So Nigeria has been independent for 54 years… *applause*
Now, while some people would disagree with me that its worth celebrating, those of us repping #TheNaijaMovement, we agree that this milestone is worth a lot of pomp and pageantry.
Yes, this post is a tad bit late, so? I chose to be very fashionably late with my point of view. If you’ve got something to say after reading this, please comment, I’d really appreciate it.
In the beginning, we had our land, our way of life, our Kingdoms and Chiefdoms and whatnot intact; we lived happily, oblivious to the world outside our shores. We had clean air and strong men and beautiful, bodacious women and the most adorable little ebony, curly, brown- haired children. We walked around in next to nothing without a care. We lived in peace. Yes, we had our wars and conflicts and yes, we did have some gory traditions, but we lived as we believed. Then came the white man, bored with life within his territories, searching for something new and exciting; something he’d never seen before. He travelled far and wide and somehow, he ended up here. When he got here, he saw many things, new traditions, a different skin colour. We were also surprised to see people that looked almost spirit like. Blonde haired, blue eyed, pale human-like creatures that had landed on our shores. They had things we had never seen before. We had things they had heard of, told their children of. At first, we were hostile, but soon, we accepted these seemingly harmless creatures into our society. They learned our languages, traditions and some of them settled down here. Some took our women as wives, but, as they say: character is like smoke, it cannot be hidden.
When the white man came here, he came with plans to enlarge his territories and also to broaden his knowledge, but to do this, he needed free access to whatever part of our land he wanted at any point in time. Being treated as visitors from a strange land wouldn’t get him that. He had heard so much about the black skinned inhabitants of a land far far away and what he saw when he came surpassed his expectations by a landslide. So he did what you do in such situations: he earned our trust first, then he called his friends for backup. Slowly, they intimidated us into submission. Long story short: When the white man came, we had the land and they had the Bible. Then, they taught us to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened our eyes, they had the land and we had the Bible.
They made us second class citizens in our land. They said our skin colour was inferior to theirs. When I think about what our ancestors must have gone through in those times, I thank God for rulers like Shaka (pronounced shoka) the Zulu and Queen Nzinga Mbande who gave those foreigners a hard time. See, they took our land and made us commodities to be sold across the seas for peanuts. Our men had their pride bruised, our women were raped and sold into slavery and so were our children. The nights that were once filled with laughter and music and dancing and folklore were now silent and heavy and suffocating. The women didn’t sing anymore and the children didn’t dance; the perfect harmony that had once existed between man and spirit and nature was gone. Still we toiled day and night, hopeful that one day, that harmony would be restored. Some people lost hope, some died nursing the dim fire of hope in their hearts. It was a long wait, but, finally on the first day of October in the year 1960, we got our independence from all the tyranny and injustice that had been our reality for so long.
Many people will say that when the White men were here, things were better. I respect that, but, do I think so? No! When they were here, they fed off the fact that they had intimidated us for so long that we felt powerless which for the most part was true, but, when we found the courage to kick them the hell out of our country, we succeeded. We took the long road to freedom and we got there. Here’s why I believe that these 54 years without Colonial rule should be celebrated:
1. How many suicides do you hear about here in Nigeria?? Very few. Some people will say I sound hypocritical. Let me explain myself. See, society will always be cruel on us; its her nature: she’s a bitter bitch, but,as Africans, Nigerians to be very precise, our environment makes sure that we realize this early enough to save us from taking our lives. As a Nigerian kid, you grow being teased by parents, uncles, aunts etc etc. Then there the ass whooping you get for the slightest mistake. While these make us unhappy, it also makes us stronger. Thicker skinned. You realize quite early that unlike Jack Whitehall, suicide will NOT get you on front page news and no one will kill themselves over you. It will always be you against the world. That my friends is a good thing.
2. The issue of homosexuality isn’t really an issue. No Nigerian is in the state of mind to wake up at 3 am, get ready for work in less than 15 minutes, go through rush hour traffic, work his/her ass off for over 9 hours, get scolded by the boss and then come home tired to a partner with the exact same goods as him/her. No way man!
3. We have surpassed the expectations of our former oppressors. Who else was as happy as me during the World Cup when I discovered that we had done better than Spain, England and America?? I was so happy tho. We beat them. It may count for nothing to you, but, it just gave me more reasons to be proud of where I come from. Again, America found out the dreaded Ebola virus had gotten across our borders and told us ‘we weren’t ready for the cure’ so they didn’t help us. We sighed and walked away sad. We did the best we could to contain the situation and guess what?! We succeeded. This might seem racist. It isn’t. I don’t hate Americans. I just enjoy saying ntoii to any country that has to swallow whatever crap they said to us and humbly ask for help.
4. The Nigerian accent is the fifth sexiest accent in the world. Another achievement. So please; I dey beg una, no dey form accent again. Be Nigerian and be proud of it.
5. I don’t know any other African country that can drag creativity with us. Don’t believe me? Check all them boutiques you see around. The hardwork of the tireless Aba boys. I mean who else can come up with iPhone and Jordan belts??? You don’t even need to stress to find Versace or Chanel or Gucci or (the popular favourite) Louis Vuitton. #OnlyInNigeria
6. Every country in the world has been infilterated by Nigerians. So next time you travel and you don’t find a Nigerian within a five mile radius, please come back home for your own safety.
7. In my opinion, we have the funniest people this earth has ever seen. I mean through Colonial Rule, Abacha, the Civil War, terrorism, Ebola, we’re still one country. Tribalism, nepotism and all that and yet Nigeria is still one country. A round of applause please!
Don’t get me wrong. We do have a long way to go before the harmony between man and spirit and nature is fully restored but I know we’ll get there. Maybe not in my lifetime,but, like my fathers before me, I nurse my fire of hope. I hope you do too. Yes, there are lots of things we need to work on then again there are a lot of pluses too.
The Bucket List Goddess