Samuel Ogbebor is impressed by the pace of development in his motherland

Compiled by Nicola Jayasundera

Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka?
A: Presently, some good things that are taking place include the development of the Port City (a.k.a. Colombo International Financial City or CIFC), highways, roads, apartments, construction of five-star hotels and many other infrastructure facilities.

The development initiatives are being implemented to facilitate a future economic boom.

As an athlete, one of the things that I don’t see happening is the development of sports. Many countries are surpassing us in all sports and we seem to be in the same place without any development taking place.

Q: And what are the challenges facing the country today?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge for both Sri Lanka and much of the world.

Q: Do you believe that Sri Lanka will be united one day? And why or why not?
A: I feel the country is united. However, there are certain communities, societies and groups that are trying to cause divisions, based on their own ideologies and beliefs.

I genuinely believe that unity cannot be achieved by taking into consideration every single person’s point of view because eventually, there will always be one person who won’t agree or have hate towards a different ethnic or religious group.

But I feel that the country is united or there would have been wars taking place on the island similar to what happened years ago.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: I have my goals and dreams as an athlete, and see myself being a world-class professional athlete in rugby and fitness. Rugby football has been my passion since I was nine years old and I hope to make it professionally someday.

I also want to obtain a degree in software engineering because I see that the world is moving towards technology and this will help me stay updated with what comes in the future.

Additionally, I’d also love to travel; but I should be settled first and that’s why education is important.

Q: And where do you see Sri Lanka in a decade from today?
A: When the country is recognised as a central hub for enterprise following the development of upcoming infrastructure projects, there will be more people entering the island for business purposes and this will improve Sri Lanka’s economy.

People across the island will then be able to live a comfortable life whereby they can afford the necessities of life. But it all comes down to the leaders of the country since their decisions will determine the outcome of people’s expectations.

Q: Who is responsible for climate change and global warming – and what must be done about it?
A: As hard as it is for most people to accept the fact that climate change and global warming are the result of human activity, we can’t forget that we’ve been given the responsibility of safeguarding this planet.

If necessary measures aren’t taken to reduce global warming and control climate change, the world will be destroyed – and all living things with it.

Some of the ways we can solve this problem are by adapting to renewable energy sources, ensuring that emission testing is compulsory for all vehicles and planting more trees to increase oxygen in the atmosphere to name a few.

Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: The rise of social media platforms has a huge impact on the community with pros and cons.

But its significance for the community is that it showcases whatever content an individual may have so that it could be displayed to the rest of society and provide opportunities for him or her.

Another factor is that social media platforms have enabled us to be closer to one another unlike in the past.

Q: Where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: I honestly don’t know how to answer this question because it’s a tough one. However, my fervent wish is that the world will be peaceful and we can all live in harmony.