Sunday, April 23

Cisi Eze: Nigerians, Let’s Raise Our Glasses to…

Still basking in the warm rays of Easter, I have decided to make a toast to us. Seeing how my posts irk World People, I’ve decided to write something “sweet”. In the absence of wine, vodka mixed with soft drinks will suffice. This mix is life. Mix, taste, and see that I kid thee not. I have my own recipes for different cocktails. Yea, let me brag small.

(Raises glass) Cheers to all of us, Nigerians. We are a resilient people. Many things have tested us through the decades, but we stand strong. Many times, we have been pushed to the wall, but here we are! We’re thriving gracefully in those walls after we carved out spaces in them.

Cheers to those of us that live in areas with poor electricity! We could arrange for solar panels to power our houses, but we are going to wait for the government. Responsibility is such a big thing to take on.

Cheers to those of us that live in areas with bad streets! We all could contribute and work hand-in-hand with the local government council to fix these streets; however, we won’t because it is none of our business.

Cheers to us that keep waiting for the government to fix the country! We keep waiting for snow to fall in a desert. We vote in people that steal from us. What does that make us? Victims or accomplices?

Cheers to us for our pessimism! Do you want this country to be better? Of course, you do! But you believe it is not possible. You have accepted and settled for the fact that things will never get better. Nevertheless, what are you doing in the space you control?

Everyone has a platform. The woman selling fish in the market, the boy hawking sachet water in traffic, the lecturer in that university, the primary four pupil, the cleric, that broadcaster, that senator, that girl in SS2, the boy that lives down the street – everyone has a space they control. What have we, as individuals, done to contribute to our national growth and progress?

We do not necessary need a protest. What we need is everyone making a conscious effort to do better, but we love blaming the government for everything.  This blame game must be fun, I wager.

We don’t want to look within. We are not ready to transform ourselves, change ourselves. “Let everyone sweep the front of his own door, and the world will be clean.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Until we all make a conscious effort to do better, things would stay the same. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect change. Let’s let go of habits, behavioural patterns that do not let us grow. We owe a better Nigeria to our children.

P.S. Because I am petty, I gotta add this. Haha!

Cheers to us for being a country filled with hypocrites. If we were not hypocrites, we would not be a religious country that had a high rate of corruption.

Seriously, with all the prayers, fasts, and vigils one would expect that things would get better. Are we praying wrongly? We have more religious centres than factories. There are more well-furnished churches than well-equipped technical schools. Our educational system has not been changed to suit our current needs. Students in secondary school are learning “Shorthand”. Our legal system, which would have effectively fought corruption, is one of the greatest enabler of this social ill. Our healthcare system is warped! How many of us have health insurance?

So many things are going awry, but we have allowed religion to be an opiate to us. We keep waiting for a deity to make things better, but we are not making an effort. What have we done in the spaces we control? How have we contributed to community development?

P.P.S. (Raises glass) A toast to everyone that ambles through life wearing uncomfortable shoes and itchy mask! Cheers to everyone that has to pretend in a bid to conform with society’s standards.

Living your truth is a chore, I understand. You have covered yourself with several layers of lies, and it is okay because you have to protect yourself. If you ever get bold enough to live your truth, you will vex many people. Truly, you need courage to be honest.

Nevertheless, do not go about throwing mean words at people that are honest about themselves. When you get hostile, some of us are wont to think you are jealous. Jealousy often sublimates into hate.

It is painful how society makes most of us live lies, not lives. We are compelled to lie about ourselves to fit into certain people’s definition of us.

Has it occurred to you that we lie to people who have to lie about something? Everyone of us has a side that has been branded as vile, ugly, filthy. No one is without sin, but with the rate at which people are judgmental, it seems as though everyone is saintly. As I always say, judging people will not absolve you.

Credits: Monkey Business Image | Cisi Eze

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