Why Do We Resent Being Scholars

I have often been accused of writing too much, or talking too long. Even during my undergraduate days, I found it so surprising that students complain about seminar papers. I expected things to be different within school walls but it wasn’t.

On a general note, people hardly read any text that is relatively long except when it is on entertainment or when it harps on religious or ethnic sentiments. This is even more so for young people.

Time and again, I have read that you either make your text entertaining enough or risk having no one to read it. But there ought to be a balance at least. We ought to be capable of being thoroughly entertained as well as being frankly informed.

Our generation of young people are way too easily drawn towards entertainment. This is not bad in itself, except for the fact that it makes some to be intellectually lazy.

The result is that people find it difficult to follow through texts that are intellectually engaging. Even more so, people find it difficult to engage in intellectual conversations without derailing off a specific line of thought.
In the case of texts, they will just scroll to the end and read the conclusion or abandon it completely. In conversations, they either suddenly lose interest or go off point totally.

The cause for this range from the society that doesn’t offer much reward for intellectual efforts and the endless stream of entertainment that is so cheaply available.

The human mind will always drift along the path of least resistance. And this is a big plus for entertainment.
But there need to be a balance between the two. Both are needed. Intellectualism should not be sacrificed for entertainment.
In fact, societies require the input of intellectuals to grow and develop faster.

I’ll conclude this piece with this excerpt from Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

“I postulated at the outset that scholarship is coterminous with social progress. It is the scholar who makes or unmake society. He may not be appreciated by his generation, or even by generations after him. But time offers reward to scholars who lay foundations for the society of tomorrow, by immortalizing them in human history.

The African should go beyond the veneer of knowledge. Ability to quote Shakespeare or Bryon or Chaucer does not indicate original scholarship. The capacity to know what is the periphrastic conjunction, or to solve the Pythagoran problem, or to understand the principles of heat, light and sound, or to translate Aramaic, or to know all the important dates of British history does not indicate true academic scholarship. These are the superficialities of a decadent educational system. These do not make for a dynamic social order. They are by products of the initiative complex which Gabriel Trade expounds excellently in one of his books.

Originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the scholar. Initiative, emulation and the urge to be intellectually honest are the earmarks of research and academic freedom. Heirs and heiresses of the new Africa must now consecrate themselves for scholarly research into all the aspects of world society in general and African society in particular.
Africans need to be scholars. We need to be creative. We must emulate and not imitate. In the end, we shall find that there is joy in scholarship. ”


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