I was scrolling through YouTube as I do very often and I saw a suggestion for Childish Gambino’s video for “This is America”, probably some hours after it was uploaded. It was definitely something.
Not long after that, it became pretty obvious that parodies were going to pop up and surely enough we got . . .This is Nigeria.
We’ve all seen or heard about Falz’s video that basically summarised Nigeria’s issues in three minutes. It went viral and even got recognition outside Nigeria. But like all things, it received both praise and bashing.
While I was content with seeing Falz do the shaku shaku, some people were complaining that he copied Childish Gambino’s idea, which made no sense because that’s the whole point of a parody. But anyway, I digress.
I was talking with one of my friends a few days later and I got to see another view. She said she had never seen so much negativity within the space of three minutes. The truth is, we all know Nigeria has issues, but here’s a fun fact: every nation does. Even the precious “Obodo Oyibo” that everybody want to run to, has issues.
If your friends abroad don’t tell you this then your friends are lying. Just sit and watch CNN for a few hours to broaden your perspective.
Why don’t we just shift our paradigm?
Allow me to present the unpopular view (amongst Nigerians, which is ironic).
This is Nigeria. The land of resilience. The place where everyone has their struggles but still manages to pull off “suffering and smiling”. Nigeria still hasn’t crumbled after everything it has been through. That’s a wonder in it’s own right.
This is Nigeria. The land of diversity. Take a walk in Lagos and you’d know what I mean. We live the diversity that Hollywood is trying so hard to portray in their movies. Rich in culture is what we are. The Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa classifaction just doesn’t do Nigeria enough justice.
This is Nigeria. The land of wealth (yes). Where we’re still suffering the aftermath of recession but somehow the Super Eagles’ jersey sold out at the Nike store in just a couple of minutes.
This is Nigeria. The land of opportunities. Where dying companies come and leave rich. If your company can make it in Nigeria, it can make it in Africa. Just stop and wonder why Chinese companies that manufacture products like Tecno and Infinix phones focus so largely on the Nigerian market. You don’t invest where you’re not getting returns. Nigerian market potentially equals big bucks.
This is Nigeria. The land with the cuisine. We have such a wonderful menu of food that it should be a tourist attraction in itself. Name one high profile person who visited Nigeria and gave us a bad mouth.
This is Nigeria. The land of the brilliant. Just check the statistics in international schools and be proud of their heritage.
This is Nigeria. The land of the gifted. Where the untapped resources of raw talent lay waiting to be plucked.
Don’t you see? We’re blessed and we need to start portraying ourselves that way. Let’s stop complaining about what we don’t have and start taking measures towards fixing it, while being grateful for what we have that people outside definitely see that we don’t.
Familiarity breeds contempt, I guess.