As I watch the leaves blossom again ahead of the fall, far away in a peaceful place, a gazebo made of raffia with a beautiful interior in another continent, I ponder on what Nigeria’s independence means to me at this time. These thoughts are born out of my recent exposure to orderliness, systems’ functionality and citizen’s adherence to processes as opposed to what is obtainable in my dear country.
Being born and bred in Nigeria, Nigeria is the only place I can call my home. People say, a home is a place where your heart lies, truly that is what Nigeria is to me. How I wish that our good wishes for our country can become a reality with just a wink of an eye. I have had so many pleasant memories here with our rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscape. The warmth of the people and the serenity of our localities. The image of my dear country in my mind is as beautiful as the moment itself.
Having worked in several developments sectors- from child security to education, conflict and peacebuilding, disability inclusion, gender equality and providing support to government institutions including the Electoral Management body and the legislative arm of government, I can say that I am one of those who truly wish that we can all have a Nigeria of our dreams. A place where justice and equity reign with good infrastructure for the wellbeing of every Nigerian. A Nigeria that is owned by every Nigeria and of which, we can all be proud of.
My dear friend Latiwa Amato said to me recently, “Didi, the future is Africa”. In the depth of the shambles, failed leadership, infrastructural decay and youths ‘jappa-ing’ everywhere, those words brought so much pride, hope and vigour in me.
As we mark the nation’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, I ponder on a few things but most especially- What makes us unique and the envy of many? I found my answers as I moved through the streets, stores and corporate establishments abroad. Nigerians are strong, we are daring, we are focused, and we are achievers. We are cheerful and hopeful, we never give up, we survive, we match up and level up and above all, ‘we no dey carry last’. All these make us visible.
I know seasons change and times too. Many dreams have got to be met some of which Nigeria cannot provide at the moment. One thing Nigerians need to remember is that the future is Africa. So as we mark this year’s independence anniversary, let’s look beyond our odds, let’s keep hope alive. Let’s contribute our lot within our space and await patiently the change that we desire.