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!


Dee! said...

Longest time!

But wait o! Is it possible for any Nigerian NOT TO EAT Nigerian Foods? That is strange!

I am proud to be a Nigerian and I am determined to leave a better Nigeria for generations unborn. So help me God!

Fragilelooks said...

i've met a couple of foreigners who say,NAIJA is the way to go for them and it makes me wonder why we nigerians don't have that faith in our own land. its so sad.
i think those here complain alot about the bad making those in diaspora believee they cant work and survive here.

if u can survive in naija , you will make it everywhere else.

NoLimit said...

Hee hee hee! you've corrected me loads of time when I say jor instead of jo...put it this way...I know it is Jo but then for the benefit of my non Yoruba speaking friends, I break it down for them properly!
That is not to say I can't write it properly(with amin on it self)
If people want to be neo-colonised...its a shame but I can't open their eyes for them!
Naija nile,Yoruba ni mi and I won't ever deny my root!
The Naija @ 50 party organised in the UK by the Nigerian high commission would have vexed you madly!lol...apart from moi-moi for starters, only English meal was served!So I heard from a very reliable source:)

NoLimit said...

In reality,do you know that foreigners have more opportunities in Naija than Nigerians themselves? yes it is part of the "neo-colo"
Well imagine being on a queue waiting to be attended to and there's a foreigner on the queue and someone suddenly comes to pick the foreigner out to jump the queue just because he is a foreigner...have you ever experienced that type of injustice in your own country?
Well if you haven't, I'm telling you now that it happens!
You can bet the foreigner lived to tell the story cos I was on that queue and trust me, I went ballistic!!! Hence the reason they are prone to see more opportunities than omo onile themselves...
But that is definitely not an excuse to bad mouth naija...all I'm saying is na we dey do ourselves! Period!!!

Myne Whitman said...

I love naija sha, and it always confuses me when some of us want to paint the country all black. Hmmm...

blackgold said...

You are so right ,i agree with you

doll said...

hey sister.been a while...hope you have been good

Anonymous said...

Rant thee not that they 'kill' Yoruba in writing. They have also murdered the English language with all the nauseating 'short-forms' of writing words (most especially in text messages).

All these are often done unfortunately as a sense of 'style'. Correct someone (in English) and you hear, 'pidgin' is Nigeria's language. *chokes*.

We simply should stop celebrating ineptitude consciously in the name of 'style'.

Whoever will speak English should do, whoever will speak Yoruba...., Ibo...., Hausa......, should speak but, bastardise none.

Whoever choses not to know his(her) father's culture and ethics will probably have to 'struggle' to learn another one.

Be that as it may, some will always celebrate their 'fathers'.

LG said...

NOW if u dont want me colonising dis blog, u bera update more often :)
*hope u r gud tho' otojo meta'

Anonymous said...

"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!" ... what??????? Now, that's a serious issue.

My hubby and I were just discussing this evening about the trend of Nigerians here in the UK giving their children English names (probably so they can blend in easily among friends)...

He made a remark that I really like and buy into...he said "I don't mind giving my child an English name, but it wouldn't be because I'm in England".

I'm all for being truly Naija and repping my country to the max...hubby and I frequently rock our native outfits to church, and we attract all kinds of lovely comments, and we take the opportunity to educate our commenters a bit on nigeria, her cultures, and her fabrics...

I'm sick of hearing foreign journalists report nigeria in a negative light...and I'm even sicker of hearing nigerians themselves speak nothing good about our dear country...she's no where near great yet, but not even the so called developed countries achieved what they have today overnight, and certainly not by their citizens speaking ill of their country...

The change we desire must begin FIRST with US.

2cute4u said...

I am loving you so much for your post.I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with us.It gets so bad to watch or observe at times. You did well with this post.
If anyone wants to lose their identity,I'm glad that a few still care to keep theirs. I just want to thank you and Naijalines for writing similar posts.

Tyger said...

This is the most "on point" post you have ever done! I agree with you 100%.

I still cannot believe that there are children growing up in Nigeria who dont Nigerian food! Forgive my harshness but are their parents crazy?

Is it possible to speak too much Yoruba?

Why wont anyone wear our local fabric? apart from the fact that they are on international catwalks, they are our local fabrics and that is enough reason to wear them....

I have been told I speak too much Yoruba for someone living in the UK - I dont know what that means!

Seriously! we are the part of the Change Nigeria needs

Adiya said...

You're speaking a lot of truth! Yeah, Nigerians have been thoroughly colonized- especially the youth. That's one of the reasons why foreign things are preferred. It's quite sad really.

P.S. If you want you can check out my blog

Another P.S. You write so well!

LusciousRon said...

I love this post! Omo yoruba ni mi! I speak and write it very fluently and I remember people labelling me as 'razz' and 'yoruba dictionary' when I speak indigenously! But I don't care I still do my thing. It is sad the way things are going though.

lamikayty said...

hmmmm....def not headed in that direction....I'm also a proud Nigerian! and Yoruba ni mi!

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