Showing posts with label Nigeria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nigeria. Show all posts

Monday, 18 April 2011

The sore looser syndromne

The sore looser

Lucky winner
 So, after being swept away in the euphoria of fairly "free and fair elections" we find ourselves waking up to news of riots and killings of youth corpers in Kaduna. To be honest, I personally would have voted for Buhari, if I got the chance to vote because I feel that PDP's stronghold on the country needs to be gone. Fair enough people say they voted for Goodluck and not PDP, in any case with a 10 million lead, the people have spoken. Nigeria wants Goodluck and all his lucky charms.

After having thought that Buhari was a decent candidate I am very disappointed that even after the riots his only response has been  lodge an official complain with INEC that the elections were rigged. Instead of trying  to calm down his supporters and urge them to stop the violence for the sake of a peaceful country. This is certainly not the type of selfish, short-sighted, sour candidate I would have liked to see as the president of Nigeria. Time would tell if Goodluck would be any better but I will remain positive.

The killings in Kaduna are however not a good sign. I pray that the souls of all the victims rest in peace and I pray that God will comfort their families. For the displaced and injured people, I pray that God will be there with  them in these horrible times.

I pray that Nigeria will not be another Ivory Coast, please pray for Nigeria.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Hope for the future

I met an old gentleman the other day. We were at the Nigerian embassy and everyone was stressed and irritated about the inefficiency and disorderliness of the system. There weren’t enough seats for everyone and so immediately someone’s number got called up, it was a scramble to get their seats. The lucky winner of the seat next to me was an old gentleman. I watched him shuffle and settle down. He picked up his phone and left a voicemail for someone explaining that his trip to the embassy would take much longer than he had expected and so they should not bother to expect him soon. He only hoped he would get his whole business sorted before the embassy closed for the day. As I watched him I smiled to myself. He was cute. Not in a pervy way oh. This guy was old enough to be my grandpa but he obviously had a sharp mind. He could still work his phone to fill in appointment dates on his phone calendar and he spoke impeccable English. I love cute old gentle men because they have a mass of knowledge and history to happily give away and so I decided that I somehow had to strike up a convo with this man to pass the time in this dreadful place.

I can’t remember now the first question I asked, but we did get talking and somehow the convo drifted to the Lagos he knew before he left Nigeria in the 1960s. All the British and a few Nigerians in the upper echelons of society lived in Ikoyi while the normal Lagosians lived in other parts like Surulere. Despite the division, he clearly remembered that things were good. There was always electricity and water. Not any more I joked. He frowned slightly at this and said that after going back to visit over the years, he had seen his country get worse and worse and somewhere along the line he lost hope for a better Nigeria.

A few seats away was a man passionately arguing that it was wrong to be watching British television in the Nigerian Embassy. “Don’t they have AIT?! This is the problem with Nigeria; we don’t like to appreciate our own things!” Some nodded in agreement chanting “It’s true, it’s true!” Others just looked on, worn out from waiting hours to be attended to. The old man next to me slowly shook his head and said “Oh, I don’t like to even think about Nigeria’s problems”. He said it so vehemently that I felt sorry for him. This man had lived his whole life hoping for a better Nigeria and nearing the end of his life, he had given up carrying the unfulfilled hope around with him. Better to forget and die peacefully I guess, than be driven to your grave frustrated and disappointed in your home country.

It made me think though, one thing he doesn’t have that I do have is time and the opportunity to do something. This man obviously didn’t contribute much to Nigeria because he left when he was 20 and only came back as an observer. His whole life and children were in England and so maybe it was easier for him to give up hope. The morale of the story is if we fold our hands and do nothing, nothing would happen and the lawlessness that prevails in our country would continue to prevail. We have to be actively engaged in building Nigeria. Than man doesn’t have the chance to be in the future of Nigeria anymore but we do! We are young and we have the power! If only we believe. I love my country, I really do and as bleak as it seems now, I have hope that a glorious future looms ahead of us. If we look clearly we can almost see the first few strains of light coming through. The full coming of that glorious day however depends on YOU and ME!

I absolutely love TY Bello! I am so excited that she's back and I love this song, the message, the video. She's so beautiful as well...I could go on and on, she deserves her own post.

Please Leave your comments! Would love to hear your thoughts :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Truly Nigerian

The other day, I saw a video of this American girl speaking Yoruba on facebook. It was just a tour of her walk to school and she spoke a mixture of English and simple Yoruba like “ekaro o” (Good morning) and was able to hold a simple convo with a group of hostel boys about what she had for breakfast. I was amused so I went to her you tube page, watched a couple of other videos and found a link to her blog

I was more than amused, impressed, blown away! Like, here is a typical American girl, who was learning Yoruba at the University of Wisconsin and went the extra mile to take a year out to the University of Ibadan to consolidate her learning. First question I asked was how in the hell did she get the idea to study Yoruba? A language that is dying out even within its own tribe, a language that a huge chunk of its young generation scorns, preferring to speak variations of “American” and “British” English. *note emphasis on VARIATIONS of American and British
This girl left her comfortable American uni to live with host parents in Ibadan because she saw a beauty in the language and culture of a people and appreciated the uniqueness and richness of the culture.

So, if someone all the way from America can go all the way to learn our language and appreciate our culture...why can’t we???! It’s really so sad to see young people who are so willing to shrug off their Nigerian heritage, language and culture to be more westernised. Yes, I blame globalization but then I blame us more. I grew up speaking English at home and listening to Yoruba being spoken by my family. I loved the language but in a way I felt almost cut off from it because I didn’t speak it. Fast forward to school days, and then I realised most people didn’t want to be associated with the language anyway. They noted it’s presence around us but then we were not really immersed in it, our Englishness made us aloof to it. And so it became cool NOT to speak Yoruba. If you spoke it too much you were razz and local. That was the beginning of the death of our culture.

Now, I worry that if I can’t even speak Yoruba fluently and frequently, my children would grow up speaking and listening to English and then they would lose any awareness of being Yoruba at all! I really cannot bear to imagine this and as a result, I have been driven to speak Yoruba more often and just appreciate our culture more. I think this is more a problem with the young Yoruba’s than say the young Ibo’s or Hausa’s who are distinctly more Ibo and Hausa in their identity. Young Yoruba’s have embraced westernisation in exchange for their language. *can you say slave trade all over again*

I am not saying ALL young people are like this but compared with the older generations the proportion of non-native speaking Nigerians is MUCH more. I am not saying we shouldn’t be westernised. God knows we are too educated and exposed not to be but what I’m saying is that there should be a more symbiotic relationship between both. Speak English and Yoruba. Eat burgers and pounded yam (I am sure this is much easier for all of us). Wear your Brazilian hair and still be able to tie a gele, and on and on. Being African/Nigerian/Ibo isn’t synonymous with being fresh or bush or razz. You can speak excellent English and still be able to speak your native language. This is not about making it ok to speak bad English, or dress shabbily or anything like that. If you can speak your native language and cannot speak English without gbagauning in this day and age, you oughtta be ashamed!

But PLEASE can we just appreciate what we see around us more and not be afraid to be truly Nigerian, while remaining citizens of the world. Keep our culture alive!

n check her out!

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