The Nigerian in me ;)

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I’m Nigerian, proudly AK, I believe in transformation, excellence (thank you Pst Paul of Lagos…LOL), all things leading somewhere to happen, impacting lives and changing statusquo. I’m Nigerian (I repeat) and I’m proud. Corruption has got nothing on me (no thanks Cameron).

People are entitled to their opinion and so I will grant them their due audience, though I made a covenant with my ears (earlier in the year) not to listen to anything negative – visual or audio. I might look at it or listen so as to know how to address it, but I do not entertain it, invite it into my heart and home or give it a dwelling place in my sphere. There is so much negativity trading and showing off already, why would I go a-searching for more?!

That people say we are bad, ill-mannered, fantastically-corrupt, and all dem bad-bad names dem a call we (forgive the fake patwah) does it mean you should wear the tag gladly without making any attempt to work on what needs correcting? Yes, they have pointed all these out, why not take their opinion as a list of things to strike off our pattern of behaviour and form new and better ones worth emulating?

I’m Nigerian, Born-again and Proud of where I drink from spiritually. I am taught to keep my biscuit and chocolate wrap with me till I get to the bin and deposit it nicely. It has gotten so bad that yesterday, when I walked into a mall, I saw a wrap and then a plastic bottle on the floor I almost picked them up before moving on. No I didn’t pick them for many reasons; but the one we do often (my King and I) is we don’t let you get away with dumping your trash on the road whilst driving. If you attempt to or do it, we would drive up to you and inform you to keep it in your car till you are able to do it. I don’t know what it is, but everyone we have told this, always look sober and apologetic. Whether they keep up with the new-found habit is what we cannot tell or confirm.

Last week, someone close to me, absentmindedly dropped something very tiny from the car and before I realised it, the deed had been done. Oh yes, I gave the ‘lecture’ which the person already knows for your information and I also observed on that beautiful day, the response I got innocently was “It’s the Nigerian in me”. I told the person I would write about it, so we all learn to curb that “Nigerian in us” that wants to remain in the not-going-anywhere-to-become-better-arena. Guess what, the tiny particle even refused to drop from the car and got stuck between the window and the door! LOL. We had a good laugh.

We all have “the Nigerian in us” but here is a call to consciously decide daily which Nigerian we allow show wherever we are and whilst you are thinking about it, I hail o! *Twale!

*AK – Akwa Ibom

*Twale – A form of greeting

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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5 responses »

  1. Frances, I’m glad to hear that because I’m sure there is lots of history, music, art, innovation and thought that is wonderful in your country. I look forward to you sharing that with us. No country can claim the moral authority over anyone else because they are all corrupt. Let’s talk and explore what is wonderful about our countries and share it with others.
    Leslie

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