So I am sure when you read the title you thought of Barack Obama’s 2004 book ‘The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream‘ which detailed his climb into American politics and the humble beginnings he came out from. Well, in this latter part of the year 2020 I have been reminding myself to be audacious, especially in light of all that has been occurring in our world.
The definition of audacious that is employed in the context of this blog is ‘showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.’ Therefore to be audacious is to take bold risks and to be daring in one’s pursuits.
As we are firmly in the last quarter of the year 2020 I find myself thinking back to the very first days and all the hopes and dreams of the year. I think the death of Chadwick Boseman also showed me what it means to live audaciously. For a man with stage 3 colon cancer to have worked consistently for four years like Mr Boseman did is extremely bold and audacious. He was out here working hard, pursuing purpose, using his talents and gifts, serving his community and being of service to others. I mean, imagine the sheer audacity of it! He refused to succumb to a debilitating disease that most likely caused him so much pain, yet he was ensuring to inspire a new generation of young black achievers.
Dare to be Revolutionary
What if 2020 was meant to uncover the foundations of the status quo? What if the revolutions that was supposed to happen this year was meant to start from each and everyone of us? Rather than stay apathetic to the whole situation I found myself getting informed, having discussions and trying to find out how I could positively contribute to positive and effective change. We can dare to be audacious by contributing to revolutionary change.
There have been a number of protests occurring in the continent of Africa to tackle oppression and bad governance in the constitutions of various countries. Recent protests in Nigeria with the #EndSars, #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria movements has shown that we are living in a generation that dares to be audacious! The term ‘Soro soke‘ is a Yoruba term (Tribe in Western Nigeria) that means ‘Speak Up!’. It is basically a call to action. It dares you to lend your voice to a worthy cause and stand for the rights of those that are treated unjustly and brutalized under the abuse of power. No longer will we stand for injustice and settle for living under mediocre standards.
To survive COVID and a global pandemic, we deserve better than this as a human race. We must strive to do better, be better and live better. The history of Nigeria highlights that generations previously have been audacious in striving to advocate for a better standard of living for all Nigerians. I came across the story on the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the 8 other members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). MOSOP was a group that organized nonviolent protests in 1993 to challenge the influence of Shell in the Niger Delta area. Shell had been operating in the Niger Delta area since the 1930’s but had sabotaged the living conditions for the half-million Ogoni people who were residents of the Niger Delta area due to oil spills polluting the water and surrounding area. This audacious spirit is evident in the recent uprising against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian police which was set up in 1992 as non-uniform wearing undercover officers, that would target individuals involved in crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and fraud. Therefore, it is a shame that the unit that was created to tackle crimes such as this in recent years has become notoriously known for inflicting pain on the citizens they are meant to be protecting by engaging in bribery, torture and several other human right violations.
This is the actions of a country that celebrated 60 years of independence from British colonial rule on the 1st October 2020. Yet, the actions even after all this time does not represent a nation walking in true freedom, but of one that has transferred the mantle of oppression from a foreign party to a more familiar one. What was most shocking was the Lekki tollgate massacre (October 20th 2020), when the Nigerian Army opened fire on peaceful protestors on a narrow bridge. How a constitution that was created to protect and serve its citizens had become an image of oppression really startled me. Yet, one thing that stood out to me was the passion and drive of the young adults on the road peacefully protesting, organizing, rallying support and resources.
Militant in Prayer
One of the greatest lessons I have learnt his year and especially in light of the protests in Nigeria has been the importance of staying Militant in Prayer.
Our audacity starts from having a fervent prayer life. This year has done all sorts to our mental, physical and emotional fortitude. But, in order to maintain our strength and stamina we must rely on God’s help, His guidance and wisdom in all things. There is no point in being audacious and not being strategic. No point in utilizing manpower if it isn’t backed by heaven and by God. We do our part and times when we can’t even muster strength to do our part, we turn to God. We stay militant in prayer. We have our prayer-wall shield up at all times and we do not lose sight of the greater picture.
Have the audacity to live boldly for Christ. Even at times when you are burnt out, we turn back to God. Be audacious in your prayer life and watch God turn things around to His glory!
Personal Feats of Audacity
To me, this means that in whatever area I find myself I have to first of all start by being the change I hope and envision to see in my world.
I want to live a purposeful life like Chadwick then I strive through the battles and struggles everyday brings like a warrior like Mr. Boseman did through his cancer struggle. I want to be a champion against brutality and oppression to defend the rights of others while also ensuring I am not abusing my own positions of power and influence.
In my own personal life, I dare to be audacious by;
- Being featured as one of the ‘Top 40 Black Millennial Blogs & Websites in 2020‘ on FeedSpot
- Featuring as a guest writer on the newly released book ‘Unbelievable’ by Becky Larry-Izamoje. It’s available on Amazon(U.K, Canada)!