Nigerian blog round-up: 'Naija state of mind'
- 1 October 2010
- From the section Africa
As Nigeria celebrates 50 years of independence, the BBC News website looks to Nigerian bloggers for their take on the nation's Golden Jubilee.
Blogger Temie Giwa marks Nigeria's 50 years of independence on NigeriansTalk with a letter along the lines of one that would be written by a scorned lover and is entitled:
"WE NEED TO TALK!"
"It's so painful to have to listen to you complain about how I never fulfill any of your needs, provide for you at all, and how you wish to leave me. It hurts so much. Our relationship cannot continue like this. Something has to change... We just fight all the time. Even when I tried to use some money to throw us a 50th anniversary party so that we can rekindle our love (wink wink) you decided that I was being wasteful and you complained and called me all sorts of name. I mean I am trying here, you know, just making an effort. Honestly, When was the last time you said, Oh Nigeria, you look so wonderful?"
While blogger Bunmi Oloruntoba looks to American pop culture to gauge the world's perception of Nigeria, writing that: "Nigerians are the new ridiculous super villains of the modern age." And going on to use the film Mister Johnson, based on Joyce Carey's book, to describe Nigeria at 50:
"The character Johnson comes across as persistant, clueless, a bad bookeeper, creative, innovative, has a zero grasp of nuance, childish, ambitious, audacious, reflexive, and always too happy; or you could say, always happily scheming. Though Johsnon was stuck in the colonial era, the character seems a walking, complex microcosm of Nigeria at 50."
Black Looks says she's, "not really marking this 50th year of failure." Instead she writes on 50 years of Nigerian feminism in a tribute to Nigerian women of action:
"I am going to focus on some of the Nigerian women (some may identify as feminists, some may not) who have taken action towards achieving justice and social, economic, environmental and political change... The women mentioned largely remain nameless but their actions have not been forgotten. They have much to teach us with their courage and tenacity... This is not to elevate women to a superior place in our societies but to recognize that it is in the interest of men and everyone irrespective of their gender, status, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference to engage with feminism so as to create an environment where radical transformation can take place."
NzeSylva chooses to not indulge in the nation's supposed favourite pastime of self-condemnation:
"Some people have argued and with good reason I must admit, that the nation is a complete failure at 50 and that there is absolutely nothing worthy of celebration. I don't disagree. Indeed as I type, I see my laptop battery draining. Power is out and my neighbours' generator is buzzing like a million vuvuzela's just outside my window. But today I don't hear the sound. I refuse to subscribe to the notion that that's the best my country can offer. I refuse to be infected with the belief that nothing can work in this country. I reject the talk that my generation is a wasted generation... I refuse."
Contributors to Naija Stories have been interpreting Nigeria's Golden Jubilee with short stories.
King Jay's NIGERIA BY 2050 envisions a future where Britain and France are debtor nations and marriages are clinched over a wish to have a Nigerian passport:
Emmanuel-Iduma's Electronic Freedom expresses a desire for a change at 50, through a mutating Facebook relationship:
And Nwanne UK's IN MY REVERIE... longs for a piece of cake:
Ifreke's story Breaking Free is about getting over a past lover:
"I thought I had gotten over Demilade Matthew. It was clear at this point that I hadn't moved on. I still felt something for him. As hard as it sounded to me, I had to leave him in my past. It was time to grow up."
And Fabian writes of things that change and things that don't in I believe:
Salisu Suleiman writes a poem on his blog:
My youth have no past, present nor future.
So my sons in the North have become street urchins and his brothers in the South have become kidnappers.
My nephews die of thirst in the Sahara and his cousins drown in the Mediterranean.
My daughters walk the streets of Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, while her sisters parade the streets of Rome and Amsterdam.
I am grief-stricken, please celebrate me.
CP-AFRICA.COM - Changing the Africa Conversation
Segun Adekoye blogs about The "Naija" State of Mind on CP-Africa.com:
"This frame of mind believes in being sympathetic with the causes that need empathy, respectful to the ones that deserve reverence and abusive to the ones that arouse their arrogance... This message is conveyed by the Average driver's sense of ownership of the road, the power authority's monopolistic electric supply and failure and the National leaders' manic grasp of the seat of power."
"I thought about this quote: "I tell you my country no be one/I mean no be yesterday I born." It was written by Wole Soyinka in his musical album of the eighties: Unlimited Liability, referring - of course - to the fact that the way each of the constituent parts of the country called Nigeria looked at the nation differed depending on where one lived, or the socialization process of one's growth into adulthood. The problem with looking at the quote from the dark side is that we tend to overlook its redeeming tendencies. Nigeria, indeed, is not one country. Like the many nations born out of compulsion, and sometimes necessity, it usually takes a long while to evolve into a state of true homogeneity. Diversity, and a different way at looking at the world may yet be the best gift with which we would head out into the second fifty years of this country's existence, and may hold the key to the success we seek. And there's nothing really special about a "One Nigeria" anyway. Let us seek means of expression of the many Nigerias present in this melange, but let them all be happy. The future could be more exciting."
Japheth is not at all impressed at Nigeria turning 50, and writes of Shame, Shambles and 50 years of In-Dependence:
"Would the president be in a celebration mood if his children were among the 15 children that will live with the scar of their abduction for life even if they survive the ordeal? Will the governors be in celebration mood if their children had any stake in the rot of the educational system? I used to know armed men as folks who operated at night, but that is the old way. They now operate at anytime. Kidnapping looked to be a fight for regional justice but it has become the most lucrative form of business besides official sleaze. I can't just get the 15 kidnapped children off my mind. CNN milked the story and that alone should have been enough to make us bow our heads like a soon to be 50 years old man who has just discovered his own old jobless elderly children have kidnapped his little ones. I almost slumped as I watched the news relayed on CNN in our so called independence week. What a shame!"
But on Bella Naija there is much to celebrate, so you be the judge:
"Wow! The D-Day is almost here. 1st of October 2010, Nigeria "the giant of West Africa" is celebrating its 50th anniversary since independence from the British colonialists. From lingerie parties to fashion shows to church programmes, almost everyone is joining the celebration. Some state governments are sponsoring concerts while others are hosting special banquets. Many are asking, "Is there anything worth celebrating?" You be the judge. We know that our friends in diaspora are also celebrating with us. Have fun! Enjoy your weekend and as Nigerian Presidents says as they round of their speeches - God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria."