Funny how we think we are free when indeed we are far from being free. Many years ago, the blacks were said to have been liberated from the shackles of slavery they were sold into. It took them another number of years to be free from segregation. Today, it is known as racism and many human rights activist are out there fighting. They are doing a good job, my case is not with them. Today, I want to talk about the typical black man, in particular, the Nigerian man.
A few days ago, a received a message from a friend of mine. That message implied that a certain prime minister consider a certain group of people to be superior to others especially the Blacks and Arabs. (The name of the prime minister or the said group of people are not mentioned so as not to shift your focus). He went further to state that Blacks and Arabs are created to be ruled, that all they are good for is laziness, dancing, merriment and marrying many wives. After reading the message, I was livid. What the h**l did he mean by such an insult? Thank God for the wisdom of thinking before acting, because a few days later, I had to travel by road to a certain part of the country.
I got to the park, and instantly I was angry. The environment was soooo dirty, litters everywhere. Initially, I blamed the government for not sending people to keep the place clean. Afterall, it was a government owned park, (typical Nigerian that I am). A few minutes later, I was shown the bus I was supposed to board for a 5-hour journey. Instantly, I changed my mind about the government and blamed the people, I also wanted to take my money back and go to another park. Saying the bus was dirty is like saying it was clean. Filthy would even be an understatement. The seat covering and foam padding were even torn. Immediately, I began to wonder what kind of driver would man the steering. I wondered how it was all too easy to blame others when we haven't done our part, The next moment, a man pushed pass me, in his haste, he fell my box. As I tried to get his attention, he waved me off, he was too busy smoking and fixing the tire of the bus I was about to board. A few minutes passed, then I realized he was the driver. Lord have mercy!!!....
We had just begun the journey, (about 5 minutes into it), when his brake pad started to make some noises, everyone became agitated. Many warned him to turn around and change vehicles, others suggested that he change the brakes. When it became clear that he wasn't listening to us, some people started praying. Talking about the road conditions of Nigeria is a story brewing for another day.
I get to my destination, home! at last. A respite from the craziness of bad roads and filthy buses. I narrated my story to my parents and told them about all the bad roads and how the governors of those states put up big billboards of themselves, announcing how much they have worked, with absolutely nothing to show for it. My dad used one word to describe it "SYCOPHANCY". He went ahead to tell of a documentary he'd watched in which many top officials who had been taken in by EFCC to by tried, showed up in court with such a huge crowd of supporters demanding their freedom. Do I need to spell out that these people have been paid to show up and garner support for the offenders?
What these people don't know is that they have sold their rights for a bag of rice, just like Esau sold his for food. They sold it for some cash that they haven't been trained to invest properly, just like their ancestors sold their brothers into slavery for things of western invention like mirrors and bicycles. They have succeeded in selling the bright future of their children and grandchildren, because if it was going to take 10 years to eliminate corruption, it would now take a generation. What values would they instill in their children? And the vicious cycle continues. Nigerians can boast of having the latest cars and phones, can we boast of making one? I don't mean coupling one.
Everyday, our youths are looking for a way out of the country. You only need to visit an embassy (anyone, even the ones to war-zones) to see the crowd. They think the grass is greener on the other side because the people have made it so. Seriously, I don't blame anyone of them. It is terrible living in a society where you have little or no say in the way things are run by the government, and almost no hope for tomorrow. Many years ago, the white man paid to take the black man over to their country to work and transported them free of charge. The problem was in the treatment of the people. Today, the black man works all his life to pay the white man and grovel to be allowed into their country no matter the type of job offer, and then they pay a lot to transport themselves. They might even get deported after all these wahala. Do you see much difference?
That day, a few days ago, my father called it sycophancy, but today, I say it is SLAVERY. We think we are free because we managed to get independence from the colonial masters. Again I ask, "are we really free?" Yes, we may not be bound hand and feet by chains and physical restraints, but psychologically, we are still enslaved by the colonial masters we claim to be rid off and especially by ourselves. We speak many different languages in Nigeria, but have you realized that we do not have our own alphabets? Our language is coined from the English alphabets. Think again, are we truly liberated? So I say, until we have conquered ourselves, we cannot really be free.