag of rotten mangoes!

Now let’s get real honest, the reason you hate math’s, barely has anything to do with the subject but its presenter- the teacher. That messenger of doom that flogged you so hard, each time you messed up your tables.

What do you think binds these people together: the skilled worker, the professional, the layman and the unskilled person?

A wise person once said this: ‘You never know who you’re influencing. Operate in excellence’.

Close your eyes for a moment and think of that little girl or boy, that you once were, what were your hobbies? What did you enjoy doing? Keeping your eyes closed, ask another question, when was the last time you did any of those things? Those things that made you play with abandonment until you forgot to eat or go straight home after school. It’s clear to see that by your reactions, the smiles and the chuckles, that those things made you happy. Truth is the things that make us happy bring out the best in us. We end up doing better at such tasks because we are self- motivated and energized from within. 

You may or may not agree that perharps one of the biggest problems with today’s youth is lack of motivation and yet ‘the youth population, aged 15-35, comprises one third of the population of Sierra Leone……. Approximately 70% of youth are underemployed or unemployed and an estimated 800,000 youth today are actively searching for employment’. – UNDP

WHAT IS THE MISSING PIECE OF THE PUZZLE? I Say PASSION. According to the Merriam- Webster Dictionary: Passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something

The problem with Education today is not as elaborate as we feel, it isn’t about the morbid classrooms or may be the lack of technology. Our problem is ourselves- the people!

Lecturers who are not passionate enough to want their students to score high grades based on merit, students who feel the need to cheat when doing exams rather than understand the subject matter. But why do we have this unattractiveness looming in the corridors of education and excellence?

Simple, someone forgot to ignite the passion within.  Most people in Sierra Leone – Africa are in jobs based on circumstances. Two things: Someone’s expectations or the economic benefits. It is rare to find that one person who loves their job. Who remembers my opening scenarios and my first question? There you have it, your answer- lack of passion

Each day wake up and ask yourself what will make you feel most alive that day. Jaymin Shah

How can we follow our passion?


What is that one thing that you enjoy doing so much, that you can continue doing even without getting paid? Is it music? Fixing radios? Braiding hair? Is it caregiving or public speaking? It’s okay to have multiple interests, discover which one you are extremely good at. The one that gets you the most compliments. Start with that, master the skills. Then you move on.


When you cultivate the habit to grow and learn every day, your knowledge increases. Formal Education Nursery to Tertiary stages will only take you to level 1. It’s your willingness to absorb other skills that will create a marked difference in what you do.  Our world has made that so much easier with the internet and the wealth of knowledge and communities that it connects us with. There is an overflow of resources, so much to learn for free, youtube tutorial videos, Udemy, Khan Academy, Cousera, The code academy and so much more.


This has become my watchword! Why? It is the secret ingredient to success- How did a college drop-out become the CEO of a 400- million dollar company – Facebook? Whatsoever you decide to do in life, be the very best. Be known for your trade/skill. Go the extra mile. Be different and unique.


Recognize when it’s not for you or when it isn’t working out. Let’s say you loved working with children right up until college, you were going to be the best nurse in the planet but your body tells you different, you squirm at the sight of blood. Maybe that’s nature’s way of telling you that you can still work with children in other ways, explore other professions. How about becoming an early childhood professional? a child psychologist or better still a developer that works on apps for children. In following our passions we must be open to criticism, discern when it’s constructive and learn the message.


They say ‘show me your friends and I’ll tell you your future’. Seek the right networks and influence. Join mentoring platforms, look for a mentor. Enter competitions; sign up for community development projects. Listen to motivational teachings; attend conferences and workshops around your subject area. Ask questions and seek help.

How can your Passion make a difference to the world? 


Identify an everyday problem and think up solutions- electricity, water, teacher training techniques, fun-based learning, irrigation for farms, storage for fresh produce, transportation to school, the list can go on forever. Each community has its own unique need, waiting for you, that one person with the solution. Be a visionary- Think tomorrow.


It’s so easy to dwell in the negative and see all what is not going right. In life there is always a choice, choose to see the good in every situation. See the big picture, sometimes the steps leading up to it can be long and tedious but enjoy the experience. Learn the lessons with a smile. Teach others to do the same.


Stop waiting for validation from other people; stop waiting for the right time. Start now. Seek knowledge, work hard. Look for opportunities. Become tireless in your pursuits. Do not be afraid to fail.  Learn new habits. Be intentional about what your goals are. Go for them.

Written by: arianadiaries

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