The answer to this question doesn’t depend on my parents nationality, or my nationality. Neither am I a true Nigerian because I grew up in Nigeria.
Permit me to say that the above really are inconsequential to the feeling of belongness which cuts across all the above paper work.
I am a true Nigerian because embedded in my DNA is determination. This makes me a conqueror as tough times have given me strength and perseverance not to give up on great dreams. Though robbed daily, harassed by law enforecement agents, swindled by government parastatals, denied basic amenities by the government I voted for, punctual at classes, hardworking to a fault… yet denied those distinctions, made to pay for services I’ll never enjoy like national health insurance scheme , housing funds…..yet I love Nigeria. And despite the different cultures, customs, traditions, languages my heart still leaps for joy at the mention of Nigeria because even in these differences we have found our strength. I say to people that truly if variety is the spice of life then Nigeria should be among the spiciest nations.
I am a true Nigerian not because of what I can do or demonstrate, I believe it is more of who I am, a particular realization I have come to, a conclusion I cannot get rid of, something I might not be able to explain in simple words. I find my “true nigerianess” in the unique way I wash my hands to mould that fufu to be swallowed with hot okara soup, or in the unique way a certain Tunde taught me to wear my “Fila” for an owanbe tilting it at that all important 45. It is in the radiating joy I derive from dancing to osita osadebe at a wedding or swinging those hands to“Ijo shoki” at a birthday bash.
However funny some of these answers are I have realized that these things make me a true Nigerian and not because my parents are Nigerians or I can speak one of her many languages. I am a true Nigerian because of the similar experiences I share with her people…..From those uniform shouts of “up nepa” that resonate across the neighbourhood when the distribution companies supplies us power however erratic the supply may be, or when I am haggling over the price of a #100 “boli” I could easily afford just for the fun , or shouting the name of my bus stop “idiararaba… idiaraba… idiaraba…” countless times to the “danfo” driver to make him stop yet he still always manages to alight me further from my bustop. It’s in the unashamed pose I strike when I queue for “akara” at my street junction on a Saturday morning or in the fact that no matter how full I am I can never say no to “ijebu garri” and “eja dindin” from iya wasiu.
However funny these answers are I have realized that these things make me a true Nigerian.
I am a true Nigerian because I am resilient, filled with hope for a good tomorrow. I believe in God, I believe in justice absolutely even when robbed by leaders daily. I believe that working hard, one day I will become somebody in the society. I believe that even if I don’t make it in this life that my offsprings would and will carry on the glory of my name. I believe in hardwork, I believe I must continue striving no matter how difficult, even dying in the process. I am a true Nigerian with my first and foremost duty to God and to righteousness which is my most valuable service to Nigeria.
My motherland is my first and highest consideration. Welfare of the nation is my own welfare. Therefore, I will willingly offer up even my own life for this country I inculcate the members of my circle of influence the spirit of patriotism, love for the country and service to Nigeria and fellow citizen
To all those other true Nigerians out there, those in the market places striving for their though meager income but at least honest income, those in the Niger delta living in oil spilled villages yet refusing to take up arms, those in the villages toiling in the burning sun, those in the cities toiling endlessly to make ends meet, those who are rich and are spending their money on the masses building industries to employ many… philanthropic to a fault.
Even the ’’Andrews’’ who though they toil in foreign lands doing unimaginable jobs their meager resources is used to keep thousands at home, those who work hard for every penny they earn…those incorruptible even when the entire system is programmed to support corruption, those who lead respectable lives, love their families, kinsmen, those who would give all they have to their fellow men , those filled with love for their fellow countrymen….I salute you all for that believe you all have to this project called Nigeria…..I dough my hat to you all for that positive spirit of renascent Nigeria we all share.
That spirit that acknowledges the problems and pains we have as a people yet refuse to give up on the shinning possibilities of a brighter future. It is that spirit that refuses to be defined by the glib negatives, a spirit that insists on doing the difficult but necessary work of building a strong foundation for a better future even as we learn from the mistakes of the past. A spirit to fight and also make peace while standing strong.
I am a true Nigerian because I feel Nigerian, think Nigerian, speak Nigerian plus I love Nigeria and despite our differences I have come to respect and accept each one in their own right. I just can’t get Nigeria out of my head.it pops up in my mind daily by default. I love this country, the people, even the word Nigeria is just……I am a true Nigerian because I live what I have come to term the Nigerian life…..A life where principle and courage meets patriotism thus making my family, my nation and my God proud. I am a true Nigerian. Are you?
This beautiful patriotic piece was Written by: Onyeodi Ifeanyi #Fela #Scapula #gregdcutie
A Medical Student at CMUL, LUTH IDI ARABA and author of http://www.gregdcutie.blogspot.com
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