Let’s paint a picture of how mysterious our generation looks; at least this requires no paint, no brush but the capacity of our comprehension to give a projection of what I describe as an era of prestige. A generation where everyone is somehow victim and a reflection of an epidemic (Vanity), I will not be too extremist in my thoughts rather I will let my tears be the ink of my pen and turn my thoughts into precise verses.  

It was two years ago, when I graduated from an under-developed college; after sailing through her walls and arrived with overwhelming results, I elevated my integrity to a high level. That is to inspire and help build the future generation, a generation that will be conscious and aware of what is worthy but my experience along the way depicts what I realized to be a mirror of vanity:

One morning, I walked into a class of diversity at Sokoto Village; a community that recognizes heterogeneous people yet some element of civilization is portrayed. As a trained teacher and first day in class, appears a topic titled Vanity. These I brainstormed with the pupils and believe me or not, the atmosphere of the class was more than thunderstorms. In a quest to conceptualize this deep rooted epidemic that steams a lot of destruction in our innocent societies, I decided to employ a child centered teaching approach.

 Teacher: Hello folks of the twenty first century, you are all amazing and blessed with abundant love, care and lustily unlike the other sets of creation. God the Almighty gave us knowledge, skills, wealth and a beautiful environment endowed with natural resource, but content is what we failed to instill in our hearts. So then vanity pre-occupied our way of life today and will remain an enemy so long as minds are not reshaped

Who has a reflection on vanity? Teacher asked.

 Student:  I, Mr. Sey with a hand raised, vanity is to live a futile life, a life of worthless admiration of someone’s ability, appearance or achievements’! (He Subs.) This was my predicament and a life I lived from an early stage; in light of that, I always ask what benefit does life show when vanity becomes centre stage of our generation? My story is tragic but little did I know that my life was the best, decent and needed to be maintained. When I turned 18 years old, I fell in love with a pretty young girl in a nearby a village. She was beautiful to my liking that nothing was going to stop me from getting her into my arms. But then, I realized I was not up to her level. For me, I would do everything possible to get her attention, even though I came from a poor home where the family looks up to me; I was not the most famous or handsome boy in town. And I knew that I was supposed to make hay while the sun was shining to heal the scars on the flesh of my family. But no! I had my vision, all I needed was the pretty girl and to achieve that is to provide her with property, pride, popularity, pomposity and prestige. This is my therapy and the worst that has ever happened in my life; for my age mates, most of them are at the university pursuing different degrees but here I am in the 10th grade. The reality now is that 75% of our sisters give almost the same price for what seems to be true friendship or love which makes it a nightmare for one to find a healthy relationship. Vanity has brought a lot of miseries in my life, scars that can never be cured.

 Teacher: Your family is in tears but you let falsehood and vanity to inflict more pain in them.

 Student: now I realize that I was in a state of lust!

 Teacher: where is the pretty little girl?

 Student: she dumped me when I became a church mouse.

 Teacher: that is how the game works!  Now we have heard the tragic story of Thijan?

 Class: yes we did, Sir!

To you my vulnerable sisters, always be a reflection of simplicity; be contented and patient, for what is meant for you will surely be yours. Be aware those  evening drives, nightclubs, the warm beaches and the lovely desires are here for a time being, they will fade away one day but the most important is your dignity, your present which determines the future. Do not substitute your virginity or pride for social prestige; to be labeled as sexy ladies, hubby, ice box is worthless. Let education be your weapon to threaten those inconsiderate pests who see life as a football ground, respect your integrity and modesty and only then you can be safe. Don’t reject his marriage proposal just because he didn’t have the money or the cars, love him for who he is. You are all at the peak of physical beauty where every eye glances at you but that beauty will depreciate gradually and when that happens; you will be replaced and the game will continue. Be the driver of your passion but be careful of the passengers you pick along, always examine your life for “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

To you my brothers, the future lies on your shoulders. So do not allow vanity to mislead you. Stop saying “daykabi dafa stress” and that you cannot make it here. Do not sell your life to the devil who will in turn design you to be a problem for the society. The truth is you cannot be a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer or even a billionaire just in a day; success visits those who strive hard at a time like this and gradually as you climb the ladder. Keep your books tight, your parents’ pride that is what life means to you at this stage. Do not be a thief because a friend has cars, beautiful girls and all the time to mingle-mangle around the streets of Senegambia. No! Do not live a fake life be yourself and be focused. Vanity has no pay in turn it will just make you a loser!

By Swaibou Sey


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