I have to first of all state that this is not a sub at Falz, because these days people have become Sherlock Holmes looking for sub where there’s none. I didn’t watch the “This is Nigeria” video. Yes, I saw it all over social media, saw the buzz, my friend Joey Akan even wrote a brilliant article on it for CNN. But I didn’t watch it. Why? You’re probably asking. Well, it’s because I already know Nigeria’s problems.
I spent a large part of four years writing about them, talking about them and complaining about them until they became my daily reality. My alarm clock consisted of emails telling me how many people had been killed by Boko Haram and if it was an especially unlucky day, I’d be treated to pictures of mangled bodies. Yes, This is Nigeria.
I decided to remove myself from that life and it cleared my vision to the fact that all we’re doing is complaining about our problems. No matter how witty how complaints are and how ingenious our delivery of our whining is, it’s still whining nonetheless. And it’s extremely irritating to the ear.
Complaining has become the national sport of Nigerians and we relish it so much that we don’t even realize it’s achieving nothing. I’m not against freedom of speech, far from it. I spent about 7 years of my life training to become a lawyer so I could defend it and other rights. But complaining is not freedom of speech, rather it’s an abuse.
At the heart of our complaining is one sentiment; we’re expecting the government to change all our lives. That seems logical enough, but in actual fact, it’s laughable. The minority government is supposed to overhaul the lives of 200 million Nigerians. It’s not going to happen. This is not to absolve the government of its obligations, after all we vote in public officials so they can make a difference. However, we need to wake up from the ridiculous idea that a president or a governor can be our messiah.
Who will change Nigeria?
The Nigerian people are their own messiahs; that reality is staring us in the face. We provide our own water, electricity and even security. We create our own business atmosphere. We are superstars, but every time we complain we exchange our superpowers for weakness.
Yes, This is Nigeria, flawed, but still you’ve managed to make sense of it, somehow. Should the Nigerian government give us better lives? Definitely. Will complaining make them do that? Not likely.
It’s time for us to stop making noise and start making moves. You don’t like the government, then get your PVC and do something about it. Don’t like how dirty the environment is? Then stop littering the community! You can’t deal with children being out of school? Then reduce some of your turn up money and pay fees for five of them in your neighbourhood. Find something productive to do about the problem, don’t just sit in one spot and do nothing.
Nigeria will not change until we all work together to ensure it happens; we will all work together to build hospitals and schools and improve security. It will not happen overnight, but it’s the only way that anything will change. We cannot just sit down and expect the government to change our lives. Even in countries with better leadership, citizen participation is emphasized, how can we expect our case to be any different?
Yes, This is Nigeria. But after you’re done watching the video and praising Falz, do something to be part of the solution. Thank you.