Monday, March 26, 2012

My Country, 'Tis Of Thee...

I love my country.

I really do.

The funny thing is, I didn’t always feel this way about Nigeria. When I was younger, I positively dreaded our biennial trips to the Motherland. The oppressive heat, lack of constant electricity, and general non-American-ness of this place irked every fiber of my being. From the minute I stepped off the plane, I would start counting down the days until I could make my joyous return to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

However, as I grew older, I cultivated a deep love for this country as I began to realize that there truly is no other place on Earth quite like Nigeria.

What caused this sudden burst of patriotism that has sprung forth from the depths of my soul, you ask?

Have a seat and I’ll tell you all about it.

So, for those who know me well, or even know me in passing, you have probably surmised that I tend to be slightly egotistical at times. Many of you might have even wondered where or how my love of self originated. Well, if you have ever been to Nigeria, the answer should be pretty obvious.

Nigerians are quite possibly the most narcissistic people in the solar system.

It continues to amaze me how almost everyone here thinks they are somebody important. In a country where, “Do you know who I am?!?” is a valid excuse to break approximately 94.62% of constitutional laws and social courtesies, it’s a wonder that this country hasn’t fallen to total ruin already.

…But to be honest, we have ample reason to be so haughty.

Because, despite what our vast number of haters/enemies of progress/Ghanaians may say about us, we are genuinely better than all other Africans.

Nigerians are by far the most talented Africans. There is not one country on the continent that doesn’t watch Nigerian movies or listen to our music. Not to mention our literary giants like Chinua Achebe and Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka have made us a force to be reckoned with in the intellectual world. Although other countries have tried to mimic the success of Nollywood and our music scene (i.e. Ghanaians, the biggest swagger-jackers of the century), their sub-par attempts often pale in comparison. But I don’t fault them for trying; it is only natural to want what we have.

In recent years, Nigeria has also begun to make a large impact on the world’s economy. Since our country alone boasts one-fifth of the total African population, many foreign investors have realized the wealth of opportunity that lies within our shores. And as the 12th largest oil producer in the world, Nigeria is scheduled to surpass South Africa as the continent’s largest economy by 2018. Once we take over Africa, there will be no limit to what we can achieve.

But the one thing I love the most about Nigerians is that we are also some of the most resilient people alive. According to The Guardian newspaper, Nigeria was found to be the happiest place on Earth in 2011. Even though our government is a joke and the majority of the population lives in poverty, we are continuously optimistic in the face of hardship simply because we know we are a blessed nation. Regardless of the fact that so many look on us with disdain, we will always believe in ourselves and the greatness that lies within us for we are certain that the future of our country is even brighter than we could ever imagine.

So, to all my fellow countrymen, I salute you. Isn’t it great to be on the winning side?

And to everyone else…well, better luck next time!