Nigeria, the largest country in west Africa and the largest -Black- country in the world, the thing is that the above description are focussed on the external views of Nigeria, this blog however, is focussed on what makes Nigeria unique.
Given the geo-strategic location of Nigeria with a vast amount of ocean territories, the geographical location we now know as Nigeria was seen as some kind of promise land flowing with milk and honey as the region had abundance in vegetations and mineral resources.
History also points to the facts that during the Islamic crusade between 1095 – 1571 for fear of their lives a high number of Africans who were at that time referred to as citizens of Alkebulan, the name was pronounced as Alkebu-Ian roughly translated meaning the garden of Eden or the mother of mankind, the name was only changed to Africa in the late 17th century.
In fear for their lives native black Africans migrated from the north of Alkebulan to the western and southern parts, I think at this point it makes sense to point out that prior to the Islamic crusade the only citizens of Alkebulan (Africa) were black-skinned, the Arabs seeing the fears of the then citizens of Alkebulan attacked and took some parts of the land, history also makes mention of the first genocide and ethnic cleansing took place in Alkebulan between 1145 and 1155 AD.
Understanding the history of Africa in brief will give a better understanding of why Nigeria as a country comprises of 527 different languages (yes it true) and if that is not surprising enough also consider that fact that Nigeria has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. Some say Nigeria is a boiling pot of cultures and a trouble destined to happen, but I would say to world should look at Nigeria and learn what globalization means.
My reason for saying that the world should learn from Nigeria is this for example, Europe does not even have a tenth of the ethnicity in Nigeria but they have had great wars one of which saw the introduction of atomic weaponries, even with the formation of the European union the fractures still persist and European citizens are treated according to the GDP of their individual home country but now lets take a look at Nigeria.
Nigeria not only has 1150 ethnic groups but also its evenly split between two religions namely Islam and Christianity, the uniqueness of the religious mixture in Nigeria is one never seen in the world before, where societal factors trumps the religious affiliation of every Nigerian, the Nigerian model is truly one that the world should emulate, this is not saying that there have not been instances of blemishes between the religions in the past but rather, per ratio the numbers of such incidents can be categorized as manageable or preventable.
Who is a Nigerian?
Based on modern definition a Nigerian is an individual born in Nigeria by Nigerian parents and holds a Nigerian nationality passport or someone who is naturalized or became a Nigerian citizen in one way or the other.
But however, the name Nigeria only came to existence in 1897 but we are speaking of a people who were ideologically driven to settle in that particular geo-location now known as Nigeria, so their migration to that particular part is what actually makes them Nigerians.
So back to the question who is a Nigerian?
Being a Nigerian goes beyond geo-location, it goes beyond religion, it goes beyond the colour of your skin, being a Nigerian is an ideology of survival, being a Nigerian means survival against all odds, being a Nigerian is not a nationality but a way of life.
If you have fourth against cancer and won then you are a Nigerian, if you are being oppressed in one way or the other but you still find the strength to move on and put on a smile then you are Nigerian.
Being a Nigerian is the true definition of resilience to overcome the pains, to over come the hurts and to heal together as one, that is who a Nigerian is. 9jacommunity is a 100% people inspired social media website that is open to anyone to join in the Nigerian community, a place where there is no north-south-east or west but one Nigeria and a place where everyone is free to express themselves without restrictions build your community today click here to register or login here.
Watch out for my next blogs where I explore the hidden cultures and traditions in Nigeria