Recently, I met a 22 year old Nigerian-American. His last name portrayed his tribe! So naturally, I said ‘kedu?’ meaning ‘How are  you?’ He looked blank. Well, the rest of the conversation went like this…

Me: So, where are you from?

Young Man: I am from New York…Long Island to be precise!

Me: You are?

Young Man: Yes, I am.

Me: And your parents?

Young Man: Oh, they are Nigerians…Ibos!

Me: Oh wow!!! Really? How possible is that? I mean…you being a New Yorker and your parents; Igbos?

Young Man: Huh? Ummmm…Well…!

Me: Okay… so where are your parents from? I mean their State of Origin in Nigeria?

Young Man: Ummmm…(scratching his head). I do not remember Ms. Kem

Me: It’s Ms. Nkem (with a smile). Nna, that you were born in New York does not determine your roots…your bloodline does! That is where your roots are anchored!

Anyway, I was not surprised he was ignorant about his roots. Many of us are; Africans and Non-Africans! I had to ask him his full first name since it was ‘sorta’ polished. From his correct name, I reminded him his possible State of Origin. He did not know a single word of his native language. I blame his parents, and of course, him too! Imagine if he marries someone not from his tribe! He will lose the main part of who he is. His children and the next generations will be lost in this circle and cycle of ignorance.

Who do you think you are? When you know who you are, why make efforts to be someone else? There is nothing wrong with embracing a culture that is not yours. The problem is when you choose to forget yours! To not be yourself, is to live in a vacuum!  Please ask yourself: Who am I really, if I choose not to know or appreciate who I am? You are somebody, and not a nobody! Live each day knowing and appreciating who you are.


7 thoughts on “DIGITAL NATIVES ~ Nkem DenChukwu” by Nkem DenChukwu (@1chinelo)

  1. True talk, no b small tin.

  2. Exactly, no matter how perfect culture seems to you, your roots should always be your reference. Why should i apologise for instance, for mangling a word or two to an all English audience? When i know most of them cant even pronounce a simple name like “Chinedu” or “Adebayo” or say a simple sentence greeting in hausa?

  3. You know…this is interesting.

    The part about this whole thing I find most annoying are those people who spell their names as though their brains’ wires have crossed…like they cannot make out the letters of the names. Why spell ‘Abimbola’ as ‘Harbeemborlar’…?!?! Is that not madness?!

    All in the name of ‘digital age’.

    My name is Seun Odukoya. No ‘H’…no ‘Y’. Straight up like that…just how my mother says it.

    Nice discourse. Thank you.

    1. hahahahaha
      me thinks Sheun awdukawya is sexier.

  4. Interesting point you’ve made here Nkem…
    What I find more pathetic is knowing that sometimes the person can ACTUALLY speak or pronounce the words for real with the right inflection but gets it wrong, because it seems cool not to get it right…. Well done…$ß.

  5. The metaphors of our time.

  6. Signs of the times for sure. And we all are subject to it in one way or the other. Thanks for this reminder to tread with caution.

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