Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are we really free or Neo-colonised?

It's Wednesday, and I'm so thankful for God's grace and mercy. There are so many amazing miracles around me that I can't count.

But it's not really a thankful post. I'm bothered about something and I need to let it out. Aloted wrote a post recently and although I didn't comment on it, I was saying hear hear!

I know a lot of us would rather lose our green passport if we carry any and pick up a blue or red one for life. We hate this country. Does anything even work here? And for some of those who live abroad, when I hear comments they make about Nigeria, it makes me want to cry. There's nothing wrong with living abroad or anywhere but there's something wrong when you see no good in your own roots or your own culture.

Trust me, I know a lot is wrong with this country that should be fixed. We have a million and one challenges. Governance, leadership, etc etc..but it's not all gloom and doom. I watched a show yesterday and all the expatriates that were interviewed had one word in common about being here- opportunities. I kept listening for that word, which sadly a lot of my country men and women don't see.
This is actually not a post about patriotism either. I'd like you to be patriotic though. Your country is your country and even if you do carry another passport, your roots are here. Neo-colonialism is a word I'm sure a number of us are familiar with and I'm seeing a trend that is just making me so sad.

I have been guilty of it too. On Independence day, I asked hubby why the president couldn't have worn a suit and he wisely asked me why he should. Should he wear a suit so he can look colonised? That word got me thinking. But I had my pay back time a few days later (lol). Hubby accused me jokingly of speaking too much Yoruba when we visited a friend. I let him finish and I reminded him of what he told me. I asked him what was wrong with speaking too much Yoruba, not enough colonialism in that, is there? We all laughed.

I speak a lot of Yoruba, I grew up speaking mostly Yoruba to my parents and none of us (my siblings and I) has turned out badly in the English speaking department. Infact, two out of us five have English degrees, and the third person is on his way to bagging one. I speak very good English if I dare say so myself. My mum majored in English for her teaching certificate and she made sure we said English words with the right diction but she taught her children Yoruba. I see it as an advantage, I can hold my own speaking the two languages. Maybe she should have insisted I learnt a third language. I don't write Yoruba too well but I can write it.

On the show yesterday, a black American woman who had lived here for 33 years said she migrated because she wanted her kids to have a culture and a root and she insisted that they spoke only Yoruba in their house while growing up. She said we have a rich culture but we're losing it gradually. I agree and it's extremely sad. I don't do Yoruba traditional worship in case you're wondering lol.

These days I hear of kids who live here in Nigeria but can't eat any real Nigerian food. What in God's name is that? They can't even pronounce their own names correctly! And they think it's 'razz' to speak their native languages. If they can't speak, how can they write??? I'll blame a lot of it on their parents who have given them no sense of pride in their heritage. Some kids won't touch native wear ever, when they can wear jeans.

I saw something on facebook a few days ago and I actually ranted on my profile. Someone wrote 'erekpa lo wah shey'. Is that Yoruba or some foreign language??? I can understand when a non Yoruba peron writes like that but for a Yoruba grown man, it's just totally unacceptable. We should be able to write the basics of our own language. Erekpa is erepa, wah is wa and shey is se. I felt like giving him a lecture...I have seen people write 'jo' as jor. Please it's not an English word, no yoruba word ends with an R.

I bet such blunders might be going on with other Nigerian languages, only I don't know those languages.

I reject every form of colonialism, I am free and I refuse to resell my birthright. I'm proudly African, proudly Nigerian and proudly Yoruba. We should be proud of our rich heritage. I'm afraid the younger generation will meet no culture if we go on this way. God forbid that I let that happen to my children!