Over the years, people from all over the world have had different things to say about “the giant of Africa”. Some have been good, some have been bad. If we are being honest, the bad has outweighed the good. Despite the patriotic song released and the branding campaign to have Nigerians and Nigeria recognised as Good People. Great Nation, the country is still disregarded by so many – especially, by its citizens.
No doubt the country is currently troubled, corrupt and in need of strong leadership, but what country isn’t… if you really look at it? A number of citizens are ashamed to flash their green passport and identify as Nigerians because they are unappreciative of the benefits they take for granted in this great country.
They tend to focus on where this nation is lacking rather than the things that make the country one to be proud of. Let’s take a moment to really be grateful for some of the things we should be proud of as Nigerians:
We have a democracy that works
Not every country in Africa has the chance to practice democracy as Nigerians have. Some countries like Cameroun, Uganda, Chad, Sudan, etc. have not had that luxury, as they have had the same president for over 20 years. While Nigerian may feel that their votes do not really count, or they are suffocating under a corrupt voting system and ‘god-fatherism’, Zimbabwe and Mozambique voting has failed to push out two of the most spectacularly corrupt regimes, and Swaziland is ruled by an absolute monarch. There are other countries around the world still under dictatorships and suffering even worse than Nigerians. Nigerians should be proud of where they have come from and rejoice in the fact that they can freely exercise their civic duty during election years and they have a voice.
Our film industry is the second largest in the world
Nigeria’s movie industry popularly referred to as Nollywood has since been recognized as the world’s second-largest movie industry by volume, right behind India’s Bollywood. And while there has been criticism on the quality of movies being made, it is indeed the country’s second-largest employer and shows huge potential as an export product to the rest of the world. Besides movies, there is the rise of TV networks like EbonyLife, ROK e.t.c, which are flourishing. Nigerians have been able to gain a measure of international recognition as a result of their prowess in this area, and that is something to be proud of.
Nigeria is home to numerous internationally acclaimed authors
The evolution of African literature cannot be narrated without mention of Nigeria and the myriad authors that have emanated from the country in the last years. Besides influencing African literature, a lot of Nigerian authors and writers are being internationally acclaimed. Among these authors are Wole Soyinka -the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, John Pepper Clark, Elechi Amadi, Buchi Emecheta and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who has been featured by Beyonce and was recently invited to interview Hillary Clinton.) This goes to show that Nigeria is one country that defies the stereotype that Africans do not like to read or write. It is something to be proud of.
Our sense of humor is classic
Nigeria is one country where the people are not only resilient, but they know how to carve out a moment of joy from any situation, no matter how excruciatingly terrible. Perhaps it lies in the fact that we are mostly optimistic, but tend to know how to let go of sorrows and find the beauty in ashes. We have the most successful comedians and we have the most vibrant parties and show. Again, from #accolades to #assurance, almost every week on social media, there is new banter or something to laugh about. While we are sharp to call out people and defend our own, we also know how to lighten up and let things go.
We are rich
Who is the richest African in the word? Who is the 3rd richest black woman in the world? The list is quite long, but usually, the top black people in the circles of billionaires around the world are usually Nigerians, and that is a something to really be proud of. While some international media still insist on portraying Nigeria, like the rest of Africa, as poor; documentaries and real-time news have shown otherwise. Even international artists include Nigeria when they are on tour because they know that is where they will make the money; foreign retail companies are much more willing to give a franchise to Nigerians as they know there will be big business.
Can you think of other reasons we should be proud to be Nigerians?