In search of the Nigerian dream (2)
Firstly, this is not one of those, Nigeria will be great so don’t ‘check out’ type of write-ups. Nigeria as we know it is in a serious state of chaos. Salaries are been owed for as long as eight months in some states. We are at best a work in progress which would have been true if we were actually working progressively.
Things are ‘shitty’ right now and Hope is a very expensive commodity at the moment but we have to buy it, steal it or borrow it by any means necessary.
Secondly, there are a lot of hardworking individuals who have left the shores of this country for various reasons and have made a future for themselves. This is not a piece to place an embargo on their achievements or downplay the significance of their contributions to their new country or even Nigeria as the case may be (a lot of families in Nigeria have benefitted from having people in these countries, ask Western Union). I would never advocate a case where their reasons for travelling were regarded as betrayal of any sorts. We are talking about real life, not fairy tale wishes and hypothetical leanings towards a form of nationalism that is not founded on reality.
Thirdly and finally, this piece is all about searching for the Nigerian dream, looking for that missing piece that makes us proud to be Nigerians (especially when Nigeria is not playing a football match). It’s about looking for that narrative that makes sense to a majority of all Nigerians. That narrative that gives succour founded in a united vision of what being a Nigerian represents. It is about going into our past and finding the strings that bind us as a nation. Definitely about holding our heads to the sky and knowing that our value as people whose contributions to the future of humanity is well celebrated.
Contributions to medicine are not derided first by us as a people but pushed forward as an example of what it means to be Nigerian. It’s about what it means to come from the most populous black nation on earth. It is a narrative that calls to question everything we believe in as a people. For us to make a way for ourselves, we would have to change our world view. What would it mean to look at the world through the eyes of a Nigerian as opposed to having our view disfigured and discoloured by the lens that is foreign? It would mean our leaders finally realising that Nigeria should be the centre of their world. We should know that our culture and heritage is fit for the world stage. Also, that the world is ready for a great Nigeria and the time is now to push forward this great country of ours.
This is as much about me as it is about you who are reading this. It’s time to take a minute to evaluate your beliefs, to question what you stand for, to take a long hard look at the mirror and seriously ask yourself some hard questions. We are all in this together, whether Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo, whether Fulani, Urhobo, Ijaw, Tiv or Ibibio. This is the time to really reflect on what our shared collective vision of the Nigerian dream is. It is very much about identity.
The Nigerian dream and the Nigerian identity go pretty much hand in hand. The concept of greatness whether by a nation or an individual would start with introspection. The journey outward starts with the journey inward. Like a tree that must first push its roots deep within the earth for stability and nourishment. The deeper the root usually means the stronger the tree. Like that tree, we need to find our collective roots.
The Nigerian identity tells us who we are. It tells us that Nigeria is a great nation filled with great people. A land of boundless opportunities filled with the kind of people who will work to turn these opportunities into reality. It is that identity that guarantees that wherever we are in the world, we are proud of who we are and what we stand for.
It is that dream that propels a nation forward. It is that dream that propels people to stop complaining for a minute and take a look around and see how blessed we are.
On a final note, I have a theory that I usually espouse to anyone willing to listen: The future of the black race as a people is tied in with the evolution of this country, Nigeria. It is definitely bigger than us.
I earlier wrote about the airports and how Nigerians are flying out in search of the dream. The conundrum is not in the departure lounge but in the arrivals with the multitude of foreigners coming into the country. I guess they have found the Nigerian dream.