Pooping Green Stuff (2)
Please look up the first one before you read on….
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Our leaders should have figured out by now that the easiest way to unite this country is sports. More specifically, football. We just LOOVE us some soccer. I’ll start where I have more vested interest: Nigeria’s women footballers rock! They show unrivalled commitment to the cause unlike our men. Especially at youth level where they recently got to their first finals in any FIFA-organized tournament. The Germans were even lucky to have won us. Hmph!
In 1994, Nigeria’s men qualified for her first World Cup. The gender placement of nations as female always cracks me up at times like these considering said World Cup was an all-male affair. But oh well… USA ‘94 was a blast though. A real blast – though I heard Argentina did ojoro on their way to defeating us. Maradona just had to get high, didn’t he? And who says I can’t say ojoro where I want? There’s no better way to describe what he did jare. What? Certainly if ojoro’s allowed, jare can’t be embargoed now, can it?
Anyway, speaking of jare and ojoro, we come to what I would want to describe as a high point in our growth as a people over the past 50 years – our pop culture.
It all generally starts from the music. Nigerian music has moved on over the years. In the past, we were good no doubt. What with all the Bongos Ikwes, Onyekas, Sunny Ades and Felas of the past generation. They set a pretty high bar and I think it is safe to say that the current crop has matched – if not surpassed – the accomplishments of the previous crew. If nothing else, we’ve gone global with it now. The world over, Nigerian music now has a face. And a sound. Thus, with regards to influencing pop-culture, things have gone a step further. And it has helped reinforce a sense of national identity especially with the youths. You’re patiently waiting for me to illustrate, no? Well, think of the fact that these days most people say “naija” instead of Nigeria. In fact, we write it as “9ja.” How cool is that?
Our movie industry isn’t doing too badly. However, it’s not doing great either. With the rise of more varying forms of media, came the unfortunate birth of widespread piracy and this has greatly limited the amount of financial risks filmmakers are willing to take. But we’ll get there. At least I hope so.
Nigeria’s biggest issue has to be power. Changing names from National Electric Power Authority to Power Holding Company of Nigeria hasn’t equaled a change in output. Or stability. Power is still uncomfortably erratic. Nigerians are unbelievably tenacious I have to say.
And herein lies the one constant through the years: the people. Irrespective of the fact that Oprah devoted an episode of her show to make us look like a band of cyber-criminals, or the fact that the popular American filmmaker (Peter Jackson of “Jurrasic Park” fame) produced a movie depicting all our women as prostitutes (District 9), Nigerians have remained a mentally strong force. A people who thrive in thick and thin. Little wonder that the rest of the world finds it lucrative to poach our best brains off us.
So what’s the solution to everything? Off the top of my head, prayer. Oodles of it. Aside from that, we really need to take responsibility and stop blaming everybody else: like the media, America, our colonial masters and religion. The time to act is now: action is the greatest present the present can present to the future. It is also the only solution to the errors of the past.
I’m going to be brutally honest: I wouldn’t turn down the offer of a passport to a developed country (even if na to travel once) but I wouldn’t give up my green one. Not for some other one, not for the world, not for anything…
A Proud Nigerian…