Re: Why Wouldn’t I Leave Nigeria?; A Response To The Video By Kola Olaosebikan

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I’m taking a good 5 minutes to relax, calm down and write this post without getting too pumped up. Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! Ok…. So I watched this video after it was shared by Kemi Adetiba on her instagram page, and just like her I was very moved to say something about it.

Here is the video:

Let me start off by saying that a good amount of what Kola Olaoesibikan (surprised she keeps her Nigerian name) said in her video is true. It might be exaggerated, but none the less, as a Nigerian, as painful as it is to hear, it’s the truth. Exagerrated, but true. A lot of times we sit and listen to western media throw out a lot of negative and biased statistics about Nigeria & Africa, and it hurts, very deeply a times but I must say it hurts even more when it comes from one of our own who, based on the video, you get the feeling actually lived in Nigeria for a decent amount of time.

Now I have no problem with maybe the intent of the video, or calling to light issues that we all know happen in Nigeria, but the execution and method of doing this comes off as nothing but very insulting to Nigerians, and I’m tempted to say, sadly ignorant.

When she say says, a country that allows child marriage, did she bother to think of the reaction millions on Nigerians had when they heard of that loop hole in the law? Did she even bother to think why this even came to light? Does she even know that numerous senators and house of reps have tried on one more than one occasion to close this loop hole that allows such? That there were thousands of citizens that took to the streets to protest this law? Are those senators that proposed the motion to close this loop hole not doing the right thing? Are those citizens that took to the streets not fighting for a better country for their kids and future generations? Are the numerous journalists and bloggers that expose and spread such news not doing their part in trying to spread information to enlighten Nigerians on what’s going on? Statements like that are a slap in the face to every Nigerian that is, out of love, doing their part to make Nigeria better even they don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

On the subject of NYSC, it’s easy to say the best “years” because it sounds nice to exaggerate something negative, but as much as I don’t like the NYSC program, I have to call out that first off it’s one year and not ‘years’, so it’s not wasting ‘the best years’. Does Kola even know why the NYSC came about in the first place? As flawed and needless as it may be now, the NYSC idea was a noble idea immediately after the civil war to integrate Nigerians and enable the young graduates to learn about other parts of our extremely diverse country, that they might not have been able or willing to do under normal circumstances. An attempt to curb the tribalism that fueled the civil war.

Does Kola (let’s assume that’s her name) know about the steady growth of the Nigerian economy, the dozens of international companies flocking to Nigeria to invest in various start ups and small time businesses, which subsequently can only lead to more jobs and opportunities for Nigerians? Does Kola know of the hundreds of positive Nigerians that do so much for Nigeria, even if they are not compensated properly, just because of the belief they have in the future? The music and movie industry booming at an all time high, and creating so many opportunities for the youth to stay off the streets? The social activism via social media that has captured a lot of the youth of Nigeria?

Does Kola know about thousands of security agents who have lost their lives fighting terrorism across the country, and as ill equipped as they may be, they still put their life on the line daily to protect what they can in those area. Are they stupid for trying? Should they run to the US and sip fake Starbucks on youtube?

Does Kola know of the thousands of young Nigerians (youth especially) who were extremely active in the last election? Getting involved in voter registration, education, and other things just so they can attempt to make the election as free and fair as possible. Organizing debates to discuss issues surrounding the country, raising awareness about the voting process, documenting, recording and reporting cases of voter fraud over the country. Are they stupid for loving their country enough to try? Or are they part of the brained damaged who just don’t know any better?

If I didn’t know better, I’d think everyone in Nigeria is dead, dying, forced to do NYSC for 5 years, married at 12, and quarter to being a criminal.

It’s very easy to sit in America and throw stones, and whine and complain, and say all negative things about Nigeria without even remotely acknowledging the positives.  It’s very easy to forget that less than 40 years ago, African Americans died en masse fighting to afford Kola, a black person, the opportunity to sit down in the open and sip Starbucks. It’s easy to sit back and tell the world without shame that you worked so hard to suppress your Nigerian accent like it’s a thing of pride.

The bottom line after my long storybook is, there is no doubt that Nigeria is a tough place by any standards. We’re years away from our goal, and sometimes it’s hard to see if we’re going forward or backward, but we keep fighting because after all is said and done, it’s our home. It’ll bring most no greater joy than to see Nigeria as a country succeed. Whether we like it or not, we’ll continue to fight and struggle for a better Nigeria. Like Kemi Adetiba said once on twitter “Nigeria, we go enter the same trouser and fight this thing out till we’re better” (not exact words). Bad leaders, and a largely ineffective government should NOT take away from the great people of Nigeria, and the millions that do the right thing daily in an effort to make Nigeria better. I guess since they don’t have the luxury to leave they sh*t out of luck right?

