Positivize. An intriguing word, I think.

Its not quite the same as ‘positivism’ or ‘positive’, but it is an interesting twist to these words. Some of the references I have come across indicate that to positivize is to make positive what normally has a negative interpretation. It could also be seen as the act of constructing knowledge, not by inventing new principles, but by finding what already exists.

My take is that:

to positivize is to actively search for the positive,
and when found,
reinforce this knowledge of positivity till it replaces the negative and becomes reality.

This is the premise on which I start this blog.

But don’t get carried away. This is not a blog about philosophy or theories. It is about reality. Practical reality. It is about what is. But then, what is, is usually a combination of things; sometimes good, sometimes bad, other times a blurry in between. I don’t intend to deny the negative that exists, but will seek to identify and share the positive that thrives despite the negative.

Now, I am Nigerian. And I passionately love my country. However, it is not perfect. I guess nowhere is. But its a pity that a lot of times, what I get about what is, in terms of the Nigerian context and reality, is often negative. In the minds of many, both Nigerians and foreigners, Nigeria represents corruption, internet fraud, violence, ethnic and religious intolerance, poor governance, wasted resources, debilitating infrastructure… the list could be endless. And it is true these things exist. Unfortunately, a lot of Nigerians have accepted this negativity and mediocrity as their destined reality. It should not be this way. We should not be this way. There is a lot more to Nigeria and Nigerians than all things bad, wrong and negative.

I believe change starts in the mind. To achieve a positive outcome, the first step requires that we adopt a ‘mind change’. Transforming the way we think is a process of knowledge and enlightenment, acceptance and action. If Nigerians are to step away from the negative and embrace what is good and right, then we need to be aware of what could and probably should be different. Sometimes simply hearing about someone else’s triumph over struggles is enough to get us moving. That is why it is important to acknowledge what works, recognize who succeeds, and share how people effected positive change. Such ‘success stories’ exist in Nigeria. But also beyond our borders. It might be necessary to look outside our immediate environment, you know, look over the fence into our neighbour’s yard, to learn from what others are doing to improve their lives and add value to their country.

So enough with the negativity, enough with the stereotypical image of Nigeria, and even Africa!

Positivize is all about celebrating the Nigerian and African strength, resilience and success. It will be a continuous learning process which seeks out the exciting positive stories of Nigerians, but also draw lessons from other African experiences to reorient the way we define ourselves and our approach to life.


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