Whenever you encounter a Nigerian around the world, they invariably stand out. Whether it’s due to a deep sense of maturity or the influence of a strong spiritual force, Nigerians who travel abroad often develop an unwavering pride in their homeland.
But why is this the case? Could it be attributed to a certain level of arrogance that accompanies being Nigerian? And perhaps rightly so, considering the abundant and high-quality resources bestowed upon us by the Almighty Creator. Nevertheless, this pride also carries a significant responsibility.
Being Nigerian entails the added burden of being recognized as the “Giant of Africa.” We are expected to embody all that is positive and admirable about this resource-rich continent, yet unfortunately, our nation and its people often exhibit the opposite qualities.
Reflecting on this complexity, I realize it is truly intricate. The solutions to our challenges may seem straightforward, but our political leaders have conspired to make even simple choices on behalf of the people appear immensely difficult.
Many of you can likely empathize with this sentiment. Each of us has our own stories of how our Nigerian pride has been reinvigorated and bolstered, although not always in pleasant circumstances. We can share our experiences of passionately defending our fatherland when faced with questions about our nation’s poor living conditions from non-Africans. If necessary, we should refute their assertions and proudly exhibit our Nigerian identity.
But let’s be honest, how well do we truly know Nigeria? Can you name our first president, the number of states in Nigeria, or the countries bordering us to the east, west, and north? Are you familiar with our first military president and the names of our political parties?
Understanding Nigeria goes beyond assimilating general knowledge. While that is just a fraction of it, our diverse culture, traditions, memories, the green passport, language, genetics, and countless other elements collectively define our Nigerian identity. However, being well-versed in our general knowledge is still crucial. Imagine defending our country armed with such information compared to someone who only shouts the loudest without substance. As trivial as it may seem, we ought to learn and internalize these facts to truly make our country proud when the need arises.
Currently, many Nigerians are dissatisfied with the state of affairs in our nation, particularly the pervasive corruption that has plagued every sector of the economy. Consequently, some have lost hope in Nigeria’s development.
However, there are still those who hold a different perspective, steadfastly believing that, for better or worse, Nigeria remains their beloved country. I am one of those Nigerians who continue to have faith in our nation. My Nigerian identity is unwavering.Regardless of whether or not you agree with my stance, it’s difficult to ignore the changing political landscape.
Some individuals yearn to return to the past, whatever “yesterday” may represent to them. Others strive for further change, envisioning a brighter future. There will inevitably be those who prefer the status quo, perpetuating the negative image we have been burdened with. Nevertheless, amidst these diverse viewpoints, I remain proud to be black, African, and Nigerian. I take pride in my Yoruba heritage because it is an integral part of who I am. I believe in Nigeria—despite its problems and imperfections—and I am convinced that, together, we can overcome them.
I am proud to be Nigerian, embracing our flaws and celebrating our differences. There is no other mix that could have shaped me in the same way. I am proud to be Nigerian because I know that someday, my descendants will look back and be grateful for their Nigerian heritage. There is hope for our country.
My love for Nigeria keeps me from giving up, regardless of the current state of affairs across the nation’s regions. East, west, north, or south, home is always the best. Nigeria is my home, and I still believe in its prosperity. I have faith that one day, the leadership problems plaguing us will be resolved. I pray that the solution will emerge within my lifetime. Surely, a day will come when the embezzlement of public funds will cease in Nigeria.
Nigeria is our home, and we will not flee. Let us all work together to transform our country into a better place to live.
May God bless Nigeria and Nigerians wherever they may be on this earth, uniting us in renewed hope for our nation. Let our light shine brightly. Nigerians, let’s embrace a proud Identity in a changing landscape.