We Didn't Choose To Be Nigerians
Have you ever wished you were born into the royal family of Queen Elizabeth II? Have you ever wished your dad was some notable business guru like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Jeff Bezos? Maybe you never have. I had. When I was much younger, in my early teens. I was very uncomfortable with my family. Not just my family but the colour of my skin. I wished I was born into a white family or somewhere not related to Africa. I did not like being dark-skinned. Although, I was always praised for the uniqueness of my skin colour, I was never satisfied. I felt I would be prettier if i were light-skinned. I wanted a good life too. My parents were middle-class Nigerians who could only afford the basic necessities of life. I wanted a whole lot more. Schooling in top notch schools, vacation in my choice country at my will, good food (cos I am a foodie), pretty clothes and every other luxury life can present. Although, I was not able to get all the luxury that I wanted, I learnt overtime what I can do better to live better.
I have come to realise that there are certain things not within your purview of control. They are your country of origin, race, parents, siblings, and your descent. Instead of focusing on what you will be unable to control, you can choose to change the narrative of what is within your circle of influence.
Recently, there have been issues in the national and international space that have made me question my loyalty and support for my country. There was the case of Hushpuppi. The exclusion of Nigerians from certain international job offers. We also had Nigeria being among the countries excluded from entering into Europe and the frequent national corruption of government agencies being exposed on national TV.
Often time, it is easy to condemn people for their wrong behaviour. Yes, you may be ashamed of Nigeria or Nigerians at the moment but what are you doing about it? The general view of people arose as a result of the actions of few Nigerians who chose to write their own narrative. You have the space to rewrite history few days, weeks, months or even years from now. Start with your own self. What narrative do you want the world to know about you, your family or Nigeria? Corruption may be systemic today. Politicians may be jokers but if you are not careful enough, you will end up like them. What does your value system look like? How does it differ from what is obtainable of Nigerians? We did not choose to be Nigerians but we can choose who we want to be and what we want to be known for.
You can change the narrative for your children and the country. It takes deliberate and intentional decisions. The America of today was built by some purposeful and passionate individuals. You may not be able to change the past but you can change the future. Let the disappointment and irritation of the existing state of affairs spur you into drastic courageous decisions.
Start today and choose your own story.