Wednesday, 30 November, 2022

thenewnigerian

Proudly Nigerian


proudly nigerian

I am proudly Nigerian! The pay off line, ‘glo with pride;’ is associated with the telecommunications company called Globacom. I do not consider it a mere slogan. It is a statement of pride felt by someone who is associating with a particular brand.

‘Pride’ the noun and ‘proud’ the adjective are not always negative words. There is the negative aspect, so when a person is told to avoid pride or called proud, it is not a palatable tag. That person is seen as carrying a superior attitude, armed with the belief that others are not as important as he or she is.

That is bad!

But there is the positive pride that glories on the good and sheds accolades on worthy achievements. When a father is proud of his son, a woman is proud of her husband, citizens of a nation are proud of one of their own who excels in a certain endeavour, that is positive pride.

That is not bad!

You can take pride in positive things and not earn the tag of being proud. You can be proud of your associations without a feeling of a bad attitude. You should take pride in your association with the country you come from.

I am a proud citizen of Nigeria.

Someone sang a song, ‘I am proud to be Nigerian.’ Not many are singing that song and glowing with pride. Many Nigerian citizens these days express disdain for the nation of Nigeria and are happy when they get passports of other nations. Some change their names and try to erase every connection to anything connected with Nigeria.

Manufacturers are reluctant to attach the ‘Made in Nigeria’ tag to products because they are afraid that people will not buy those products. The use of the tag ‘proudly Nigerian’ seems to attract more of rejection than acceptance, because even the Nigerian citizens feel the products or services will be below standard.

This is bad!

I know all the excuses one can give. The corruption cases, the bad leadership examples, the menace of herdsmen and other vices that make many Nigerians cringe in shame and hide their heads when their nationality is announced outside the shores of this country.

Chimamanda was being interviewed by some foreigners and she was displeased with the way officials in that nation kept her waiting, asking her irrelevant questions, all because she had a Nigerian passport. She spoke the minds of millions of Nigerians who are harassed in other nations because of the reputation the nation has gathered.

If foreigners act this way, I will show no surprise, because all that many of them know about Nigeria is what they read about on the news. Many have never travelled to Nigeria. When Nigerians despise their own country, this act gives me cause for concern.

The proverb, ‘There is no place like home,’ rings true. Nigeria is our home country and there is no other place we can call home. No matter how much you are accepted in another country, you cannot compare that with the acceptance you will receive from among your own people. A child usually feels more acceptance in a mother or father’s arms than in the arms of a total stranger.

Nigeria should not be associated with only the bad. Nigerians are making the nation proud, both within and outside the nation. The appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first female and first African director of the World Trade Organisation, the world record broken by Tobi Amusan, shows that there is cause to use the expression, ‘Proudly Nigerian.’

I belong to several writing groups on Facebook and I am impressed at the level of creativity displayed by many Nigerians. I beam when foreigners express their delight at Nigerian writings.

I am proud to be a Nigerian.

No matter how the majority feels, mediocrity is not synonymous with Nigeria. Nigerians are striving, despite the limitations of poor water supply, lack of electricity and all the other negative issues amplified by other nationals, to excel and make the nation proud.

I am Proudly Nigerian. I am proud of Nigeria.

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