52 years ago Nigeria won its independence from Great Britain. Compared to archaic nations such as Germany and younger nations like the United States of America, Nigeria is but an infant. Through and through I am proud of my heritage. I am a first generation Nigerian who was born in Washington, DC not long after my parents emigrated here.
Nigeria is a country that is rich in cultural history. I’m glad that even though I was born and raised in America my parents instilled a sense of cultural identity in me. I grew up learning Yoruba (although I can’t speak the language), eating the food (by far one of the best cuisines), attending a Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) Christian church and learning nuances unique to our culture.
One might ask if Nigeria is so great then why did my parents (as well as other cultures) break their necks coming here. That answer is simple. As I explained earlier Nigeria is still a fledgling nation by comparison and like most developing countries that were once under imperial rule our government is corrupt and/or incompetent. Nigeria has the largest population in Africa accounting for a quarter of west Africa’s population alone. If you look at a map you’ll notice that Nigeria is far from the largest country in terms of land mass. It doesn’t take a genius to know that this equals massive overcrowding especially in major cities. Due to huge oil reserves our country is rich in natural resources that could be used to bolster our economy. Instead greedy politicians ready to line their pockets with greenbacks become puppet leaders. These are the conditions that my parents decided to leave to make a better life for themselves and my older sister. I admire their ambition and ability to venture into the unknown.
52 years young and we’ve been through what most countries have in our position. Political strategies that usually amount to little gains, civil war and visions of becoming of global power and influence. Until my country can get past puppet regimes who want to mimic our old imperialism rulers and their allies we will be stuck where we are.
Nigeria has been through a lot and still has very far to go. It will be done because we are strong people who know the value of hard work and sacrifice. Happy Independence Day Nigeria.