On Monday, the 16th of May, 2022, the Wife of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr. Martha Emmanuel, joined millions worldwide to commemorate the International Boy Child Day in the state. The occasion drew dignitaries from the State Ministries, Education Board, Academia, educational agencies, school students, and non-governmental agencies.
Harping on the theme: “Boosting Optimism; Restoring self-worth,” the keynote speaker, Prof. Effiong Johnson, stressed the importance of moral orientation as an essential foundation for every boy child.
Johnson, a Professor of Theatre, Media, and Communication Studies, University of Uyo, while setting the tone for his lecture, noted that poor societal orientation was among the causes of low self-esteem, and individuals needed to get intentional about boosting it.
He recommended that young boys “be discreet in their friendship choice and flee from destructive associations no matter the attraction. They should make friends with individuals who challenge them to be better”.
He further stressed that young boys must master the practice of positive declaration as they are their “first prophets.” His words: “ it does not matter what anyone told you, you are your first prophet, start by saying, I am, I can, I will, and watch yourself evolve.”
He also called on the boys to avoid cultism and other societal vices because they have adverse outcomes; instead, they should acquire skill sets to enhance their self-worth. In this regard, when seeking a mentor, they should look out for one who is God-fearing and has the skill they desire, noting that the wrong mentor can ruin a youth’s future.
Identifying life’s goals helps cultivate self-worth
On self-worth, Prof. Johnson stated that identifying and staying consistent with what you wish to be known for will help cultivate self-worth.
Similarly, Aniekeme Finbarr, a Coach/Speaker and S.A New Media to the Governor, bared his thoughts on the “boy child” and how certain narratives must be modified. Stressing that boys have been neglected for a long time while the girls have been consistently tutored to become good women.
He noted this gap is responsible for the high rise in social anomalies like domestic violence and abuse. He stressed that boys must “rise against mediocrity.”
Mediocrity, according to him, involved spending time on irrelevant things and heavy social media consumption instead of their studies. He insisted that dedicating more time to their life’s goals was the key to building self-worth, while mediocrity was the passcode for failure.
Finbarr reiterated that men should be taught to take responsibility for their actions and choices. They should also seek mentorship with reputable and worthy mentors while avoiding all cult-related affiliations.
Lastly, they must pinpoint their life’s goals, set a schedule, and consistently pursue them.
The conference also featured a “Question and Answer” session with Courage Mbom and other experts as panelists who shared many self-building ideas for the boys.