You have the privilege to speak up, use it!

Living in the 21st century demands that we all become more reflected and aware about multiple issues even when they do not directly affect us.  If you ask why, then here is a simple answer. For the simple fact that there is discrepancy in our technological advancement, social culture,  education, identity symbols and consume culture. The background and factors fuelling social issues in Iran, Nigeria or Austria varies, just like it does everywhere. Depending on what issue has affected our lives, communities and environment as we grow, we all tend to hold tight to those issues that we belief, or better said, have been made to believe will affect us most or in the near future.

For me, its the right of vulnerable individuals from Africa. Their right to a secured life as humans. Their rights to have a basic standard of living that we “the privileged” world citizen now consider “the norm”, from where we judge the rest of the world. With the privileged, I mean those who can put on their taps and water runs out of it. Those who prepare for a pre-announced 10 minutes power blackout by lighting candles to make it memorable and romantic. Those who exploit their access to new technology in the name of activism and empowerment for a social cause they know nothing about. Those who have access to education, those who have a secured roof to sleep under,  those who have enough food to become picky about taste and diet style. I can see myself being one on the privileged.

Yes, I have my own challenges but I am not to afraid to acknowledge that I am privileged…now, after my share of vulnerabilty as well. The moment we forget this, that is the moment we begin to harbour fear in our hearts . 21st century clock overtakes our inner clock, that we forget that we are opportune and that all is well! We begin to let political and religious propaganda create fear in our mind. How do we overcome this fear? As young adults, we were told to be speak up. But often we were told by adults who themselves never spoke up. When we condole gossip at the dining table, about the neighbours who in one form or the other do not fit into “the norm”, did we forget to speak up to deconstruct the circle of gossip or was the weigh of loyal friendship heavy on our courage? The dining table talk moves over to the next local beer parlour, then to your work space, then to the school premises, then to politics, then to media. Soon enough, presumption about a certain group of people increases. An army of like minded people are built and it seems too late to admit ones ignorance. How can we deconstruct this kind of lifestyle?  At least deconstruct it before it gets into politics?

Do we need to reflect and become more aware? How can we actively consume information that reflects diversity about a single topic? We need to be able to say “sorry, I did not know or I was not aware”. Let me know what you think about this article. You can send me an email via

I am Joana, a Nigerian-born Austrian-based entrepreneur and activist. Founded Joadre in 2012 and continue to develop content to engage and empower African SMEs.




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