Friday, October 1, 2010

Arise, O Compatriots

Today Nigeria is 50 years old.

Earlier this week, I jokingly tweeted a friend saying that our country must be in a mid-life crisis with all the issues that face it. She later tweeted her hopes that the next 50 will be greater and better than before.

When Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, the country was expected to be at the forefront of economic and political progress as independence continued to sweep the continent.  It was expected to lead Africa in its transition from colonial nations to independent one. To be the shining star as Africa went from undeveloped to developed.

Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, the most varying ethnic and linguistic groups. At independence we had some of the most experienced politicians and an able and efficient service, and we did (and still do) have a very diversified economy.

So what happened? Why are we still at the same place we were at independence... if not actually in a worser place? It's like, as a country, we have been frozen in time. We're stuck in a destructive cycle.

Not that I have the answers or anything like that...

But Nigeria is my home, my heritage, and I want to see it succeed... I want to see a change.

I mean, we have so much to offer ourselves, and to the world. We have some of the most creative, the smartest, the most ambitious people to call our fellow countrymen. And my are we passionate!  Ultimately, it's to all of us compatriots to arise and obey Nigeria's call--her call to make our country what it's supposed to be. I'm not sure when or how, but I hope to play even a small part in changing Nigeria's destiny.

I once heard someone describe Nigeria this way: If you turn Africa on its side, it looks like a pistol, and Nigeria is the trigger.

What better time to start being that trigger than now? That way in another 50 years, when we celebrate our 100th anniversary we really will stand at the forefront of progress in Africa.



On a lighter note... I totally wish I was in Nigeria today... joining in all the celebrations for clocking this 50th year. As much as I love America, and enjoy my life here, but often I miss my country...

I also don't know of anything going on here in Dallas in honor of this big day, which makes me sad. I remember being a part of performances in past Independence Day Celebrations, and I think it'd be awesome to be a part of something for this year. 

But oh well... being the Nigerian-American that I am, I will still rock my green and white and proclaim for the whole world to hear...

OMO NAIJA NI MI!  

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