In the wake of the terrifying news about the gruesome killing of a British soldier by two black men, one identified as a British-Nigerian (Michael Adebolajo), we cannot help but sympathize with the victim’s family – even as we are in shock over the sad development – but we also are saddened by how incidents like this can quickly be associated with our motherland, Nigeria
While we wait for and hope that the case is properly investigated and justice is served, also painfully disturbing on our minds is how even further the country’s image is gone in the pit as a result of this.
Nigeria, we have to truthfully admit, has contributed in no small measure (and I mean those words) to economic development, history has been re-written as a result of the unending achievements that have ‘sprung up’ from Nigeria, by Nigerians. Feats have been recorded, records broken and accolades, highly relevant national awards have been received. The big problem (which has got to change) is doesn’t the word, “Nigeria” and/or “Nigerian” not resounding on everyone’s lips? The most horrible news seem to be upheld more by everyone and most annoying, the media. Apart from the fact that Blacks are increasingly represented in just about every field there is, there is here and there, up and down, the presence of particularly a Nigerian in the statistic.
This is Nigeria: A people hardworking and dedicated, determined to make a future for themselves, to work in the direction of that future and not stop until it is ‘tangible’. That is the Nigeria that we are.
Of noteworthy mention is that 16 out of 541 athletes representing at the 2012 Olympics were Nigerians. Isn’t that interesting? Doesn’t that count as a feat? How about our own people scattered all over the world, immensely impacting positively their nations of residences – of those living in or outside Nigeria. Is Alex Amosu not Nigerian? And yet he is responsible for designing the world’s most expensive luxury fashion and technology pieces: suits, time pieces, phones. And he’s not stopping there. How about the lady who brought home the coveted Miss World title, proudly on her shoulders? Agbani Darego. The first Black African to win the title. Tell me if that isn’t record breaking then we’d have to review the meaning of the word. Akeem the Dream, Oluchi Orlandi, Ojy Okpe, Genevieve Nnaji, (being mentioned on Oprah amongst famous women, the world over), Omotola Jalade making TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the 2013 edition of TIME 100. What about the others in every other field? The scientists, footballers, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Chimamada Ngozi Adichie. All these and more, many more of the great and influential people of Nigeria can’t be ignored. The designers whose fashion pieces have been on world runways, our great leaders of time past. There’s so much. And then dancer, Kaffy in the Guiness Book of Records. What about the largest church auditorium/building in the world headed by a Nigerian Pastor, David Oyedepo and recorded in that same Guinness Book of Records? What about Great Nigerian names like Fela Durotoye? Don’t they count? How about the 27-year-old Kelvin Okafor a graduate with a B.A. (Hon)s in Fine Art from the Middlesex University, London whose life-like drawings received national accolades? And even more.
It’s time we stopped quickly and readily associating and promoting the unpleasant and terrible news about Nigeria and Nigerians. No doubt, every country has got the good, bad and ugly but we cannot deny the great impacts the country has made in the world. This has come to stay. Nigeria is a great nation. Never seize to believe that. We hope to hear even more greater news about Nigeria. Don’t you also?