So this post stems from all the “Nigerian outrage” I’ve been seeing over the Woolwich attack of a couple days ago, now I’m not going to talk about that specifically even though I, like a million other people probably have a million things to say about it, I have instead decided to focus more on another aspect of this terrible situation, the Nigerian aspect.
Now, please note that I am in no way an expert on these things and the truth is I probably write poetry and imaginary stuff better but this is something that I think must be said, something that I must say… because I’ve been thinking it, so please bear with my ranting. LOL
So, the thing is every time some terrible tragedy happens somewhere in the world, whether its a failed suicide bomber attempt or a shooting or something like the world just witnessed in London and it then come that the attackers are of “Nigerian Descent”, young Nigerians get outraged and take to all social networks talking about how not all Nigerians are not like that and these people probably had never been to Nigeria and all, one interesting comparison I have been seeing a lot since the Woolwich attack is that 16 out of the 541 British athletes at the 2012 Olympics Games were Nigerians and that nobody talked about that but when its something negative, then they talk about it.
As a side note, I just want to say I haven’t heard that been mentioned too much, maybe once or twice it was said because its the truth but I don’t think the British government is going to Nigeria to investigate their ties over there, I think it is well understood that they are British citizens.
Okay, I digress.
The basic point of my ranting is this, why do we (young Nigerians mainly) wait until there is an ugly news about Nigeria or Nigerians before we get angry for approximately 10 minutes, just enough time to post something on a social network and then we forget and get back to our normal lives?
Why don’t we realize that Nigeria is suffering the effects of what Chimamanda Adichie refers to as the the danger on the single story? People that do not know us, I mean really know Nigeria operate off of the information they have and somehow there is so much negative stuff about Nigeria out there.
We need to understand that every nation or people have a stereotype, that one thing that flashes in people’s minds when they hear of you, now it isn’t their fault they think this, it is what they have heard and know, if people know you as a girl who wears really pretty heels all the time, then that becomes what you are known for, what you are described as and all, however it is also true that if people hear from everyone around them that you are nasty and that impression never gets corrected, either by you or other people, then that’s what they’ll know of you.
The problem with the stereotype attached to Nigeria however is that it is disastrous, threatening the very survival and growth of our nation.
And this is where we come in, it is time for us to spend more than approximately 10 minutes defending our country every 2 months, it is time to make it a way of life.
The time has come to change the image of our country, cancel out the bad with so much good and kindness that it blows people’s minds (LOL… pun intended)
Let’s think about it, if everyone posts one thing on all their social network profiles about the good in Nigeria, the wonderful people, the rich culture, the things that make us unique, how many people would we reach in a day?
Most of us have internet friends from all over the world so just think about how many people we could be reaching.
We cannot just assume that people know something, we cannot assume that something is too ridiculous to be imagined, I read on a post titled, ‘See my Africa’ that someone assumed that African woman produce brown breast milk, it’s a great post about Africa, its re-blogged below, I have also met people who assumed that my hair wouldn’t grow “normal” because I cut it. These things may appear stupid to you but its their reality, it’s what they know, you know about other cultures and places and people because you learnt, maybe not voluntarily but because we are exposed to all of it from when we are young, I’m tempted to say maybe its because we’re that much smarter because even though I spent almost all of my childhood reading Enid Blyton book, I wouldn’t assume that all British children run around solving crimes, so then why does someone read a novel or see a movie about a Nigerian man that beats his wife and then just assume that all Nigerian men do? Anyways, I digress again.
My point is quite simple, let’s cancel out the negative, let’s teach people, let’s start at the beginning, let’s get people excited about Nigeria, lets show the world that there is so much more to us than one tragedy or negative trend after the other. Let’s show the world what it means to be proudly Nigerian.
*Post something simple and interesting about Nigeria today.
*Do something nice for someone today, it doesn’t matter now small or ridiculous, do it and let them know it’s coming from Nigeria. Nigerian Kindness!
Let’s take back our Nigeria!
Let’s start a movement!
Let’s show the Nigeria people never get to see on the internet and news channels!