Guest Post: What Defines Nigeria?

Nigerian-IdentityWe talked about how Nigeria incessantly churned out mediocre entertainment whether in our movies or our music. We talked about Nollywood, (oh boy, did we talk about Nollywood); from its mediocre stories to its over-the-top acting. We talked about our former glory in sports, particularly the days of World Cup U.S.A. ’94 and the Atlanta ’96 Olympic games. We talked about our music, from Afro-beat to Afro-pop. We talked about our legends, from Fela Kuti to King Sunny Ade, and about the stars of today, from P-Square to D’Banj.

We talked about our legendary writers from Chinua Achebe to Wole Soyinka, from Cyprian Ekwensi to Abubakar Imam and our modern writers from Helon Habila to Chimamanda Adichie, from Lola Shoneyin to Teju Cole, writers who exist in a reading culture that doesn’t seem to enjoy the same attention it did in the past (except from abroad and only when there’s an award to win). We talked about Nigerian satire and the inability of some to grasp it.

We talked about our common spirituality and our politics (and the use of our spirituality in our politics). We talked about how we bash each other when the campaigns start come election time. We talked about our political activism, especially among the youth, and about how we live in a federal country that really isn’t federal in so many ways. We talked about tribal wars and religious differences. We talked about how sometimes people seem to develop political amnesia, forgetting such differences when elections come as long as someone will carry them along. We joked about how the best way to solve a Nigerian problem is to set up a committee and task its members to investigate the problem (which basically means delegate till there’s no delegating further).

We talked about our intellectuals and how we lose so many of them to that international disease called “brain drain”. We talked about how we bash any African country not named Nigeria (call it pride, shey you know na we be the giants of Africa?!).We talked about how we brag about things that really aren’t achievements like having the largest Black population in the world. We talked about how fashionable and trendy we are and about how loud we can be (you can always tell a Nigerian at an airport).

We talked about our many languages and how so many of us murder the only official language we have. We talked about how well-travelled Nigerians are and how warm we can be, sometimes even warmer to visitors than to ourselves. And how can I forget? We talked about how entrepreneurial we are (as a matter fact, if you need my services, call me at: 08080808080).

Most importantly perhaps, we talked about our enduring spirit and how through it all we remain one Nigeria.

NassirAbout the Author

Abdulnasir Imam works like an immigrant; with two jobs and not much to show for it. He runs two blogs as well (with only a small followership to show for it); the politically and the pop culture In his spare time he writes scripts and comes up with rap music you’ll probably never read or hear, unless he can muster the right amount of self-esteem. Help boost his ego, tell him he’s the best there ever was!

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