The need to stand up for yourself By Olatunde Olabisi Hawwau


I have always heard that ‘if you don’t stand up for yourself, nobody will stand up for you’ but I am not so sure if this is actually applicable in Nigeria. When you stand up for yourself, you either find yourself in the police custody with different accusations that are difficult to overcome or you might eventually end up being tagged as ‘Oversabi person‘ or in another case, those people telling you to stand up for who you are, will incredibly be the ones dragging you down. Either way, standing up for one self in life is a must.

I was at N.Y. S.C camp sometimes ago and the DG said something that caught my attention. He said ‘don’t be part of people that say if you can’t beat them join them’. He asked, ‘what if what you want to Join is bad, will you join them? wwau!!!!

If you can’t beat them, stand on your own. As long as what you are standing for is genuine, stand for it till the end. Let people know that this is what you stand for and that you will always fight for It. Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and other well-acknowledged heroes stand for peace and freedom, everyone knows them for what they stand for. At some point, Mandela was jailed but nevertheless he didn’t stop his fight. Today, Africans celebrate him even when he is no more.

The words, ‘if you don’t stand for yourself ,nobody will stand for you’ is applicable to everyone on this journey called LIFE. The movement ‘#MeToo’ started when someone eventually take a stand for herself. If you keep tolerating people who treat you lesser than you deserves, you will never see someone to stand up for you.

Against all difficulties or distractions, standing for yourself will always count and be of great impact as far as it is about fighting for what you truly believe in. A 14-year old Nigerian and his family who were meant to be deported to Nigeria by Ireland government were pardoned when his classmates protested on his behalf. The lesson here, is to always build relationship with the right people while standing up for yourself. Anything that serves as injustice to you, to your dream, to your goal or what you believe in should be a force to push you to fight.

Angela was my course mate in School, she used to fail a particular course since 100 level. Everyone knows why she had been failing but she decided not to stand up and pick a fight because she was scared nobody will help her. No course mate could pick up a fight on her behalf because she was the victim.

Now, that we are out of the institution, Angela still goes back there to seat for the same paper, maybe she will fight for herself one day soon, but for now she is blowing off the candlelight of her future. When will she decide to fight? It does not only affect few but it affects everyone around us. Life itself is said to be a war and you must always be ready to fight.

Giving in to fear of ‘if I fail won’t people mock me’ is an enemy to progress in Life. Each Time we hit the bottom ground, knowing that is not where you should be, is a cogent reason why you should rise and consistently try again. Standing up each day is grace but fighting each battle of life that comes with each day is a must to get a desired result.

My mentor once said, each phase of life is a problem you have to solve and because a day has its own special package, you have to fight for yourself and win it. If you don’t, no body will help you.

We often complain and are aggrieved that we don’t get to receive help from people but help won’t come while we sleep and do nothing. Opportunity don’t come to those who want it but only comes to those willing and able to put an extra effort in all that they do.

Nobody will stand up to help you if they don’t see that you are making evident effort to help yourself. Nobody will stand up to help you if you are not helping yourself. Nobody will help Nigeria if we Nigerians are not helping ourselves grow, there is the reason the made-in Nigeria have been a force to reckon with.

If we don’t celebrate ourselves, who will celebrate us?

Olatunde Olabisi Hawwau is a young, dynamic and resonate Nigerian. The flair for creative writing and the zeal for giving back to the society led her into studying mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic where she is currently a student of Higher National Diploma Programme.

Olabisi being a motivational speaker with great interest in leadership skills is also an agent of positive change who is very passionate about good governance and transparency.

She Founded Step Up Foundation, through her love for humanitarian services. An organization that focuses on empowering young women and driving the youths towards personal development and nation building, and most importantly helping the less privileged through empowerment.