During the 17th annual anniversary of Splash FM and the 85th birthday celebration of Oba Murtala Adebayo Akande, former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Chief Sunday Dare, delivered a compelling lecture emphasizing the pivotal role of youth in Nigeria’s development.

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Dare’s address underscored the critical need for collaboration between the youth and older generations, recognizing their unique strengths and contributions to the nation’s progress. He emphasized the prevailing stereotypes surrounding youth, juxtaposing them with the demographic reality that the youth constitute over 70% of Nigeria’s population, making their inclusion and engagement indispensable to the country’s advancement.

The lecture delved into the pervasive age myth, which often portrays youth as inherently superior in creativity and energy, while downplaying the wisdom and experience of older generations. Dare challenged this notion by citing examples of individuals like Colonel Harland Sanders and Ray Kroc, who achieved remarkable success by founding thriving businesses in their 60s, highlighting that innovation knows no age limit.

Furthermore, Dare emphasized the significance of blending generations and fostering a culture of inclusivity that acknowledges and harnesses the strengths of each age group. He cited the impactful Adopt-an-Athlete program, which paired young athletes with older generation sponsors, leading to Nigeria’s notable performances in international competitions. This initiative exemplifies the power of intergenerational collaboration in driving positive outcomes.

The lecture concluded with a call to action, urging Nigerians to recognize and appreciate the value of both youth and experience, and to work collectively towards the nation’s development. Dare’s poignant statement, “Age does not define your game; it is the heart and hustle,” encapsulates the essence of his message, resonating with the need for a holistic approach that leverages the diverse talents and abilities across generations.

The address by Minister Sunday Dare serves as a compelling reminder of the significance of intergenerational collaboration and the imperative to dismantle age-related stereotypes in the pursuit of innovation, resilience, and growth. By acknowledging and embracing the unique contributions of each generation, Nigeria can harness its full potential and pave the way for a prosperous and inclusive future.