Please listen/read attentively…
Yesterday, christmas day 2011, was not a day I’ll want to remember too easily. Unfortunately however, I’m forced to. Bombs destroying totally innocent people, whole families who had only gone to church to celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus! How do you explain that ehn? So before I continue with this blog post I’d like to say sincerely to all Boko Haram members and affiliates, on behalf of all well-meaning Nigerians, it shall not be well with you anti-progressives. Haram, though it features on this post, is not today’s gist. Maybe the whole month of January will be dedicated to that.
My purpose right now however, in the light of recent happenings, is to inform you of the fact that there are two very distinct, far from complementary and somewhat antagonistic Nigerias. Yeah, you heard me. There are two Nigerias. And this is not something we should be proud about.
I’ll explain. These Nigerias have their respective names; there’s the Pro-Nigeria and then there’s the Anti-Nigeria. Pro-Nigeria is the Nigeria we are all proud of and that we readily associate ourselves with. Pro-Nigeria is the Nigerian artistes ‘repping’ abroad, the indigenous firms making waves in commerce and trailblazing national development, the Nigerian fashion designers, collections and shows, the crazy, fun-to-watch Nigerian TV shows, the buildings, roads and other infrastructure that make us stop for a second, the scenic nature of various landmarks. Pro-Nigeria is creative Nigeria, the Nigeria which inspired me to get this blog going in the first place. Sadly however, this entity seems not to be gaining that much ground, contrary to popular will. Seems, because Anti-Nigeria is giving her a good run for her money.
With not too great intuition and aided by the aforementioned, you’d be able to ascertain what Anti-Nigeria entails. See all that stuff you hear about bomb, and accident-causing road, and no water in airport or hospitals? That’s Anti-Nigeria, and I fear we have all become too familiar with her. Anti-Nigeria is the Nigeria that makes us go ‘ sha God dey’, the very much infuriating and frustrating component. God knows the government is the largest single unit in this body. Anti-Nigeria is the Nigeria I don’t want to dwell too much on.
Sadly however, most Nigerians don’t realize that Pro-Nigeria exists. Creative Nigeria is collectively relegated to the backs of our minds as a result of the devastating but dominant oddity that is Anti-Nigeria. And so when people think Nigeria, they only think about Boko Haram or the government’s incapacity or even fake Nollywoodness. They don’t think about the good stuff because after all the rubbish, they don’t believe that there IS any good stuff.
I think that the only way we’ll maximize national potential is if Creative Nigeria takes the front wheel. But how? That’s where talk of mass literacy comes in. Talk of sensitization and national re-orientation. Granted, these are necessities for national reformation but even more importantly, each and every Nigerian has to have that vehement belief, that unbreakable attraction to Nigeria and the sense of patriotism that comes with it. I think we’d only see a new Nigeria if we are able to bring creative Nigeria out of its very small, I dare say too-small-to-accommodate, hiding space. There’s so much promise just bursting at the seams. For the sake of all things good, let it rip that bloody garment apart.