Being Nigerian goes beyond citizenship. It is a state of being. A state of being as varied as the many languages that can be found in the country. It is a culture and a real way of life. Sometimes, it can function as a survival skill; at other times, it comes with mindsets you need to break free from. Still, what does being Nigerian entail? Below are some of the thoughts that come to mind.
Being Nigerian, sometimes, can mean originating from one part of the country, living in another and, sometimes, never having never stepped foot in your state of origin. It can mean living like a migrant, in your own country – calling one place home, but knowing deep inside that, it is not really home.
Being Nigerian, sometimes, can mean having a semblance of multiple personality disorder (and saying God forbid right after reading this 😏). It can mean that different locations call for different changes in behaviour and, some, more than others. It implies being sophisticated with a pinch of razz; living in the holy but with witchcraft ancestral ties; claiming sanity with a little madness on the side; thinking in twenty-first-century but second guessing in superstition; driving past an accident with prayers but still on high speed and living in a system where innocent men can be put in prison for thieves to attain presidency.
Being Nigerian, sometimes, can mean living life like it is a paradox. Something like a general love for jollof but wars and rumours of wars when it comes to tribes OR a deeper trust in BB Naija results than INEC results. What of the super power of understanding our President enough to feel disappointed even though we do not hear a pinch of what is said. It could mean audacity where others would have none, like facing bullets with only flags to hold and burying cowardice to resurrect as bold.
Most of all, being Nigerian is having hope, even when everything says no; claiming joy even when broken by a system; laughing even if surrounded by sorrow and doing your part for a better tomorrow.
What does being Nigerian look like to you? Let me know in the comment section…