I’ve always wondered about the citizenship rights and tribalism in Nigeria.
I’m from Delta State, my mom is Edo and her grandma was half Hausa. I was born in Ibadan, lived there till I was three years old. Raised and schooled in Lagos and presently doing NYSC in Akure.
My dad grew up in the East and schooled in the West.
We speak only English in the house cos that’s the only language we all understand.
My house is typically WA-ZO-BIA and tribalism has never really been a part of us.
All things being equal, I should be a yoruba girl afterall if I was born in the U.S I’d be granted citizenship by way of my birth.
But still I am called omo-ibo by the near-sighted indigenes of this tribe despite the fact that yoruba remains the closest second to my official language- English!
I love being an Isoko girl and I love the diversity of our nation. A diversity I have had to live with from childhood but I have seen lives lost, love buried and peace banished just because a person’s name wasn’t easily pronounced.
People fear what they do not understand. Rather than embrace a culture different from theirs they choose to fight it vehemently and yet we all cry for one Nigeria!
Nigeria has become a global village along with the rest of the world. People who live in big cities have gradually lost all remnants of the culture their fore-fathers had save for the language and have instead adopted a homogenous behaviour common to the city in which they live.
Lagosians act like Lagosians. Regardless of tribe they are fast people. Fast cars, fast money, fast lives and hustling has become a motto. Lagos the centre of excellence-hustle or die!
No matter where you are from, once you live in lagos for a couple of years you become a Lagosian.
You get used to the traffic and working far from home. You even get used to and eventually join the throng of people in their quest to live glamorous lives despite the biting poverty. You adopt common slangs-swagger, efizzy, yahooze and even modify your dresscode.
Lagosians are alike. A new breed of people. It doesn’t matter if you were ibo, yoruba or hausa to begin with. Wherever you go, if you’ve lived in Lagos, you are a special hybrid!
An ibo girl born and raised in Owerri cannot behave like an ibo girl born and raised in Las gidi.
They differ in mentality, thought processes, social skills and attitude. A yoruba girl raised in the North cannot behave like the regular Akure girl. Parents in the past preferred intratribal marriages because of the similarities in up-bringing and cultural norms and practices but can that truly be the case nowadays?
One can safely say that regardless of tribe, most of the people who were born from 1978-1988 and raised in Lagos as kids had similar childhoods.
Childhoods influenced by school, NTA, sunday school, My book of Bible stories, Tales by Moonlight and the prevailing soap operas and stories of the time etc
The differences in our upbringing and mentalities stemmed from a conscious effort by our parents to produce children they could be proud of despite the prevailing urban-culture.
Finding a spouse who mirrors this upbringing and family values becomes more important than finding one whose great grand father lived on your great grand father’s street!
But why is it still such an issue? How do we curb the nepotism and tribalism present in Nigeria?
How do we stop the endless killings in Jos for good? Killings that stem from bad blood on account of religion and tribe. These men that killed lived amongst these people for years, they ate together, walked together and were influenced by the same social stressors but chose to focus on their differences in the presence of mayhem.
Many intending couples have been thrust into a harsh reality by parents unwilling to embrace the globalization that has befallen us. Partners have been dumped and relationships severed all in the name of preserving a culture that is not even reflected in the lives of those enforcing the rule.
Gallant individuals have faced enstrangement and disinheritance because they chose to follow their hearts rather than dance to tradition’s age old tune.
Are we truly globalized as a nation? Can we really be called one people. Even politicians acquire positions primarily to look after themselves and their people regardless of the rest of the country. How will Nigeria ever get better if we don’t acknowledge that our so-called brothers are truly flesh and blood by way of our independence and amalgamation to form this great nation?
When will we stop pointing fingers and instead allow a ‘one-Nigeria’ begin from our door step?!
Here’s my definition of globalisation;
An Isoko girl born and bred in Yoruba land marries an Ibo man settles in the North and has a Calabar housekeeper. That wasn’t so hard was it?
Till my voice is heard, I’ll keep shouting;
End Tribalism. Inside we are all the same, tradition dwells amongst us but should not over rule our hearts and humanity!
Omo Yoruba ni mi oh!
Have a great day peeps!!! Xoxo