Today’s post is by Douglas Oyakhire, enjoy it and don’t forget that the comment box is always open.


“We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind …”
– Marcus Garvey, October 1937.

It was on a cool Friday afternoon at work and everyone was graciously anticipating the close of work after a stressful week just to refresh once again as usual, then a colleague of mine played a discography of reggae music on his mobile phone and  a particular track got my attention. It was a track from the famous reggae music icon Bob Marley, “Redemption song.”

Personally, I have never been a huge fan of reggae music however there was a phrase in this particular track that exhorted me so much that I started meditating on it, the particular phrase in the lyrics of that song says to:
“emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
After my “research” thereafter I found out that only a relative few are aware of the fact that Marley was quoting from the 1937 speech given by pan-African visionary Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The exciting thing here is that most of us don’t even know Marcus Garvey but we sing to his famous quote made known to us by Bob Marley.

Were it not for Marley’s clever musical cloaking of this profound idea, it might not have gained such popularity and I wouldn’t have had the insight to write this article. The truth in that phrase speaks unfortunate truths which may be the limiting factor in the careers/achievements of a lot of young people. Many people are in mental slavery/mentally enslaved, most especially in this part of the world, because of lack of foresight, ignorance, fear, pessimism, concealed truth etc

I am most appalled by the belief of most Nigerian youths, especially the undergraduates and outgoing corps members that there is no job vacancy after school or you need to know one or more top government officials (oga at the top) before you can get a good job. Statistically this may be true, but that does not stop one from getting off the bandwagon of thousands of job seekers that graduate from the university year after year. Its high time we started thinking of how to create businesses and become employers of labour in the nearest future.

Freedom from mental slavery can be achieved by gaining new knowledge/idea, showing optimism, being visionary and changing paradigms. Most people are still mentally enslaved because they hardly learn anything new, act on good ideas or even think towards a positive direction. Learning is a very important part of our lives but most people have failed to build on this. You can commit yourself to read one or more books on a career or business success, entrepreneurship every month. The likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote  have before now, had an understanding of what it is to be mentally enslaved and have decided to break loose from it. It is not too late for you to start thinking right and gain freedom from the shackles of mental slavery.

Lets end our discourse with the words of Steve Jobs, someone who obviously knew how to break free and went on to change how lives in the 21st century are lived. He said:
“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again. ”
It is time to shake off this erroneous notion that life is just there and you are just going to live it and embrace it. No, rather change it, prove it, and make your mark upon it. Once you are set to do that then you truly have FREEDOM FROM MENTAL SLAVERY.

The writer is @Douglas_ola


  1. Nice one! Many of us are so enslaved mentally that some don’t even know they are. This is what brought about the ‘rat race’. Living one’s life in a cyclic way. May we deliver ourselves from mental enslavery. God help us


  2. I’d say, this is one of the most inspiring aticles I have read since the begining of this year, its not only insghtful, its encouraging and also dares you to do the unusual. Freedom!!! Oh freedom, such a cheap word but very difficult 2 enjoy. Absolute freedom cuts accross every facet of your life. Both the mind and the body. Freedom of the mind is only enjoyed when there is fulfilment. And I ask how many of us live fulfiled lives. I join Douglas Ola to say, “we need to be freed from Mental slavery”. Do something 2da to achieve such a great task. Nice one Douglas…


  3. its true often times we tend to focus on wat we lack and forget wat we actually do have,so I give a good appreciation to the writer because this article do open our eyes to the riches of our minds rather than the setback of the environment……..well done


  4. Hmmmm well said! I applaud the creativity and versatility of this article and I celebrate the writer at large…. Nice use of words; concise and comprehensible… Well done!


  5. Insightful article. The plight in Nigeria makes it harder to break free but not impossible. We need loud and continued encouragement. Thanks for taking the time to express this view.


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