We took our fish from the river and in love we placed it on dry land.
We stopped our cattle from eating grass and out of deep concern we started feeding them with flesh. Our monkeys we refused their natural habitat now we make them live in water. Do we still wonder why our fishes are immobile, our cattle have stunted growth and our monkeys are dying?
We’ve tried too long to grow legs for our fish but they’ve refused. We are frustrated, our fish won’t move. We hope someday they’d swim on land.
That is what we did when we took the language of the white-coloured man without taking his tongue and we threw ours away. We forget that our tongues have a different signature on them. We want to speak like him with our tongue. It isn’t working. Is it? we’re in-between two languages, none of them we have. “Don’t let me hear you speak vernacular in this house AGAIN!!!” – those mothers would yell proudly at their children. Their own language, their vernacular is highly prohibited. The children easily concur that all that is white is gold. The child finds it difficult to understand physics simply because English is difficult.
Our fish still can’t walk. Although it wiggles a little we’d do all there is to make it swim on land, also we’d do all there is to make his cloth fit us. We wear 3-piece suit under a hot sun. Then we complain of rashes, eczema and burns at night. When the tie is finally removed, my brothers breathe a huge sigh of relief. Our fathers never tied snakes around their necks. It was a taboo. I ask you “how many fish have survived on land?”
We tie a rope around our fish dragging it on land, pulling it all the way to our destination. We drag a rope on “democracy” – his government. We use his government to rule our thought pattern, our mentality. We left our own way of rule but our ‘democratic’ leaders still behave like monarchs, they go to shrines and carry red calabash standing on a mortar all night. Thugs beat up judges in our courts, ballot boxes are always stolen under our ‘democratic’ election processes. Our leaders blow sirens heavily, refusing anyone using the roads while they are preparing to step out. Is this democracy working? It appears to me like monarchy with a different name.
We told our children, don’t go to the farm anymore. Read your books, get good grades, get a white collar job, LEAVE THE FARM ALONE!!! Now we are hungry. White collar jobs are scarce, we wear ties all day and live under $1 umbrella same all day. Our hands were made to work the ground and plant the cocoa, the maize, the cotton, the rubber, the oil palm, the cassava etc, etc, but these days we are proud to import food… We import food here in Nigeria. It must be a joke right?
Many other ways O’ Nigeria you have tried to make your fish swim on land. You have neglected your arts, your own music, your own education, your family style, your history… Now you are crying at fifty-four “My fish still can’t swim”.
I advice you – please untie the fish, take it back to the river. Then it will swim. You’ll wonder how much advancement you’ll see in your lifetime. You’ll be shocked how important you’ll be to the world.
I do not say western culture is bad. My belief is that all races have something unique to contribute to the world and none should do the world an injustice by adopting another’s and neglecting theirs.
With deep loyalty to my fatherland I say… Happy Birthday Nigeria!!!