We have just sworn in a new president from a different party, which is a good start for Nigeria. When it comes to this change business I know it is not rocket science and like everybody I am waiting for what is next.
I understand that Nigeria can’t change with the snap of one’s fingers and I know that our current president isn’t a magician. I know I won’t wake up tomorrow and read in the news that Nigeria is now a first world country with first world problems, but I can’t wait oh. I can’t wait for the change to begin so that this green passport will get elevated somehow and grow from the ranks and there would be countries that I can travel to without needing a visa, or when I want to conduct a transaction online and my client learns I am a Nigeria, they won’t take a step back and contemplate whether to go ahead or just send me an email, with a lot of excuses stating why they think business can’t be done between both of us. I can’t wait to present this passport with pride at major world airports.
Many people say they don’t care, and yes sometimes I don’t really care what people think about me when they see me holding the green passport but sometimes it is tough.
We want to have better political alliances with other countries, and I think that Nigeria can have better relationships with a lot of countries in Asia, largely because we have a lot of similarities.
A lot of our vegetables are similar, a lot of our foods are similar and yes the weather is also similar. You can find a hibiscus flower growing on the streets of Malaysia same as you can find it growing in a tiny estate in the heart of Port Harcourt, the oil producing state of Nigeria (yep I had to chip that in, lol).
You find that they are very communal and the same for us. During the Chinese New Year and other Asian festivals, families come back home from all over the world to celebrate together and yes they usually have large families. Isn’t this the same for a lot of us? Families travel from all over the world especially during festivals like Christmas and the Moslem celebrations. For my Igbo brothers and sisters, this is the period every uncle, aunty, brother, or sister from obodo oyibo comes into town, to showoff his wealth, making the villagers salivate with glee, praying for them profusely so that the dollars they are given would really make some sense. We celebrate festivals with our parents, our grandparents, our uncles, our friends, our cousins and their children.
In terms of education we learn alike. Men, it is a hard life being a student in Nigeria. By age 5 you have already memorized the times table loudly as though the teachers are deaf. By the age of 5 you are reading Ada is a girl and pronouncing the words very well, despite your accent. By the age of 10 years you are already in Secondary School solving serious mathematics and fighting to be in the “A” class, because your parents have always told you the story that they were always top in their class, back in the days and you have chopped that lie.
It is the same way they learn here; in fact I was told that in China by the time children are 3 years old they would have started taking piano lessons, gymnastic classes; and don’t forget that they have mathematics and the science subjects to tackle as well.
If you ask me Asia is the way forward and we need to focus on that, we need to learn from them.
Learn their strategy, adopt their determination and the zest for perfection, don’t let them leave us behind, abeg just learn everything good, so that our passport too can improve. I want to be able to travel to a lot of countries and it would be visa on arrival.
So my new President please help us oh, let us indeed become the giant of Africa.
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