I do realize this is my first post of the new year and so to all readers of this blog I heartily wish a fulfilling 2012. Fulfilling in the sense that we choose to not worry about our nation’s tearsome mound of problems (which at this point seems worthy of mountain status) , but focus on the good and visualize -and therefore work for- the better.
In this spirit, I overlook any form of subsidy.
Instead, I’m going to focus on arguably the most dynamic aspect of human endeavour in Nigeria today- the internet. Without doubt, we have come a looooong way in positively stamping our country on the world wide web, as opposed to those strictly yahoo-yahoo notions of yesteryears. We thank God.
If you’re in doubt, I can give you a few referrals to re-convince you. You only need to look at the amazing, afro-modernist lifestyle website Bella Naija, or the number one Nigerian music hub, Not Just Okay, or Nairaland, or any one of the far-ranging amazing blogs too many to mention (but of which a list is available at nigerianblogawards.com ) or the online publications of Nigeria’s most reputable (and otherwise) pro-development print media nerve-centres to tell you that creative Nigeria is taking a step further and putting itself on the world map. This screams change to me, this is indicative of progress.
The best part of it all? We aren’t just registering ourselves in the online world, we’re doing it with a .com.ng domain. What this means is that we are carving out a formidable niche for ourselves in cyberspace. Very impressive in my opinion. What’s even more impressive however is that it’s so easy now for Nigerians to get themselves, their causes, and most especially their businesses online with this contextualized domain.The Get Nigerian Businesses Online initiative aided by Google has made it easy and wallet-relieving to register your Nigerian businesses on the internet. www.gnbo.com.ng
It’s always a good thing to see this country making giant strides in newer innovation and even trailblazing research herself. All that healthcare and road stuff that we handle so traditionally, those are meant to be problems of years we’ve long put behind us. I think the .com.ng movement is one any Nigerian should be proud of any day. But no matter how pride-eliciting this may be, it doesn’t just end here. I definitely see a bright future ahead for online Nigeria and the development of designed in Nigeria but global networking sites is definitely not of the charts.
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.