Friday, 23 August 2013
MESSAGE TO THE NAIJA GENERATION - BY IFUEKO OGUNBOR
There is no better time to be a Nigerian than now,the 21st century,the new millenium,the 2000's,2008.Yes,it is true!
I was inspired to write this article due to the unprecedented spate of verbal attacks against Nigeria and Nigerians on the Channel-O Oboma social network.Oboma is a social networking site which allows viewers of Mnet,Channel-O and Big Brother Africa to interact and share their opinions and views.I joined the network last year while the second edition of BBA was being aired live on television.Unlike this year,when i actually contributed to the forum and aired my opinions,last year i was merely a spectator.This was due to the fact that i wasn't particularly interested in BBA2 which was my main reason for signing up.I also thought the housemates were rather boring and most of the countries were not well-represented.
As much as i was looking forward to this year's show,i wasn't particularly excited about the prospects of BBA3.This is why i was rather impressed by most of the housemates and i still think they are the best set of housemates in the history of BBA.Anyway,i got hooked on the show and decided to become an active member of O-boma!Initially,all seemed fine and well as the housemates were judged by the O-boma forum-users based on their individual characters and performances in the house.About two weeks into the show however,the story changed.The forum-users began to hurl insults at the housemates based on the country they were representing,which resulted in a war of words among the various members from different countries.What struck me as odd after a careful analysis of the situation was that Nigeria and the Nigerian housemate seemed to be the prime targets!
This 'seemingly' strange turn of events made me wonder why a lot of other Africans despise Nigeria and Nigerians.Some call it 'beef',others think its just jealousy,but i was able to deduce that it was merely a case of insecurity,complex and fear of domination and intimidation by Nigeria and Nigerians.The attacks were merely a form of 'defense mechanism' employed by those people.
To be honest,i don't really blame them,we are after all the most populous black nation with over 140million citizens.Nigeria is a nation blessed with abundant mineral and natural resources,but the greatest resource we possess is our people and now more than ever,human resources in our country are being harnessed and put to good use.
Evidence of this can be found in various sectors of our economy and social lives,from music,fashion,movies,magazines,sports,literature to consumer products,social networks,information technology,telecoms,satellite television,to name a few,everyone is going 'PROUDLY NAIJA'.
We are witnessing a new trend,a new era in development and youth empowerment,the 'naija era'.Gone are the days of waiting for the government to provide job oppurtunities.Self employment seems to be the order of the day.Young enterpreneurs are springing up in all regions of the countries and even in the diaspora,young people are taking their destinies into their own hands and are creating oppurtunities for themselves.
We are the generation of change.Most of us were born when Nigeria was still under military rule in a post-civil war atmosphere.We have witnessed the atrocities committed by military rulers and government officials alike,the hardships suffered by Nigerians in the late 80s and early 90s.We have also been fortunate and blessed to see the change brought about by the advent of democracy in 1999.Democracy is almost a decade old now and in two years,we will be celebrating 50years of independence.
Although we can never erase the sins of our fathers who ran our beloved country to the ground through their greed and corruption,we can however begin to think and act positively so that our actions today can overshadow the ills of the past.We are already making a headway with this task.We have got the momentum,so the ball is in our court.It may sound cliche or maybe even corny,but we are actually the future and our actions and decisions will contribute immensely to the development of our country.We are the 'proudly naija' generation and no one can take that away from us.
Little wonder then,why those other Africans might seem 'reasonably' intimidated.
As we celebrate our 48th Independence anniversary in a few days,please remember to pray for the nation,think positive and remain PROUDLY NAIJA!
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY IN ADVANCE!!!