Parents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have listed music, software programming, football and dance as choice professions of their young adults in the 21st century.
These young adults. referred to as millennials. are born between the early 1980s and late 1990s.
Investigations by newsmen among the parents revealed that choice professions, like medicine, law, Engineering are experiencing a paradigm shift in contemporary times.
Before now, professions like music, dance, football were despised and people who dared to venture into them were seen as unserious or ‘drop outs’’.
The parents of late Afro Beat originator, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, were less interested in his becoming a musician and more interested in his becoming a Doctor.
When they sent him to London in 1959 for a medical education he went against all odds to register at Trinity College’s school of music.
Contemporary established professionals like Folarin Falana aka Falz, also had shared experiences on the struggles they faced in convincing their parents to take to music. Some were even disowned.
The reverse seemed to be the case presently, as the parents, who spoke with newsmen said that they would support their children in honing talents in any areas that might blossom into profitable careers.
Some of them revealed that they were personally unhappy with their careers, adding that they did not want their children to experience the same frustrations they were dealing with.
They also stated that the hitherto despised professions like music, dance and comedy are currently “holding high market value, satisfying and devoid of resentment being experienced in other careers’’.
An Accountant and a mother of two, Mrs. Marie Uzondu, told newsmen that she enrolled her daughter in a dancing class and currently runs her social media accounts to curate a portfolio she may need in the future.
“I don’t have the time to force my children to study Medicine or Law when they have shown talents in `profiting areas’, especially with the lack of jobs in the country.
“My daughter has always loved dancing and I picked it from there, enrolled her in classes and have started looking for child dancing scouts.
“I don’t want her talent wasted, seeing that she enjoys it. When my three year old son starts exhibiting his talents, I will harness it too,” Uzondu said.
Similarly, Mr Izibili Ehizojie, a Mechanical Engineer with four children, said his oldest son is a musician and he supports it, seeing the passion the child puts into it.
“The world is changing and what most parents want now is to ensure that their children have good future with the fact that the creative industry is growing fast in Nigeria.
“It will be amazing if our children are part of it before it explodes and becomes institutionalised. My oldest daughter is into child modelling, I support her 100 per cent and she enjoys every bit of it.
“Being satisfied with your work leads to increased creativity and that is what the world needs to be better. We have to start thinking outside the box,” Ehizojie said.
Mr Fidelis Omiri, a lawyer with two children said he wished his parents promoted his artistic side as he was doing with his children.
He recalled that the parents had compelled him to study what were termed as ‘prestigious courses’ then.
Omiri said, “When I remember how much Neymar makes playing football or how much Wizkid makes in music, I feel a certain type of way and I want to correct the error.
“These artistic millionaires have more value, whether we admit it or not and most times, they even provide better solutions to world problems which add to their huge influences,” he said.
NAN investigation also reveals that the yearning for artistic professions have led to a rise in the number of children’s software programming centres, dance and music training tutors and creative and life coaching centres.
Mr. Precious Aigbe, head coach at Tutor Base, one of the life coaching centres for children in the FCT, told NAN that talents and technology are beginning to get deserved recognition in Nigeria.
He added that an increasing number of parents were willing to pay fees for their children’s talents to be honed.
“When we started a few years ago, it was hard to convince parents that children need to hone talents, asides from formal education.
“But recently, there have been a surge that our colleagues in other centres also confirmed. Parents want their children to learn arts, music, anything artistic for career purposes,” he said.
Aigbe added that the development is welcomed as the developed countries had penchant for using talent to advance the economy.
He said he was glad that Nigerians were beginning to toe similar path.
However, some other parents argued that the early discovery of talents and tilting children towards artistic professions could be misconceived.
They explained that the children might undermine the importance of formal education, considering the fact that some established people in the creative industry are school drop outs.
Mrs. Tope Afolabi, a teacher told newsmen that although her son had shown “promise’’ in music, she insisted that he gained a university admission before pursuing the career.
She added that the decision would help to keep him in check and underscore the importance of formal education.
“My children know they have to finish school first, although a lot of my friends say they can combine schooling with the talents, I feel it is too much distraction,” Afolabi said.
She advised parents to reduce the rush and make sure the mental capacity of their children is top notch before shoving them into the dazzling world of show business.