I am not certain if it’s maturity or the fact that I’m in a foreign nation, but for the most part, it seems like when Nigerian youth travel abroad for whatever the reason they tend to develop a strong sense of pride about their motherland.
This statement couldn’t be more true in every aspect of living from the food to music to everything under the sun. Let me use myself as an example; When I used to live in Nigeria, I could count the number of times I spoke pidgin English…, infact sometimes some of us were scolded for it. I used to dread the idea of wearing native/African traditional wear to any occasion, especially iro and buba. The smell of any kind of soup (well, except ogbono) turned my stomach because it indicated I was going to eat that gross looking eba, amala or starch. I lived with cable all my life, so Nigerian movie or music was not exactly a staple on my play and watch list. The list goes on and on. Not that I did not have any pride in my country, or never did anything “traditional”….No. What I’m trying to convey is that after I moved to America, my Nigerian pride changed from a shy “Hi, I was born in Nigeria” to a loud “Damn right I’m Nigerian…Bayelsa, Nembe, Edo, 1/4 yoruba…My village rules…yeah”. I also fit speak pidgin pass pesin wey dem born for village….you wan try. I don’t even have to mention the global effect of African music and ankara on me.
I am pretty sure most of you can empathize with me. Everyone has their stories on how their African pride has been revamped and boosted – which is a very beautiful thing, if i must add. We can also share our stories on how we defend our continent when non Africans question our mode of living back home. Of course, we scream and refute their statement and say Africa is this, Africa is that, we have this, invented that and living like this. BUT, how many of us know about Africa (Nigeria to be specific)? How many of us know the number of countries in Africa without guessing or googling? Do you know our first president or how many states in Nigeria? Can you mention the countries that Borders the east, west and north of Nigeria. Do you know the first military president and what political parties we have….or their names? Can you also mention 5 living and dead Nigerian legends? How many of us know what ken saro wiwa did? and why he died? How, why and when the Biafra war began? Can you recognize the Biafran flag? Do you know who Gani Fawehinmi or Dele Giwa is?
Yes, to know nigeria isn’t all about aceing her general knowledge. That’s only a fraction of it – our memories, grassroot, green passport, tongue, genes, stories, and so many more make us truly Nigerian. Still knowing our general knowledge is important…imagine someone defending her country armed with such information as compared to another who only defends hers by shouting the loudest about nothing. As trivial as it may seem, we ought know learn them and make our country truly proud when next we defend her.