To Kola Olasebikan, there’s nothing wrong if you never want to go to Nigeria again or you’re happy you left Nigeria. All na personal choice, but believe me 150 million minus 1 wont stop the struggle, and the fight for a better Nigeria. Enjoy your starbucks. Peace.

Aribaba, a Nigerian living in America that actually doesn’t like Starbucks 🙂

 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure we’ve all heard these views before. There are hundreds of thousands with the same view and I believe everyone has a choice, so good for them. In fact a friend of mine always expresses same views and I believe it is simply and evidently from an uninformed perspective. Nigeria’s problems, or why anyone will want to run away from them, is no news.
    Some of us prefer to go back and try to help, some people can’t run away, some (very intelligent ones amongst us) see great opportunity in the mist of it all.
    I could be wrong, but it seems more likely to me that she is rather trying to raise awareness towards her cause, the orphans.

  2. I completely agree with your perspective. I like that you didn’t deny that these issues are a part of our society, but pointed out that there were exaggerations made. There are people fighting for a better Nigeria everyday. And to undermine their efforts is choosing to not recognize that it may take a long time, and change doesn’t happen overnight.

    I applaud people who are able to stand up and speak about the ills in our country. But if you are making a conscious effort NOT to be part of the change, your speaking up does absolutely nothing. If everyone is that unwilling to make a change and counting on every other person to do it, well, say hi to the status quo for a very long time to come.

    • Well said TNG..love ur comment..let me add:
      Someone up there said she may have had a “really bad experience”..I don’t know but I’l drop my money and say, very unlikely..people who have ‘really bad experiences’ don’t often enter Yankee to study and live etc….but as I said I may be wrong. I posit that She’s just doing her thing on her blog, creating awareness for herself and her cause (which isnt bad in itself) and like many Nigerians abroad, singing about all the bad of the land…Im so disgusted by people on social media, especially Facebook, who take time to ONLY highlight and share the bad of the land..she may have shared the good on another video that I missed, but this one overcompensates for any good ones she may have posted…these my peeps, like many on Facebook, pay not a ‘single mind’ to the good things happening in the land and paint only one side of the story…and then they wonder why their county, and effectively they, are often maligned by colleagues and people around them… Well, heres another acquaintance to add to the one TNG introduced u to in her comment… Say hello to the beast u r creating, the ugly, hopeless, criminal Nigerian picture that u effortlessly and consistently paint on social media… Keep it real.

  3. I mean that’s her opinnion. There is some truth to what she’s saying. I don’t believe we should crucify her. WE certainly don’t know what her background is? Most of us that care for Nigeria, fortuanately had a great life in Nigeria. I think though instead of complaining, she should be the change.

  4. So i watched this video of kolas and had to stop after 80 seconds. I just want to plead with her to stop saying she is nigerian. It is a very shameful thing ti have someone that empty claiming our country. Since her accent is so perfect next time she should say she is american

  5. Free this babe jor! Why the attacks on her? Because she said the truth? It is her opinion, she could have gone through more harder times that you sending rejoinders.

    You sef wey dey talk, who you wan lie to say people participating in electioneering? You are more ignorant of happenings in 9ja that the lady. Talking about investments coming into 9ja, na dem okonjo kinna foolish statements be dat. Na so so wayo foreign investors dey come, ppl wey dey connive with these our foolish set of leaders wey dey use them dey steal our go where u dey stay dey write from.

    In fact, the babe make sense you too make sense, but both of you aren’t what we need in 9ja. Make una dey enjoy phi Bo land, let us continue with werrin una run away from.

    Selah!

  6. Truth is Nigeria is worse than she even painted. The truth is bitter but it is what it is. All those crucifying her have not done anything to move the country forward, so why are you all opening your mouth to talk.

  7. Everybody has an opinion and none is actually perfect. So, you may argue for or against another person’s opinion but do not condemn it. But let me tell you – Nigeria is a hopeless nation, whether you are a patrot or not. Kola may not be totally right but she is right – Nigeria is a hellhole and why wouldn’t anyone who has the chance to leave do so. Living is perpetual but human life is limited. When it takes you generations to try and solve a problem or some problems and you are not even making a dent, do you want me to continue to hope for a solution? When you take an exam, are you given forever to take it? Isn’t there a time limit for you to take the exam? Why does anyone think Nigeria should be given forever to come to par with reality. I have left and I ain’t going back to that forsaken country. And if you believe in Nigeria and wants to go back there, then go.

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