10 Ways the Non-DIY (Do It Yourself) Culture Hurts Nigerians

by Uche Onegeria 18 Mar , 2016  

defines DIY as:

“Do it yourself, also known as DIY, is the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the direct aid of experts or professionals”

If you have been to any developed country (especially if you have lived there for a while), one principle thing you will learn from Day 1 is how to stand on your own feet (be independent). No one or just a few (do not bank on the few) would help support you especially with the basic things (which might not be basic to a Nigerian because of our culture).

Please, find my 10’s below:

  1. Underdeveloped skills and potentials (So many Einsteins have died in Nigeria).
  2. Lack of confidence in yourself and in your capability (You question everything, and never move forward).
  3. You spend money you do not have on things you could have otherwise done for yourself.
  4. Lack of progress or advancement in your capacity.
  5. Lack of empowerment (when you excel at Stage A DIY project, it prepares you for stage B).
  6. It induces laziness; because instead of thinking for yourself, you pay someone to do it for you.
  7. Lack of innovation which continues hurting the Nigerian economy and development. We continue working with the blueprint from our colonial fathers when our colonial fathers’ blueprints are light years ahead in advancement. Yet we blame them for our current situation.
  8. Over reliance on our families, friends, government (Yes! our leaders are selfish idiots. But what are you doing for yourself?) etc. You might not even accept responsibility for your lack of ignorance.
  9. Lots of idle time; which breeds terrible habits and acts which hurt the society.
  10. It encourages covetousness (where you do not use your brain, you forcefully take that which another has acquired or bully them).

Why is the DIY culture different abroad?
It could be because:

  • the system was created with the DIY culture in mind, or
  • individuals have learned how save a few bucks by doing various tasks by themselves or
  • just because life is actually easy and you can navigate it effectively as long as you have a brain.

I think I would pick the last option because I admit that I have never actually used my full brain capacity until I started living outside Nigeria.

Image from the web

Remember the wise saying “necessity is the mother of invention”? It is no wonder that Nigeria lags behind in innovation and of course, once most Nigerians leave the country, BOOM! They discover their true potential and make the news with one profound thing or the other.

Can you see the link here? The system chokes them, endorses “do as I say”, “do not question orders”, “follow the crowd”, ” just fit in” etc. And we all troll around like zombies; acting all cool, dressing all nice like Jennifer Lopez and P. Diddy with empty pockets or pockets fat from stolen public funds. Good for you!
(speaking to myself now) Seriously! How cool is that? I just summarised the bulk of the African (Nigerian) life situation for you in one sentence. You gotta admit that I am super amazing! (Flying away in my cape).

On a serious note, this is a serious economic situation in Nigeria that needs to be addressed from infancy. I also know Nigerians are hardworking but the system does not promote what could get us from Level 4/10 to 7/10, or even 20/10.I have to dedicate this post to my friend Austin Ogbo who woke me up this morning with “You have not published in 2 days. I am not impressed”. Thank You Very Much for your encouragement!

Oh Boy! The pressure is definitely on. Full time job or not.
I literally got up from bed this morning and thought about this topic because I want every Nigerian empowered to succeed in life. I will continue working on more projects for this blog.



  1. I will never forget when I wrote my seminar in my final year. Even after referencing a lot of my sources. I was not allowed to make deductions. It didn't make sense to me at all. My supervisor practically cancelled everything not referenced. Na wa! Just gave them what they wanted. Copied people's references and pasted it for him. Mcheew!!!

  2. I want to say laissez faire attitude but the teachers did not even tell you what you did wrong. They did not even teach you proper referencing before you produced your thesis. That is the crime here. During my Graduate degree here, it was drummed in our ears because you will FAIL if you plagiarise. Period!!

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