3:45pm. Saturday the 30th, September, 2010.
As a child, I was led to believe that the sky is always blue, no matter what; that one naira would always buy me sweets; that my dad was from a distant planet far from earth and that everyone is a Nigerian and it is the best country in the world. I was a believer; Naïve, but a believer nonetheless.
In my childhood, I learnt a lot of things about Nigeria. Nigeria got her independence from the British Colonialists on the 1st of October, 1960, became a republic in 1963 and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was the first indigenous president of Nigeria. The country defended its territory against internal forces in the civil war of 1967. I also learnt the national anthem and pledge which I recited with abandon in those days. Everything seemed so simple.
Now, as a final year student in university, it is all so complicated. I have seen gray skies. I have not uttered one word of the national anthem or pledge in years. I have reached the conclusion that it is easier to learn history than to live it. I often say a prayer of thanks to all those Nigerians, many years ago, that lived through these periods in history and never gave up. I pray now that we all will be appreciated for keeping faith sometime in the future.
I have seen immeasurable beauty over the years, a beauty that gives me the confidence to dream of a better Nigeria, a beauty that gives me hope that there is indeed a future, a beauty that confirms that darkness always precedes light and better days are yet to come.
I am now writing into this journal, after a stimulating history class fixed today to make up for lost time. Something the lecturer said spurred me to make this entry. He said: “look at the Balkan countries, look at the failed states of Africa and decide for yourself if Nigeria is worth fighting for”. I hope we can make up for lost time and put up a good fight.
I do not consider myself a child anymore, but I do wish Nigerians would think as children again and sing the national anthem with abandon. Some things have changed since I was a child. I would say, still, the Nigerian sky remains blue, no matter what. I am sorry to say that one naira cannot buy me sweets anymore, but I insist that my father is not of this earth, even as I now think he is from a few planets closer than I thought. I dare say there are many nationalities out there (and countries too), but I still think Nigeria is the best country in the world. I am (still) a believer.
6:08am. Monday, October 1, 2010.
Happy independence, Nigeria. Today, I will sing the national anthem, with abandon.
P.S: yesterday, I convinced my friends and course mates to sing the national anthem 50 times today. They said I am not of this earth, but agreed to it.